These words, spoken about our blessed Lord when He was falsely accused on trial before Pilate, ought to speak volumes to us who have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ.” Isaiah had written in prophecy of Him that “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth,” “leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” So often we speak when we should be silent, to our own hurt and to the dishonor of our Lord, for “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” “A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words,” “and should a man full of talk be justified?” “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” For “he that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.”
Silent when falsely accused, Leaving our defense to Him, He “is my Rock … my Fortress, My Deliverer” from men.
God’s Word to His redeemed ones, those “whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered,” is that “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” For “the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” So “lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” “Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” “If any man will do His will, he shall know.” “Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.”
If we will do the will of God, He then will make it known; It is His joy to guide His saints; His love is with His own.
“As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” It is absolutely impossible for us to understand God’s Word by our human wisdom or ingenuity. It must be revealed and unfolded to us by the Holy Spirit, who indwells every true child of God, for He has “hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” For “where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” “But ye,” writes John “unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God,” “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. … The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you … and … teacheth you of all things.” Our Lord promised that, upon His return to the Father, He would send the Spirit and that “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth … and … He shall glorify Me,” for our Lord said that “the Scriptures … testify of Me.”
The Word of God is not revealed To those who are wise in this age; The truth comes to the humble heart, Who seeks Christ on the sacred page.
The believer who separates himself from all known evil, who heeds God’s admonition to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God,” and who can truthfully say to the Lord that “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts,” that person will be a fruitful Christian, “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” For when we delight in and obey the Word of God, we are abiding in Christ, who said, “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love,” and, “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” Our Lord further said, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
Would you be fruitful for the Lord, And show Him forth each day? So that men might see and want Him, Who alone is the way?
“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.” Our Lord said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” “And who is sufficient for these things?” “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.”
We are appointed to suffer, In a world that knows not our Lord; Still yet “all things are for your sakes,” We read in His own holy Word.
It is sad and regretful that some fundamental Christians have set up standards of separation that are neither Scriptural nor fair. We come dangerously near being like the Pharisee who “prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are,” or the Jews of Isaiah’s day, who said, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.” To be sure, we ought to separate ourselves from all known evil, and the Word of God so instructs us. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But the same chapter tells us to “follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” There are certain things about which even spiritual Christians do not agree, things that are not explicitly covered in Scripture. “One believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak [in faith] eateth herbs. … One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” This is the principle to apply to doubtful things: “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Let us not “make a man an offender for a word,” but “receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
Your brother may not see like you, To know what is evil and good; Encourage him to grow stronger; Pray for him as you know you should.
“God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” All that we do for the Lord’s honor or glory, no matter how little or insignificant it may seem to men, will be rewarded by Him. And while we know that the greatest reward will be at the judgment seat of Christ, when He comes for us, yet even now our Lord has promised that “if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” So “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith,” not forgetting the Lord’s words that “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” So “let not your hands be slack,” for “he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” “Ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
The work seems hard and burdensome; We have no strength for the way, But we know that all done for Him Awaits His smile in that day.
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” God has graciously told us that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” “Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart … that I may discern between good and bad.” And the Lord has promised to do this for His own, for “if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” For “there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” “What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.”
Our wisdom is not sufficient To trust in our time of need; The Lord’s perfect understanding Can show us wisdom indeed.
It is the natural inclination, our hearts being warped by sin as they are, to want to get even with those who mistreat or ignore us. But God’s Word tells us to “say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.” Instead, God tells us who know Him to “see that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men,” and to “bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you,” “not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” “For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people.” So let us not take our case out of His hands, “because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example. … Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
We cannot fight our own battles; We have not wisdom or strength, But putting all in His dear hands Will make all things right at length.
When Paul wrote the above statement, he had just enumerated the things in which he had once trusted and gloried. These included his ancestry, his religion, his education, his zeal and his imagined righteousness. But when, some thirty years before he made the above statement, he had met the Lord Jesus Christ and had come to know Him, all these things were “counted loss for Christ.” There have been and are today many who can give similar testimony: all changed when we met Him. All things in which we trusted and gloried were “counted loss for Christ.” But has this attitude continued in our lives? Have we continued through the days and years and varied circumstances of life to count all “loss for Christ”? It had continued so with Paul, and he says further that “yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him.” Our love for the Lord ought to deepen as the days go by. May He not have to say to us that “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,” and may we not have to pray, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”
“All things but loss” for Thee, dear Lord, Whether wealth, or fame, or name; “I have heard Him, and observed Him,” Who is evermore the same.