We know of many who have been deceived into believing that the learning and the memorizing of Christian doctrine is all-sufficient. They actually think that somehow they are better off for having learned the doctrines of religion. God actually asks of us what He asked of Noah long ago! "Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!" It is evident that God did not say to Noah, "I am depending on you to hold the proper orthodox doctrines. Everything will be just fine if you stand up for the right doctrines." I have read a statement by Martin Lloyd-Jones, the English preacher and writer, in which he said: "It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine's sake." I agree with his conclusion that doctrine is always best when it is incarnated-when it is seen fleshed out in the lives of godly men and women. Our God Himself appeared at His very best when He came into our world and lived in our flesh!
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Faith, constant meditation on the Scriptures, obedience, humility, . . . 3. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). The Scriptures purify, instruct, strengthen, enlighten and inform. The blessed man will meditate in them day and night. 4. To be entirely safe from the devil's snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them. So it is with the Scriptures. To be effective they must be obeyed. 5. Again, there is a close relation between humility and the perception of truth. "The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way" (Psalms 25:9). In the Scriptures I find no shred of encouragement for the proud. Only the tame sheep can be led; only the humble child need expect the guidance of the Father's hand. When all the evidence is in it may well be found that none but the proud ever strayed from the truth and that self-trust was behind every heresy that ever afflicted the church.
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