Fourthly, world conformity enters the picture here. Believers still have a desire for the things of the world under the cover and pretense that they are lawful, necessary, and fitting – even though the real motive is love for the world. The world and the spirit are enemies, and the one is always intent on expelling the other; they are a mutual impediment to each other, and therefore we must either fully yield to the world, or must yield fully and entirely to grace. As long as we halt between two opinions, and as long as we attempt to join together Christ and Belial, so long shall we make no progress. A bird which as been fastened to the earth will fall back to the earth when it wants to fly upward. Thus, he who wishes to fly heavenward must divorce himself from the world.
Wilhelmus A. Brakel, A Christian’s Reasonable Service Vol 4
But, sir, is the bare observing and doing of these things sufficient for keeping of this commandment perfectly?
Oh no! The first commandment must be understood in all the rest, that is, the obedience to the first commandment must be the motive and final cause of our obedience to the rest of the commandments, otherwise it is not the worship of God, but hypocrisy, as I touched before; wherefore, neighbour Nomologista, though you have done all the duties the Lord requires in this commandment, and avoided all the sins which he forbids, yet, if all this has been from such grounds, and to such ends, as I told you of in the conclusion of the second commandment, and not for the love you bear to God, and the desire you have to please him, you come short of keeping this commandment perfectly.
Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity
Having ascribed glory to God, which is his due, Psalm 29:2 we must next take shame to ourselves, which is our due, and humble ourselves before him in the sense of our own sinfulness and vileness; and herein also we must give glory to him, Joshua 7:19 as our Judge, by whom we deserve to be condemned, and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and absolved.
In this part of our work, we must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God and to be ashamed of ourselves when we come into his presence and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness and obnoxious to his justice.
August 21, 2020 | Categories: Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, devotionals, favorite authors, Matthew Henry, Method for Prayer, quotes, recommended reading, recommended resources | Leave a comment
Anyone who comes to grips with the issues raised in The Marrow of Modern Divinity will almost certainly grow by leaps and bounds in understanding three things: the grace of God, the Christian life, and the very nature of the gospel itself. I personally owe it a huge debt.