An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 25 of 277
idea of 'fitting', 'mending', and 'adjusting' can be seen in katartizo,
'mending their nets' (Matt. 4:21); and katartismos 'perfecting' or
'adjusting' the saints to the requirements of the new dispensation (Eph.
4:12).  The root word aro does not occur in the Greek New Testament but
Liddell and Scott say of it, that it is 'one of the most prolific of Greek
roots', from which is derived words meaning 'to join', 'to fit', 'to
fashion', 'to arrange' and 'to harmonize'.  Every one of these significations
is implied in the words 'throughly furnished', which gives a fuller idea than
may at first have been formed of what this goal of Christian training
Before a Christian worker can make progress in his training he must
have some sense of vocation; he must feel that, in his degree, the words of
the great apostle are also true of himself, 'Necessity is laid upon me; yea,
woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!' (1 Cor. 9:16).  This sense of
vocation, however, will not be confined to the mind of the teacher alone;
there will be evidence of his call sufficient to cause the concurrence of
Christian brethren.  These two elements can be seen together in the record of
Paul's great commission, as found in Acts 13.  Paul turns Timothy's attention
back to this great moment in his life, when he directed him to his 'doctrine,
manner of life', and to those experiences through which he passed 'at
Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra' (2 Tim. 3:10,11; Acts 13:14).
Paul was 'separated' by the Holy Ghost in a way that is not to be
expected in the present dispensation.  'The Holy Ghost said, Separate Me
Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them' (Acts 13:2).
This command was obeyed by the brethren gathered at the church at Antioch,
for they 'laid their hands on them' and sent them on their way.  There will
therefore not only be the preacher's own personal conviction, but it will be
accompanied by some evidences of fitness for the great undertaking.
Ordinarily, if a man feels a call to be a teacher, he will be 'apt to teach'.
This 'separation' by the Holy Ghost in Acts 13 is the climax rather
than the beginning, of the Divine choice.  All unknown to Paul, yet most
certainly guiding each step in his career, the hand of the Lord had been
outstretched.  The city of his birth, his racial prejudices, his Roman
citizenship, his schooling at the feet of Gamaliel, were all subsequent to
the fact that Paul had been 'separated' as a preacher from before his very
birth (Gal. 1:15,16).  Another reference to his call and separation is made
in Romans 1:1 where he wrote, 'Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be
an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God'.  Unless there is some parallel
with this consciousness of a Divine call, the discipline and rigour of
Christian training will generally prove too severe, but where the call is
real, no pains will be too great to enable the believer to stand approved
unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed of the execution of his task.
If we pass from the 'separation' of Paul in Acts 13 to the actual
ministry that follows, it will be observed that, when speaking to the people
of Israel, he bases all his doctrine and exhortation upon the Scriptures.
The exodus from Egypt, the period under the Judges, the reigns of Saul and of
David are traversed in the opening of his address.  Here was a mind stored
with the facts of God's Word, ready to be marshalled and applied as the Lord
gave opportunity.  But we should miss the essential point if we concluded
that we must always and in all circumstances introduce large portions of
Scripture into our public addresses, for we have only to turn to Acts 17 to
discover that, to a people who knew nothing of the exodus, of Judges, of
Saul, or of David, Paul omitted all reference to the Scriptures, met them on