Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Profiting from the Word - Chapter 3


In Chapter 3 "The Scriptures and Christ" of Profiting from the Word, A.W. Pink states that "[a]part from the Scriptures, He [Jesus Christ] cannot be known.  In them alone He is revealed."  Christians can measure how much they profit from reading and studying the Word of God by the extent to which Christ is becoming more real and precious to them.  As part of my family devotional study of this book, I've decided to post my thoughts chapter by chapter and to include portions from the book that are helping me improve my daily Bible reading and study. You can read my notes from Chapter 1 here and Chapter 2 here.

Christians profit from the Scriptures when the Word of God:
  1. Reveals Their Need of Christ--"Man in his natural estate deems himself self-sufficient...The more the Spirit deepens His work of grace in the regenerated soul, the more that individual is made conscious of his pollution, his sinfulness, and his vileness; and the more does he discover his need of and learn to value that precious, precious, blood which cleanses from all sin...Yes, the more we are truly profiting from our reading of the Scriptures, the more do we feel our need of Him."
  2. Makes Christ More Real--"To the multitudes Christ is but a name, or at most a historical character. They have no personal dealings with Him, enjoy no spiritual communion with Him...it is the one who by grace is treading the path of obedience to whom the Lord Jesus grants manifestations for Himself. And the more frequent and prolonged these manifestations are, the more real He becomes to the soul...Thus the more Christ is becoming a living reality to me, the more I am profiting from the Word."
  3. Engrosses Them in Christ’s Perfections--"It is a sense of need which first drives the soul to Christ, but it is the realization of His excellency which draws us to run after Him. The more real Christ becomes to us, the more are we attracted by His perfections...Our great need is to be occupied with Christ, to sit at His feet as Mary did, and receive out of His fullness...Is it your chief joy to get alone and be occupied with Him? If not, your Bible reading and study have profited you little indeed."
  4. Makes Christ More Precious--"Christ is precious in the esteem of all true believers (1Pe 2:7). They count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord (Phi 3:8)...The more we are engaged with Christ’s perfections, the more we love and adore Him. It is lack of experimental acquaintance with Him that makes our hearts so cold towards Him...The more precious Christ is to us, the more delight does He have in us."
  5. Increases Their Confidence in Christ--"Just as there is growing “from strength to strength” (Psa 84:7), so we read of “from faith to faith” (Rom 1:17). The stronger and steadier our faith, the more the Lord Jesus is honored...Above everything else there is one thing to be aimed at and diligently sought by earnest prayer: that our faith may be increased...Nothing more pleases, honors, and glorifies Christ than the confiding trust, the expectant confidence, and the child-like faith of those to whom He has given every cause to trust Him with all their hearts. And nothing more evidences those who are being profited from the Scriptures than an increasing faith in Christ."
  6. Deepens Their Desire to Please Christ--"Love delights to please its object, and the more our affections are drawn out to Christ the more shall we desire to honour Him by a life of obedience to His known will...It is not in happy emotions or in verbal professions of devotion, but in the actual assumption of His yoke and the practical submitting to His precepts, that Christ is most honoured...If Christ groaned under sin, we shall too, and the more sincere those groanings be, the more earnestly shall we seek grace for deliverance from all that displeases, and for strength to do all that which pleases our blessed Redeemer."
  7. Causes Them to Long for Christ’s Return--"At the return of Christ we shall be done with sin for ever. The elect are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, and that Divine purpose will be realized only when Christ receives His people unto Himself...Never again will our communion with Him be broken, never again shall we groan and moan over our inward corruptions; never again shall we be harassed with unbelief...The more we yearn for the coming One, the more we are trimming our lamps in earnest expectation of His coming, the more do we give evidence that we are profiting from our knowledge of the Word."
Under his sixth point, Mr. Pink exposes the lukewarm piety within the Christian Church today:  "It is at this point particularly that the genuineness of our profession may be tested and proved. Have they a faith in Christ who make no effort to learn His will? What a contempt of the king if his subjects refuse to read his proclamation! Where there is faith in Christ there will be delight in His commandments, and a sorrowing when they are broken by us. When we displease Christ we should mourn over our failure. It is impossible seriously to believe that it was my sins which caused the Son of God to shed His precious blood, without my hating those sins."

***
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).