And they wrote letters by them after this manner…
Thousands and tens of thousands of Christians yet live in the dreary shadow of legalism. God is only Lawgiver and Judge to them; and their experience is limited, first, to self-condemnation and suffering, then to violent endeavours of the spirit, or of the body, or of both to throw off this suffering, with results, sometimes of exhaustion, and sometimes of unnatural peace, and then to reaction into moral indifference, arising from a totally unsatisfied heart and soul. There are thousands of persons who think that they are Christians because they are endeavouring to live aright, but they are Christians because they are endeavouring to live aright no more than a person is at home because he is trying to go there, though he does not know the way. A child that has lost its father's house, and that is striving to find it, is not at home, but is a wanderer; and the person that is simply endeavouring to live aright, and nothing more, and that when he measures his life by the law of God, as interpreted to him through his own conscience, is conscious of daily breaking that law in every direction, is no more a Christian than a wanderer is a child at home. For a Christian is one that has found his way home, and to the fatherhood of God, and not one that is merely seeking to do his duty. A Christian is a child under the parental roof, saying, "Abba, Father."
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: