Page 2 - Reverence | Truth & Tidings
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In the parable of the husbandman, he sent       this to your Christian life? The showing of
his son, expecting reverence (respect) for      kindness may be done in different ways, at
him. The parable needs no interpretation        different times, by different believers. It is a
as it was used by the Lord Jesus and the ap-    principle in which I need divine guidance
plication was to the people of His day and      and wisdom to implement in my life and to
their unwillingness to recognize Him.           know what kindness is. The kindest act may
                                                not always be the most obvious or that which
    Hebrews 12 reminds us that while we         springs to mind first. The Psalmist believed
are no longer under law, God has not            that if the righteous needed to smite him to
changed in the holiness of His being and in     reprove him, it was a kindness (Psa 141:5).
His demand for righteousness in those who       Our first reaction to being “smitten” by an-
serve and follow Him. As a result, we are to    other believer would hardly be to consider it
serve Him with “reverence and godly fear”       a kindness. Yet, spiritual discernment may
(v 28). God is immutable. He does not           apply this principle of kindness in this man-
change in His character or essence. He may      ner at a critical time. Thus, kindness can be
change in how He deals with humanity in         displayed in different ways at different times.
different dispensations, but He is the Same.
The intimacy into which He has brought              Reverence is also a principle; it is not a
us, as seen in Hebrews 12:12-24, is bal-        precept. It is an area in which personal exer-
anced by an awareness that He is still “a       cise and wisdom is needed to know how to
consuming fire” Who must be served rev-         implement it in our individual lives. There is
erently.                                        an inherent danger in prescribing what rev-
                                                erence must mean to another believer. On
A Principle                                     the other hand, the personal nature of prin-
                                                ciple-application must never be used as an
    It is critical to our Christian lives, and  excuse for lack of convictions concerning
to harmony amongst believers, that we dif-      reverence. It is feared that many who belittle
ferentiate between a precept and a principle    the value of the outward and stress the in-
of Scripture. A precept is a clear, non-nego-   ward, forget one great principle of Scripture:
tiable statement or rule of life. It affords    it is possible to have the outward right and
little or no “wiggle room” for exemption.       the inward be rotten (i. e., the Pharisees as
For example, the exhortations of Ephesians      whited sepulchers). But it is impossible to
4 and 5 concerning stealing, lying, evil        have the inward right without it affecting
speech, and fornication are clear and un-       and controlling the outward! As soon as
mistakable precepts or rules of behavior.       Jacob got right with God inwardly, he in-
They do not require prayer for discernment      structed his family about their outward ap-
or guidance about their meaning or how          pearance and associations (Gen 35:1-3). He
you are to implement them in your life.         did not even need a command from God for
They are precepts or “laws” of righteous liv-   this.
ing. Those who wish to please God obey
them implicitly and with exactness. This is         I am not left to my imagination or per-
not legalism but loyalty; it is not bondage     sonal preference to form my convictions.
but joy.                                        They are based upon the Word of God. I
                                                need to know God in His Word to know
    But what about “be ye kind one to an-       how He deserves to be honored.
other, tender hearted?” How do you apply

2 TRUTH kTidings I Gathered to His Name
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