Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. -Acts 20:28
Brethren, we as a church have grown to great numbers, and we are not deficient either in gifts or in graces, or in work for our Lord; but let me solemnly remind you always that our chief, our only strength, must always lie in this-“the Lord is there.” If the Lord should depart from us, as He has gone from churches which are now apostate, what an abyss opens before us! If He should take His Holy Spirit from us, even as the glory departed from the temple at Jerusalem, then our ruin would become a thing to mention with dread, a case to be quoted for a warning to future generations. O Lord, our God, take not Thy flight! Abide with us, we pray Thee! Our only hope lies in Thy making the place of Thy feet glorious among us.
If the Lord be among us, the consequences will be…the conservation of true doctrine. The true God is not with a lie: He will not give His countenance to falsehood. Those who preach other than according to His word, abide not under His blessing; but are in great danger of His curse. If any man speak another gospel (which is not another, but there be some that trouble us), God is not with him, and any transient prosperity which he may enjoy, will be blown away as the chaff. God is with those who speak the truth faithfully, hold it devoutly, believe it firmly, and live upon it as their daily bread…and therefore they are sound in the faith, reverent towards Holy Scripture, and zealous for the honor of Christ! Trust-deeds and confessions of faith are useful in their way, even as laws are useful to society; but as laws cannot secure obedience to themselves, so articles of belief cannot create faith, or secure honesty; and to men without conscience, they are not worth the paper they are written upon. No subscription to articles can keep out the unscrupulous. Wolves leap into the fold however carefully you watch the door…Truth must be written on the heart as well as in the book. If the Lord be among His people, they will cling to the eternal verities, and love the doctrine of the cross, not by force of law, but because divine truth is the life of their souls. ~ C.H. Spurgeon