THE TRUE CHRISTIAN CANNOT AND WILL NOT CONTINUE IN A KNOWN COURSE OF SIN
Truth wrapped up in vague, general declaration is the sword in the scabbard which, as it wounds no conscience, so it pierces no error. Clear, plain, positive statements of divine truth are the two-edged sword which pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. This naked sword discovers the foundations of error unto the neck…
Much that passes for union in a church is merely natural feeling of friendship and regard as worshippers in the same place, and as from time to time brought together in a kind of social religious intercourse. REAL SOUL UNION IS ONE OF THE RAREST THINGS IN THE WORLD. There may be much warm shaking of hands, kind enquiry’s, and friendly looks and expressions, a few words about the sermon or general soul matters, where the Holy Ghost has neither given spiritual life nor cemented spiritual union…
Another prominent evil is the loose Antinomian spirit so widely prevalent in Calvinistic churches. This denial of practical godliness appears under a resting upon mere doctrinal truth in vain confidence of interest therein, without any vital experience of its liberating power or sanctifying effects manifest in the walk and life. Books, periodicals, and sermons are coming continually under our eye, sound in letter of truth, in which there is not the faintest attempt to enforce vital, practical godliness, either in its experience in the heart or in its influence on the life.
The highest doctrine is set forth in the most decided unflinching way; free will so called, is chased over hill and dale; the Arminians and Pharisees, soundly rated as the most weak and foolish of men, and shouts of victory are pealed forth to the triumph of sovereign grace. But there it begins and ends. A little shallow experience may be named; but of fruit, inward or outward, a godly life, a Christian walk, not a syllable.
Is fruit generally insisted upon as the mark of union with Christ?
Such fruits as self-denial, crucifixion of the flesh with its affections and lusts; laboring to know and do the will of God; repentance and godly sorrow for sin; mourning and sighing over a backsliding heart; a prayerful meditative spirit, and that sweet spirituality of mind which is life and peace – are not these vital realities positively ignored and not even named, much less insisted upon?
It would almost seem, from the general neglect of enforcement upon believers practical godliness, as if the elect might do anything they liked, and that we are saved not FROM SIN, but IN SIN; delivered from the curse of the law, not to walk in obedience of the gospel, but almost to do any abomination in which the carnal mind delights! (Jeremiah 7:10)
“To hope to be delivered by Christ while continuing in a known course of sin is one of the greatest delusions of the Devil!” [A.W. Pink]