Neither our religious services, our “decision for Christ,” nor our “sacraments” validate our life before the sovereign God. Rather, the fruit, the life we lead after our religious services, after “receiving Christ,” after our sacraments, validates all of life.
Without works, there is no righteousness; without righteousness there are no saints; without saints there is no church, no “wife” and no marriage of the Lamb.
Of what use is it to our immortal souls if we have accepted Christ but not made ourselves acceptable to Christ?
Only “faith” that bears fruit in works is faith indeed (“in deed”).
Only if we rediscover the sacredly imposed humility of self-judgment does revitalization await us. Without it, no revitalization, no renewal, no reform is possible.
Of no importance to God whatsoever is your church’s alleged “distinctives” or “special effects,” but only its elevation of “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Why? “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” is the reason for your appearance in the universe in the first place, and your progression in it in the second place—that God might bequeath “many brethren,” including you, to His beloved Son, in the image of His Son, forever.
The “gross” (fat) heart is so lethal that many who call themselves Christians do not even know it exists, much less that it has done to them what obesity of the more ordinary sort does to us—filled them with the glut of false satisfactions, lulling them with over-consumption. Meantime, the perceptual apparatus of the spirit and soul willed to them by their Creator has become so dulled that in their “thinking” the worst sin in the world is to be born unlike themselves, without the benefit of their church and their religious tradition.