"ONLY let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ." - Phil. I. 27
THIS exhortation to the Philippian church, is equally applicable to the children of the kingdom of Jesus Christ to the end of time. With a singleness of heart and purpose, it becomes all the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ to walk worthy the vocation wherewith they are called of God. We know that it has frequently been slandersously reported of the saints of God that they say, Let us sin, that grace may abound; and is it becoming those who bear the name of Jesus to give the least currency to this calumny, by the careless indifference in regard to our daily deportment? God has called us unto holiness, and if we have passed from death unto life, we cannot live comfortably in the indulgence of sin. Perhaps no greater reproach can be inflicted on the cause of truth, than for men of corrupt minds and licentious habits to embrace the profession of it. Their unrighteous course is frequently brought forward by the enemy, to the deep mortification of the children of God, and urged as the legitimate consequence of adhering to the doctrine which we profess. The church of God is bound to maintain a strict discipline over her members, and every individual member is bound to watch over his deportment, and not suffer sin to rest on any brother unreproved. Every soul that has been taught of God, knows that the true tendency of the doctrine which we profess is to swell the heart with love and gratitude to God as the Author of our salvation. To contemplate the eternal, discriminating and invincible love of God towards us, without feeling our souls drawn out in fervent desire to glorify, love, bless, adore and praise that Savior who hath loved us and given himself for us, would be a strange thing indeed. It does not require that we should live under the false impression that our final acceptance with God depends on our works, in order to impel us to action.
Not by the terrors of a slave
Do we perform his will;
But with the noblest powers we have,
His sweet commands fulfill.
Men who profess our faith have no claims on our fellowship while their faith is dead; and that faith which does not produce a conformity to the laws of Jesus, is dead, being alone.
While we as a people reject works as a ground of acceptance with God, we are bound also to reject that description of faith, in whatever form it may be presented, which does not dictate to us a correspondence between our profession and our conversation or practice.
New Vernon, NY,
Sept. 1, 1843
Elder Gilbert Beebe