by J.D. Jones

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The Place of Christian Experience in Christian Thinking (3 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
J.D. Jones
1 Corinthians 2:14

No one can read the First Epistle of St. John without noticing how passionate and vehement he is in his denunciation of the heresy of those teachers who denied that Jesus was the Christ. That heresy, in the apostle's view of it, was the ultimate falsity, and meant the total subversion and destruction of Christianity. But apparently the apostle never imagined that this heresy would spread and submerge the faith. Over against the criticisms and negations of the Gnostics, he set the spiritual experience of the Christian man. 'We have an anointing from the Holy One,' he wrote, 'and we all know.' The Gnostic leaders might conjure up what difficulties they pleased, the Divine power of Christ was not a matter of theory or speculation to the plain Christian folk to whom John addressed his letter; it was an assured fact of their own experience-they had received the anointing from the Holy One and they all knew. These heretical teachers who plumed and prided themselves on their superior cleverness, who by their very name professed to be the 'knowing people,' were incompetent to judge upon a question like this. They had not the necessary equipment for it. It lay clean outside their sphere of knowledge. The humblest believer in Ephesus who had had personal experience of Christ possessed an authority of judgment upon a question like this to which the subtlest Gnostic could lay no claim. For knowledge of Christian truth is not merely intellectual; it is experimental. It is they who have received the anointing from the Holy One who really know. It is upon this great contention of the apostle John that I want to speak briefly. My theme is: the place of Christian experience in the testing of Christian truth.

I have taken as my text, not that great word of the apostle John's which I have already quoted, but an equally great and striking word of the ...

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