Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    September 12, 1905

    “Religious Liberty No. 5” The Watchman 14, 37 , pp. 586, 587.

    ATJ

    WE have found that on original foundation, in original conditions, in actual experiences, and in the teaching and works of Jesus, religious liberty has held on, the same true and perfect liberty. How, now, with the apostles and the early Christians when they went forth to preach the gospel after Christ had gone back to heaven? The briefest and yet the fullest view of this phase of the subject is in the fourteenth chapter of Romans, beginning with the first verse and reading to the twelfth: “Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye.” Don’t forget that. When he is weak in the faith, he is liable not to live just as righteously and just as perfectly, perfect as you and I do. but that is because he is weak in the faith; we are to recognize this and have sympathy, and be merciful toward the weak member.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.1

    “Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” The margin reads, “Not to judge his doubtful thoughts.” Not to question him as to just how he believes this or that or the other thing.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.2

    Mark it: though he “is weak in the faith,” it is the faith that he is weak in. and he who has faith, however weak it may be, that faith connects him with divinity; that faith opens the door to him of eternal life; that faith comes from God and connects him with God; and that faith, though he be weak in it, is entitled to the divine respect of all in heaven and on earth. so let me say it again, though he be “weak in the faith,” it is the faith in which he is weak; and we are to respect the faith, because that faith is of God, faith is of Christ; of it Christ is the author and finisher; and all men must so regard it or else be guilty of supplanting and opposing Christ. Accordingly, no man, no set of men that ever was or shall ever be on earth, can ever have any authority or any right to judge anybody’s faith or lack of faith in any degree whatever. Faith is a personal thing, wholly between him who has it and the Author of it. “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God.”SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.3

    What is the word of God concerning Christ when he should come?—“A bruised reed shall he not break; and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” A bruised reed! You have seen it. Something has struck it on the side. The bruise shows. It is almost ready to topple over. The slightest touch on the opposite side would cause it to bend a little too far and break. This is the one that is weak in the faith. And instead of putting so much as a breath against that bruised reed that would cause it to bend too far and break, every soul must handle it tenderly, and seek to strengthen the life that is in it, that the bruise may be overcome, the faith sustained and increased, and life received and enjoyed.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.4

    “The smoking flax shall he not quench.” It is true that flax is exceedingly inflammable; and yet on the other hand, when flax is down only to the smoking point it does not take much to put it out. While flax is perhaps the most easily ignited when the blaze is there, yet it is also the most easily extinguished when the blaze is slower, and it is only smoking. And he who find in the world one whose faith is so low, so almost extinguished, that it is compared only to the smoking flax, he must be most careful toward such, that he shall exert upon that weak faith no dampening influence that would cause it to be less alive. Even a breath must be only of the breath of life, and it must be breathed so tenderly as to strengthen the faith that is weak and make him who has it a victor. That is the word to you and me.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.5

    “He that is weak in the faith, receive ye.” Suppose the individual has not the exact degree of faith that I have. That is none of my business; because I am not the author of faith. He does not owe his faith to me, he does not owe his service to me. Nor does he owe it to you, nor to any other man or set of men on earth. Has he faith in Jesus Christ? That is the thing. And when he has, however weak it be, he owes it all to God. It all comes from God, and his relationship in it is solely to God; and you and I have nothing whatever to do with it, but only to respect it, to encourage it, and to strengthen it.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.6

    Let us read onward in this chapter that which will tell it better than I can: “One believeth that he may eat all things; another who is weak eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him.” God received him upon his faith. Even though it be a faith that is only as the strength of a bruised reed or only as the smoking flax; remember that “God hath received him” upon that faith. And he will breathe life into that faith and make it grow, and make the man strong unto eternal life.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.7

    “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth.” And I am not his master, nor are you his master, “One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” Let it be so.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.8

    “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth.” All that an individual with faith in christ, owes, because of that faith, he owes to Christ. He is subject to Christ alone; he owes to him his service, his life, his all. Our place—yours and mine—is to be helpers of his joy, and not judges of his faith. Such a one is God’s child, and by the Lord he will be kept, upon his faith; for we read, strictly in this connection: “He shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand.”SOWA September 12, 1905, page 586.9

    And this is still the same true religious liberty that we have been studying from the beginning; but here it is the religious liberty of the other man. It is easy enough for each man to claim religious liberty for himself. All are ever ready to do this. But very few are they who claim religious liberty for the other man. The fourteenth chapter of Romans teaches us to recognize and to be forever true to the religious liberty of the other man. And it is eternally true that whosoever does not recognize and be true to the religious liberty of the other man does not recognize, and is not true to, religious liberty for himself, as religious liberty is in truth. True religious liberty he does not know. A. T. JONES.SOWA September 12, 1905, page 587.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents