Posted on 03-Dec-2014
October 25th, 2014
In the Scripture, God uses the idea of a plumb line to describe what He is doing with His people. God built His people like a straight wall – true to plumb. When we depart from Him, one of our problems is that we do not realise how far we have departed. We often don’t understand how seriously we have strayed from Him. We may not realise how close we are to complete collapse or destruction. In order to help His people, God holds a plumb line beside His people so they can see how far they have departed.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a physical example of our problem. The walls are straight, but the whole building is leaning. The problem lies in the foundation. If the foundation was firm and in line the walls would be in line as well. If we had a huge crane that could pull the walls to plumb again, the problem would still exist just as soon as we let the tower loose. Without a solid foundation, the tower will fall right back to its crooked state.
The Boys’ Brigade ministry aims to help the youths to build a solid foundation, anchored by faith and discipline. Many youths nowadays are looking for someone that they could look up to, that they could look for in times of trouble and perhaps despair. And we all know the only answer to all problems is the Lord Jesus Himself.
Your spiritual life has its foundation in a love relationship with God. The way you live your life, your practice of your faith, as well as your obedience to God’s commands can be represented by the tower. If your life is out of line with God’s plan, that is only the visible symptom of a root problem. The problem is in your love relationship. Jesus said, “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching” (John 14:24) but “if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).
God’s Word reveals God Himself, His purposes, and His ways. The Scriptures serve as His plumb line for us. When we can see that we have departed from His ideals, His purposes, His ways, and His commands, we can know clearly that we have a problem. The problem is that we have left our love relationship with Him. You cannot love God correctly and not obey Him. It is spiritually impossible. If you are not obeying Him, it is because you do not love Him.
In spiritual matters, it is very clear to us that whenever God is dealing with souls, He always uses the plumb line. In beginning with us, He finds that the very foundation of our nature is out of the perpendicular and, therefore, He does not attempt to build upon it, but commences His operations by digging it out. The first work of Divine Grace in the soul is to pull down all that Nature has built up. God says, “I cannot use these stones in My building. This man has been behaving himself admirably in some respects and he thinks that he is building up a temple to My honor and glory with his own natural virtues, his own good works and other things of a like character. But all this must be dug out.” The man has taken a great deal of pains in putting it together but it must all come out and there must be a great hole left—the man must feel himself emptied, abased and humbled in the sight of God, for if God is to be everything to the man, then He must be nothing! And if Christ is to be his Saviour, He must be a complete Saviour from beginning to end. So the foundation of human merit must be cleared right out and flung away, for God could not build squarely upon it. With such a foundation as that, the plumb line would never mark a perpendicular wall.
After all human merit has been flung out, the Lord begins His gracious work by laying the foundation stone of a simple faith in Jesus Christ—and that faith, though simple, is very real. When a man professes to convert his fellow man, he only gives him a fictitious faith which is of no value to him. But when God saves a sinner, He gives him real faith. There may be little knowledge of the Truth of God, but the little that the man knows is truth—and faith, though it is but as a grain of mustard seed, if it is of the right sort, it is better than that faith which is as big as a mountain, yet all of the wrong sort, which will not stand in the time of testing! But the faith which the Holy Spirit gives is the faith of God’s elects—the real faith which will endure even the tests which God applies to it.
Side by side with that faith, God puts true repentance. When a man attempts to convert his fellow man, he gives him a chance of repentance, or perhaps he tells him that there is no need of any repentance at all. Certain preachers have been telling us, lately, that it is a very easy matter to obtain salvation and that there is no need of repentance—or if repentance is needed it is merely a change of mind. That is not the Doctrine that our fathers used to preach, nor the Doctrine that we have believed! That faith which is not accompanied by repentance will have to be repented of! So, whenever God builds, He builds repentance fair and square with faith. These two things go together—the man just as much regrets and grieves over the past as he sees that past obliterated by the precious blood of Jesus. He just as much hates all his sin as he believes that his sin has been all put away.
By just changing your ways is not sufficient. Unless your love relationship with God is repaired, you will eventually go back to your old ways of living. The only lasting motivation for obedience to God is a sound love relationship with Him. If your love relationship with God is right, your life will line up with His standards.
Page Created: 3rd December 2014