When we view and come into touch with the situation as it is today amongst the Lords own people, and seek to diagnose the position, and to reach the point where we see and know what the need above all others is, I think we are not far from the truthMoreWhen we view and come into touch with the situation as it is today amongst the Lords own people, and seek to diagnose the position, and to reach the point where we see and know what the need above all others is, I think we are not far from the truth when we say that the matter of preeminent importance is that of LIFE.
Everything, I feel, can be gathered up into that. It governs all other matters. It touches all other situations. When all has been said and done in relation to Christ, and His work, in relation to doctrine, in relation to the Christian life, in relation to the whole work of God, the point upon which everything rests and revolves, and that which determines its practical and abiding value, is life.
It is not, for instance, soundness of doctrine as something in itself that is the determining factor. It is not the Scriptures alone. It is not New Testament order in itself. It is not a matter of fuller truth, and it is not a matter of the work or service of the Lord. Ultimately it is a matter of life. The former are all important and indispensable, and they may all be the marks and the issues of life, but it is possible for every one of them to be present without the life, and therefore to be ineffective- it is possible, in a word, to have perfectly sound doctrine without life.
It is possible to have the Scriptures- by that I mean a very comprehensive thorough-going knowledge of the written Word of God: it is possible to have a great deal of Bible teaching: it is possible to have much of what might be called fuller truth: it is possible to have a perfect New Testament order- and finally, it is possible to have a tremendous amount of Christian activity or work for the Lord, and for it all to be lacking in real effectiveness, because without the life.Mark you, the case is not one of presenting a choice between these things- for the life will require these things and will accompany them, or be accompanied by them.
But it is possible to have all that side of things without the life, and therefore for this very complete outfit to be lacking in vitality, in Divine energy, spiritual dynamic, abiding effectiveness, undying fruit.If that is so, then it means that there are matters which come before these, and such matters have to be established. There is something that must come before all or any of the things mentioned.
There is that which is basic to a large grasp of Scripture, a fuller measure of truth, a great deal of Christian work, and service, and so on. Something comes before all that, and that something has to be established.T. A-S.