“BE YE DOERS of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
It is much, very much to be thankful for when the Holy Spirit has illumined a man’s understanding, dispersed the mists of error, and established him in the Truth. Yet that is only the beginning. The Holy Scriptures are “profitable” not only for “doctrine” but also for “reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Observe well the order there: before we are ready to be instructed “in righteousness” (right doing), there is much in our lives that God “reproves” and which we must “correct.” Necessarily so, for before conversion everything in our lives was wrong! For all we did was for the gratifying of self, with no thought or concern for God’s honour and glory. Therefore, the first great need, and the primary duty of every young convert is not to study the Old Testament types, or puzzle his brains over prophecy, but to diligently search the Scriptures in order to find out what is pleasing and displeasing to God, what He forbids and what He commands.
If you have been genuinely converted, then your first concern must be to form all the details of your life-in the home, in the church, in the world-so as to please God. And in the actual bringing of this to pass, the order will be “cease to do evil; learn to do well” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Depart from evil, and do good” (Psalm 34:14 and cf. 37:27). There has to be a breaking down before there can be a building up (Eccl 3:3). There has to be an emptying of self before there is the filling of the Spirit. There has to be an unlearning before there is a true learning. And there has to be a hating of “evil” before there is a loving of the “good” (Amos 5:15 and cf. Rom. 12:9).
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