A few years ago, following the death of our father, William H. Farley, Sr., my brother Jim and I were cleaning out a drawer in an old cabinet in the tool shed at our mother's house. We found, wrapped in old wax paper, a faded copy of an old paper entitled GRACE AND TRUTH. It was published September 1946 in Birmingham, Alabama. We found notes written upon one of the articles that appear to be in our father's handwriting.
When we read the title of this evangelistic paper, we were immediately interested. We had been hearing and reading, from some of our liberal brethren, that the old-time preachers in the churches of Christ did not preach and teach on grace as they ought to have in the past. This is a false charge. We have heard faithful gospel preachers stress the importance and necessity of God's wonderful grace all of our lives as this old paper testifies.
However, our older, faithful preachers did NOT preach salvation by grace alone. This distinguished them from the multitudes of Calvinistic, denominational preachers of their day. Today, sadly, the distinction between denominational preachers and preachers in the churches of Christ is not as clear as it once was.
I heard one false preacher on television teach that we cannot find salvation and happiness in "doing" what we "ought to do." He sought to free his listeners from the bondage of what he called "the oughts." He said, contradictorily, that we could never be saved and happy until the minute we let Jesus be Lord of our lives and not one second before! Friends, pray tell me: How can Jesus Christ be the Lord of our lives if we do not do what He says we ought to do? This false teacher like all false teachers opposes himself. Let us listen to the Bible.
John said, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1:17. We must not seek to separate grace from truth. We are not saved by grace only; we are also saved by truth. Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 8:31-32.
In Luke 6:46, Jesus asked, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" He, then, immediately gave the illustration of the wise man that built his house upon a rock. No, friends, Jesus is not our Lord if we do not do the things that He has commanded. Jesus stated the same truth in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Who but Satan himself would dare to minimize the necessity of doing the will of God in order to be saved and happy? Do not deceive yourself. James 1:22.
In Acts 2:37, after the apostle Peter convicted his Jewish audience of killing the Son of God, the Bible says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Note carefully: these people were not saved; they were not happy. They asked what they should do. If today's liberal preachers had been there, they would no doubt have said, "Bless your heart, there is nothing you can do. You cannot contribute one whit to your salvation!" However, the apostles did not believe sinners could be saved by grace only. Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." 2:38. Yes, they had to do something to receive the grace of God. They had to repent, and they had to be baptized. About 3,000 of them did so that day. 2:41.
What about you? Let the grace of God teach you the truth. Titus 2:11, 12. Remember: "Blessed (happy) are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14. Editor.
Return to West Virginia Christian