The absolute necessity of experimental religion!
"Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5
The religion of the Lord Jesus is valuable only as its power is experienced in the heart. In this respect, and in this only, it may be compared to the physical sciences, which, however ingenious in structure, or beautiful in theory — yet, if not reduced or reducible to purposes of practical use, are of little worth. It is so with the truth of Jesus.
The man of mere taste may applaud its external beauty,
the philosopher may admire its ethics,
the orator may admire its eloquence, and
the poet may admire its sublimity —
but if the Spirit of God does not take His own truth, and impress it upon the heart, as to the great design of its revelation — it avails nothing.
What numbers there are who rest in the mere 'theory' of Christianity!
But as a practical principle — they know nothing of it.
As a thing experienced in the heart — it is a hidden mystery to them.
They speak well of it as a religious system; they believe its Divinity, and even defend its doctrines and extol its precepts — yet make no approaches towards a personal and practical obedience to its claims. In a word, they know nothing of repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. It will surely appear to a spiritually-enlightened mind, a subject of vast and solemn importance that this delusion should be exposed — that this foundation of sand should be undermined — and that the absolute necessity of experimental religion, as necessary to an admission within the kingdom of glory, be strenuously and scripturally enforced.