“FIXED AS A PRINCIPLE!”
PRE-AMBLE by Robert
How many realize and see themselves as a traveller moving through the world as a Pilgrim journeying through this life to our final destination and new eternal life. We recognize ourselves as citizens of a particular area but miss out on the truth; our spiritual journey makes us travellers.
Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his disciples in very unlikely places. We should study to do good to those we come into company with by travelling. We should not be so shy of all strangers. As to those of whom we know nothing else, we know this, they have souls.
Now, realizing we are spiritually journeying through this world and are residence within an area, we should understand Yeshua sees us as travellers and opens multiple doors of opportunities to share with those strangers brought into our lives as fellow travellers.
Here is where the gained knowledge these strangers have souls becomes our opportunity to fill up every minute with something which will turn to a good account.
Those who seek the truth and employ their time in searching the Scriptures will be sure to reap advantages. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it “ fixed as a principle” in our hearts.
When the inquirer after salvation becomes acquainted with Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and his gospel, he will go on his way rejoicing, fill up his station in society, and discharge his duties, from other motives in another manner than heretofore. Though baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it is not enough without the baptism of the Holy Ghost with water. Lord, grant this to every one of us; then shall we go on our way rejoicing.
We are about to read about how not to walk and the result of how this evil works in the hearts of those who walk unwittingly in the world ?
We may take encouragement from this example in praying to God to give the renewing graces of the Holy Ghost to all for whose spiritual welfare we are concerned, for that includes all blessings.
No man can give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of his hands, but we should use our best endeavours to instruct those for whom we pray. Simon Magus was ambitious to have the honour of an apostle but cared not at all to have the spirit and disposition of a Christian.
He was more desirous to gain honour to himself than to do good to others. Peter shows him his crime. He esteemed the wealth of this world, as if it would answer for things relating to the other life, and would purchase the pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life.
This was such a condemning error as it could by no means consist of a state of grace. Our hearts are what they are in the sight of God, who cannot be deceived. And if they are not right in his sight, our religion is vain and will stand us in no stead.
A proud and covetous heart cannot be right with God. It is possible for a man to continue under the power of sin, yet to put on a form of godliness. When tempted with money to do evil, see what perishing thing money is, and scorn it.
Do not think Christianity is a trade to live by in this world. There is much wickedness in the heart’s thought, false notions, corrupt affections, and wicked projects, which must be repented of, or we are undone. But it shall be forgiven, upon our repentance.
The doubt here would be of the sincerity of Simon’s repentance, not of his pardon if his repentance was sincere. Grant us, Lord, another sort of faith than that which made Simon wonder only, and did not sanctify his heart.
May we abhor all thoughts of making religion serve the purposes of pride or ambition. And keep us from that subtle poison of spiritual pride, which seeks glory to itself even from humility.
May we seek only the honour which cometh from God. Peace with men of all sects and parties will be favourable to our pursuit of holiness. But peace and holiness go together; there cannot be peace without holiness.
Where persons fail in having the true grace of God, corruption will prevail and break forth. Beware lest any unmortified lust in the heart, which seems to be dead, should spring up, to trouble and corrupt the whole body.
Falling away from Christ is the fruit of preferring the flesh’s delights to the blessing of God, and the heavenly inheritance, as Esau did. But sinners will not always have such mean thoughts of the Divine blessing and inheritance as they now have.
It agrees with the profane man’s disposition, to desire the blessing, yet to despise the means whereby the blessing is to be gained.
But God will neither sever the means from the blessing nor join the blessing with the satisfying of man’s lusts. God’s mercy and blessing were never sought carefully and not obtained.
Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable that they pollute and poison the hearers.
Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God’s glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money, places that hope, confidence, and delight in worldly good, which should only be in God.
Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God’s wrath is turned away.
Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Like men in the dark, sinners are going they know not where, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness.
These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast, for the end in destroying the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting or taking part in others’ sins, by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment.
And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do.
We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God’s holy law.
After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin to wake up and that Christ may give them light.
Many shall be brought into the church, even from far countries. Christ is always ready to receive all who come to him, and the gate of mercy is always open night and day. All that is about the church shall be made serviceable to it. But those who will not be subject to Christ’s golden sceptre, to his word and Spirit, who will not be kept by the laws and rules of his family, shall be broken in pieces by his iron rod.
Most of mankind do not consider the things of another world at all, because they are asleep; or they do not consider them aright because they sleep and dream. Our moderation as to all earthly things should be known to all men.
Shall Christians, who have the light of the blessed gospel shining in their faces, be careless about their souls and unmindful of another world? We need the spiritual armour, or the three Christian graces, Faith, Love, and Hope.
Faith : if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see the reason to watch and be sober.
True and fervent Love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober.
If we have, Hope of salvation, let us take heed of anything that would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground on which to build unshaken hope when we consider that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and ransom our souls.
We should join in prayer and praise one another. We should set a good example one before another, which is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus, we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live forever.