And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
I. In the first place, LET US BE WARNED AGAINST MAKING OUR RELIGION A MATTER MERELY OF OPINION. Said William Law to John Wesley, "The bead can as easily amuse itself with a living and justifying faith in the blood of Jesus, as with any other notion." It is even so. A truer word, pointed in warning against a greater peril, was never uttered. The mistake in question is a very subtle one, but very serious, and more common than, perhaps, we think. As thus of the doctrines, so also of the duties of our religion. These duties may be objects merely of belief, arranged in well-ordered systems, and acknowledged to be the proper code of life, without being actually reduced to practice.
II. In the second place, LET US BE WARNED AGAINST MAKING OUR RELIGION A MATTER MERELY OF FEELING. This piety of moods and feelings, which goes by spasms, and not by the even pulses of a robust life, is not the sort of piety we need, my hearers. It dishonours our Master, who has something larger to do for us than simply to make us happy in our religion. It wrongs our own souls, which ought to be looking higher than their own enjoyment.
III. Finally, LET US BE MOVED TO MAKE OUR RELIGION A MATTER OF THE LIFE; FINDING THE TEST AND MEASURE OF OUR DISCIPLESHIP, NEITHER IN WHAT WE BELIEVE, NOR IN WHAT WE FEEL, BUT IN WHAT WE ARE, AS ANNOUNCING ITSELF IN WHAT WE DO. Not that we counsel the disparagement of Christian doctrine. There must be religious opinions, more or less clearly defined, conditioning the religious life; and the more clearly defined, the better. And the nearer we come to the teachings of Scripture, as interpreted by the Christian consciousness of the successive generations of believers; the nearer we come to those grand settlements of doctrine effected by the great expounders of doctrine, as , , Luther, Calvin, and Edwards, the nearer we shall come to the hidings of Christian power. Neither would we disparage religious feeling. The new life has its beginning in feeling; while to be past feeling is the surest mark of reprobation. It is impossible for a man to be convinced of sin by the Spirit of God without being profoundly agitated.
(R. D. Hitchcock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?