Andrew Fuller Friday: On Truth and Holiness

Truth is that which furnishes the motive for every exercise of true holiness.—If once we are enabled to behold its glory, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, it changes us into the same image, begets and excites holy affections, and every kind of gracious exercise. Hence we are said to know the truth, and the truth to make us free; to be sanctified through it, and begotten by it, John 8:32; 17:17; James 1:18.

It is not denied that there is much of what is called morality in persons who know and believe nothing to purpose of evangelical truth. Honour, interest, and the habits of education, will induce men to shun open immoralities, and to comply with things which are reputable and praiseworthy. But though there be great cause for thankfulness to God, who, by his providence, thus restrains mankind from much evil; yet this is not holiness. Holiness is the love of God and one another; whereas this is mere self-love. All works and worship of this kind are no better than the offering of Cain, which, being without faith, could not please God.

And as there may be a semblance of holiness without faith, so there may be a semblance of faith without holiness. The doctrines of the Bible, though in themselves practical, yet may be treated as mere speculations, and frequently are so by men who profess to believe them; and, where this is the case, instead of producing holiness, they may have a contrary effect: but this is owing to their being perverted. God’s words do good to the upright. There is not a sentiment in the living oracles but what, if received in the true spirit and intent of it, will contribute to the sanctification of the mind.

True religion is, with great beauty and propriety, called walking in the truth. A life of sobriety, righteousness, and godliness, is Christian principle reduced to practice. Truth is a system of love, an overflow of the Divine blessedness, as is intimated by its being called “the glorious gospel of the blessed God:” a system of reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness; full of the most amazing condescension, and of spotless rectitude. To walk in truth like this is to walk in love, to be tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven us; to be of the same mind with him who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant;” and “to be holy in all manner of conversation.”

Such were the fruits of truth which were actually brought forth by the primitive believers; and such, in different degrees, notwithstanding the many defects and scandals which abound among us, are the fruits of it in true Christians to this day. Thousands of examples, both in earlier and later times, might be produced, in which men who previously walked according to the course of this world, in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness, in strife and envying, on embracing the doctrine of Christ crucified have put off all these, and become as it were new creatures.

Fuller, A. G. (1988). “The Importance of Truth,” in Truth. The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Expositions—Miscellaneous (J. Belcher, Ed.; Vol. 3, pp. 528–529). Sprinkle Publications.

By |December 1st, 2023|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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