The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”
Much of our struggles, frustrations, and problems are due to compromise. Every Christian is called to be a truth seeker and also a truth abider. According to our text, the truth is absolute, costly, and can be sold or compromised. Truth is spoken of much throughout Holy Scripture. The Lord Jesus Christ placed much emphasis upon truth. According to John 4:23-24, our worship must be in spirit and truth. It is the truth that sets us free in John 8:32-36. God's Holy Word is called truth in John 17:17 and the Lord Jesus is called truth in John 14:6. Even the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of Truth in John 16:13. So, truth is absolute and truth is costly. Eternal salvation is a free gift through the Lord Jesus Christ and His accomplishments at Calvary's cross. But, if we desire the truth of God's Word, there must be effort put forth in seeking it and studying Scripture. In other words, it will cost us time and effort (Proverbs 2:1-4; 4:5-7; 16:16). We sell the truth when we compromise God's Word. When we compromise the truth we restrict revival, distort God's will and hinder our prayers. As a Christian we must strive to never compromise God's Holy Word.
The Cause of Compromise
In John 8:31-36, the Lord Jesus made it clear that if we are to be His disciple, we must continue in His Word. According to the text, it is the truth that will make us free and deliver us from the bondage of this world. Many of those that Jesus spoke to in this passage did not even realize that they were slaves to sin, to Judaism, and the Roman empire. When Jesus spoke to them about freedom and truth, they debated with Him over the issue. Only in Christ can we find true freedom and liberty. It is through His Word, that is, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that we can truly be set free and have a home in Heaven. There are many things that cause us to compromise. One of those is fear, that is, fear of losing position, life, friends, etc. Peer pressure can also cause compromise, that is, the pressure to conform. Recognition, or the desire to have the applause of men, or to be accepted, can also lead to compromise. There are many that compromise in order to avoid controversy. Ignorance and spiritual blindness or lack of understanding is another reason that people compromise. There are those who compromise because of weak convictions. True convictions do not change, but if we only have a preference, we are likely to change because the preference is only a convenience. There are those who compromise because they have been threatened and placed under severe pressure to do so. Others may compromise because of loyalties to family and friends, etc. The prophet Elijah asked the nation of Israel in I Kings 18:21, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” The children of Israel at this time had not totally forsaken God, but they had mixed the worship of God and Baal together. The prophet had called upon them to take a stand one way or the other and not compromise the principles and truth of God Almighty. Jehoshaphat had also compromised according II Chronicles 18:1 because of family loyalties, and he nearly lost his life. He had allowed his son to marry Ahab's daughter which joined the two kingdoms by this marriage. Another prophet had to rebuke this king because of his sin, for he had brought a burden upon his people. The man by the name of Lot lost everything because of his compromise. According to Genesis 13:8-18, he pitched his tent toward Sodom and the end result of that, years later, was the destruction of his entire family (Genesis 19:14, 26, 36-38; II Peter 2:6-8).
The Consequences of Compromise
When we compromise we always lose something and normally we never get it back. Compromise brings frustration, headache, misery, loss, and robs us of our joy and blessings. It can lead to apostasy and weakens our convictions. One example of this is seen in I Samuel chapter 15, where king Saul failed to obey the command of the Lord and the end result was that he lost fellowship with God, his kingdom, and his own life. The Lord is interested in minor details but Saul overlooked them and was disobedient to God. In verses 22 and 23 we are told, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” In I Samuel 28:5-7, Saul went to a witch to seek guidance because the Lord had quit speaking to him. In Chapter 31:4, the end result of Saul was that he committed suicide. This great lesson should teach us the importance of obedience to God and to never compromise His Word or His Holy commandments. Solomon was another man that compromised God's Word, according to I Kings 11:1-8, when he had married many women from other nations which ultimately led him into idolatry. The consequences of compromise is quite serious. There are many areas whereby we compromise. According to I Samuel 2:29, Eli compromised with his family and honored his sons above the Lord. The children of God in the Old Testament many times compromised in sacrificing to the Lord in high places in which God had told his people to tear down. There are those who compromise today in worldly music and Hollywood movies. There are those who compromise in doctrine and feel that it is just not important. Again, there are many ways in which people compromise today. The Lord Jesus told the church at Pergamos to stand firm for the truths of God's Word in Revelation 2:12-16. He called upon the church to repent, for some had already compromised with the world. Their problem was worldliness and the Lord said that He would come and fight against the church if they were not willing to repent. Worldliness is a serious sin in the eyes of God.
The Cure for Compromise
The only cure for compromise is to hold firm to the truths of God's Word and to confess Christ before men as in Matthew 10:32-33. According to Genesis 39:4, 7-12, Joseph refused to compromise God's Word and His principles, for he would not sin against his Lord. In Ephesians 6 we are told to stand for the truth and in the book of Jude we are to contend for the faith. In I Timothy 4:7 the apostle said they were to fight for the truth. The Lord Jesus Christ, in Luke 3:21, pleased His Father and not man. In Daniel 1:8, Daniel and his three Hebrew friends purposed in their hearts that they would stand for the truth. In Daniel 6:10-11, Daniel refused to compromise his conviction and continued to pray to his God even when it was illegal. We must hold fast the profession of our faith in order not to compromise (Hebrews 10:23). We must fear God and not fear man, for much of our compromise comes when we take our eyes from God and look toward man.
In Hebrews 3, we have encouragement and warning. In verses 1-6, we are told to consider Jesus Christ the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, and in verses 7-19, we are given warning. The first part of this chapter clearly teaches us, as children of God, that we are not to take our eyes off of Jesus Christ. It is through Him, and Him only, that we will be able to stand and not fall. The latter part of this chapter gives severe warning and uses Israel in the wilderness as an example for us. For many of them had hardened their hearts and rebelled against God in their unbelief. Their unbelief caused them to not be able to enter into the promised land. For 40 years they rebelled against the Lord God of Heaven and refused to follow His commandments, and their carcasses fell in the wilderness. May we persevere in our faith with evidence of genuine salvation that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our profession must not be contradicted by our life. As one writer said, "It is impossible to compromise with sin and conquer it at the same time." Another author said, "It is perhaps the greatest sin of the greatest number of Christians that in so many details of life they put God second". As Christians, we must stand on God's word and live out His principles in our life. Amen.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523