Gospel News · September - December 2017

Searching our own lives and reflecting upon
the lives of those known to us reveals the
same tendency - heights of devotion one day
compared to miserable failure the next. Those
who once sacrificed all for the sake of the
Truth - now indifferent, or even atheist or
agnostic. People who would die for each other
in love and care, cooling off over months and
years into apathy. Brethren who once seemed
so strong in faith
suddenly come out on
internet forums admit-
ting they no longer
really believe in God nor
even desire to be in His
Kingdom. Human beings
are fickle and psycho-
logically weak and frail.
The frailty or weakness
of humanity is a major
Bible theme; and the
weakness in view is not
so much physical as
moral and mental. A
hard word or email, a rejection… may do deep
damage to another person, although that
damage may not be immediately apparent.
Recognizing the frailty of others will bring us
to a sensitivity towards them which requires
constant self-control and self-analysis of our
words and unspoken messages. To live sensi-
tively in this increasingly desensitized world is
not only very hard, it is part of picking up the
cross of our Lord and following Him to the
same painful death.
Focus Upon The Cross
The Bible abounds with images of stability.
God is presented as a rock, and we are to build
our house upon the rock of obedience to His
word. We are to have the unwavering faith
which is not “like a wave of the sea, driven
with the wind and tossed” (James 1:6). The
image of being blown around is also used in
Eph. 4:14: “Henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, carried about with every
wind of doctrine [teaching]. There are those
who read something on the internet, hear an
idea compellingly presented by a teacher
Editorial | Frailty and Fickleness
somewhere, and they are shaken by it,
“carried about of winds” (Jude 12; Heb. 13:9).
In those passages, the same Greek word for
“carried about” is used; and the only other
time Paul uses it is in speaking of how he
“always carried about in the body the dying
of the Lord Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:10). Here we begin
to see one antidote for such instability:
a conscious, daily commitment to share in
something of the cruci-
fixion sufferings of
Jesus, in hope and even
present experience of
His resurrection life
breaking forth into our
personal experience.
We are asked to pick up
His cross, to make His
death our own. A firm
commitment to this will
enable us to stand firm
against the various
‘winds’ which buffet us
- especially in this
internet generation, where information which
we’re unable (if we’re honest) to really
process assails us from all sides. How does that
suggested teaching, that possible way of living
and being, square with my solid, once-for-all
commitment to follow my Lord to His cross
and beyond?
This is the difference which the Bible makes
in human life. An acceptance that finally, in
that volume, we have the expressed will of
God for us, gives us a basis upon which to
firmly decide our principles and positions -
“For the Bible tells me so”. This is a feature
of the seed sown on good ground - that it has
a “root” (Mt. 13:6). But the interpretation of
the sower parable adds the significant detail -
that he who withers away “has not root in
himself” (Mt. 13:21). Our root is in God’s word
and in the things of the crucified Christ, the
smitten rock, and yet it is ‘in ourselves’ in the
sense that God’s word and the things of Christ
are deep within us. This, then, is the intention
of regular, daily, habitual reading and medita-
tion upon God’s word, both as it is in the Bible
~ continued ...