Julius Caesar was a man of a heroic spirit. But when he is brought before kings, and the case is such that either he must suffer, or the truth must suffer—here is a clear call to suffering, and this is reckoned for martyrdom. 4. Paul 'conferred not with flesh and blood' (Galatians 1:16). They are blessed, who have sin purged out. And indeed well may a Christian be joyful in suffering, because it is a great favor when God honors a man to be a witness to the truth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. It was a honor to Caesar that he had such soldiers as were able to fight with hunger and cold and endure hardship in their marches. How should grace much more into Christians! What is the fire of martyrdom, compared to the fire of the damned? Be afraid of this fear. If they are blessed who die in the Lord, are they not blessed who die for the Lord? 3. Such as are open pretenders, but secret opposers of the faith, are ever worst. Of how much sorer punishment shall they be thought worthy, who clip the names of God's people to make them weigh lighter! And they will go away into eternal punishment!' A good Christian is like Mount Zion that cannot be moved (Psalm 125:1). It shall heal my corruption, and save my soul. Jesus Christ is made up of all sweets and delights. (2 Corinthians 5:20). Oh, what a glory was this to the truth, when they dared embrace it in the flame! He who feels sin heavy, feels suffering light. [2] We suffer as a Christian, when we suffer with a good conscience. Faith gets strength by sucking the breast of a promise. 'To you who believe, he is precious' (1 Peter 2:7). 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death' (Matthew 26:38). 4:6–8), When he went to trial, there would be no human comfort for Paul. 3. ASK DR. SUNDAY ADELAJA SHOW. [4] We suffer as a Christian, when we have good ends in our suffering, namely, that we may glorify God, set a seal to the truth, and show our love to Christ. 'Blessed is he who fears always'. 'I will be with him.' 'After you have suffered a little while' (1 Peter 5:10). Martyrs are not only Christ's followers—but his ensign-bearers. Christ underwent not only the blood of the cross but the curse of the cross (Galatians 3:13). So when we see the people of God afflicted and the viper of persecution fastens upon them, we are apt to say, 'These are greater sinners than others, and God does not love them.' Though it has a sting to torment—yet it has a wing to fly! 'Buy the truth—and sell it not' (Proverbs 23:23). One day you may persuade him to engage in a good cause, the next day to desert it. We read of a beast 'like unto a leopard and his feet were as the feet of a bear and the dragon gave him his power . Surely no man shall sacrifice himself for God for nothing. 'Don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you' (1 Peter 4:12). Are you no drunkard, no adulterer? [2] The fore-thoughts of persecution will be as sauce to season our delights, that we do not surfeit upon them. Never have any princes been so famous for their victories, as the martyrs for their sufferings. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 'A bitter medicine often gives strength to the weary'. 'But I shall faint when trials come.' We read that Abraham called forth his trained soldiers (Genesis 14:14), such as were more expert and valiant. God sweetens their sufferings. . It enables to suffer. These are just a few examples of life in the early days of the Spirit-filled church, presented in Acts. Persecutors can but kill the body, which must shortly die anyway. A fearful man will vote against his conscience. Many have done great things for hope of a temporal reward. It is wisdom to find out subtle ways to avoid the cross. Though Christ died to take away the curse from us—yet not to take away the cross from us. Since they are a peculiar people, are in the world but not of the world, and follow a Master who is offensive to many, Christians are naturally the objects of disdain and hostility. You shall not need to study. The godly are called 'living stones' (1 Peter 2:5). That is, those who had been bred up in her bosom and pretended religion and sympathy, these false friends vexed her. A good Christian must be firm to his resolution. 'I am black—but lovely' (Canticles 1:5). 'I will give you a crown of life' (Revelation 2:10). and another where He puts His dross. 'Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Now faith giving the soul a right notion of sufferings and taking (as it were) a just measure of them, enables a Christian to prostrate his life at the feet of Christ. Therefore he labors to eclipse the lights, to pull down the stars—that his kingdom of darkness may prevail. The blessed Scripture as it is a honeycomb for comfort, so an armory for strength. In time of persecution, God broaches the wine of consolation. They are now doing Cain's work! 'Some began to spit upon him' (Mark 14:65). A man possessed with fear does not consult what is best—but what is safest. (Acts 28:20). Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.


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