Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Judas The Preacher!

"If you know these things--you are blessed if you do them." John 13:17

To obey the truth, and not to know it--is impossible.
To know the truth, and not obey it--is unprofitable.

For, "Not everyone who says unto me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven--but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven." Saving knowledge is not as the light of the moon--to sleep by; but as the light of the sun--to work by. It is not a loiterer in the market-place--but a laborer in the vineyard.

A man may be a great scholar--and yet be a great sinner. Judas the traitor--was Judas the preacher! The snake which has a pearl in its head--has poison in its body! The tree of knowledge has often been planted, and flourished--where the tree of life never grew! All abilities and gifts--without grace and holiness--are but like Uriah's letters, which were the death warrants of those who carried them!

Mere head knowledge will be as unhelpful to the soul, in the judgment day--as a painted fire is unhelpful to the frozen body, in a cold day. Theoretical knowledge may make the head giddy--but it will never make the heart holy. How many professors are there, who have light enough to know what should be done--but have not love enough to do what they know! Give me the Christian who perfectly sees the way he should go--and readily goes the way he sees!

That is barren ground--which brings forth no fruit. "To him who knows to do good, and does it not--to him it is sin." The sins of ignorance are most numerous--but the sins of knowledge are most dangerous! That sinner's darkness will be the greatest in hell--whose light was the clearest on earth!

There are many who set a crown of glory upon the head of Christ by a good profession, and yet put a crown of thorns upon his head by an evil conversation. By the words of our mouth--we may affect to adore religion; but it is by the works of our lives--that we adorn religion.

As trees without fruits are unprofitable--so knowledge without good works is abominable! Leah and Rachel are fit emblems of knowledge and obedience. Knowledge, like Rachel--is beautiful. But obedience, like Leah--is fruitful.

(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian" 1660)