2-9. EXPERIENCE SUPERSEDED
"And they who know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee" (Psalm 9:10).
Our experiences must be judged by God's Word, never the Word judged by our experiences. Normally, the Spirit of Truth will reveal a truth to us from the Scriptures and, as we exercise faith in what we have been shown, will begin to take us into the experience of it. Abnormally, a Christian will yearn for an 'experience,' and then attempt to find corroboration for it in the Word.
"Knowledge must carry the torch before faith." Always give God's Word first place, "for the Word of God liveth and worketh, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, yea, to the inmost parts thereof, and judging the thoughts and imaginations of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, Cony.).
"A person may easily know his sins forgiven, but it is a further truth to know that he himself has 'died to sin.' He finds this conflicts with his experience. Suppose I tell you a debt of a thousand pounds which you owed was paid by someone, it would not be a question of experience, but of simply believing my statement. Just so with God. He tells us our sins are forgiven, and it is a question whether we believe Him. But when He tells us we have died to sin, we look inside and say, 'Ah, sin is still at work; how is that?' A person must be taught of God to know really the truth that he has died to sin." -J.N.D.
"It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).
2-10. PEACE AND REST
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (Psalm 138:8).
After the believer enters into life by faith, he wonders why it was so difficult for him to see that it was all of grace--the humble reception of a finished work. And yet he goes through the faithless struggle once again before he sees that his daily Christian life is also a finished work--complete in Christ.
"'God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord' (1 Corinthians 1:9). What believers need is the simple faith that the establishing in Christ, day by day, is God's work--a work that He delights to do, in spite of all our weakness and unfaithfulness, if we will but trust Him for it. To the blessedness of such faith, and the experience it brings, many can testify. What peace and rest, to know that there is a Husbandman who cares for the branch, to see that it grows stronger; who watches over every hindrance and danger, who supplies every needed aid!
"What peace and rest, fully and finally to give up our abiding into the care of the Father, and never have a wish or thought, never to offer a prayer or engage in an exercise connected with it, without first having the glad remembrance that what we do is only the manifestation of what our Father is doing in us! The establishing in Christ is His work: He accomplishes it by stirring us to watch, and wait, and work." -A.M.
"Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, . . . is God" (2 Corinthians 1:21).