Collect of the Day
O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
"However, that one piece of knowledge which the thief had and which we do not have prevents us from taking him as a norm for our action. He knew he would be dead before nightfall. We do not. He had no opportunity of living a Christian life. We do. To suppose that ignorance is sufficient for a Christian life is to be ignorant of what a Christian life requires." -- Gordon H. Clark
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:`The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes'?
(Matthew 21:42 NKJ)
". . . Then there is one thing the thief knew that which hardly any American knows. [Luke 24:39-43]. He knew that he would die within a few hours. Our contemporaries, comfortably ensconced before their televisions, do not have such somber expectations. When we stop to think, we see that the thief knew more than we at first suspected. But all in all, he still did not know very much.
"If he got to Heaven without much knowledge, why should we bother to examine the psychology of saving faith or trouble ourselves with theological investigations? If knowledge is indeed required, a very little will suffice. If we do not know what it means to believe, still we believe and are saved.
"However, that one piece of knowledge which the thief had and which we do not have prevents us from taking him as a norm for our action. He knew he would be dead before nightfall. We do not. He had no opportunity of living a Christian life. We do. To suppose that ignorance is sufficient for a Christian life is to be ignorant of what a Christian life requires.
"Remember that Christ said, 'Make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.' [Matthew 28:18-20]. The thief on the cross, and anyone else who is on his death-bed, is excused from obeying this commandment. But the rest of us are not. We are obliged to teach, and before we can teach, we must learn--learn all, or all we can, of what Christ himself taught and what he taught through his disciples. Remember also that all Scripture has been breathed out by God and that it is all profitable for teaching. [2 Timothy 3:16-17]. But we cannot teach the Christian message without first learning it. This small book endeavors to explain what the New Testament teaches about faith."
-- Gordon H. Clark, What Is Saving Faith? (Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2004) p. 17.
[It should be noted that the thief on the cross did know many things about Christ and His ministry. (Luke 23:40-41). I did not quote page 16 where Clark elaborates on this. The thief apparently knew that Jesus was the way of salvation. (Luke 23:42). The point Clark is making is that mere assent was sufficient for saving faith on the part of the thief on the cross. But ignorance of the Bible and the Scriptures is not the NORM for us because we are commanded to study God's Word and rightly interpret it. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). We are to understand the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation and ALL Scripture is inspired of God and profitable for doctrine and teaching. (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Even a child or a garage mechanic can read and understand the Scriptures and be saved. (2 Timothy 3:15). -- Charlie]
Posted by Charlie J. Ray at 1:42 PM