To the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. -Ephesians 1:6
Many people are honest because they are afraid of the policeman. Many are sober because they are afraid of the eye of the public. Many persons are seemingly religious because of their neighbours… I am bold to say, that if a man be destitute of the grace of God, his works are only works of slavery; he feels forced to do them. I know before I came into the liberty of the children of God, if I went to God’s house, I went because I thought I must do it; if I prayed, it was because I feared some misfortune would happen in the day if I did not; if I ever thanked God for a mercy, it was because I thought I should not get another if I were not thankful; if I performed a righteous deed, it was with the hope that very likely God would reward me at last, and I should be winning some crown in heaven…If I could have had my will, there would have been no chapel-going for me, no religion for me-I would have lived in the world and followed the ways of Satan, if I could have done as I pleased. As for righteousness, it was slavery; sin would have been my liberty. But now, Christian, what is your liberty? What makes you come to the house of God to day?
“Love made your willing feet
In swift obedience move.”
Ah! ye poor bondsmen who come to church and chapel because ye must; ah! ye poor slavish moralists that are honest because of the gyves, and sober because of the prison; ah! ye poor slaves! We are not so; we are not under the law, but under grace…we are freed from the law, but we are freed from it that we may obey it more than ever we did. The true-born child of God serves his Master more than ever he did. As old Erskine says:-
“Slight now His loving presence if they can;
No, no; His conquering kindness leads the van.
When everlasting love exerts the sway,
They judge themselves most kindly bound to obey;
Bound by redeeming love in stricter sense,
Than ever Adam was in innocence.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon