Of This I Am Convinced…
One would be deemed a heretic, legalist, and/or works-monger by the majority of those who profess a belief in free and sovereign grace if they dared to consistently speak, teach, or preach on scriptural truths to the precise degree and proportion that these truths are found in the New Testament. Conversely, anyone who refrained from speaking, teaching, or preaching on scriptural topics to the same degree and proportion that they are found in NT scripture would be promoted by the larger number of professors within grace/reformed circles as being the most faithful amongst all of God’s under-shepherds. In fact, the more one refrains from speaking on other biblical matters, and the more they focus “only on the cross” (to the exclusion of all else), the more revered and respected they will be in the eyes of the larger part — yea, the more holy, true, and edifying they will be said to be. Therefore, there is a “reward,” albeit a carnal one, for those who specialise in delivering much milk, much much milk, to the exclusion of most all meat. They will get unto themselves a very good name within such circles; they will be lauded and promoted; “the best grace preacher ever” will be the title affixed to many of their names; and the preacher or teacher who embraces such flattering folly, as they fall into the trap of respecting the praise of men more than the praise of God, well… that preacher or teacher will continue to stunt the growth, muddle the way, and tickle the ears of all those who are content with said milk and who would love to have their current situation remain so (watered-down, stunted, and fit for babes only).
This is why I thank God for the faithful preachers of old, and of today, the small remnant, who strive to proclaim the entirety of the counsel of God (proclaiming it in light of the Gospel and the Christ it reveals, and never in the stead of it). I thank God for those who do not purposely avoid doctrines deemed too controversial, or commands and admonitions deemed too displeasing, and who refrain from purposely disregarding any other scriptural teaching deemed too difficult, too unpalatable, too confusing, or too “unimportant.” The whole counsel of God, or the entire counsel of God is not just some cliché; it is not just some pious catch phrase; it is a concept (even a precept) that, Lord willing and enabling, keeps balance in place in our teaching, preaching, or “lay speaking.” All scripture is God-breathed, and all of it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: so that the man of God may be complete, having been fully equipped for every good work. Now where this precept is more closely held, and more closely applied to all scripture, the more appreciation there will be for the holiness of God’s word, the completeness of it, the perfectly-integrated nature of it, and the worthiness of it to be loved, believed, embraced, and put in practice as God enables. Indeed, a love for the entire counsel stems only from a love for the God-breathed word and The Word it reveals. A God-wrought love of the Gospel, the preaching of the cross, and the Christ upon which it is centered, will bring about a love for all that God has to say; it will cause the hearer to love the meat and not the milk only — for no man with any semblance of sense would sit down at the King’s feast, the King’s banquet, and drink only milk, forsaking all of the riches of the various delicacies and hearty dishes set before him. No, though he may indeed love the milk, desiring to drink plenty of it, he will also desire to dine upon all of the glorious fare at his fingertips and would desire to see and taste all of it — and he will love what he tastes because it is the best the kingdom, yea even the world… or ten billions worlds for that matter, has to offer. In fact, there is no better meal, no better feast to be found anywhere, than what is placed before those in the kingdom of God. Milk does not undermine the greatness of the dishes put forth but adds to them. Thus, one should never despise or set at naught this blessed and holy milk, but they should drink it in, along with the wine, the cup of cold water, the salvific blood, the blessed bread, the corn, the oil, and all of the other richly edifying items found in the holy menu of God’s words… for therein is to be found all the food necessary to make one strong, happy, hearty, healthy, helpful, knowledgeable, and wise, and so on. Indeed, we are speaking of the very best of the finest fruits, breads, meats, and drinks to be had in this realm or any other that one can find. Seeing this, we should love the milk, but not be content with it only. We should desire all of the fare that God has established for us and though we should never cease to come before God as little children, we should nevertheless desire to never remain babes in the faith all of our quickened lives; we ought not to be years or decades into the faith and still only able to digest milk. This sojourn should be one of God-wrought progress, growth, onward journeying, self-discovery, and (most importantly) the ever-advancing discovery of the glory of God, and of His creation, and of His kingdom, and of His great salvific work, in Christ Jesus, on behalf of all those who love Him because He first loved them, and only them (in the Lord), from before the word was.
To God be the glory, Amen.