Aim of Grace.
Acts 10.38 KJV
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost and with power:
who WENT ABOUT doing good,
and healing all
that were oppressed of the devil;
for God was with him.
We ought to follow the Christ in taking all opportunities of doing good.
● What are the good works we should do in imitation of the Christ?
- Works of piety.
- Internal (John 4:24).
- Love (Matthew 22:37).
- Fear (Proverbs 23:17).
- Trust (Proverbs 3:5).
- Submission (Luke 22:42).
- External; as praying, hearing, etc.
- Internal (John 4:24).
- Works of equity (Micah 6:8).
- Distributive (Romans 13:7; Matthew 17:27).
- Communicative (Proverbs 3:27, 28; 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
- Works of charity (1 Timothy 6:17, 18).
- To pity others in misery (Matthew 15:32; Matthew 20:34).
- To pray for their felicity (Luke 23:34).
- To supply their necessities (Matthew 20:34). Consider:
- Without this there is no true religion (James 1:27).
- By it we imitate God (Luke 6:36).
- Whatsoever we have more than is necessary is given for this end.
- God, notwithstanding, will repay it (Proverbs 19:17).
● What things are necessary for our imitation of the Christ in doing good?
- Exerting the utmost of our power in doing it (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
- Managing all the circumstances aright.
- Doing it constantly (Luke 1:74, 75).
- Not for the applause of men (Matthew 6:1).
- Nor to merit anything from God (Luke 18:10).
- Subordinately for our own safety (1 Corinthians 9:24, 27).
- Ultimately for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
● In what sense are we always to be doing good.
- So as never to do evil (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).
- So as always to be designing good.
- So as to embrace all opportunities for doing good (John 4:7, 8; John 6:25).
● Why should we be always doing good?
- We are commanded (Luke 1:74, 75; Psalm 34:13).
- We are always receiving good.
- Our beings were first given, and are now continued to us, that we might always be doing good (Isaiah 1:2-4).
- When we are not doing good we are doing evil (Psalm 37:27).
Richard Cecil went to preach at Bedford Road Chapel, London, and one day a person came up to him about a certain lady, a great professor of religion.
He represented that she was quite out of spirits, unhappy and miserable, and that Mr. Cecil ought to go and try and do her some good.
He went to the lady and found her sitting by the fire, with her feet on the fender and looking very miserable, with a great shawl on her back, while the sun was shining in at the window.
She asked Mr. Cecil to sit down;
But he said, “I will not sit down; I know what is the matter.
Get up, put on your bonnet, and go out and try and do some good.
Within a few hundred yards of this very house there are people dying, and persons that want help.
Go out and do something, and try and do good in the world.”
She took his advice, and went out and tried to do some good, and when he called on her two or three weeks after, he found her quite an altered person.
Her voice was altered, she looked cheerful and happy, and her low spirits were all gone.
She said, “Oh, Mr. Cecil, you could not have done me a greater favour than ask me to try and do some good.”
It is said of a certain New England Congregational minister that when he was young, “in the college and at the seminary he loved to spend his strength in doing that kind of good which other men neglected.
And that remained his characteristic through life.
In his parish work he was sure to be after the “one sheep” which had been given up as lost.
Norman M’Leod, the great friend of the Scotch poor, was industriously maligned in all quarters, although on the day when he was carried out to his burial a workman stood, and, looking at the funeral procession, said: “If he had done nothing for anybody more than he has done for me, he should shine as the stars forever and ever.”
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