in the
 
The Great Obligation of a
True Christian 
From the writings of Gerhard Tersteegen - (1697-1769)



The following material was extracted from two books published by Harvey Publications and printed by Old Paths Tract Society. Should someone wish to read them in their entirety, here are the links to them: Gerhard Tersteegen's Life and Letters, Gerhard Tersteegen's Sermons and Hymns



How miserable it is to live with a disturbed and ever accusing conscience in this world! Let the individual do what he pleases in order to deliver himself from the pungent accusations of conscience; let him hasten for this purpose from one amusement to another, from one society to another-all will nevertheless be in vain...

As long as we do not give ourselves sincerely, fully and thoroughly to Christ, the devil, the world, and the corrupt flesh seek to draw the soul first one way and then another and to disturb it in a variety of ways. Happy, yea, thrice happy, therefore, is he who has thoroughly and sincerely given himself to Christ and by an undissembled [open and unfeigned] consent has betrothed himself to Him in eternal fidelity...

Further, as a virgin when betrothed has no longer need to care for her support, but leaves her bridegroom to provide for her, so likewise those souls who by true conversion and presentation have become Christ's own, need no longer care for themselves, either as it respects body or soul... They now stand under the peculiar oversight and protection of their heavenly Father, so that, according to the letter of Scripture, without the will of their Father in heaven not a hair of their head shall fall to the ground.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) {people who do not have faith in God} for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:31-33)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

They have only a single thing to observe and carefully to attend to, and with this one, everything is accomplished. "Give me, my son, thy heart." Inasmuch as they sincerely resign this, and eternally yield it up to Christ, they may divest themselves entirely of all other cares... The Holy Spirit intends to say by this, "Thou needest take no more thought concerning what thou shall eat and drink and wherewithal thou shalt be clothed, in what manner, and howsoever it may fair with thee in future respect to body and soul. No, I will provide for everything. I will do all things well. Only let My ways please thee, however I may act or ordain concerning thee... Be ever pleased with My ways, and thou shalt know that all things shall serve for thy good...

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Jam. 1:2-4)

He that belongs to Christ need not be afraid of his enemies, nor of their power and subtlety. Ah! I can scarcely bear that men make Satan so omnipotent, as if he could do what he pleased... This is by no means the case. Christ has taken from him all power and all right over us. On which account those who have sincerely yielded themselves up to Christ and are really His property, have nothing more to fear from the devil. [If you have held back your will in any matter, you still belong to the devil and he will play havoc with your life.]... Let us only thoroughly and without any reserve resign our hearts to Christ [for His safekeeping] Who has so dearly bought us, and then the devil and the world will be afraid of us... Those souls that have devoted themselves to God can say with David, "The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear..." (Ps. 27:1) God is our refuge and strength...therefore will we not fear..." (Ps. 46: 1-2)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:37-39 NKJV)Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:37-39 NKJV)

But if I am no longer my own but God's, and belong to Christ, I therefore need not worry, nor be afraid, nor apprehensive of an evil result. [If we ever choose to take back some portion of our will and begin to direct our own steps, we come out from under His protection. In that state of self-will there is no protection at all.] If I belong to Christ, He will not permit that which is His to be lost, nor let it be taken from Him, but He will know how to preserve me after giving and presenting myself to Him...

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me {those who no longer have an independent will of their own but whose will has been joined to the Lord's will}: And I give unto them eternal life {the divine life from above}; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

He has continually preserved them as the apple of His eye. And though the body may moulder in the ground and become a putrefying carcass and millions of atoms, this does not trouble me. It is not my body, but is become God's. Therefore I am unconcerned about it. Christ is Lord both of life and death. He will eventually again bring forth the body, which is equally His, and make it like unto His glorious body. In short, it is impossible to find a more complete consolation than this, that we are God's and not our own...

I ought now, in conclusion, to make an application of the great and much implying expression, "Know ye not?"... Know ye not, that if the Holy Spirit does not dwell in your heart, another spirit inhabits there, namely a corrupt spirit, and that you consequently belong to it?" O what an unhappy and dreadful state!...

Know ye not that a day will come in which each will take his own to himself? Christ shall appear in His glory and place those that belong to Him [those who have truly died to self-will and served Him alone] on His right hand as sheep, but those that belong to the prince of hell [those who have continued to live by self-will and serve themselves] as goats on His left hand! What a dreadful thought!

Know ye not that this is now the time of grace, a time in which the precious Gospel is still preached and offered to you? Know ye not that you are really not your own, that you are brought with a price? (1 Cor. 6:19-20) Ye may even now become happy men and children of God. Are you well aware of this?... O reflect with true seriousness whether it is possible for you to have a single quiet hour as long as you do not seriously give yourselves to God...

Know ye not to what a high and superlative dignity ye are created?... Are you aware what grace has been bestowed upon us, what God, even our God purposed respecting us and to what we may attain even here in this present time of grace?...

Know ye not that this is your most imperative duty and obligation? Yes, we know it when we read of it occasionally, when we are sometimes reminded of it, but scarcely is this done, scarcely is the book closed, the word of admonition over, than we afterwards think little of that which we have heard. Ah, my dear friends, do not let it be a passing sound. Let it not continue mere head knowledge. Let the word at this time penetrate deeply into your heart...

 

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