Christian Fools!!! Walking by Reason rather than by Faith, Part One.

Written by A. W. Pink

funny business manWalking by Reason rather than by Faith

Those words were spoken by Christ on the day of His resurrection…

…spoken not to worldlings but to Christians. That which occasioned them was this. The disciples to whom He was speaking were lopsided in their theology: they believed a certain part of God’s truth and they refused to believe another part of the truth that did not suit them; they believed some Scriptures but they did not believe all that the prophets had spoken, and the reason they did not was because they were unable to harmonize the two different parts of God’s truth. They were like some people today: when it comes to their theology; they walk by reason and by logic rather than by faith.

In the Old Testament there were many prophecies concerning the coming Messiah that spoke of His glory. If there was one thing the Old Testament prediction made plain, it was that the Messiah of Israel should be GLORIOUS. It spoke of His power, His honor, His majesty, His dominion, His triumphs. But on the other hand, there were many prophecies in the Old Testament that spoke of a suffering Messiah, that portrayed His humiliation, His degradation, His rejection, His death at the hands of wicked men. And these Disciples of Christ believed the former set of prophecies, but they would not believe in the second: they could not see how it was possible to harmonize the two. If the coming Messiah was to be a glorious Messiah, possessing power and majesty and dominion: if He would be triumphant, then how could He, at the same time, be a suffering Messiah, despised, humiliated, rejected of men? And because the disciples could not fit the two together, because they were unable to harmonize them, they refused to believe both, and Christ told them to their faces that they were fools. He says, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken.”

I suppose some of us have wondered how it was possible for these disciples, these followers of Christ, who had been privileged to be with Him during His public ministry and those who had been so intimate with Him, had been instructed by Him, had witnessed His wonderful miracles; how it was possible for such men to err so grievously and to act so foolishly. And yet we need not be surprised; the same thing is happening all around us today. Christendom tonight is full of men and women who believe portions of God’s truth, but who do not believe all that the prophets have spoken.  

Christendom tonight is full of men and women that the Son of God says are “fools” because of their slowness of heart to believe.

Now very likely this will make some of my hearers angry: probably they are the ones who most need the rebuke of the text. When a servant of God wields the sword of the Spirit, if he does his work faithfully and effectively, then some are bound to get cut and wounded: and, my friends, that is always God’s way. God always wounds before He heals. And I want to remind you at the outset that this text is no invention of mine. These are the words of One who never wounded unnecessarily, but they are also the words of the True and Faithful Witness who never hesitated to preach the whole truth of God, whether men would receive it or whether they would reject it. I know it is not a pleasant thing to be called a fool, especially if we have a high regard for ourselves and rate our own wisdom and orthodoxy very highly—it wounds our pride. But we need to be wounded, all of us. We need to be humbled; we need to be rebuked; we need to have that word from the lips of Christ which is as a two-edged sword.

Now notice, dear friends, that Christ did not upbraid these disciples because they did not understand, but because of their lack of faith. The trouble with them was they reasoned too much. Very likely they prided themselves on their logical minds and said, Well, surely we are not asked to believe impossibilities and absurdities: both of these cannot be true; one is true and the other cannot be. Either the Messiah of Israel is going to be a glorious and a triumphant Messiah, or else He is going to be a rejected and a humiliated one: they cannot both be true. That is why Christ said to them—not because of their failure to understand, but because of their lack of faith—“O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken.”

I am afraid that today there are many who only believe what they can understand…

…and if there is something else that they cannot understand, they do not believe it. If they have devised to themselves a systematized theology (or more probably they have adopted someone else’s system of theology), and they hear a sermon (no matter how much Scripture there may be in it) which they cannot fit into their little system of theology, they won’t have it. They place a higher value on consistency than they do on fidelity. That is just what was the matter with these disciples: they could not see the consistency of the two things and therefore they were only prepared to believe the one.

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Taken from, “Christian Fools” Written by A. W. Pink.

