The Meat of the Word

September 14, 2010 at 9:26 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Can Christians be soldered together in unity, as long as they are not fully reconciled to God in regard to their sanctification? The less progress the Gospel has made in our hearts to mortify lust and strengthen grace, the weaker the peace and love among us.

From the contentions among Christians at Corinth, Paul concluded that they had not grown in grace beyond the spoon-feeding stage. “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for Corinthians 3:2-3): he conceived their behavior to be clear evidence. “For wheras there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” But as grace strengthens, and the Gospel prevails in the hearts of Christians, love and a spirit of unity increase with it.

We say “older and wiser” – when children are very young they quarrel and fight, but age and wisdom furnish strength to overcome petty differences. For instance, in the controversy between the servants of Abraham and Lot, Abraham – the elder and stronger Christian – was determined, no matter what it cost him, to have peace with his nephew, who was inferior to him in every way. And Paul is another example. As a Christian who was head and shoulders above the others, he said of himself, “The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14).

Calvin points out that Paul’s faith opposed his former obstinate unbelief as a Pharisee; his love in Jesus overcame the cruelty he expressed against Christians on his persecuting errand to Damascus. He was as full of faith as he had been unbelief before; and as full of fire-hot love as he had been of hatred. This is what I want you to see – this pair of graces thrive and grow together; a Christian who has abundant faith will also have abundant love. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, September 10. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers, 1994.

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