Can You Guess the Sermonizer?


Can You Guess the Sermonizer?

EPHESIANS iv. 23, 24. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put ye on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

This text is exceedingly valuable to us for it tells us the end and aim of all religion. It tells us why we are to pray, whether at home or in church; why we are to read our Bibles and good books; why we are to be what is commonly called religious.

It tells us, I say, the end and aim of all religion; namely, that we may put on 'the new man, which after God'—according to the likeness of God—'is created in righteousness and true holiness.' So says St. Paul in another place: 'Be ye therefore followers'—literally, copiers, imitators—'of God, as dear children.'

Now this is not what you will be told from too many pulpits, and in too many books, now-a-days, is the end of religion. You will be told that the end of religion is to save your soul, and go to heaven.

But experience shows, my friends, in all religions and in all ages, that those who make it their first object in life to save their souls, are but too likely to lose them; as our Lord says, He that saveth his soul, or life—for the words are the same in Scripture—shall lose it.

And experience shows that in all religions, and in all ages, those who make it their first object in life to get to heaven, are but too likely never to get there: because in their haste, they forget what heaven is, and what is the only way of arriving at it.

Good works, as they call the likeness of God and the Divine life, are in too many persons' eyes only fruits of faith, or proofs of faith, and not the very end of faith, and of religion—ay, of their very existence here on earth; and therefore they naturally begin to ask,— How few good works will be enough to prove their faith? And when a man has once set that question before himself, he is sure to find a comfortable answer, and to discover that very few good works indeed,— a very little sanctification (as it is called), a very little righteousness, and a very little holiness,—will be enough to save his soul, as far at least as he wishes his soul to be saved.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 1, 2003 3:36 PM.

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Part II: Guess the Sermonizer is the next entry in this blog.

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