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October 12, 2009 / beidson

Receiving is Believing: Why Truth Must Be Welcomed To Be Believed

Biblical belief is more than recognizing and giving ascent to truth–it is rejoicing over truth.  Luke tells us that after Peter preached at Pentecost, those who received his word celebrated by being baptized (Acts 2:41).  They recognized truth and rejoiced in it to the point that they publicly identified themselves with the gospel of Jesus.  They believed, and you knew they believed because they welcomed the truth with gladness.  They received it, and that meant more than merely believing it.

James warns us against being only “hearers” of the word and not “doers” (1:22).  Hearers are those who recognize truth but do not welcome it–they do not receive it.  But doers are those who “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save [their] souls” (v. 21).  They receive the word, unlike those who only believe it.

The danger is that we come to the place where we no longer rejoice over the gospel, the point at which we recognize truth as good and holy, but do not see it as desirable and lovely.  There is the danger of becoming dull in our hearing (Hebrews 5:11), so that we hear but do not hear, and see but do not see.  Truth is meant to be loved and delighted in and rejoiced over.  The man who found a treasure in a field sold all that he had so that he could purchase the field–in his joy he sold everything, so that he might have the treasure.  This is what it means to rejoice over truth.

It is so easy to grow dull in our hearing.  Lawlessness abounds when we do not receive the truth–our love grows cold because we do not delight in truth.  If you want to see wickedness at work, look for those who know the truth but have not been set free by it.  Look for those who can point to truth, but walk away from it.  And when I say truth, I mean the gospel.  Everything belongs within this redemptive context–the gospel is the framework for all truth.  It is the end of all questioning, indeed, even the beginning, as we groan inwardly for redemption and salvation.

For this redemption we wait with eager expectation . . . waiting to welcome our Lord Jesus in the clouds “when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (2 Thess. 1:10).  We welcome you here, Lord Jesus–come quickly.

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