There Is A Legacy
By Curt Wildy
God gives us his word and that word is sufficient for the understanding of his Truth. As much as I love the use of resources, I do not believe in making an idol of them. The Christian in the poorest regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, or the Americas can find all the Truth they need in a faithful Bible. We do not need concordances, lexicons, commentaries, etc. to bring us to salvific truths; they are simply used to amplify the truth already found openly in Scripture (albeit the Spirit of god must lead us into all truth). Many will argue against this view of aids and resources, but they are wrong (as is their core understanding in pertinent matters of salvation).
Our own Berean attitude, our own searching of the Scripture as led by the Spirit of God is vital. We must receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether those things are so (Acts 17:11). We must Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We mustn’t slavishly wait on others to teach us and guide us as baby birds wait on their mothers to feed them with the worms they bring back to the nest (with no ability to gather and fend for themselves). We cannot let stand the notion that one man, one assembly, has all the “real truth” (as someone tried to convince me this morning). That is popishness, the very essence of Romanist error. If a person declares that they do not know anyone else teaching the real truth but him, take flight quickly. People simply cannot put all of their eggs in one basket; when they follow one, and only one man, they began to be imitators of that one man. They cease to do the thinking and researching for themselves.
The real issue I want to focus upon is the issue of legacy. God does not leave His local assemblies without the presence of Christ and the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. God has always had a remnant of faithful ones, His chosen few. In lands wherein such technology was readily and affordably available, God ordained that our brethren of old would leave us with an abundance of excellent sermons, treatises, and other expositions on the word of God in printed form (and in our day, recorded form). There is a legacy, a rich history provided to us from many faithful counsellors. Proverbs 11:14 declares “Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.” Likewise, we read in Proverbs 24:6 “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.” Christian spiritual warfare relies foremost and primarily on our great Counsellors, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. However, in the multitude of faithful under-shepherds there can be found much needful counsel and wisdom as well.
Just as we go to our own faithful ministers to hear the word of God rightly expounded, we can likewise turn to these faithful men of old (and other faithful men in our day) as an aid to greater understanding. We can go to the commentaries of Gill, Poole, Hawker, and others. We can look at the extensive sermons and other works of godly men amongst the faithful Reformers, Puritans, Particular Baptists, Strict Baptists, Sovereign Grace Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Dutch Reformed, Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, Huntingtonians, and a whole host of faithful non-conformist writers (as well as Early Anglican writers like John Newton and Augustus Toplady). We can “pick their brain” by seeing what they have written. We do not have to necessarily agree on every point; we simply aim to broaden our horizons to make sure that our views are not an erroneous and/or myopic in nature. Yet we test all things by searching the Scripture to see if what we are reading is really so. If it is not, we must take a bold stance for truth.
I enjoy finding and posting such faithful; I may not agree with every point in their sermon or article, but if I post it, it is because I think that it is of overall value for the reasons stated above. There is such a richness of faithful preaching available to us that we simply cannot stick our heads in the ground and say “I don’t know anyone else preaching the truth.” We should labour to know because the faithful ones are indeed our family, our spiritual family (if we are, ourselves, faithful). It is like reading the letters of godly, but now departed, members of our own household. Make use of such resources; read what they have to say. Not to the degree where it eclipses Bible reading, but as a supplement just as your Lord’s Day fellowship does not replace your Bible reading (or ought not).
I often say “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You simply do not know what you are missing until you happen upon it by God’s grace. When you began to see the richness that a wide array of faithful writings, from numerous sources, can provide — you better understand what is indeed blessed… and what is lacking.
To God be the glory.