Clarion Links

The Clarion Herald

(A Study in I Corinthians 8:1-3)

    In the Corinthian world, as in many countries to this day, there was a close connection between idol worship and daily living. It was near impossible for a Christian to live through a single day without, in some way, seeming to sanction idolatry. (What a shame that Christian principles are not as intricately woven into our lives!)
    Paul has obviously been asked to answer a question concerning "conscience" in this matter that is dividing the Corinthian church. Thus, he sets forth the principle that, in all Christian relationships, LOVE must take precedence over knowledge.
    The apostle admits the Corinthians' intelligence - which they, obviously, consider SUPERIOR! But, he immediately pricks their ballooning ego by his assertion that "knowledge puffeth up"! Though he does not set this forth as a universal principle, it is the usual situation where knowledge is not ruled by love. How readily does a superior intellect give way to conceit - inflating the estimated value of one's own acquirements,
(Continued on Page 4)


    "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing", (Jn. 15:5).

    A faithless life is a Christless life, and a Christless life is a fruitless one. "By their fruits ye shall know them", said the Master, (Matt. 7:20). This suggests that the heavenly Vine-dresser expects every branch of the vine to bear fruit. This is a reasonable expectation because of the relation in which each stands to Christ, Who is the true and living vine. They are anchored in Him, and receive their necessary, sustenance from Him.
    Jesus Himself is the True Vine. Those identified with Him, as members of His body (the church), are likened unto branches of the true vine. And the Father is pictured as being the Husbandman, or dresser of the vineyard. Such identity, and intimacy of relationship, with Christ is possible only to those who have received Him as their Saviour and yielded their lives in loving and loyal submission to His lordship. They abide in His word as the rule of their lives (Jn. 8:31), and trust in His merit as their only righteousness, (I Cor. 1:30).

Page - 2
The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

    Whoever lovingly exercises faith in Him, feeds upon the promises of His word, and walks after the Spirit, will bring forth much fruit, (2 Pet. 1:8).
    But, what sort of fruit is expected? Good fruit! From a vine one expects grapes (Isa. 5:2). From a Christian is expected "fruits of righteousness" - a Christian walk and conversation, (2 Cor. 9:9-10). Such fruit may reasonably be expected from a healthy branch that is nourished by the best of Vines. Thus, a consistent harvest of "good fruit" is expected, (Jn. 15:16; Phil. 1:11). Such fruit is always evident in a Spirit-controlled life, (Gal. 5:22-23).
    Apart from true identity with Christ, no one can bear such fruit as is acceptable before God. Nor may one safely trust in a relationship that he ONCE ENJOYED with Christ. Whoever fails TO ABIDE (continue, remain, or dwell) IN HIM - through obedience of

faith (Jn. 15:7, 10) - becomes so unfruitful as to be "cast forth as a branch", to wither, be cast into the fire and BURNED! (John 15:6). But, let it be noted that Jesus here speaks - NOT concerning the loss of SALVATION, but the rejection of one's LIVING and SERVICE where He is not honored as "Lord of ALL"!
    And, let us remember that everyone who is a "disciple indeed" is a fruit-bearing Christian - whose walk before men glorifies the Heavenly Father.


    To share a time of fellowship with beloved brethren is always a blessing! This year I have been doubly blessed with the privilege of attending two such meetings.
    In April I had the opportunity to be with Pastor Sam Arnold and his growing flock - the West Bronston Baptist Church, of Bronston, Kentucky. This meeting was well attended. Fellowship was sweet, and the messages superb. The Arnold hospitality is always such as to make one feel, not only welcome, but SPECIAL.
    Last month I was privileged to be with the First Missionary Baptist Church, of Anchorage, Alaska. They were celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a revival (in which Bro. Edward Byrd brought a series of very timely messages) and a Fellowship Meeting. Though this meeting was not as well attended as most such meetings in the southern part of the country,
(Continued on Page 4)


    "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded", (Jn. 13:4-5).

