Books, Promises and God’s Way of Holiness

My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Eccl. 12:12

As I gather many years of materials together for the “promised” books, I am amazed at the greatest of theology that we have in abundance and how study is a true gift of God to us for our good. He has said that “too much study is a weariness of the flesh” and I believe we can attest to that especially those of us who read, write, teach, and are consumed daily by words and expression. In my thousands of pages, twenty-four journals and eighteen gorged three-ring binders (not to mention my digital library of too many DVD/CD’s to mention), I have a very large task at hand. In my gathering of materials, I opened a few pages to read and how lovely, how encouraging these studies from the past are as a reminder for today that we have a task at hand and we can accomplish it in our Christian walk. So then, as I stare at the insurmountable piles of studies past, I confess my slowness and look forward with anticipation to the task that is before me.

“Horatius Bonar gives us excellent admonitions and encouragements to press on in godliness every day as he has coined it, in this “great thing,” the Christian life. He especially reminds us that “abide in Me,” “learn of Me” and “follow Me” “are the contents and “summing-up” of the Christian statute book constituting our true directory and guide in the pursuit of holiness.” All of these things are contained in God’s Word and he reminds us again, it is the guidebook for our lives. It is our “rule of life.” Bonar then spells out in detail how we are to do these things. We already know them for God has worked in and through us beforehand in giving us knowledge and His Holy Spirit to know and apply them. But, as is the case with all of us, we do not always obey and follow them. Bonar’s book reminds us that godliness, holiness and sanctification of life is not based on what we know only but also on what we do. Our fruit of knowing will be doing. We are active participants in our walk with Christ, not Antinomian or making excuse that we are not gifted for this or that but by digging into God’s Word, praying and applying, seeking the jewels of the Christian life and its rewarding peace and contentment in our obedience to God’s commands. We are not “hearers only” but “doers” and always learning and growing in the Christian life. We never get to the point where we say I have nothing to learn by God’s Word and teachings but that as I grow, I learn and as I learn, I grow in godliness. As we grow in godliness and our knowledge deepened, we read anew those old things that we know and are refreshed, and see them even more deeply and with more zeal to follow after Christ more obediently. May it never be said of us as reformed women that we have “arrived” in knowledge but rather as the old reformers say, “reformed but always reforming” and always learning so that our knowledge will match our walk, knowledge of Christ, His Word and doctrine, and conform us more to His image and thus we are humbled by it. May it be that we “decrease” and that He is “increased” in our daily lives for our own good and His glory.” I have enjoyed very much this study and especially because it is from the writings of this wonderful Puritan, Horatius Bonar. The Puritans loved the truth and it was their great desire that believers know the depths of Christ and apply that knowledge in Christian living. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from this dear saint from his perspective and knowledge. He has sent us by this study on a quest for more — more of Christ, more of godliness and holiness, more of our active obedience and more of the knowledge that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” to live as “holy” people in a fallen world. He has given us a mandate and banner saying, “Let us then shine” and thus we press on so that our light shines before men and our God is glorified in us. I pray I have learned well!

__JoyPals Group/ReformedWomen, 2005, Study: “God’s Way of Holiness”

Has God given you a practical task to do from His preparation and study in your life? Go about it with speed for you know not what a blessing you will be to others. __Theology Girl


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