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. Pink is left out of many biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.

But, for a single sin: Man, Sin, Punishment and Holy Scripture

Written by, A. W. Pink.

luciferInstead of making Satan the source of all the black crimes of which we are guilty,

…the Bible declares, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23). Such a conception of man “so different from man’s own ideas,and so humiliating to his proud heart ” never could have emanated from man himself. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer.17:9) is a concept that never originated in any human mind.

The teaching of the Bible about sin is unique. Man regards sin as a misfortune and ever seeks to minimize its enormity. In these days, sin is referred to as ignorance,as a necessary stage in man’s development. By others, sin is looked upon as a mere negation, the opposite of good; while Mrs. Eddy and her followers went so far as to deny its existence altogether.

But the Bible, unlike every other book, strips man of all excuse and emphasizes his culpability. In the Bible sin is never palliated or extenuated, but from first to last the Holy Scriptures insists upon its enormity and heinousness. The Word of God declares that “sin is very grievous” (Gen. 18:20) and that our sins provoke God to anger (l Kings 16:2). It speaks of the “deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13) and insists that sin is “exceeding sinful” (Rom. 7:13). It declares that all sin is sin against God (Ps. 51:4) and against His Christ (I Cor. 8:12). It regards our sins as being “as scarlet” and “red like crimson” (Is.1:18). It declares that sin is more than an act,it is an attitude. It affirms that sin is more than a non-compliance with God’s law ” it is rebellion against the One who gave the law. It teaches that “sin is lawlessness -(I John 3:4, R. V.), which means that sin is spiritual anarchy, open defiance against the Almighty. Moreover, it singles out no particular class;it condemns all alike. It announces that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” that “there is none righteous,no, not one” (Rom. 3). Did man ever write such an indictment against himself? What human mind ever invented such a description of sin as that discovered in the Bible? Whoever would have imagined that sin was such a vile and dreadful thing in the sight of God that nothing but the precious blood of His own beloved Son could make an atonement for it!

The teaching of the Bible about the punishment of sin is unique. A defective view of sin necessarily leads to an inadequate conception of what is due sin. Minimize the gravity and enormity of sin and you must proportionately reduce the sentence which it deserves. Many are crying out to-day against the justice of the eternal punishment of sin. They complain that the penalty does not fit the crime. They argue that it is unrighteous for a sinner to suffer eternally in consequence of a short life span of wrong-doing. But even in this world it is not the length of time which it takes to commit the crime which determines the severity of the sentence. Many a man has suffered a life term of imprisonment for a crime which required only a few minutes for its perpetration. Apart, however, from this consideration, eternal punishment is just if sin be looked at from God’s viewpoint. But this is just what the majority of men refuse to do. They look at sin and its deserts solely from the human side.

One reason why the Bible was written was to correct our ideas and views about sin, to teach us what an unspeakably awful and vile thing it is,to show us sin as God sees it. For one single sin Adam and Eve were banished from Eden. For one single sin Canaan and all his posterity were cursed. For a single sin Korah and his company went down alive into the pit. For a single sin Moses was debarred from entering the Promised Land. For a single sin Achan and his family were stoned to death. For a single sin Elisha’s servant was smitten with leprosy. For a single sin Ananias and Sapphira were cut off out of the land of the living. Why? to teach us what an infinite evil it is to revolt against the thrice holy God. We repeat, that did men but see the terribleness of sin”–did they but see that it was sin that put to a shameful death the Lord of Glory”–then they would realize that nothing short of eternal punishment would meet the demands which justice has upon sinners.

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Taken from, “Divine Inspiration of the Bible
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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. Pink is left out of many biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.

In to Nature? Good! Because It’s Natural For You… to Hate God… How to Know that You Know! Part 1.

hate-god[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.”
–John 3:3

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:

  1. Man is naturally at enmity with God.
  2. Natural man may not know his true condition and may not understand his true fallen state.
  3. Natural Man’s ignorance of his fallen state and of his sinful nature is due to the inherent moral blindness caused by sin.
  4. 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]
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Excerpts and thoughts were by A. W. Pink.  Editing and arrangement by Michael W. Pursley

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 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.

