"To treat revelation as if it were a football to be
kicked from man to man is irreverence."
Two educated doctors are angrily discussing the nature of
food, and allowing their meal to lie untasted, while a simple
countryman is eating as heartily as he can of that which is set
before him. The religious world is full of faultfinders, critics,
and skeptics, who, like the doctors, fight over Christianity
without profit either to themselves or others; and those are far
happier who imitate the farmer and feed upon the Word of
God, which is the true food of the soul. Luther's prayer was,
"From nice questions the Lord deliver us."
Questioning with honesty and candor is not to be condemned,
when the object is to "Test everything. Hold on to the good;"
but to treat revelation as if it were a football to be kicked from
man to man is irreverence, if not worse.
Seek the true faith, by all manner of means, but do not spend a
whole life in finding it, lest you be like a workman who wastes
the whole day in looking for his tools. Hear the true Word of
God; lay hold of it, and spend your days not in raising hard
questions, but in feasting upon precious truth.
It is, no doubt, very important to settle the point of "General or
Particular Redemption;" but for unconverted men, the chief
matter is to look to the Redeemer on the cross with the eye of
faith. Election is a doctrine about which there is much
discussion, but he who has made his election sure, finds
it a very sweet morsel. Final perseverance has been fought
about in all time; but he who by grace continues to rest in Jesus
to the end, knows the true enjoyment of it.
Reader, argue, if you please, but remember
that believing in
the Lord Jesus gives infinitely more enjoyment than disputing
can ever afford you. If you are unsaved, your only business is
with the great command, "Believe!" and even if you have
passed from death to life, it is better to commune with Jesus
than to discuss doubtful questions. When Melancthon's
mother asked him what she must believe amidst so many
disputes, he, knowing her to be trusting to Jesus in a simple-
hearted manner, replied, "Go on, mother, to believe and pray
as you have done, and do not trouble yourself about
controversy." So say we to all troubled souls, "Rest in the
Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
1 Tim. 1:4-6 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless
genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's
work--which is by faith. The goal of this command is love,
which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a
sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and
turned to meaningless talk.
1 Tim. 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an
unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words
that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions
2 Tim. 2:14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them
before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value,
and only ruins those who listen.
2 Tim. 2:23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid
arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and
arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are
unprofitable and useless.
Bible study by itself will not produce spiritual maturity.
In fact, it will produce carnality if it isn't applied and practiced.