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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Baptist Challenge, May 2014
The Book of Jude uses more extraordinary, original, and unique figures of speech than perhaps any other book in the Bible. It speaks of “raging waves of the sea,” “wandering stars,” “trees whose fruit withereth,” and “clouds without water, carried about of winds” (Jude 12).
In these he makes reference to the apostates of his day; they are good figures of speech concerning the apostates of any day. Those men who deny the things which are revealed in the Holy Scriptures are clouds without water. Clouds without water leave nothing. So ministers without the gospel make a desert where faith should blossom like a rose.
1. Men who exalt human reason above divine revelation are “clouds without water.”
It is not what reasons, it is what God reveals. It is not what man thinks, it is what God says. The mind of man can never discover the heart of God. By wisdom this world has never come to know God. Man’s wisdom is foolishness to God. We are not left to reason; we have a revelation. There are no dark secrets in the gospel. He who runs may read. Christianity differs from world religions in that they seek after God while Christianity is God seeking man.
2. Men who exalt human attainment above divine atonement are “clouds without water.”
Attainment is possible to man. Atonement is possible only with God. Attainment is what man can do. Atonement is something that God alone can do. Attainment is within man’s power. Atonement is the power of God only. Attainment makes man appear better before man, but atonement is the means by which man may appear before God without guilt or sin. Attainment has for its big word “character.” Atonement has for its big word “cross.” Attainment makes for education. Attainment is for the mind. Atonement is for the soul. Be not “a cloud without water.”
3. Men who exalt human philosophy above divine prophecy are “clouds without water.”
Philosophy is what man thinks he knows. Prophecy is what God foreknows. Philosophy is man’s little candle which a gust of wind can blow out. Prophecy is God’s lamp, which shines in a dark place until the day dawn. Philosophy is a maze from which man never emerges, while prophecy is light upon every step of the believer’s pathway. Philosophy knows a little about the here and now, while prophecy knows about the hereafter.
4. Men who exalt human advance above divine advents are “clouds without water.”
The world does not advance without Christ. In His absence it takes the downgrade, not the upgrade. With Christ out of the world there can be nothing permanently better in the world. It is not human advance, but the divine advents that have brought into the world help and holiness for man.
Be not a cloud without water. Let God’s thoughts be sufficient for you. Think God’s thoughts after Him.