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Exposition Must Have Application - A.W. Tozer


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The Bible is among other things a book of revealed truth.
That is, certain facts are revealed that
could not be discovered by the most brilliant mind.
These facts are of such a nature as to be past finding out.
They were hidden behind a veil, and until certain men
who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
took away that veil, no mortal man could know them.
This lifting of the veil of unknowing
from undiscoverable things we call divine revelation.

The Bible, however, is more than a volume of hitherto
unknown facts about God, man and the universe.
It is a book of exhortation based upon those facts.
By far the greater portion of the book is devoted
to an urgent effort to persuade people to alter their ways
and bring their lives into harmony
with the will of God as set forth in its pages.

No man is better for knowing that God
in the beginning created the heavens and the earth.
The devil knows that, and so did Ahab and Judas Iscariot.
No man is better for knowing that God so loved the world of men
that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their redemption.
In hell there are millions that know that.
Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed.
The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action.

What is generally overlooked is that truth
as set forth in the Christian Scriptures is a moral thing;
it is not addressed to the intellect only, but to the will also.
It addresses itself to the total man, and its obligations
cannot be discharged by grasping it mentally.
Truth engages the citadel of the human heart
and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there.
The will must come forth and surrender its sword.
It must stand at attention to receive orders,
and those orders it must joyfully obey.
Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth
is inadequate and unavailing.

Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition.
It is only when the hearer is made to understand
that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in.
As long as people can bear orthodox truth divorced from life
they will attend and support churches and institutions without objection.
The truth is a lovely song, become sweet by long and tender association;
and since It asks nothing but a few dollars, and offers good music,
pleasant friendships and a comfortable sense of well-being,
it meets with no resistance from the faithful.
Much that passes for New Testament Christianity
is little more than objective truth sweetened with song
and made palatable by religious entertainment.

One reason for the divorce between truth and life
may be the lack of the Spirit’s illumination.
Another surely is the teacher’s unwillingness to get himself into trouble.
Any man with fair pulpit gifts
can get on with the average congregation
if he just “feeds” them and lets them alone.
Give them plenty of objective truth
and never hint that they are wrong
and should be set right,
and they will be content.

On the other hand, the man who preaches truth
and applies it to the lives of his hearers
will feel the nails and the thorns.
He will lead a hard life, but a glorious one.
May God raise up many such prophets.
The church needs them badly.

From the book 0f God and Man, published by
the Christian Publications, Inc.,
25 South Tenth St.,
Harrisburg, PA. 17101.
Used by Permission.
The above is available in tract form.

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