“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
There is much preaching from the scriptures going out into the atmosphere; there is a whole industry of Christian literature and music; much time devoted to listening to tapes and reading tracts; much religious busyness building religious businesses which make merchandise of God’s people by applying human wisdom to the holy scriptures of God. The only purpose satisfied by all of this activity is that of carnal ambition; as far as sanctification in concerned, it is manifestly inadequate and unavailing.
The Bible is a book of truth which, paradoxically, is both revealed and concealed; in it certain facts are set forth which contain truths that are so concealed as to be beyond discovery by human wisdom or scholarship. These facts have always been there, in both the Old Testament and the New, but the truths concealed in those facts are hidden behind a veil and, unless and until the Holy Spirit should lift that veil, those truths will remain hidden from the heart of man. The process by which that veil of unknowing is removed, we call divine revelation.
Man’s obligations to God are not discharged by grasping the scriptures mentally or intellectually; they must take root in the heart; they must bring the ego – the “I am” – to surrender; they must invade, conquer and subdue every last corner of the innermost being, every secret place.
Truth is only truth as it is lived; that men can say they know the truth and yet live in a manner inconsistent with that truth is self deception on a grand scale; there is no truth without life and no life without truth. This is the divinely ordained pattern – holy scriptures, divine revelation, truth, life.
The gospel, we are told, is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16); but that power does not work externally; this was the mistake of the Pharisees; they presented an external appearance of righteousness, but, on the inside, they were full of lifelessness and impurity (Matthew 23:27). The power of God must be allowed to work internally; it must invade and occupy our nature; it must cross the threshold of our personality and take up residence within; this was the burden of Christ’s teaching to His people and was, no doubt, one of the reasons that He was rejected by them. That is still the case today.
Jesus warns us that we will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven unless our righteousness is greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20); their righteousness was based upon external religious observance, while remaining largely unchanged within. It is clear that, just as the word became flesh in Him, so it must in us.