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Profiting from the Word Paperback – December 1, 1996
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Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the relationship between Scripture and various topics of the Bible. Pink then provides seven main points for each chapter, which illustrate either how the Word profits one’s reading, or what must be done in the life of a believer for the Word to profit him.
The first chapter focuses on how the believer may profit from the Word in relation to sin. It profits by convicting of sin, causing sorrow for sin, and leading to confession and deep hatred for sin. It also profits by teaching how to forsake sin, fortify against sin, and practice the opposite of sin. If these are true in the life of the believer, then Scripture is profiting them as intended by the Lord.
The second chapter focuses on profiting from the Word in relation to God. Pink describes how Scripture ought to form our understanding of God by showing how Scripture supernaturally reveals God (i.e. His holiness, omniscience, majesty) and causes the believer to love God and hate what He hates. Thus Scripture profits by providing a clearer recognition of God’s claims (to which the believer will submit), and by providing a greater fear of God’s majesty, a deeper reverence for God’s commands, a firm trust in God’s sufficiency, a fuller delight in God’s perfections, a larger submission to God’s providences, and a more fervent praise to God’s goodness. All of this cultivates the fear of God within our lives as we read the Word.
The third chapter focuses on Christ. Pink claims that the measure in which we profit from Scripture is dependent upon the preciousness of Christ in our hearts (pg. 34). Christ becomes precious to us as we study the Scripture. Thus the Scripture profits by revealing the reader’s need for Christ. Additionally, in order for the Word to profit, the reader must then continue to make Christ more real to him, and he must become more absorbed with Christ’s perfections; he must also have an increasing confidence in Christ, a deepening desire to please Christ, and a longing for the return of Christ.
The focus of chapter 4 is the Scripture and prayer. Scripture must guide our prayer, for we are commanded to pray in the Spirit, who is the author of the Scriptures. Our prayers must also be done in faith and for God’s honor. The Scripture profits the reader by revealing the deep importance of prayer, by teaching how to pray, by reminding us of our need of the Spirit’s help, and as the Spirit teaches us the right end in praying. Moreover, we profit from the Scripture when we’re taught how to plead God’s promises, and when we’re brought to complete submission to God, trusting Him to answer our prayers according to His wisdom. Finally, the Scriptures profit us when prayer becomes to us a real and deep joy.
Good works is the focus of chapter 5. The Word profits when the reader learns the true place, absolute necessity, and design of good works (the honor of God). Additionally, the Word profits by teaching the true nature of good works (in obedience, love, & honor to God, and love to one’s neighbor), the true source of good works (God: the Father, Son, & Spirit), the great importance of good works, and the true scope of good works (good works are not only service to God, but every other form of work done to worship the Lord and benefit mankind).
Christ requires obedience in this life, which is the focus of chapter 6. The reader profits from the Word when he realizes what God demands of him, and that he has sinfully failed to meet God’s demands. The profit continues, however, when the reader is taught of God’s grace in providing for His people’s meeting of His demands, and when we are given a love for God’s commands. Moreover, the Word profits a man when his heart and will are yielded to all of God’s commands, when the soul years for enabling grace to obey God’s commands, and when the believer already enjoys the rewards of obedience.
The next topic in chapter 7 is the Word and the World. Reading the Word profits when it reveals the true nature of the world as an enemy to be resisted and overcome. We also profit from it when we learn that Christ died to deliver us from the world, when our hearts are weaned from the world, and when we walk in separation from the world. As these things become true in our lives, the Word will also profit as we evoke hatred from the world, and when we are elevated above the world.
The promises of God reveal His love and grace so freely bestowed upon us. This is the topic of chapter 8. The Word profits by revealing to whom the promises belong: those who are in Christ. They also profit when those to whom they belong labor to make them their own, and when they recognize the scope of the promises. Additionally, the Word profits when the reader understands the conditions of certain promises, when the promises provide comfort and hope, when we patiently wait for the ultimate fulfillment of them, and when we make right use of them.
Scripture also profits by teaching us that joy is a duty we are commanded to do, which has great value as something we are blessed to experience in fellowship with God. Chapter 9 focuses on this topic of joy. Pink continues saying that Scripture profits when we cultivate joy by attending to its root (faith), avoid hindrances to joy, and preserve the balance between it and sorrow over sin in the world.
