Last Updated on : November 23, 2014

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Keeping In Memory
By Bro. George Gibson




Things to be kept in memory play an immesaurably important part in all phases of life. The success of any vocation, whether it be in the trades or professions, depends upon keeping in memory the fundamental principles upon which it was established. If a basic standard for measuring, regulating or guiding conduct or practice, is so essential in things pertaining to the affairs of this world, how transcendently greater it must be in things relating to the way of salvation? If we are open to conviction, this becomes self-evident as we read and study the Bible. In his letter to the Romans, Paul informs us that:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(Rom. 1:16).

Belief is, therefore only the first step, and by it the power of God is made available. But faith, says James, without works is dead. Therefore the power of God must be permitted to operate in our lives in order to bring about salvation. This could be likened to a new house which has been wired for electrical purposes, and connected with the source of electrical power; but the power is useless until a switch is operated, and the electricity is permitted to pass through the lamps and by this action a room is filled with light. This is not a striking analogy, but it possesses an analogous relationship which becomes obvious when we return to Paul, and the subject of the gospel, for he says --


"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain"

The keynote of Paul's statement is found in the phrase "keep in memory." The natural man requires no exhortation to keep in memory the things of this life because he is surrounded by everything that goes to make up what the Scriptures define as "the world," and they are ever before him. The things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus, are multi-fariously different: they are not outwardly visible. They are hidden in the history of the past, and concealed in the prophetic writings relating to the future. To bring them into the mind, in the first place, requires an effort generated by our own interest as to the outcome of life. If that interest is strong, we will turn to the Word of God and, through a diligent application of the mind to the divine ideas and principles revealed therein, we will become wise unto salvation through a faith which works by love.

At first, the believer may conclude that his efforts are over, and all he has to do is wait for the Kingdom of God to appear. But, alas, this is not true; and he discovers, like Paul, who said:

"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." (Rom. 7:21)

The things of the world begin to clamor for attention, and he becomes conscious of the fact that, although an effort was required to learn the Truth, an even greater effort is required to keep it in memory. If he becomes mentally exercised, and acutely conscious of the challenging problem facing him, he will recall that, among the things written for our instruction, there is none more appropriate than the instructions given to the people of Israel by Moses. First, he reminds them of their exalted position in relation to other members of the human race:

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deut. 4:7-8).

Then he warns them that it is vitally essential to keep certain things in memory --

Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; (Deut. 8:11-14).

The lesson is obvious. What people in all the earth occupy such a loft position as we do because of our belief and obedience of the Gospel -- Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise? Or, as Peter expresses it --


But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9).

To maintain such a relationship, there is something to be done, and much to be kept in memory. Israel did not forget that God existed but, because of their prosperity, their hearts were lifted up, and they failed to keep in memory all that God had done for them. They were so busy with the affairs of this life, they forgot how He had freed them from Egyptian bondage, and how He fed them with manna, and supplied them with water, while they were passing through the wilderness. In the letter to the Hebrews, the apostle reminds us of the similarity of our position when he says --


Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Heb. 4:1-2).

If it were possible for the people of Israel to forget God because of their prosperity, it is just as possible for us to do so. We, too, can forget our first love: that point in our lives when we discovered the great salvation revealed to us in God's Word. Our hearts seemed ready to burst with pent-up emotion when we became aware of the joyous comfort that settled upon us. Have we held fast this confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope, or have our hearts been lifted up because we have prospered, and built goodly houses in which to live? If that be true, then a lukewarmness has developed within us, without our being conscious of it, and all because we have failed to keep in memory certain things.

What will be our feelings in the day of resurrection when we discover that all of our personal possessions have perished, and the only element that is left is the character we have built up during our probation? If we have kept in memory the priceless heritage that has come into our possession through our belief and obedience of the gospel, and have done our very best to live a life of holiness by keeping ourselves separated from the pleasures of this life, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed when we stand before our great judge. If he bestows upon us the gift of God, what unspeakable joy will fill our hearts as we enter the kingdom of God clothed in a glorified nature, made equal unto the angels, having partaken of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.