Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:2.
“We must be careful to follow neither the customs of the world nor our own reason or plausible theories. We must constantly subdue our disposition and control our will, not obeying the dictates of reason and desire.
“The real distinction of Lutheranism, as a practical system of truth, is its declaration and strong emphasis of the doctrine of justification by faith, or the truth that salvation is not something to be wrought out, but a gift freely bestowed on all who will take it from Christ.
“The great Lutheran doctrine, is that men “are justified gratuitously for Christ’s sake through faith when they believe that they are received into favor; and that their sins are remitted for the sake of Christ.
Only when men refuse to compare Scripture with Scripture and to read the mind of the Spirit in the complete revelation of the one truth unto salvation, could they fall upon the cheerless and forbidding thought, that the God of love created some men to an inevitable doom of death and endless misery, and that Christ was sent to be the cause of their destruction, as He was sent to be the cause of life and salvation to others more favored of God.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Psalm 19:12
…While we insist upon it that not every error is fatal, we wish to guard against the misconception, or false conclusion, according to which it is forthwith pronounced indifferent.
Fatal or indifferent are not the only alternatives. No sin in practice is indifferent, yet our hopes were indeed vain, if all were absolutely fatal.
Every sin in doctrine is dangerous, whether fundamental or not.
“On what do you rest the foundation of your faith?”
“Paleario, a man that was born about the year 1500, a man who was one of the greatest martyrs of his day. When he was asked the question, On what do you rest the foundation of your faith, three times he gave the three-fold answer, “On Christ; on Christ; on Christ.”
“He wrote against the darkness of his age until they said, “If you do not stop we will put you in prison.
“Life is not a game. It is not a field merely for selfish uses, limited by worldly ends, as though it were only of this earth that abideth forever. It is an arena for noble effort; it is a school for our immortal faculties; it is a training of holiness and preparation for heaven. It is an opportunity for us, not merely to get, but to attain, not simply to have, but to be.
“The great fact to be considered is not our lot in life, but what we make out of it. Let us, then, each accept the lot assigned us, simply to do the best we can in it and with it.
“Wait not, then, for great occasions. The present moment, and the mite you can contribute as it passes, are your all. For, rightly viewed, what is the present moment but the index on the dial-plate, forever moving, till it makes up your whole life!
“Nowhere in Scripture is there any intimation given that it could be pleasing to God, or even excusable in His sight, to yield any portion of the revealed truth to satisfy the desires of men who object to it. On the contrary the Scriptural requirement is first and chief that Christian people stand fast in the Christian faith, and beware of false prophets, who would lead them away from the truth and ultimately from the Savior, who is the way and the truth and the life.
“The view of Jesus as a man of sorrows shows us that seriousness, sorrow, even sadness, is suitable to our condition as fallen and sinful beings. In the experience of life we find that in all genuine happiness there is an element of sorrow. Sorrow for the suffering of others, sorrow for the sins of others, most of all for our own. Is that a preventive of peace?
“Is there not in the happiest a vein of sadness, and are they not happier for it?
“A kind of notion has come through false teachers, all over the world, that there is a great eternal progress beyond this life, and that no difference how we live, nor how we die, away out beyond the grave somewhere, sometime, we are going to reach the perfection of God Himself, and it is by the false lie that the devil has planted into the hearts of the people that hundreds and thousands are going down to hell day after day.