Something serious for all Christians to ponder…
“The disciples had life before our Lord breathed on them, but then they attained more. They had life before Pentecost, but then they obtained more. … Thus a man may be very like a saint and yet not be one. A church or a congregation may be very like a Christian one, with a fair appearance and compact organization; all in excellent bustling order, numerous, liberal, united, earnest after a sort; and yet lack one thing which neutralizes and paralyzes all the rest—the breath of life.
“Our creed may be sound, and yet we may not be Christians.
“Our religion may be externally complete, and yet we may not be Christians. … Mechanical religion may do for the gods of Greece and Rome, but not for the living and true God. … Your sanctuary attendance may be regular and reverent; but what if there be no breath in it? Your prayers and praises may be punctual and unexceptionable, but what if there be no breath in them? Will God accept them? Will they satisfy you? Will they make you happy? Will they not be irksome and intolerable? And the more you multiply them, the more intolerable.
“Our good works may be numerous and praiseworthy, yet we may not be Christians. It is not the work that makes the Christian, but the Christian that makes the work.
“Our life may be exemplary, and yet we may not be Christians.” —Horatius Bonar, in Light & Truth—The Old Testament