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The Balance of Truth

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by WordSword, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

    United States
    As babes-in-Christ in the outset of receiving salvation (whom this article addresses), it is normal and acceptable to be preoccupied with appreciation for the blessings. But as we grow in our faith and in the image of Christ we learn the goal of becoming more occupied with the Blesser than the blessings, and thus begins the gradual and ever increasing lessons from the Word of God and its Author—the Spirit of God (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:21).

    I would suspect there is a consensus among believers that setting our thoughts on God and where He is possesses the most encouragement which can possibly be maintained; considering also that heavenly mindedness (Col 3:1, 2) is the most efficient means to obtain the most important purpose—“being conformed into the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29; 2Co 3:18).

    Besides appreciation and gratitude for the blessings, there will always be the faith-exercises of “trials” that teaches us God-dependence, more than all else. It stands to good instruction that the more we are heavenly minded of God, the less difficult our trials will tax and toll our faith, resulting in an increasingly more-all-the-time centeredness on God Himself, than on the blessings and trials (trials are supposed to be difficult, but not unto being “troublesome” (Jhn 14:1, 27; 1Co 10:13; Heb 12:4; 1Jo 5:3)! Thankfully, all believers who desire to grow and be used of God can unfailingly become such an “instrument” (Rom 6:13).

    The Balance of Truth

    If the Gospel which is preached be that which pleases ‘taste’ (sensually centered—NC), it must be entirely with man and his need, and speaks only (e.g. too much—NC) of the benefit conferred by it. There is no question but that it does confer benefit on man (unification with God—NC), and this is its first word to him; but it is not balanced unless the relation be shown in which it places him with God.

    The popular gospel (this written circa 1850’s) dwells on the benefit to man (a babe-in-Christ trait—NC), the relief and ease which it imparts to him. It does not insist on the nearness to God to which the ransomed one is brought. It occupies him with the good, and benefit to himself, instead of (or more than—NC) founding his joy on the relation in which he is now with God through Christ.

    In a word, God is not made prominent to the soul, but the benefit. Acceptance with God is not the gain that is presented (the primary contemplation—NC), but the ease to myself. I repeat, there is no question of gain; but there is a great difference between having before one the Person who accomplished the gain, and the gain merely as one feels it (again, learning to avoid sensuality as much as possible—NC).

    Scripture puts the Person first, and then the gain to the believer (Mat 6:33); and the result is that his heart becomes occupied with the One who confers the gain, and not merely with the gain. Now if one is exclusively occupied with the latter, there must always be a turning in on oneself—an occupation with the gain which does not increase it, and tends to make one merely a favored individual instead of one bound to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence souls are not rooted and built up in Him, and there is no balance, for this truth has not been apprehended.

    There is no balance in a gospel which occupies the soul exclusively with the relief it will enjoy, instead of with the Person by whom the relief has been secured. Can that be truth where God does not consciously and prominently get a place? Surely there is no balance there. It is not only the sinner’s freedom from condemnation which the Gospel proclaims, but that God has given him a Savior; not only that he is safe, but that as forgiven he is now nigh unto the Father.

    —J B Stoney (1814-97)

    The devotionals by Miles J Stanford are directly related to the articles I share, so I strongly recommend viewing them daily. I‘ve been studying the Word for 40 years and for the last 20 years I’ve found this devotional and these articles the most accurate teachings concerning spiritual growth!

    Excerpt - “God gave His people Israel, a nation living in the world, the law; one of its purposes being to act as a curb or restraint, a kind of bit and bridle on their rebellious flesh. It had to be checked on the one hand; it had to be pushed on the other, so to speak. Thus it was that the law dealt with man’s flesh. But to go back to the law now is just the denial of Christianity.

    “Some good men who in grievous error would impose the law as a rule of life for the believer mean very well by it (for they strive to be pious); but the whole principle is false. The law, instead of being a rule of life, is necessarily a rule of death to one who has a sin nature. Far from being a delivering power, it can only condemn such; far from being a means of holiness, it is, in fact, and according to Paul, the ‘strength of sin’ (1 Cor. 15:56).” -William Kelly (1821-1906)
    None But The Hungry Heart
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  2. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Member Supporter

    United States
    Hello @WordSword, some of what NC said in your quote of his above reminded me of this quote, so I thought that I'd post it.

    It is good to note that the One who justified/saved us in the first place is the same One who sees to our sanctification (though unlike our justification, He enables us to come alongside and join in the process with Him, as we are able to anyway .. e.g. Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13).

  3. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

    United States
    Hi, and thanks for the encouraging and instructional comment! Yes, He who saves is He who "keeps" (
    Jde 1:24). Amen, and being "partakers of the sufferings" (2Co 1:7) is incomparably worth being
    "partakers of the divine nature" (2Pe 1:4), and all that eternity holds for us with God.