Gouge and Cut…
Gouge and Cut. These are violent words. You do neither tenderly. Gouging and cutting intend damage, aye destruction, to their objects.
This past Sunday Elder Don stated that in dealing with known sin in our hearts we must “do violence” to it.
Jesus put it like this:
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt. 5:29-30).
One of the “keeper” books in my personal library is Born Crucified by L. E. Maxwell. In it, he warns “Unless we die to self, we shall die of self.” He explains…
“…denial of self is no mere severing of this or that indulgence, but putting the axe of the Cross to the very root of the tree of self….To trim it back only means that the very life of self is thrown back into other more rugged roots to develop the Pharisee into a more vigorous tree.”
When the gospel moved hearts to repentance in Acts 19, the Ephesians were “seized with fear.” The Name of Christ became highly honored and, as Luke records, their response was decisive…
“Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” (Acts 19:18-20).
Pruning a tree – a sin – does not diminish it in any way. Though it may appear beaten back somewhat you have only made it fight back more vigorously. To get rid of the thing you must destroy it at its root. As Maxwell reminds us by quoting C.M. Slow,
“The symbol of the Christian Church is not a burning bush, nor a dove, nor an open book, nor a halo round a submissive head, nor a crown of splendid honour. It is a cross.” – C.M. Clow
The cross speaks of death… of willing self-crucifixion. Only then is resurrection possible.
To hear Elder Don’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.
One thought on “Wednesday, 7/29/20 – Pressing on… “Gouge and Cut””