| | Definiteness In Communication
As to the study of the truth, or its investigation, it must be with intent to obey, and not to speculate. “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine” (John 7: 17). The disciple’s place, and the Master’s, belong to every student of the truth. Moreover, if success is to crown the study, truth must be sought for its own sake, or rather for its Author’s. If the secret bent and purpose is to feed the imagination, or to gratify the lust of knowing, then know this, that thou shalt be “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tin 3:7).
On the other hand, “if thou criest after knowledge (understanding thy lack of it), and liftest up thy voice for understanding (in earnest to possess it), if thou seekest her as silver (with an estimation of it value), and searchest for her as for hid treasures (willing to dig the field over rather than fail in your search), then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” (Pro 2:3-5, 10, 11). It is the heart’s estimation of the truth that quickens diligence in pursuit; and it is this also, and not the mind’s dry activity, that determines the rate and measure of advancement in it.
As to the communication of the truth, when it is drawn directly from the divine Word, or, it may be, learned from others, and verified by the Word (for all are not alike successful diggers in the mine, though all should alike possess a value for the ore), it is definite and determinate. When the teaching ceases to be definite, it ceases to be effective. Teaching that swerves from this may not cease to be exciting or attractive, but it ceases to edify. “He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord” (Jer 23:28).
Confidence is the truth, or faith, is content to let God work, and to open His own doors for its reception! But there is a bustling activity that is ever thrusting itself forward—a running where there are no tidings prepared; which, though it may put on the guise of zeal for the truth, is in the issue not better than sowing on unploughed land. There is divine wisdom in the exhortation of the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, when He says, “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among the thorns” (Jer 4:3).
Especially let those who are teachers of the truth beware, for the stream will not rise higher than the level of the spring; and there is always (more or less definite) correspondence between the character and condition of the teacher and the taught. People that are caught by the imagination, the sentimental, the shallow and the wordy, as well as those captivated by the comprehensive and earnest, will infallibly bear its stamp.
What, then profits in writing, or in oral teaching? The definiteness of the truth; truth, doubtless applied by the Spirit to the conscience and heart-still! That there may be an effect where this is absent, I do not deny. But what is it? The effect of making people think, if they think at all, that Scripture is as vague and pointless as any exposition of its declarations. Where its definiteness is not presented and grasped, uncertainty and unpreparedness for action are the necessary result. Easy going orthodox profession may be satisfied with vagueness and generality, nay, with vapidness and insipidity; but if the truth of the Word is to detach souls from themselves and the world, to bring into peace and liberty, and to direct to the just hope of a Christian, it must be definite!
- W Williams
Excerpt from MJS devotional for Sept. 5:
"We are not only pardoned, but justified—made righteous; and this is not merely by that which He has done, or by what He has procured or bestows—but in what He is. ‘As He is, so are we in this world’ (1 John 4:17). The believer must never lose sight of this fundamental truth: that the basis of his fellowship with the Father is not his own personal holiness, or what the Lord Jesus is in him, but his judicial position before the Father, or what the Lord Jesus is for him. He, ‘the Lord our righteousness,’ is the foundation and source of everything—of walk as well as of position." -E.H.
None But The Hungry Heart
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.'" -MJS