Robert Murray M’Cheyne: Strive for Sanctification

This is a citation out of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s seventh pastoral letter to his congregation written from Edinburgh, March 18, 1839.

The only way to be kept from falling is to grow.  If you stand still, you will fall.  Read Prov. xi. 28, “The righteous shall flourish as a branch.”  Remember you are not a tree, that can stand alone; you are only “a branch” and it is only while you abide in Him, as a branch that you will flourish.  Keep clear your sense of justification; remember it is not your own natural goodness, nor your tears, nor your sanctification, that will justify you before God.  It is Christ’s sufferings and obedience alone.  Seek to be made holier every day; pray, strive, wrestle for the Spirit, to make you like God.  Be as much as you can with God.  I declare to you that I had rather be one hour with God, than a thousand with the sweetest society on earth or in heaven.  All other joys are but streams; God is the fountain: “all my springs are in Thee” (A.A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. R. M. M’Cheyne, 206).

I observed the following noteworthy pastoral exhortations from this quote:

  • The exhortation to grow spiritually
  • The exhortation to remain vitally connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ.
  • The exhortation to always consider Christ and His cross-work.
  • The exhortation to fight for sanctification, not indifferent to or lazy about it.
  • The exhortation to commune with God.

This portion of his letter points the believer to the importance of the gospel and Christ for the duration of our Christian life along with the need to be earnest about our sanctification.  It’s basic but phenomenal.

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