Posted by: reformbama | April 1, 2012

ZEAL WITH KNOWLEDGE

“It is very necessary that this precept, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs” should be pressed upon the rank and file of God’s people. In certain circles it has been taught that as soon as a person has experienced the saving grace of God in his heart it is his bounden duty to preach Christ to all his acquaintances, to endeavor to become a “soul winner,” and that if he declines such “personal work” and evangelistic endeavor, it is because he is cold and selfish, indifferent to the eternal welfare of those around him. But where did Christ or any of His apostles bestow such a commission on any young convert?

“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16).

That qualification warns us against publishing the most sacred experiences of our hearts to all and sundry, for the unregenerate have no more capacity to appreciate the sovereign operations of the Spirit than swine have to rate pearls at their true value. But is not the young convert to “witness for Christ”? Assuredly, but how?

“Ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9):

a changed life, an unworldly walk, is the most effective “witness” of all! (see Matthew 5:16).

Zeal needs to be tempered with knowledge. The holy things of the Gospel are not to be bandied about indiscriminately: the precious secrets of His love which the Lord has revealed to us are not to be communicated to His enemies. If believers defy this Divinely imposed restriction, they must not be surprised at meeting with insults and incurring the ire of those upon whom they attempt to force the holy mysteries of the faith. Of the pharisees Christ said, “Let them alone” (Matthew 15:14), not attempt to convert them from the error of their ways. “Of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22): what a discriminating word is that! We are bidden to “Go from the presence of a fool” (Proverbs 14:7), and not lower our Christian dignity by arguing with him. But are we not bidden to “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in us”? Yes, when “asked” (cf. Proverbs 22:21), and then “with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15) and not with bombast and impudence. The epistles of the New Testament are to be read to “holy brethren” (1 Thess. 5:27), but we know of no warrant to read them to worldlings.” —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

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Responses

  1. Agreed. This is great food for thought. It occurs to me we should immediately begin teaching new believers how careful they must be in their words and actions. It seems, as I consider this, that we should teach them at first to do just as the woman at the well (John 4) and Phillip (John 1:45), i.e., to invite their friends to come hear about this Man; and this will mean inviting their friends to a gospel-preaching church and/or speak with mature Christians who are able to disciple and train. A new convert should understand, first off, that they are new! and must be humble to receive instruction and begin to grow in the faith. Bring back the catechism! These are good quotes you published from A.W. Pink.

    I am a fellow Birmingham-area believer; just saw a comment from you on an older Pyromaniacs article on “artificial enthusiasm”. Plenty of that around. I hope you are encouraged in the Lord in these difficult times.

    Grace,
    Jeri Tanner

  2. Agreed. This is great food for thought. I see that we should immediately begin teaching new believers to be careful with their words and actions. Maybe from the first they should simply, like the woman at the well (John 4) and Phillip (John 1:45), invite their friends to come hear about this Man at a gospel-preaching church and/or from mature Christians able to disciple and train. These are good quotes you published from A.W. Pink.

    I am a fellow Birmingham-area believer; just saw a comment from you on an older Pyromaniacs article on “artificial enthusiasm”. Plenty of that around. I hope you are encouraged in the Lord in these difficult times.

    Grace,
    Jeri Tanner


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