In the Library

profiting from the word


Chapter 4: The Scripture and Prayer

“…the measure in which the Word of Christ dwells in us ‘richly’ (Col. 3:16) or sparsely, the more or the less will our petitions be in harmony with the mind of the Spirit, for ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’ (Matt. 12:34). In proportion as we hide the Word in our hearts, and it cleanses, molds and regulates our inner man, our prayers will be acceptable in God’s sight.”

“Thus the purity and power of our prayer-life are another index by which we may determine the extent to which we are profiting from our reading and searching of the Scriptures…convicting us of the sin of prayerlessness, revealing to us the place which prayer ought to have in our daily lives, and…bringing us to spend more time in the secret place of the Most High…teaching us how to pray more acceptably to God, how to appropriate His promises and plead them before Him, how
to appropriate His precepts and turn them into petitions.”

“We are profited from the Scriptures when we are brought to realize the deep importance of prayer.…a definite prayer-life is absolutely essential to a daily working and communing with God, as it is for deliverance from the power of indwelling sin, the seductions of the world, and the assaults of Satan… that God might be honored, for prayer is an act of worship…to humble our hearts, for prayer is ordained to bring us into the place of dependence…by owning that without the Lord we can do nothing…gives God His true place in our hearts and thought.”

Chapter 5: The Scriptures and Good Works

“We profit from the Word when we are thereby taught the true place of good works. Many persons, in their eagerness to support orthodoxy as a system, speak of salvation by grace and faith in such a manner as to undervalue holiness and a life devoted to God. But there is no ground for this in the Holy Scriptures. The same Gospel that declares salvation to be freely by the grace of God through faith in the blood of Christ, and asserts, in the strongest terms, that sinners are justified by righteousness of the Savior imputed to them on their believing in Him, without any respect to works of law, also assures us, that without holiness no man shall see God; that believers are cleansed by the blood of atonement;
that their hearts are purified by faith, which works by love, and overcomes the world; and that the grace that brings salvation to all men, teaches those who receive it, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”

“We profit from the Word when we are thereby taught the absolute necessity of good works….The life lived by the saints in heaven is but the completion and consummation of that life which, after regeneration, they live here on earth. The difference between the two is not one of kind, but of degree. ‘The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day’ (Prov. 4:18). If there has been no walking with God down here, there will be no dwelling with God up there. If there has been no real communion with Him in time, there will be none with Him in eternity. Death effects no vital change to the heart. True, at death the remainders of sin are forever left behind by the saint, but
no new nature is then imparted. If then he did not hate sin and love holiness before death, he certainly will not do so afterwards.”

“All would like to go to heaven, but who among the multitudes of professing Christian are really willing and determined to walk that narrow way which alone leads thereto? It is at this point that we may discern the precise place which good works have in connection with salvation. They do not merit it, yet they are inseparable from it. They do not procure a title to heaven, yet they are among the means which God has appointed for His people’s getting there. In no sense are good works the procuring cause of eternal life, but they are part of the means (as are the Spirit’s work within us and repentance, faith and obedience by us) conducting to it. God has appointed the way wherein we must walk in order to our arriving at the inheritance purchased for us by Christ. A life of daily obedience to God is that which alone gives actual
admission to the enjoyment of what Christ has purchased for His people.”

“We profit from the Word when we are taught thereby the design of good works. This is clearly made known in Matthew 5:16 ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Here we learn that the disciples of Christ are to authenticate their Christian profession by the silent but vocal testimony of their lives (for ‘light’ makes no noise in its ‘shining’), that men may see (not hear boastings about) their good works, and this that their Father in heaven may be glorified. Here, then, is their fundamental design; for the honor of God.”

“Only those are good works which are done in obedience to the will of God (Rom. 6:16), from a principle of love to Him (Heb. 10:24), in the name of Christ (Col. 3:17), and to the glory of God by Him (1 Cor. 10:31).”

“The true nature of ‘good works’ was perfectly exemplified by the Lord Jesus. All that He did was done in obedience to His Father. He ‘pleased not himself’ (Rom. 15:3) but ever performed the bidding of the One who had sent Him (John 6:38). He could say, ‘I do always those things that please him’ (John 8:29). There were no limits to Christ’s subjection to the Father’s will: He ‘became obedient unto death, even the death on the cross’ (Phil. 2:8). So too all that He did proceeded from love to the Father and without love, compliance with the Law is naught but servile subjection, and that cannot be acceptable to Him who is Love… ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God’ (Psalm 40:8).”

“We profit from the Word when we are taught thereby the true source of good works. Unregenerate men are capable of performing works which in a natural and civil sense, though not in a spiritual sense, are good…reading the Bible, attending the ministry of the Word, giving alms to the poor; yet the mainspring of such actions their lack of godly motive, renders them as filthy rags in the sight of the thrice holy One. The unregenerate have no power to perform works in a spiritual manner, and therefore it is written, ‘There is none that doeth good, no, not one’ (Rom. 3:12). Nor are they able to: they are ‘not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ ( Rom. 8:7). Hence, even the ploughing of the wicked is sin (Prov. 21:4). Nor are believers able to think a good thought or perform a good work of themselves (2 Cor. 3:5): it is God who works in them ‘both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13)….This drives us to
our knees, begging God to make us ‘perfect in every good work,’ working in us ‘that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ’ (Heb. 13:21).”

“We profit from the word when we are taught thereby the great importance of good works…because by them God is glorified (Matt. 5:16)…by them we evidence the genuineness of our profession of faith (James 2:13-17)…Nothing brings more honor to Christ than that those who bear His name are found living constantly (by His enablement) in a Christ-like way and spirit.”

“‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work’ (Col. 1:10). The bringing up of children, lodging (spiritual stranger, washing the saints’ feet, ministering to their temporal comforts) and relieving the afflicted (1 Tim. 5:10) are spoken of as ‘good works.’ Unless our reading and study of the Scriptures is making us better soldiers of Jesus Christ, better citizens of the country in which we sojourn, better members of our earthly homes (kinder, gentler, more unselfish), ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works,’ it is profiting us little or nothing.”