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Volume 23 - Page 177 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
will help all to realize how impossible it is to contemplate "practice" apart from a
knowledge of truth. Avoiding the purely doctrinal issues which will the better come in
the direct exposition of the epistle, we might notice that the apostle "beseeches", but does
not "command". He would have our practice the grateful response to "the mercies of
God", for service rendered in any other spirit may not prove "acceptable unto God".
Not only must true service be rendered "in love" and not "in law", but it must also be
"logical" or "reasonable". This implies a fair acquaintance with the teaching of the
Scriptures, and a perception on the part of the believer of the direction and goal towards
which all doctrine points. This logical or reasonable service goes so far as to include the
presentation of our bodies as living sacrifices, an aspect of truth not by any means
"reasonable" in the eyes of the unsaved. This warns us that "logic" moves on certain
planes. What is logically true of man, as such, is not necessarily true of God: for
example, man cannot be in two places at once, whereas the Lord cannot be so limited.
Again, the apostle not only "beseeches", but he says "present" or "yield". Reasonable
service of the redeemed cannot be forced, it must be free, and finds its typical expression
in those "freewill offerings" which the law allowed, and about which the Psalmist
"Accept, I beseech Thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord" (Psa. 119: 108).
Pre-requisites for service.
pp. 81, 82
Pursuing the theme commenced in our earlier article that the service of the believer
must be reasonable and free, we turn to the words of Christ, uttered in the day of His
rejection: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me" (Matt. 11: 29).
It is desired in this present article to indicate some of the necessary conditions for
learning the truth. Mere reading, even of the Scriptures, is by no means sufficient.
"Learning" does not necessarily lead to "a knowledge of the truth" as the solemn passage
in II Tim. 3: 7 makes plain. If we were asked to prepare a list of the paraphernalia
associated with "learning", how many of us would indicate a "yoke"? A yoke suggests
service and fellowship. To work yoked with another, necessitates keeping step, walking
in the same path, pursuing the same goal, serving the same Master. Here we have
another of those inter-relations of doctrine and practice that it is so necessary to
There is, moreover, very pointed mention of the state of heart of those who would
engage in this yoked service. The Lord said: "I am meek and lowly in heart." This
special attribute of Christ and its intimate connection with "learning" is found in the
prophecy of Isaiah:--