Not So - Lord

Peter Matthews, Nfld

The unsaved often say "the Bible is full of contradictions," but we who are saved know that every word of God is true. Any seeming contradictions are due to our imperfect knowledge. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.. .because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). The truth of God is taught by the Spirit of God. "When he is come, He will lead you into all truth" are the words of the Saviour concerning the Holy Spirit. The things of God can only be discerned by the Spirit. This is brought out so clearly in 1 Cor. 2:10-16. Read these verses carefully and remember that while all other books can be understood by the mind, that is, discerned mentally, the Bible is the only book that must he discerned spiritually and with the mind of Christ.

Although there are no contradictions in God’s Word, there are many contradictions in God’s people. Like the Pharisees, we often "say, and do not." We contradict ourselves every day. I especially call your attention to a great contradiction in the life of Peter (Acts 10:13-14). I like the way Dr. Ironside comments on this verse. "Notice the contradiction implied in that first expression ‘Not so, Lord.’ The, Lord had commanded him to do a thing, and in one breath he acknowledged him as ‘Lord’ and in the next he refused to do as he was commanded. I wonder if some of us are like this. We know what His will is for our lives, we confess Him with our lips as ‘Lord,’ but we draw back from full obedience and say ‘Not so, Lord.’ What a strange incongruous thing is this! If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all! And if He is Lord, it is not for us to say, ‘Not so’, but to give wholehearted obedience."

We see Peter displaying this same inconsistency at a much earlier date in John 13 where we have our Lord stooping to wash the disciples’ feet. Peter asked, "Lord, dost thou wash my feet?" When the Lord answered him he exclaimed, "Thou shalt never wash my feet," or "Not so, Lord." When the Lord explained that unless he would have his feet washed he could have no part with him, Peter went to the other extreme and said, "Lord, wash not my feet only but also my hands and my head." Notice the Lord did not say, thou shalt have no part IN ME - that position in Christ we can never lose, but, thou shalt have no part WITH ME. That is fellowship. To have unbroken communion and fellowship with our Lord we must allow the Word of God to have its cleansing effect upon our feet, that is our walk. This truth is fully brought out in 1 John 1:3-10. Peter first of all refused to submit himself to the word of the Lord and then he wanted to go beyond the word of the Lord. We are exhorted in many places not to take away or add to his words, lest he reprove us. (See Prov. 30:5-6). How many of us fail. How we need to guard against this sin of doing what we are not told to do and failing to do what we are exhorted to.

In Philippians 2:5 the apostle exhorts. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." His was the obedient mind, he always did the will of His Father in heaven. His was the submissive mind. He prayed "Not my will, but thine be done." His was the servant’s mind - "I am among you as one that serves." Our daily prayer should be, "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" What can I do for the Lord? What can I do for others? What can I do in the assembly in which I am in fellowship? May the Lord be able to say of us as he did concerning Mary, "She hath done what she could," and she did it out of love!

This subject of the Lordship of Christ is a very important one. It touches every phase of our Christian life. In fact our very salvation is linked with confessing Jesus as Lord.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).