Tuesday, June 3, 2008

True belief, true discipleship

Portugal Sunset

Probably there are numbers in this assembly to whom the Christian religion has always been a subject of respectful interest; they have never blasphemed the name of Christ; they have not doubted the inspiration of Scripture; nay, they have studied God’s Word; they have given a degree of attention to its doctrines, and they intend yet more fully to examine its revelations. How pleasant and hopeful are such marks of interest, but how far are many of these enquirers from true discipleship for their unhumbled hearts are not obedient to the dictates of the gospel; the cross is to them, too heavy a load to carry; they have not made up their minds to wear “Christ’s yoke;” they had rather see his holiness and see his disciples imitate him, than themselves take up the cross daily and follow him.

My hearers, allow me to remind you very solemnly, that a speculative religion which has curiosity as its impulse, a search after knowledge as its rule, and self-esteem as its root, can never save the soul. It is not for you to criticise, but to repent; it is not for you to judge, but to believe; it is not for you to admire, but to obey; it is not for you to praise and applaud, but cheerfully to bow your necks to imitate and follow Christ. Nothing short of a religion which subjects us to personal service of Christ, which gives us a new heart and a right spirit, and compels us to feel that we are not our own, but bought with a price - nothing short of this will ever give lasting peace of mind, or bring us to the place where we shall see the face of God
with delight.

From a sermon entitled "Christ's Servant - His Duty, And Reward," delivered August 3, 1862. Flickr photo by Francisco Antunes; some rights reserved.

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