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Volume 34 - Page 156 of 261 Index | Zoom | |
The Fourfold Equipment of the Man of God.
pp. 73 - 77
In the second article of this series most of our space was devoted to the important
matter of the Inspiration of Scripture, for both the message and the subject matter, as well
as the equipment and the subsequent manner, will gain or lose in power, according as the
preacher's assurance or lack of assurance that the Book that constitutes his message and
his equipment is "given by inspiration of God".
No preacher to-day has any warrant to preface his own message by the words "Thus
saith the Lord", but the book that supplies him with his doctrine, and gives life to his
delivery, everywhere claims to be the word of the living God.
We have already examined the last part of the fourfold equipment spoken of in the
passage before us, namely, "throughly furnished", but before we can estimate the
completeness of the equipment provided the others must be given earnest consideration.
In order that we may perceive the relation of these four parts let us note the following
II Timothy 3: 16.
The man of God
may be perfect,
unto all good works.
Writing to the Hebrews, the Apostle said, "The word preached did not profit", and
gives as the reason a "lack of faith" (Heb. 4: 2). This supplies an important corrective.
The Scriptures, even though divinely inspired, are addressed to intelligent, moral
creatures. They are certainly "profitable" if received by faith, acknowledged by
obedience, and held in love; but there is no warrant for believing that they can be of
profit to anyone who does not "mix with faith" the things he hears. Were it otherwise,
the superstitious Jew, who wears his phylacteries, or fixes the Mezuzah to this doorpost,
is an example to be followed. It is well to realize the mind of God in this matter.
Take another example. The epistle of James asks a pointed question, which only a
shallow reading could cause to be misunderstood to mean that James is teaching
something contrary to justification by faith:
"What does it profit, though a man SAY he hath faith, and have not works? can
THAT faith save him?" (James 2: 14).
Or let the Apostle speak to the Jew, trusting in the external rite of circumcision:
"For circumcision verily profiteth if thou KEEP the law; but if thou be a BREAKER
of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision" (Rom. 2: 25).