 

Are You of God, or of the World?

Written by A. W. Pink

wordlywiseman1[It has been said by the wise that “Context is everything.” And while that bit of sagacity is certainly true in the study of the Scriptures, it is equally true in the giving and receiving of Christian Commentary. And, it is also true of the following message by A. W. Pink. 

If I may be so bold, let me reassure those seeking, anxious Christians.  You, who are tempest tossed with sin, who struggle keenly with your Adamic nature, who cling to the cross and bitterly lament even the whiff of temptation, or the tiniest thought of sin that dares to cross the threshold of your mind…   As I said, let me reassure you, that Pink is not addressing you with this message, at least not directly.

Rather, Pink here is addressing that large class of Christians who, by virtue of their church, heritage, position, social standing, etc., believe that they have a “lock” on heaven.  After all, they were baptized as children, they had recited the ritual formula for salvation, but their shallow profession of Christianity has never translated over to a “sanctified life.” 

In the highly stratified society of England where Pink lived, I am sure that the “Church” was as highly infested with those people as the church is today.  And it was, and is, to those highly self-satisfied, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, I can do anything I want, shallow Christians that Pink is here reaching out to… by the neck, almost.  

Oh, by the way, if you have not examined yourself in Christ recently, perhaps because you are feeling pretty self-assured, well this message is most definitely meant for you.  –MWP]

God Himself has supplied us with tests…

…and we are mad if we do not avail ourselves of them, and honestly measure ourselves by them. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13). The Holy Spirit Himself moved one of His servants to write a whole Epistle to instruct as how we might know whether or not we have eternal life…..Let the really concerned soul read slowly and thoughtfully through this first Epistle of John…. the very first passage which contains the familiar “we know” is quite the reverse of what is now being so widely advocated as the ground of Christian assurance. “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

Is not that plain enough?

A godly life is the first proof that I am a child of God….But let us observe the solemn declaration that immediately follows. “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Do these words anger you?

We trust not: they are God’s, not ours. Do you refuse to read any more of this article? That would be a bad sign—an honest heart does not fear the light. A sincere soul is willing to be searched by the Truth. If you are unable to endure now the feeble probing of one of His servants, how will it fare in a soon-coming day when the Lord Himself shall search you through and through?

O dear friend, give your poor soul a fair chance…

…be willing to ascertain whether your faith is real wheat, or only chaff. If it proves to be the latter, there is still time for you to humble yourself before God and cry unto Him to give you saving faith. But in that Day it will be too late!”

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Taken from, ”Assurance”
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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. Pink is left out of many biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.

False Peace vs. Assurance, Religious experiences vs. Deliverance from judgment, …How to Know the Difference.

Assurance and peace are to be found by resting on the Word of God.

b01r9cd6The ground of both is outside of ourselves. Feelings have nothing to do with either. Deliverance from judgment is by the Finished Work of Christ, and by that alone. Nothing else will avail. Religious experiences, ordinances, self-sacrifice, Church membership, works of mercy, cultivation of character, avail nothing.

The first thing for me, as a poor lost sinner, to make sure of is: 

  1. Am I relying upon what Christ did for sinners?
  2. Am I personally trusting in His shed blood?

If I am not, if instead under the eloquence and moving appeals of some evangelist:

  1. I have decided to turn over a new leaf, and endeavor to live a better life, and
  2. I have “gone forward” and taken the preacher’s hand, and
  3. If he has told me that I am now saved and ready to “join the church,” and
  4. In doing so I feel happy and contented

My peace is a false one, and I shall end in the Lake of Fire, unless God in His grace disillusions me.

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Taken from, “Gleanings in Exodus”
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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. Pink is left out of many biographical dictionaries and overlooked in many religious histories.