Earl E. Robertson
The Church Of The Lord (2)
Having been born again, born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), one becomes a new creature in Christ. Paul said, "Put on the new man. . . " (Eph. 4:24). The infinitive "put on" demands action! The adjective "new" is used in the nominative case and, therefore, names the kind or character of man demanded in the new creature. Only those born of water and Spirit enter the kingdom or church of the Lord. With this new relationship established with the Lord comes responsibilities. From this figure of a birth then comes growth. The growth of a Christian is dependent upon the word of God and one's attitude toward it. Peter says, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2). "Thereby" shows one's development stems from and is circumscribed by the word of God. Spiritual growth in righteousness is not, therefore, by the creeds and manuals of men, but by the living and inerrant word of the living God.
God's word "is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). A child of God might as well forget about growing to maturity in the Lord, if he neglects to study the Scriptures. Herein lies one of the sad plights in the Lord's church today. Not many are willing to study faithfully and diligently; rather, many are satisfied to let others do the studying for them. The growing Christian is the one who delights in a constant meditation on the law of his Maker (Psa. 1:1). God's people, Israel, were destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6); where there is no vision the people perish (Prov. 29:18). Israel was instructed, "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read" (Isa. 34:16); surely, God's people today cannot have less expected of them! (cf. 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:13). The church is the support of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), but if His people do not know the truth, the task will not be faithfully and successfully accomplished. Without proper understanding obedience is impossible (cf. Acts 8:30, 31; Eph. 5:17). It is in this area that error is taught and supported; unrighteousness and ungodliness are tolerated and supported; churches lose their identity with the Lord and sinners stay lost.
Guardian of Truth XXVI: 6, p. 86