Tag Archives: Christian

An almost Christian

James Smith, “The Way of Salvation Set Forth”

“Then Agrippa said to Paul: You almost persuade me to become a Christian!” Acts 26:28

There are many who conclude that they are Christians, because they have been enlightened to see something of their state, danger, and deserved doom. But many are only lighted to Hell, for light in the mind–is not life in the soul. Hebrews 6:4, 10:20.

A person may be awakened to feel, to tremble, to desire salvation–as did Felix and Balaam, Acts 24:25, Numbers 23:10.

He may be reformed, and turn from open profanity to strict morality–as did some in Peter’s day, 2 Peter 2:20.

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Our lives should be New Testament pages that all can read!

(J.R. Miller)

“Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

Unbelievers do not read the Bible, nor come to church to hear the gospel message. All that they learn about Christ and the Christian life–they must learn from those who bear Christ’s name and represent Him–as they view our character.

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You have only just begun!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

Dear friend,

You say that you cannot live up to the things you read in the Bible and in Christian books. I know of no one who can do so. The Bible sets before us very lofty ideals–so lofty that we cannot reach them in a day or a month or in twenty-five years. So long as you may live, and if you spend every year in striving toward the best things–you will still find that you have not fully attained them.

Paul was a great deal better Christian than most of us, and he said, when he was quite an old man, that he was not yet perfect–but was still striving after the things which he wished to attain. We never measure up to our ideals. We never are so holy any day, as we intend to be in the morning when we set out.

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Steep, craggy, and beset with foes!

(Newman Hall, “Follow Jesus”)

There are many variations in the Christian’s path. Sometimes it is smooth and flowery, with sunny slopes, and sylvan shades, and prospects which entrance the soul with loveliness. There are seasons when no doubts perplex the spirit, and when our circumstances in life are in harmony with duty, so that the right path is an easy path.

But this is the exception.

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An honest heathen–or a fake Christian?

(George Swinnock)
He who seems to be righteous toward men, but is
impious towards God–is but an honest heathen!
He who seems to be pious towards God, but is
unrighteous toward men–is but a fake Christian!

Photo by Dimitri Sokolenko

It will be hard to remove the scar!

(Charles Orr, “Divine Realities”)
“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity!” 1 Timothy 4:12
It is a serious thing to live!

The book of our life is not the making of our own character and destiny only–but it is also helping to make that of others.
There is a wondrous power in personal influence. Your life is helping to mold some other life–and often the one that is dearest to you. What we are–goes to help make another what they are. What we are–engraves itself upon the life of our friend or family. The conduct of the parents–is being written in the lives of the children!

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All the sins of the saints!

“We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and
all the desertions, and
all the oppressions, and
all the oppositions, and
all the persecutions

which befall a godly man–shall work for his good.

Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease–
which befall the holy man–shall work for his good.

Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every stratagem,
and every enterprise of Satan against the holy man–shall work for his good.

They shall all help to make him . . .

more humble,
  more holy,
  more heavenly,
  more spiritual,
  more faithful,
  more fruitful,
  more watchful.

Every prosperity–and every adversity,
every storm–and every calm,
every bitter–and every sweet,
every cross–and every comfort,
shall work for the holy man’s good.

When God gives a mercy–that shall work for his good.

When God takes away a mercy–that shall work for his good.

Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of the saints shall work for their good. Oh . . .

  the care,
  the fear,
  the watchfulness,
  the tenderness,
  the zeal–

which God raises in the souls of His saints by their very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the detestation–which God raises in the hearts of His children against sin–by their very falling into sin!

Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ’s grace–
are saints led to, by their very falls!

It is the glory of God’s holiness, that . . .

He can turn spiritual diseases–into holy remedies!
  He can turn soul poisons–into heavenly cordials!
  He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!
O Christian!

What though friends and relations frown upon you,
what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you,
what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you, what though men rage, and devils roar against you,
what though sickness is devastating your family,
what though death stands every day at your elbow–
yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing, in all the afflictions and tribulations which come upon you–considering that they shall all work for your good.

O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid–that you do not run so often as you should–to the breasts of this promise, nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would yield, and that your several cases may require: “We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition of God’s people calls for the strongest cordials, and the choicest and the sweetest comforts.