Grace & Truth Chapel
131 Fardale Avenue ~ Mahwah, New Jersey
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"When God Says 'If'" (posted October 15, 2019)

   We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.
   - Hebrews 3:14

You will always find, I think, that an "if" is used in false Christianity to disturb true souls who are not thoroughly settled in grace, instead of in the way that God uses it against the flesh. They will say, "Oh, don't be too sure; salvation is not such a certain matter as you think; a great deal depends on oneself; there are conditions. Don't you see how many times an 'if' is used and a condition pressed upon us?"

Now I think God uses an "if" to make us dependent and trustful in Him and His faithful love. He never uses it to disturb the faith of the simplest child of God.

Suppose I was walking on the parapet of a great high building with my little child by the hand. I felt the awful danger of the place for him, and said, as he looked down and shivered with fear, "My little son, if you fell down there you would be smashed to pieces: don't pull away your little hand from mine."

The child looks up into my face and says, "Father, you will hold me fast, you have no trace of a thought in your heart of letting me go, though you warn me."

"No, my child," I say, "not a trace. But I want to keep you aware of the danger and keep up the sense of dependence on me in your heart."

This is the way God uses an "if." He keeps the soul alive to the sense of the danger of the place we are in; the power of the enemy; the treacherousness of our own hearts; the faithfulness of His; our constant need of dependence on Him.

Surely all this is right and well: and this dealing meets the case and the present need of the true heart on the journey, while it vindicates the care of God, under whose conduct all profess to be, but who alas are often only the mixed multitude, the camp followers, of the true people of God.

Frederick G. Patterson

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