“The weak Christian also, hath a faith that is divine, as caused by God, and resting on his word and truth. And he so far liveth by this faith, as that it commandeth and guideth the scope and drift of his heart and life. But he believeth with a great deal of staggering and unbelief; and therefore his hopes are interrupted by his troublesome doubts and fears; and the dimness and languor of his faith is seen in the faintness of his desires, and the many blemishes of his heart and life. And sight and sensual objects are so much the more powerful with him, by how much the light and life of faith is dark and weak.”
Richard Baxter and William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 8 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 384.
“The revelation that comes to us in Christ through Scripture in fact takes that position toward us. It does not put itself on a level below us to ask for our approving or disapproving judgment on it but takes a position high above us and insists that we shall believe and obey. Scripture even expressly states that the unspiritual cannot understand the things of the Spirit, that they are folly to them, that they reject and deny them in a spirit of hostility [1 Cor. 2:14]. The revelation of God in Christ does not ask for the support or approval of human beings. It posits and maintains itself in sublime majesty. Its authority is normative as well as causative. It fights for its own victory. It itself conquers human hearts and makes itself irresistible.”
Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: Prolegomena, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 505.
Real Christianity is intellectually vigorous. But in the end, one is saved not by their intellectual gifts, but by the grace of God, and oftentimes in spite of them.
The Text: Ephesians 3:2–7 (ESV)
2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
“Likewise I trust that we have seen again something of the nature of Christian truth. It is not ordinary knowledge. It is not something that the unaided human intellect can understand and receive. Without the enlightenment which the Holy Spirit alone can give, gospel truths remain as dark and as hidden to us as they did to ‘the princes of this world’ when the Lord of glory was actually amongst men. ‘But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit’. ‘We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God’ (1 Cor 2:12). This is not ordinary truth. Whatever the power of our intellect, whatever our brilliance, it will never be enough. We must all become ‘as little children’. We need the inspiration and the anointing and the unction of the Holy Ghost before we can receive and understand divine truth.”
Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn. The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1972.