January 15, 1974
Please pardon the long delay in writing; this is a sort of “begging time” letter as well.
The man of faith, which we both want very much to be, always tries to do the Lord’s will as best he is able in all things. That includes teaching it as he understands it, to others who will listen, in a proper manner and spirit. It means he does not ever go against his own conscientious scruples or conviction in any matter, even if other brothers want to do things he cannot. And it means that in the end he trusts in the work of Christ for his salvation, based on the promise of God that we can be saved “by grace through faith.” And it means, so far as the other brothers are concerned, that they stand before God on the same basis as himself, and that all that is said of him will be said of any other true men of faith. Because God judges on the basis of hidden things and things of the heart, which no man knows, only God can really judge at all. He will make no mistakes in judgment: all will be saved who mercifully should be; none will be saved who mercifully should not be. Our job is to see that we are ourselves living and walking by faith, and as part of that, using teaching opportunities and the influence of a godly life to point others the same direction.
It is of little consequence, for God knows all things, but as a matter of fact, some of the vocal brethren have grossly misrepresented both my views and those of other brothers in recent times, and they seem to be getting worse and worse. The above things I have learned from God’s Word, however, and in them I can place full personal confidence and urge them upon others as trustworthy. There are many things I do not yet know, and Paul warns us that if any man thinks otherwise, he does not yet have a good start in knowing anything (I Cor. 8:lff). 1996 UPDATE: I hope and believe, for example, that the occasional updated comments throughout this material reflect areas in which God has led me to a greater knowledge of the truth as I have focused on Jesus,. lived in the Word and sought his will and wisdom in prayer. Some, I realize, will say that I have gone backward, or even apostasized or left the faith. I am content to let God be the judge of that.
May the Lord direct your heart and life fully into His own will, and may He work in you to do what pleases Him. You are at an important point in your life – not really a babe in Christ, but not a long way past it – and it is so crucial that you keep yourself in the love of God, keep Christ as Lord in your heart, and remember always not to think about men more than it is written.
If you have specific questions still for discussion, write them again and I will try to be more helpful and specific next time. Most of all I believe we all need to learn the greatness of such ideals as expressed in Timothy and Titus: of living quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; and of living soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope and glorious coming of our great God and Savior from heaven. So many are tossed to and fro with every wind of new issues or controversies; carried about with strange and divers doctrines, and upset and given over to human opinions and bandwagons rather than being concerned with God’s Word which can build us up, and with His grace which can establish us in Christ (Eph. 4:14,15; Acts 20:32; Heb. 13:9).
God is still on the Throne. The Bible is still His only Word written. Christ is still able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him. Let us therefore have confidence and live in quiet humility as we daily seek to conform to His will for us individually, and help others do the same.
When all the noise and dust of “political” battles and denominational feuding has died, the eternal things will remain the same, and we need to be sure that we then will be found blameless and spotless in Christ, not putting any confidence in ourselves or things of the flesh, but wholly trusting in God who is our Righteousness and Christ whom He has set forth to be our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (I Cor. 1:29-31; Phil. 3:7ff).
Looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you again, I remain
Yours in Christ,