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Volume 29 - Page 160 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
"Christ has received" the other believer to the glory of God, and that this too must
regulate our own attitude. At this point, however, a difficulty arises. It is not given to
any of us to know the heart of another, for that belongs to the Lord alone. We can,
therefore, only act according to evidences; and we must consider what these necessary
evidences must be. In the Second Epistle of John we read:
"Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He
that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there came
any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, received him not in your house, neither bid him
God-speed" (II John 9, 10).
No amount of "Christian charity" can alter the force of this passage. Christ is the
touchstone of all doctrine and practice. We receive as He received. We received those
whom He has received, and we cannot receive those who do not receive Him. It is sadly
possible to preach "another Jesus", and those who have been taught to honour the Son
even as they honour the Father, cannot accept those whose estimate of Christ does not
accord Him this equal honour. It must, however, be kept in mind that John deals with the
reception of teachers, whereas Paul is dealing with the reception of believers. If we may
be allowed a somewhat imaginative use of the terms, the pew is broader than the pulpit.
These few notes will possible be sufficient to open up the new subject that is to
occupy us during the study of this section, and we will reserve all further comment until
we have examined more closely the "doubtful disputations" which were dividing the
#77. Romans 14: 1 - 15: 7.
"Reasonings" and "Reason".
pp. 149 - 153
We have seen that this section of the epistle deals with the question of "reception" and
treats it in two ways: first, negatively--how not to receive, and then positively. We must
now turn our attention to the negative aspect, which is presented first.
The words: "Not to doubtful disputations" are the translation of me eis diakriseis
dialogismon, and before we proceed, it will be necessary to obtain some scriptural light
upon their usage and meaning.
To take diakrisis first, this word is used in a good sense in I Cor. 12: and Heb. 5::
"For to one . . . . . to another discerning of spirits . . . . . all these worketh that one and
self-same Spirit" (I Cor. 12: 8-11).
"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of
use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5: 14).