Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
– Psalms 119:115
All classes, however fallen, however sin-stained, have the law of God as their guide, and his word as their instructor. They may be sanctified through the truth, and received as sons and daughters of the Most High. But “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. 8:7. The multitudes do not love righteousness, and they are building on the sand.
Many who profess Christ do not love the law of God. If they dared, they would speak out their enmity against it in no mild terms. They have a surface religion, and that is all they desire. Some are deceptive and untrustworthy in deal, and will break pledges and contracts. Covetousness, intemperance, and impurity abound, and money is squandered for tobacco and other similar indulgences.
There are many who attend church, and hear the truth spoken; they see the claims of God; but they have some pet indulgence which they will not give up,–something which prevents them from judging candidly and wisely between the things of time and those of eternity. It makes little difference what this is, so long as it separates the soul from God.
But God is not to be trifled with. We can make no selfish bargain with him; we can cling to no sin if we would retain his favor. Those who are building on the Rock Christ Jesus, will follow none of the pernicious practises of the worldly or of world-loving church-members, but will search the Bible for themselves. God has given men reasoning powers for this purpose, that they may weigh evidence, and decide what is truth. No man’s assertions can be taken on trust. The question is, What does the Lord say? His, “Thou shalt” and, “Thou shalt not,” must be obeyed.
Thoroughness is necessary to success in the work of character building. There must be an earnest purpose to carry out the plan of the Master Builder. The timbers used must be solid; and no careless, unreliable work can be accepted; it would ruin the building.
The whole being is to be put into this work. It demands the strength and energy of manhood; there is no reserve to be wasted in unimportant matters. There must be determined human force put into the work, co-operating with the divine. There must be earnest, careful, persevering effort to break away from the customs, maxims, and associations of the world. Deep thought, earnest purpose, steadfast integrity, are essential.
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