Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Marked Difference

Dear Brethren, it is to be feared that many of us are not separated enough from the world. God intends the difference to be very marked; he would have the line between the church and the world drawn very clearly. I could wish to obliterate for ever the unhappy and artificial distinction which is constantly made between sacred and secular, for a world of mischief has come out of it. The truth is that a real Christian may be known by this, that to him everything secular is sacred, and the commonest matters are holiness unto the Lord. I do not believe in the religion which only lifts its head above water on Sunday, and confines itself to praying and preaching and carrying hymn books about: we must have a religion which gives a true yard when it is measuring its calicoes, a religion which weighs a true pound when it is dealing out shop goods, a religion which scorns to puff and lie, and take advantage of a gullible public, a religion which is true, upright, chaste, kind, and unselfish.

Give me a man who would not lie if all the whole earth or heaven itself were to be won thereby. We need among professed Christians a high morality; nay, far more, we need unsullied holiness. O, Holy Spirit, work it in us all! As we have often said, holiness means wholeness of character in contradistinction to the cultivation of some few virtues and the neglect of others. Oh that we were like the Lord in this, that we loved only that which is right, and abhorred that which is evil; that we kept along the straight and narrow path, and could not be decoyed from it, fearing not the frown of man nor courting his smile, but resolved as God lives in us that we will live in our daily actions according to his will. This would make Christians to be indeed a separated people, and this is precisely what their God would have them to be.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Solomon's Plea," delivered May 2, 1875. Image by Eric Bryan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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