“An Inseparable Connection” – A.W. Pink

“There is an inseparable connection between doctrine and deportment: our convictions mold our characters—what we believe largely determines how we act—”as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” ( Proverbs 23:7). To be soundly indoctrinated and to be well-grounded in the Truth is one and the same thing, and nothing but the Truth operating in the soul will preserve us from error, There is an inseparable connection between doctrine and deportment: our convictions mold our characters—what we believe largely determines how we act—”as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” ( Proverbs 23:7). To be soundly indoctrinated and to be well-grounded in the Truth is one and the same thing, and nothing but the Truth operating in the soul will preserve us from error, either theoretical or practical. Of the primitive Christians it is said, “They continued steadfastly [1] in the Apostles’ doctrine, and [2] fellowship, and [3] in breaking of bread, and [4] in prayers” ( Acts 2:42), which at once indicates that they esteemed soundness in the Faith as of first importance, and were of a radically different spirit from those who are so indifferent to the fundamentals of Christianity, insinuating, if not openly saying, “It matters little what a man believes if his life is good.”

The relation between sound doctrine and godly deportment is like unto that between the bones and flesh of the body, or between the tree and the fruit which it bears: the latter cannot exist without the former. The first Epistle of the New Testament exemplifies our remark: three-fourths of it is occupied with a laying down of the essentials of Christianity, ere the Apostle shows what is requisite for the adornment of the Christian character. The history of Christendom during the last four centuries strikingly illustrates our contention. Examine the writings of the Reformers, and what do you find? Why, that exposition of doctrine held the foremost place in their ministry: that was the light which God used to deliver so great a part of Europe from the popish ignorance and superstition which characterized “the dark ages”! The moral tendency upon the masses and the spiritual blessings communicated to God’s people by doctrinal preaching appears in the time of the Puritans. Since that day, in proportion as the churches have departed from their doctrinal fidelity and zeal, has close walking with God, purity and uprightness before men, and morality in the masses declined.”

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