[If you were to ask the average person, “Do you hate God?” his answer would usually be, “No, I don’t hate God.” Many nominal Christians answer that they feel the same way, no, I don’t hate God, not really…” That is, until it comes to actually “following God” in some unforeseen way or in some preferred manner, and then they aren’t as sure.
Unfortunately, I believe that the barrier preventing many “would be” followers in Christ, is that they don’t know that they aren’t followers of Christ. Why? Because they don’t feel like they aren’t followers and they don’t understand that the Bible says that they, most definitely are NOT part of the Chosen, or what the Bible describes as the “Elect”.
As we look at a few of Pink’s thoughts in this post, I want you to think about the possibility as to if whether or not you are in Christ, by asking yourself this one, simple question, “How would I miss, or not know if I was NOT truly accepted as God’s child. Be honest with yourself, And before you object to the question, let me assure that the essence of this exercise is not to shake your faith, but to ground you even more deeply in the Christian walk, so that, “You know that you know.”
Just as Luther so learned from scripture, “That the just shall live by faith,” so should we know, deep down, down to the core of our being, that “God is my Father,” and that “I am his child.” Because of this essential core relationship, and our deeper understanding of it, we can and will be able to live through faith…and do so by God’s grace! –MWP]
FIRST, LET’S LOOK AT THE PROBLEM: OUR NATURAL UNCONSCIOUS ENMITY AGAINST GOD.
“The sinner’s ignorance and unconsciousness of his enmity against God are due to the false conceptions which he entertains of His nature and character. If he were better acquainted with the God of Holy Writ, he would be more aware of his hatred of Him. But the God he believes in is merely a creation of his own fancy. The true God is ineffably holy, inflexibly just. His wrath burns against sin and He will by no means clear the guilty. If mankind likes the true God, why is it that they have set up so many false gods? If they admire the truth, why have they invented so many false systems of religion? The contrariety between the carnal mind and God is the contrariety between sin and holiness. The divine law requires man to love God supremely; instead, he loves himself supremely. It requires him to delight in God superlatively; instead, he wholly delights in all that is not of God. It requires him to love his neighbor as himself; instead, his heart is inordinately selfish.”
WHY? BECAUSE YOU ARE A NATURAL… MAN!
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Until a man is born again he remains in his natural, fallen and depraved state and so long as that is the case it is utterly impossible for him to discern or perceive divine things. Sin has both darkened his understanding and destroyed his spiritual vision. “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:19). Though divine instruction is supplied them, though God has given them His Word in which the way to heaven is plainly marked out, still they are incapable of profiting from it. Moses represented them as groping at noonday (Deut. 28:29), and Job declares, “They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night” (5:14). Jeremiah depicts them as walking in “slippery ways in the darkness” (23:12).
Now this darkness which envelops the natural man is a moral one, having its seat in the soul. Our Saviour declared, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23). The heart is the same to the soul as the eye is to the body. As a sound eye lets in natural light, so a good heart lets in spiritual light; and as a blind eye shuts out natural light, so an evil heart shuts out spiritual light. Accordingly we find the apostle expressly ascribing the darkness of the understanding to the blindness of the heart. He represents all men as “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18).
[Let’s review: What we have read so far is that:
- Man is naturally at enmity with God.
- Natural man may not know his true condition and may not understand his true fallen state.
- Natural Man’s ignorance of his fallen state and of his sinful nature is due to the inherent moral blindness caused by sin.
- Man stays in this fallen state, that is, he stays in this blindness, until he is born again.
In our next post, we will look at what aspects of being “born again” restores man’s true vision, how it occurs, where it is from, and what it is. Grace and peace. –MWP]
Excerpts and thoughts were by A. W. Pink. Editing and arrangement by Michael W. Pursley
Meet the Author and part of your Christian heritage: Arthur Walkington Pink (1 April 1886 – 15 July 1952) was an English Christian evangelist and biblical scholar who was known for his staunchly Calvinist and Puritan-like teachings in an era dominated by opposing theological traditions. For example, he called Dispensationalism a “modern and pernicious error”. Subscribers of his monthly magazine Studies in the Scriptures included Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Dr. Douglas Johnson, first general secretary of Inter-Varsity.After Pink’s death, his works were republished by a number of publishing houses, among them, Banner of Truth Trust, Baker Book House, Christian Focus Publications, Moody Press, Truth for Today, and reached a much wider audience as a result. Biographer Iain Murray observes of Pink, “the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.” His writing sparked a revival of expository preaching and focused readers’ hearts on biblical living. Unfortunately, Pink is left out of many biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.