Divine truth is like a perfect diamond. It is one - yet it has many facets, cut and polished by the hand of our God. When the whole message is preached, "all the counsel of God" is declared; the glory of God is seen sparkling and shining in all its beauty and grace. Not to understand this is what makes most preaching dull, lifeless, and uninteresting. Instead of looking at the gem of truth in its entirety men choose to single out and exaggerate one facet, magnifying it until the congregation is looking at one flat surface which only serves to reflect the image of the preacher, the movement or the denomination! What is taught may be true and may have much value when understood in its relationship to other truth, but taken alone, it is powerless to reveal the glory of Christ and really presents a distorted view of His gospel.
1. Divine sovereignty without human responsibility leads men to fatalism and indifference. "Who can resist His will? Then why blame me for sinning?" Rom. 9:18-19
2. Human responsibility without divine intervention leads men to despair and helplessness. "How then can man be just with God? How can he be clean that's born of a woman?" job 25:4
3. Sovereign election without means and the response of repentance and faith leads men to idleness and an unjust view of God. "I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, so I did nothing." Matt. 25:24.
4. Human effort and means without divine purpose leads men to pride and self-righteousness. "Being ignorant of God's righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness" Rom. 10:3
5. The kingdom of Christ or the reign of Christ on earth without the reign of Christ in the heart leads me to seek rewards, position; and selfglory. "Grant that my sons may sit one on thy right hand and one on they left, in thy kingdom." Matt. 20:21
6. Religious activities and even outstanding gifts and services without love for Christ and others leads men to empty service and worthless sacrifice. "Though I bestow my goods to feed the poor and my body to be burned and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." I Cor. 13:3
7. Spirit without truth is wildfire; truth without spirit is dead orthodoxy. Grace without obedience is disgrace; obedience without grace is hypocrisy.
Christ our Lord receives sinners. He received them as a gift from the Father. He received them as a purchased possession when He redeemed them by His blood. "Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price." He receives them from the hand of the Holy Spirit when they are regenerated and called to faith. But sinners also receive Christ. Being awakened to the curse of the Law, the sinner cries for mercy. "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." Being awakened to the guilt of his own sin, the sinner repents in sackcloth and ashes crying, "Wash me and I shall be clean." Being awakened to his own inability and the sufficiency of Christ, the sinner receives Christ as his sole redeemer and mediator. Being awakened to the Lordship of Christ the sinner bows before Him in total submission and surrender, "Lord, what will you have me do?" Being awakened to an understanding of the fullness of God vested in Christ the sinner commits all things, all hope, and all desire unto Him against that day!
Thou art the truth, Thy word alone,
true wisdom can impart;
to Thee I yield a willing mind,
and open all my heart.
I all other Priests disclaim,
and laws and offerings, too;
None but the bleeding lamb
the mighty work can do.
My King supreme, to thee I bow,
A willing subject at thy feet;
All other lords I disavow,
And to thy government submit.
I am not wise enough to know what facet of divine revelation a person has missed; I'm not smart enough to devise plans of study and growth for a particular group! If I take upon myself to organize and direct your worship, faith, and understanding you will (perish the thought) only be like me and not like Christ. How many professors of theology, pastors of assemblies, and teachers of scripture are turning out carbon copies of themselves. The solution is found in Paul's words to the Elders in Acts 20. "I have kept back nothing profitable unto you I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God Brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up." Did not the apostle warn us of following men to the point of divisions, envying, and strife? "I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who is Paul and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" I am a Calvinist, one says, or I am pre-millenial, or I am reformed. If you really mean that in all that it implies, its unfortunate, for the diamond of truth is infinitely greater and more glorious than Calvin, all of the reformers put together, and every religious system that ever existed. It is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We preach Christ and ourselves your servants for Christ's sake!
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