“They profess to know God — but in works they deny Him.” Titus 1:16
There is a profession of a special kind, which, in its own nature, is exposed to reproach in the world: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
There is a being in Christ and not living godly; for there are branches in the vine by profession, which bring forth no fruit — men who have not in them the mind which was in Christ Jesus — that mind which is sure to awaken the opposition of a carnal world. But they that will live godly, that is, engage in a profession which shall, on all occasions and in all instances, manifest the power of it — they shall suffer persecution.
We see many every day keep up a profession — but such a profession as will not provoke the world. Now, this is to be ashamed of the Author of it. No man can put Jesus Christ to greater shame than by professing the gospel without showing the power of it (Philippians 3:18, Titus 1:16). There can be no more vile and sordid hypocrisy than for any to pretend unto inward, habitual sanctification, while their lives are barren in the fruits of righteousness and obedience.
Reader! Of all dangers in profession, beware of a customary, traditional, or doctrinal owning of gospel truths, without an experimental acquaintance with the reality and efficacy of them; lest, after all, your hopes and pretensions, you should have your portion where are “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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