THE KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE WITHOUT CONFORMITY TO CHRIST — A Letter from James B. Stoney

I see, to my sorrow, that there is a growing tendency to make what is called ‘standing’ everything. Light is put for faith. The babe in Corinthians is in perfect acceptance, but surely not in acceptability. Moral correspondence to the glory is produced by beholding the Lord’s glory.

Because Christ is written on the fleshy tables of my heart, and the Holy Spirit is given to me, I am bound to live Christ. I am not called to try to be anything, I am called to be what I am, and in this I am opposed by the rival man — the old man — backed up by Satan; but the Spirit lusteth against the flesh. In Philippians 3 this Christian life is, as J.N.D. says, ‘On the road to Canaan.’

The sad part to me is that with the increase of knowledge there is less conformity to Christ, and well I know that no one’s power, no matter how clear and beautiful he may be as to interpretation, is beyond the effect of the word in himself. The sure indication of declension in every age has been the acceptance of the word of God without moral correspondence to it, and this is working at this present time.

It is not the knowledge of Christ that is paramount, but the knowledge of scripture. Objective knowledge is not everything, you must not leave out conscious knowledge.

In my judgment brethren are better acquainted with the interpretation of scripture than they are with the mind of the Lord. In nine cases out of ten the ideas of saints among us are more in correspondence with the saint of the kingdom than with the Christian in the height of his calling now.

(Letters Volume 3 p. 109)

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