Bible Truth Restored

Bible Truth Restored

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.           1 Peter 4:11

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Bulletin - Dated 09th June 2015
 

Motive in rebukes

 
Despite the essential severity of some of the Master’s rebukes, they were still given with a completely sympathetic approach consistent with his knowledge of the weakness of the vessels he was dealing with. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” is the apostolic exhortation. We cannot flee from him, because we cannot run away from ourselves. If we endeavour to flee, he will outrun us and catch us when we are faint. He must be withstood face to face after the manner of the Master in the wilderness, and then he will depart for a season and his departure will not be a dignified one. Self will fly in shame when we reject human reasoning, and are filled with the mind of Christ. In this great battle, God in Christ is ever with us. He stands there with all necessary armour at the ready, to hand us each weapon of attack or defence as the need arises, and as long as we commit the battle into his hands, it will be won.

To those who withstood him in a hardened unbelief, Jesus could be terrible in his rebuke. He repaid them for their hatred of God to their face; so much so, that on one occasion his disciples thought that he had gone too far. “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?” they asked him. But he was intractable, knowing that the attitude adopted by the Pharisees sounded their own death knell.

And so he put a difference between the clean and the unclean. He never scolded his disciples with such terms as serpents, vipers, or whited sepulchres, as he did the religious rulers of Israel. There was but one word that he applied to friend and foe alike - hypocrite. A hypocrite is literally “an actor with a mask” - one who puts on a staged show for others. The Pharisees and scribes were past masters at this, and Jesus warns of the dangers particularly in respect of our attitude towards others.

The classic example is the teaching about the mote in our brother’s eye in Matthew 7. Happy is the brother or sister whose walk in truth has not been tainted by hypocrisy, because when we are hypocritical we are becoming more like the enemies of Jesus than like him. We are lying, not unto men, but unto God. We can deceive others, certainly ourselves, but never him. Hypocrisy is to be avoided like the plague, and we can more easily achieve this when we look on the faults of others with compassion, and the faults of ourselves with intolerance.

So whenever we read of the Master rebuking his disciples, let us be aware that he did it for their good and ours. And let us not forget the promise of him who bore the bitterness and reproach of the cross: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.”





 

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Despite the essential severity of some of the Master’s rebukes, they were still given with a completely sympathetic approach consistent with his knowledge of the weakness of the vessels he was dealing with. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you...

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