The final chapter focuses on Christian love toward one another. Scripture profits when we learn the biblical definition of love, and why it is so important in our lives. The Scripture also profits by teaching us how to rightfully exercise love, and how to cultivate love in our lives. Finally, it also profits by teaching us how love is perverted.
I believe chapter 2 (Scripture and God) should have been first. God is the Alpha, the Creator. In my opinion, God should be mentioned first when speaking of Scripture, because He ought to be our focus in everything. Pink explains his reason for discussing sin first, saying, “it is not until man is made thoroughly displeased with himself that he begins to aspire after God” (pg. 33). True, but we can't be thoroughly displeased with ourselves until we're aware of the awesome holiness of God. He also says, “We must be made conscious of our imperfections ere we can really appreciate the Divine perfections” (pg. 33). I do not believe we can be made conscious of our imperfections until after the Divine perfections are revealed to us. God is our standard of holiness. There is no way to know when we deviate from the standard unless we know the standard. Thus, I believe we cannot be displeased with ourselves until we understand God’s holiness. Indeed, Pink agrees on page 72, saying “no man can see what a sinner he is … until he has a clear sight of the exalted demands of God upon him!” Thus, I suggest a new order of chapters. By having chapter 1 about God, one is ready to see the wretchedness of one's sin in chapter 2; then one has the perfect foundation for a discussion on Christ in chapter 3, which is why Pink rightfully concludes, “as [one] learns something of God’s pressing claims upon him, and his own utter inability to meet them, he is prepared to hear and welcome the good news that Another has fully met those claims for all who are led to believe in Him” (pg. 33).
Overall, this was an excellent book!
Anyone who has ever read anything by Pink cannot help but see the characteristic depth and plethora of insights which one finds consistently in Puritan Christian literature.Mr.Pink's life and ministry continue to fascinate and interest many partly because its influence grew exponentially shortly after his death in 1952.
Profiting from the Word never appeared in book form while the writer was alive(which is true of most of his books).The articles originally appeared in the monthly magazine 'Studies In The Scriptures' started by Pink and I.C.Herendeen in 1922.There would be a series of articles from the past and present with Mr.Pink editing and contributing articles,many which would later be compiled and published as books by numerous publishers.What is also interesting is how many different publishers through the last 60 plus years have published some of his books.Profiting... first appeared in Studies... from 1930-1932.Some of the individual chapters were published as small booklets(by the Bible Trust Depot)in the mid to late 1950's.The Bottom Of The Hill Ed. was published in 2011.It first appeared as a book in 1970 by The Banner Of Truth and remains in print to this day.Mount Zion Publications(also known as Chapel Library)in Pensacola Florida has had the book in print since the late 1990's and copies have been distributed worldwide to prison inmates,Churches and individuals.
The author takes some major Christian teachings and seeks to help the reader evaluate if their reading of God's Word is producing increasing godliness in their lives.To give an example from the first chapter 'The Scriptures And Sin'-A few of the headings in this chapter are 1.An individual is scripturally profited when the Word convicts him of sin.2. ... makes him sorrow over sin.3. ...leads to confession of sin.4. ...produces in him a deeper hatred of sin.What A.W.Pink has creatively done,is to provide help for the reader to assess if their reading of the Bible is resulting in Biblical repentance.
Pink had an accurate pulse on what ailed the Churches in his day.In the chapter 'The Scriptures And Good Works' he writes "to lose sight of the inseparable connection which God has made between our justification and our sanctification:to suppose that one of these may exist without the other is to overthrow the whole Gospel." There was a significant segment of Christian Churches in the 20th century that were teaching this very thing(that there could in fact be such a thing as a carnal Christian-someone who was justified but was not being sanctified.They were living just as if they were not a believer but they had made a decision for Christ and accepted Him as their Savior,so they were eternally secure,no matter how they were living).
The book consists of ten chapters of about 10 pages each and is ideal for adult and High School level Sunday school or group Bible studies.May our Sovereign Lord be pleased to continue to widely use this gem for His glory and honor.
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I used this book for my Bible Study Class, and all the students loved it.
The contents of this book motivates you to love and study the word of God.