MICHAEL’S MONDAY MEDITATIONS, MON., 9/21/2015
(excerpt from The Christian in Complete Armour, by William Gurnall, circa 1655) The Christian’s Spiritual Girdle —
“ESTABLISHED JUDGMENT IN THE TRUTHS OF CHRIST
Since Satan comes as a serpent concealed in false teachers and tries to deceive us with error for truth, every Christian needs an established judgment in the truths of Christ. The Bereans studied Scripture to satisfy their judgments concerning the doctrine Paul preached. They refused to believe anything he had said before they ‘searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so’ (Acts 17:11). They took the preacher’s doctrine straight to the written word and compared it to that; and the result was ‘therefore many of them believed’ (v. 12). As the Bereans dared not believe before, they could not help but believe now.
Tertullian described the preaching of heretics like this: ‘They teach by persuading, and do not by teaching persuade.’ That is, they court the emotions of their hearers without convincing their judgment. For instance, it would be hard for an adulterer to convince his companion that her prostitution is lawful. Instead, he works another way: by romantic overtones and appeal to the flesh. The question of law is soon forgotten. Judgment is easily and quickly absorbed by burning lust.
Thus error, like a thief, comes in through the window; yet truth, like the owner of the house, enters at the door of understanding, and from there moves into the conscience, will and affections. The man who finds and professes truth before he understands its excellency and beauty cannot fully appreciate the worth of its heavenly birth and descent. A prince travelling in disguise is not honored because people do not realize who he is. Truth is loved and prized only by those who recognize it and know it personally.
If we do not desire to know truth we have already rejected it. It is hard to cheat a person out of truth if he does not know what he has. Truth and error are all the same to the ignorant man and so he call everything truth. Have you heard about the covetous man who constantly hugged his many bags of gold? He never opened them or used the treasure, and thus when a thief stole the gold and left his bags full of pebbles in his room, he was as happy as when he still had the gold.”