the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Be ye transformed.”
As the pious Jew presented a bullock or a lamb upon the altar, so consecrate ye your whole selves unto the Lord, to live and to die for him. This is his due, and ought to be rendered to him.
Mark well that the only way to escape being conformed to the world is to be transformed. The customs of society will lead us away unless the grace of God rules in us with divine power. We are set to prove to the world what the mind of God is: may we have grace to accomplish our mission.
Paul writes at full length upon the doctrines, but he is very concise and pithy upon the precepts, for things of daily practice need to be short and easy of remembrance. Let us learn each one of these weighty sentences by heart and put them all in practice.
Some people will quarrel, and it is barely possible to keep upon good terms with them. In their case we must do our best, and if after all, we cannot live peaceably with them, it will be fortunate for us if we can move off and live without them.
It is recorded of a Chinese emperor that, on being informed that his enemies had raised an insurrection in one of his distant provinces, he said to his officers, “Come, follow me; and we will quickly destroy them.” He marched forward, and the rebels submitted upon his approach. All now thought that he would take the most signal revenge, but were surprised to see the captives treated with mildness and humanity. “How!” cried the first minister, “is this the manner in which you fulfil your promise? Your royal word was given that your enemies should be destroyed; and behold! you. have pardoned them all, and even caressed some of them.” “I promised,” replied the emperor, with a generous air, “to destroy my enemies. I have fulfilled my word; for see, they are enemies no longer: I have made friends of them” This is a fit example for the Christian.
Forget not thou hast often sinned,
And sinful yet must be:
Deal gently with the erring one,
As God has dealt with thee.
“Why dost thou judge thy brother?”
Receive the weak but sincere believer into fellowship, but do not at once commence discussing knotty points with him, or quarrel with him upon matters of no importance.
Matters of meat and drink are to be left to Christian liberty, and no one has any right to dictate to another how he shall act. It is, however, a good rule ”in all cases of doubt be sure to take the surer side.”
Some kept the Jewish festivals and some did not.
No true Christian lives to himself, and therefore as he lives to God we have no right to judge his course of action.
Romans 14:8 , Romans 14:9
The very design of our Lord’s work is to make us live unto him and not as the servants of our fellow men; we are therefore very wrong when we attempt to make our brethren the servants of our opinions and ideas. Let us leave them to serve the Lord as their consciences teach them.
We must not violate our conscience. We may not do what we believe to be wrong because we see others do it. We must neither judge them nor excuse ourselves.
You have liberty to do as you please, but do not use that liberty if it would be mischievous to your brother in Christ. If your action, though right in itself, would have a tendency to destroy his soul, deny yourself for love’s sake.
Do you feel quite sure upon such matters?
Keep it within thine own bosom, but do not worry others with it.
And he that doubteth is damned or rather condemned
If you are not sure that a thing is right, let it alone, for it will be sin to you.