We must labor to do good to our children even from their earliest years. If Satan begins so early to do them harm, we must not be behind him in diligence to lead them to God. How soon in life a child becomes responsible and accountable, is a difficult question to solve.
The man who hears the word of God, and does it, is the true Christian. He hears the call of God to repent and be converted, and he obeys it. He ceases to do evil, and learns to do well. He puts off the old man, and puts on the new. He hears the call of God to believe on Jesus Christ for justification, and he obeys it.
Let us search and try our hearts with honest self-examination, and seek to find out whether there is any real work of the Holy Spirit in our inward man. Far be it from me to encourage the slightest approach to hypocrisy, self-conceit, and fanaticism.
What you think now about the cross of Christ, I cannot tell; but I can wish you nothing better than this,—that you may be able to say with the apostle Paul, before you die or meet the Lord, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”(Gal. 6:14)
Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers, like John the Baptist, in these latter days. A morbid dislike to strong language – an excessive fear of giving offence, a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking –are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit.
“When a professing Christian coolly tells me that he has got beyond such hymns as Just As I Am, and that they are ‘below his present experience’, though they suited him when he first took up Christianity, I must think his soul is in a very unhealthy state!”
I pity those who try to be holy without Christ! Your labor is all in vain. You are putting money in a bag with holes. You are pouring water into a sieve. You are rolling a huge round stone uphill. You are building up a wall with untempered mortar. Believe me, you are beginning at the wrong end. You must come to Christ first, and He shall give you His sanctifying Spirit. You must learn to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
It is by faith, simple faith in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, that people’s souls are made free. It is by receiving Christ, trusting Christ, committing ourselves to Christ, placing our whole weight on Christ–it is by this, and by no other plan, that spiritual liberty is made our own.