The Believer's Attitude
Word of God           —           Words of Men

Dear Friends,

When the apostle Paul invited a "curse" upon his head if ever he preached another gospel, he was, surely, setting an eternal pattern for the believer's attitude towards the Word of God and the words of men. "But if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel … let him be accursed." The apostle was, of course, fully persuaded that what he preached was the Word of God; but what he is doing is pressing home to his readers the absolute necessity of their being fully persuaded, as well. If they fail to be, then they may well be carried away from the truth of God to the mere opinions of men simply on account of the accepted "standing" of those men. "In other words," the apostle is saying, "when you hear us preaching, you are not to ask yourself, 'Who is this that is preaching?' but 'What is it that is being preached?' And if we are found preaching anything other than the pure Word of God as God has so graciously revealed it to us, then lay your anathemas at our feet and let us be accursed."

Now the importance of that principle for our day cannot be emphasised enough. How many denominations, or associations, or churches are being led in completely unscriptural paths simply because the denominational leaders or its ministers say that the path is alright and safe to travel? The deciding factor in much that has been entered into by various church bodies has not been the Word of God, but the words of men. And the reason that these words of men have been so readily accepted and acted upon has been on account of the personality, or the position, or the reputation of those who uttered them. Implicit trust has so often been placed in the advice of men without one reference to the clear commands and teachings of the Word of God, and even this trust has been based upon what those men might have said or believed twenty or thirty years ago, but have long-since abandoned. "See how the mighty are fallen," is a sad word that must be written as the spiritual epitaph of some who have done valiantly at an earlier period in their Christian warfare, but who have now virtually surrendered their swords to the onslaughts of popular opinion or ecclesiastical acclaim.

Brethren! Not, Who is it that is speaking, but What is it that is being said.

    W. J. Seaton
(The Pastor's Letter March 1971)

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