Godly living

Daily Reading for November 15 • Francis Asbury, 1816, and George Whitefield, 1770, Evangelists

Let us consider what it is to live godly in Christ Jesus. This supposes that we are made the righteousness of God in Christ, that we are born again, and are one with Christ by a living faith, and a vital union, even as Jesus Christ and the Father are One. Unless we are thus converted, and transformed by the renewing of our minds, we cannot properly be said to be in Christ, much less to live godly in him. To be in Christ merely by baptism, and an outward profession, is not to be in Him in the strict sense of the word: no; “They that are in Christ, are new creatures; old things are passed away, and all things are become new” in their hearts. Their life is hid with Christ in God; their souls daily feed on the invisible realities of another world. To “live godly in Christ,” is to make the divine will, and not our own, the sole principle of all our thoughts, words, and actions; so that, “whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, we do all to the glory of God.” Those who live godly in Christ, may not so much be said to live, as Christ to live in them: He is their Alpha and Omega, their first and last, their beginning and end. They are led by his Spirit, as a child is led by the hand of its father; and are willing to follow the Lamb withersoever he leads them. They hear, know, and obey his voice. Their affections are set on things above; their hopes are full of immortality; their citizenship is in heaven. Being born again of God, they habitually live to, and daily walk with, God. They are pure in heart; and, from a principle of faith in Christ, are holy in all manner of conversation and godliness.

This is to “live godly in Christ Jesus”: and hence we may easily learn, why so few suffer persecution? Because, so few live godly in Christ Jesus. You may live formally in Christ, you may attend on outward duties; you may live morally in Christ, you may (as they term it) do no one any harm, and avoid persecution: but they “that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.”

From “Persecution every Christian’s Lot,” Sermon 55, by George Whitefield; found at http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/Whitefield.html

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