Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Profiting from the Word - Chapter 6

In Chapter 6 "The Scriptures and Obedience" of Profiting from the Word, A.W. Pink states that the "bounden duty of those who bear His name to honour and glorify Christ in this world."  Christians can only honor Christ when they live holily unto Him and by walking in subjection to His revealed will.  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, Chapter 2 here, Chapter 3 here, Chapter 4 here, and Chapter 5 here.

"God has given us His Word not only with the design of instructing us, but for the purpose of directing us: to make known what He requires us to do.  The first thing we need is a clear and distinct knowledge of our duty; and the first thing God demands of us is a conscientious practice of it, corresponding to our knowledge."

A man profits from the Word when he:
  1. Discovers God’s Demands upon Man--"'The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good' (Rom 7:12). The sum of God’s Law is, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might' (Deu 6:5)."
  2. Discovers Man’s Failure to Meet God’s Demands--"But once a soul really perceives what are God’s demands upon him, and how completely and constantly he has failed to render Him His due, then does he recognize what a desperate situation he is in. The Law must be preached before any are ready for the Gospel."
  3. Learns God’s Provision for Meeting His Demands--"That obedience which God requires can proceed only from a heart which loves Him.  'Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord' (Col 3:23). That obedience which springs from a dread of punishment is servile. That obedience which is performed in order to procure favours from God is selfish and carnal. But spiritual and acceptable obedience is cheerfully given: it is the heart’s free response to and gratitude for the unmerited regard and love of God for us."
  4. Loves God’s Commandments--"The 'blessed' man is the one whose 'delight is in the law of the Lord' (Psa 1:2). And again we read, 'Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments' (Psa 112:1)...'I delight in the law of God after the inward man' (Rom 7:22). And, my reader, unless your heart delights in the 'law of God' there is something radically wrong with you: yea, it is greatly to be feared that you are spiritually dead."
  5. Yields to God’s Commandments--"A holy mind declines whatsoever God forbids, and chooses to practice all He requires, without any exception. If our minds submit not unto God in all His commandments, we submit not to His authority in anything He enjoins. If we do not approve of our duty in its full extent, we are greatly mistaken if we imagine that we have any liking unto any part of it...Self must be denied; not merely some of the things which may be craved, but self itself! "
  6. Prays for Enabling Grace--"Many desire to escape from hell, yet their desires are not sufficiently strong to bring them to hate and turn from that which must inevitably bring them to hell, namely willfully sinning against God. Many desire to go to heaven, but not so that they enter upon and follow that 'narrow way' which alone leads thereto. True spiritual 'desires' use the means of grace and spare no pains to realize them, and continue prayerfully pressing forward unto the mark set before them."
  7. Enjoys Obedience--"As we tread the path of wisdom (complete subjection to God), we discover that 'her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace' (Pro 3:17).  'His commandments are not grievous' (1Jo 5:3), and 'in keeping of them there is great reward' (Psa 19:11)."
Mr. Pink exhorts and warns his readers:

"We 'feed' on the Word only when we personally appropriate, masticate, and assimilate into our lives what we hear or read. Where there is not an increasing conformity of heart and life to God’s Word, then increased knowledge will only bring increased condemnation!...'Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth' (2 Tim. 3:7). This is one of the prominent characteristics of the 'perilous times' in which we are now living. People hear one preacher after another, attend this conference and that conference, read book after book on biblical subjects, and yet never attain unto a vital and practical acquaintance with the Truth, so as to have an impression of its power and efficacy on the soul. There is such a thing as spiritual dropsy, and multitudes are suffering from it. The more they hear, the more they want to: they drink in sermons and addresses with avidity but their lives are unchanged. They are puffed up with their knowledge, not humbled into the dusk before God. The faith of God’s elect is 'the acknowledging [in the life] of the truth which is after godliness' (Titus 1:1), but to this the vast majority are total strangers."


***
“What doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Mic 6:8).
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man,” (Ecc 12:13).
"Ye are my [Jesus'] friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you," (John 15:14).