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Published by glennpease

For my sake. — Matt. v. ii.

For my sake. — Matt. v. ii.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 14, 2013
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FOR MY SAKEBY HERY ALLO, D.D.For my sake. — Matt. v. ii.THIS is only the fragment of a sentence; but indetaching it we do the texture of Scripture nowrong, inasmuch as it contains within itself a com-plete sense, and affirms an important principle.It is a distinct and cogent motive for religious lifeand service. We are to be religious men, and to doreligious things " for Christ's sake." gr is it amere casual word, or passing sentiment struck outin the glow and exaggeration of passionate feeling.Who can conceive of our Lord, in the calm self-possession which characterized Him even whenHis emotions were excited the most strongly, thuslightly using religious sanctions?It is a phrase which both our Lord and Hisapostles employ so frequently, and in such variousconnections, that there must attach to it great andvital meanings. It is one of those characteristicphrases upon the lips of our Lord, one of thosewonderful notes of distinctive meaning and claim,23^'340 ''FOR MY SAKE."which clearly draw a broad line of separation be-tween Him and all other teachers. It is like the
authoritative phrase, " Verily, verily, I say untoyou," which no other prophet of God ever presumesto employ. It is like the great revealing phrase,"Your Father who is in heaven," which proclaimsthe gospel of God's Fatherhood, and which, like arefrain, is reiterated in all our Lord's discourses — from the Sermon on the Mount to the valedictorydiscourse on the " night in which he was betrayed."It is the assertion of a claim to personal affectionand gratitude as the supreme motive of our religiouslife. It falls from the lips of our Lord some ten ortwelve different times. It is urged by Him in con-nection with some of the highest and holiest of ourobligations to the supreme Deity, and with some of the most vital interests of the spiritual soul. Whereit is not formally urged it is everywhere implied.It underlies every injunction that He utters, everydemand that He makes. It was practically admittedby His disciples ; the apostolic writings are pervadedby it. Even the most momentous things are done,and the most arduous things endured, formally andavowedly "for Jesus' sake."Is it too much to say that the acceptance of sucha motive of religious life involves all that is mostdistinctive in Christian doctrine, and all that ismost influential in Christian constraint ? Can we,therefore, who are assembled for the special pur-pose of considering the claims which the great''FOR MY SAKE." 341Redeemer prefers to our service, do better thanexamine the full significance and power of such amotive of religious life, so that we may practically
submit our hearts afresh to its peculiar constraints ?I. First, the urgency of such a motive involvesa very distinct doctrine concerning Christ. It hasimportant and suggestive bearings upon His dis-tinctive character. I can only suggest two or threethoughts, out of a broad and fruitful field.I. Is it not, to say the least, a remarkable, nay, aunique principle of religious obligation ? Whereelse shall we find it ? So far as I know, such aconsideration is urged by no other religious teacher.The ordinary urgencies of God's prophets are al-together different. They demand of us religioussubmission on the ground that they speak in thename and by the authority of Jehovah, who has asupreme right to our obedience; and on the groundthat the things which they urge are essentially andeternally true, our own religious soul being witness.They appeal to our natural conscience ; to our re-ligious affections, capacities, and yearnings ; to ourentire moral and spiritual nature. And the voicewithin responds to the voice without ; we confess theteaching to be true and right and good. Thereforesay these religious teachers, " Obey. God commandsyou to obey. Your own religious nature confesses thatit is right and good to obey."The great Teacher does not omit these sanctions.He demands obedience because He speaks in His342 ''FOR MY SAKE."Father's name. He urges the intrinsic truth, thespiritual excellency of the things He teaches. Helays it down as a great principle that all who are" of the truth," all truth loving men, will "hear hisvoice." Hearts that yearn for truth will receive

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