Tag: Word

When Words and Deeds Conflict

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18–19

In the working out of God’s eternal purpose the society of the first Adam and the society of the last Adam, though utterly opposed, may for a while coexist, but not for long (Hebrews 12:26–27). The flesh may admire the spirit while refusing to go along with it, or it may misunderstand the spirit and believe that it is itself spiritual while actually sunk in corruption.

The latter, I believe, explains the present popularity of Christ in the world. The contradiction between Christ and unregenerate society is sharp and irreconcilable, but the contrast between society and its own mistaken conception of Him is scarcely noticeable. So the world can cherish its image of Christ and ignore His commandments without a qualm of conscience.

What should seriously concern us, however, is not that the world praises Christ without obeying Him, but that the church does. The men of this world go their way careless of the teachings of Christ, but in doing so they are consistent with their position. They have made no vows to the Lord nor taken His name upon them. But when a Christian ignores the commandment of Christ, he is guilty of sin doubly compounded. He violates holy vows, is guilty of rebellion against God and commits the grotesque sin of calling Jesus Lord with his words and denying His Lordship with his deeds.

by A.W. Tozer

Be Slow to Anger

john-macarthur-90x115.jpgby John MacArthur

“Let everyone be . . . slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

If you resent God’s Word, you cannot grow in righteousness.

Have you ever started reading your Bible, thinking everything was fine between you and the Lord, only to have the Word suddenly cut deep into your soul to expose some sin you had neglected or tried to hide? That commonly happens because God seeks to purge sin in His children. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to penetrate the hidden recesses of the heart to do His convicting and purifying work. How you respond to that process is an indicator of the genuineness of your faith.

“Anger” in James 1:19-20 refers to a negative response to that process. It is a deep internal resentment accompanied by an attitude of rejection. Sometimes that resentment can be subtle. Paul described those who “will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim. 4:3). They’re the people who drift from church to church in search of someone who will tell them what they want to hear—or a congregation that wants a pastor who will make them feel good about themselves instead of preaching the Word and setting a high standard of holiness.

Sometimes resentment toward the Word ceases to be subtle and turns to open hostility. That happened when the crowd Stephen confronted covered their ears, drove him out of the city, and stoned him to death (Acts 7:57-60). Countless others throughout history have felt the fatal blows of those whose resentment of God’s truth turned to hatred for His people.

Receiving the Word includes being quick to hear what it says and slow to anger when it disagrees with your opinions or confronts your sin. Is that your attitude? Do you welcome its reproof and heed its warnings, or do you secretly resent it? When a Christian brother or sister confronts a sin in your life, do you accept or reject their counsel?

by John MacArthur