A few weeks ago, a friend handed me a copy of E.W. Bullinger’s book How to Enjoy the Bible. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to read through this book, considering I currently have an overcommitted schedule and many other spiritually related books awaiting to be read. However, I was drawn to the book immediately and felt my curiosity greatly peaked and interested to open the pages and see what this book was all about.
In the past few weeks, I have only managed to read through Page 25. But in just the few pages of the Preface and Introduction, I have discovered quite a few golden nuggets that have brought forth much deep thought. In fact, part of the reason I haven’t yet made it past Page 25 is that those first few pages of the Preface and Introduction keep calling me back to be re-read and re-digested.
In the Preface, Bullinger writes about a husband and wife who are seeking him out in order that he may offer guidance to them in how to be able to study the Scriptures for themselves and enjoy them. They desired to be able to mine the written word of God for themselves and learn and soak the truth from God Himself.
On page xvi, Bullinger says of the husband:
“But grace had changed him so completely, that it was not a case, merely, of his holding the truth, but of the truth holding him: consequently he could not rest until he had renounced not only his former…religion, but all religion that had anything to do with the flesh; for he had found his all in Christ, and was satisfied with the completeness which God had given to him in HIM.”
The first time I read that, I found it good. As I re-read it a few times more, it struck deeper and deeper within me. Last week, I was able to put into words exactly how it struck me.
E.W. Bullinger was so right on. It is not about us, mere mortals, holding the truth. It is about the truth holding us, in more ways than one.
Jesus Christ calls Himself the Truth. He states that He is the truth of God’s character and ways. He holds us in His grasp. We do not hold Him in our grasp. He holds us and fills us and we contain Him, but He will not be restrained, detained, or manipulated by us. That is what we, mortal humans, typically do when we hold something precious and dear to us. We hold it so tightly—too tightly. And we become stingy and selfish with it. We don’t really want to share it freely or completely with others. Oh no, others must earn it, they must work for it, they must prove themselves worthy of it. Such is the case with the truth of the amazing grace that God has poured out upon the world through Christ Jesus in this current eon.
God has poured over this entire world an immense grace in “how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us[the current believers] the word of conciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) During this current eon, God has made peace with the world through Christ and by His death on a cross.
In our mortal, temporal bodies we are incapable of holding the immense expanse of the complete truth of God. Oh, many attempt it and even convince themselves (and others) that they do hold the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, when God’s love and grace truly overcome us, we humbly arrive at the realization that we don’t hold the complete truth and that we cannot. The Truth holds us. He holds us. He carries us. He woos us. He loves us.
Truth will not be restrained or detained. Truth will not be contained in some pretty little box (made by human minds) with beautiful wrapping and bows. Truth is free and sets free. The Truth will not be bound by finite human minds and comprehension. Truth will not be hoarded selfishly. Truth will not be controlled by mankind. Truth will have its way, and the Truth will prevail.
I speak of the truth of God—the truth of His character and His ways. I speak of Christ. Christ speaks of and represents the fullness of God. Christ is the Truth of God. The Scriptures speak of Christ. And Christ believers on this earth are imperfect and broken vessels which contain Him as He does the filling.
The Truth has absolutely and positively nothing to do with what *I* can do with my flesh or what *I* can know with my mind. The Truth is Christ, it is about Him. The Truth is about Who He is, Who He represents, and what He does.
“…we are having the deliverance, the pardon of sins, Who is the Image of the invisible God, Firstborn of every creature, for in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him, and He is before all, and all has its cohesion in Him. And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia [those called out to believe in Him now], Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from among the dead, that in all He may be becoming first, for in Him the entire complement [of God] delights to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens.” (Colossians 1:14-20)
HE holds us. We do not hold Him.
In His arms and in His will…