    What a marvellous illustration of true humility! Just when His throne was in view; when the anticipation of angelic anthems filled His ear; when the hour had come for him "to depart out of this world" when possessed by the consciousness of His own peerless dignity - that "He came from God and went to God" just THEN "Jesus took a towel, and girded Himself, and began to wash the disciples' feet"! All heavenly beings were ready to cast their crowns at His feet. But, the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, is on earth "as One that serveth"! What infinite condescension! It diminishes all creaturely humiliation into nothingness!
    Humility marked the Master, from His unhonored birthplace to His borrowed tomb. It threw a subdued splendor over all He did. The "poor in spirit", the "mourner", and the "meek" claimed His first beatitudes. He was severe with only one class - those who looked down on others. In whatever way He was occupied; whether performing miraculous works, receiving angelic visitors, or taking little children in His arms, He stood forth "clothed in humility"! The nearer He came to the glory He left behind, the more conspicuous His humility became.

Before His death He called His disciples "Friends"; afterward it was "Brethren" and "children". How sad the contrast between the Master and His disciples - who quarreled over "which should be the greatest"!
    Let us never lose the vision of our lowly Redeemer. Consciousness of His example will be so silently impressive as to bring us down from our pedestals of pride. Surely no labor of love is too humiliating if we can remember how low He stooped for us. Let us be content with the most humble place - not envious of the exaltation of others; not "loving pre-eminence", like Diotrophes; but willing with Paul, to be regarded as "the offscouring of all things" for Jesus' sake! And ready, with John the Baptist - whose eyes were on His Lord - to say: "He must increase, but I must decrease"!
    Consciousness of the constant defilement of our lives is adequate cause for humility! Who among us is perfectly free of deceptiveness, self-seeking, arrogance and vain- glory? A PROUD CHRISTIAN is a contradiction of terms! The six-winged seraphim, described by Isaiah, used but two of their wings in their errands of love; the other four were used to COVER THEMSELVES!
    As the grain of the field ripens it bows its head; so, as the Child of God ripens in the life received from above, it is becoming that he bow in the lowly grace of humility. The people of God are like "lilies of the valley"; we can develop this grace only in the

    "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time", (I Pet. 5:6). Following His humiliation, the Son of Man was "highly exalted", and given "a name which is above every name", (Phil. 2:9). Humility is a badge of family-likeness which is well-pleasing to the Heavenly Father. In fact, He is pleased to "dwell with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit" - the humble and sanctified heart being His SECOND HEAVEN!
    "Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind!"

it was a very good meeting - characterized by harmony, and the sweetness of brotherly love, ALL THE WAY!
    The spiritual progress that I saw in Anchorage filled my heart with joy!     E.G.
LOVE ABOVE KNOWLEDGE ... Continued while regarding with contempt those who are "not in the know"!
    In reality, the person who prides himself on a superior knowledge merely proves his own ignorance. Acquirements that are real will make one more aware of his deficiencies. Any kind of self-conceit will be a stumbling-block to spiritual, moral or intellectual development; and "intellectual conceit" is the worst kind!
    By way of contrast, "LOVE BUILDS UP"! Not only the person in whom it is operative; he will BE A BLESSING! Or course, Paul speaks of love as rooted in God - the foundation of all true excellence! He does not mean to set forth love as the antithesis of true knowledge; they are perfectly compatible. But he would have us understand that victory over "the conceit of knowing" may be attained by LOVE ALONE!
    Finally, the one who truly loves God is the object of His SPECIAL CARE!


    In the service last Sunday morning Brother Pat Chadwick, and his wife, Helen, presented themselves for membership on promise of a letter from the Temple Missionary Baptist Church, of Moline, Illinois.
    We welcome this dear couple into our fellowship, and pray that, together, we may serve the Lord in such a way as to be a blessing to others!

Why not consent to the lordship of Jesus in YOUR LIFE? TODAY??