Theology Still: Seven Cautions for Christians (#7)

Jeremiah Burroughs was a puritan pastor, a member of the Westminster Assembly, and a prolific writer who worked for both the purity and unity of the church. He was considered the "prince of preachers" a couple hundred years before that other guy got the title. This is one post of a seven part distillation of the main "rules" from Burroughs' sermon on Phil 1:27 preached March 8, 1645. You can find the sermon in Gospel Conversation (Amazon, or WTS Books)

Seven Cautions for Christians #7: Press On

"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ" Phil 1:27

Many Christians begin their life of faith strong, only to fade out in their effort and earnestness over the years. But, a life that reflects the beauty of the gospel presses on at the later stages with just as much or even more energy as it did at the start.

There is a difference between being comforted by grace, and growing comfortable with grace. The former is the fruit of the gospel as we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, established in Christ's righteousness, accepted by God, and strengthened by his Spirit. Sinners in a sinful world should find great comfort in the grace of God. Those who are comforted by Grace are those who hate sin, love righteousness, and follow Jesus. The latter is a presumption on grace. It is not a comfort from faith, but an exploitation of the faith. It is a boasting in grace that neither awes nor humbles a man. It does not encourage him to "work out" his salvation with fear and trembling, but to merely live as he is, or worse. Such a person loves of the idea of grace more than the glory of God.

Oh, give me a professor of religion who was wrought upon when he was a youth or a young maid and continues till they are old disciples in a constant way of holiness and strictness! Oh, they are the most beautiful objects there are in the world to behold! The sun in the firmament is not as glorious as an ancient professor of religion who has continued constant in the ways of godliness from his youth...

A life worthy of the gospel continues; it presses on, and grows in holiness. This is not the foundation of our confidence before God, but the fruit of our confidence that comes through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. A life worthy of the gospel is not perfect, but is persevering.

[You can find all the posts in this series with the tag 7-Cautions]