Tag: Form

Form and Substance

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mark 8:34

Another substitute for discipleship is . Our Lord referred to this when He reproached the Pharisees for their habit of tithing mint and anise and cumin while at the same time omitting the weightier matters of the Law such as justice, mercy and faith. Literalism manifests itself among us in many ways, but it can always be identified in that it lives by the letter of the Word while ignoring its spirit. It habitually fails to apprehend the inward meaning of Christs words, and contents itself with external compliance with the text. If Christ commands baptism, for instance, it finds fulfillment in the act of water baptism, but the radical meaning of the act as explained in Romans 6 is completely overlooked. It reads the Scriptures regularly, contributes consistently to religious work, attends church every Sunday and otherwise carries on the common duties of a Christian and for this it is to be commended. Its tragic breakdown is its failure to comprehend the Lordship of Christ, the believers discipleship, separation from the world and the crucifixion of the natural man.

Literalism attempts to build a holy temple upon the sandy foundation of the religious self. It will suffer, sacrifice and labor, but it will not die. It is Adam at his pious best, but it has never denied self to take up the cross and follow Christ.

by A.W. Tozer


Royal Robes And Sackcloth

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. II Kings 6:30

Jehoram, walking the walls of famine-stricken Samaria, wore a king’s garments without but sackcloth next to his flesh. What a picture of this poor world today, spiritually starving trying to be gay without to hide the floom within! The robes of royalty without but the rags of a beggar within! How it illustrates the plight of every sinner bedecked without in the colorful garb of this world but clad in the filthy rags of self-righteousness in his inmost soul!

Alas, there are too many in our churches robed in a profession of piety, a form of godliness; but beneath the sham, the shame-the sackcloth of fear and doubt and sin.

What a Samaria of hunger and want is ours today! God grant us a few lepers in the gate, as in the long ago, who will venture forward to find the bounty that God has prepared for all who trust Him and who refuse to sit still until they die!

by Vance Havner