Christianity a Vital Force
John 6:60-65
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?…

Christianity is a latent spiritual power, designed and adapted to translate men from a lower and physical life into a higher and spiritual life. If this be so —


1. It is the life of the human soul, derived not from natural laws, or the incitements of society, nor from any human causes, but distinctively a life derived from God; not an occasional excitement, but the indwelling of a Divine influence.

2. Under such influence is developed a personal experience differing from any that could otherwise be developed, which awakens in us a likeness to Christ's nature and habits in —

(1)  Purity;

(2)  Love;

(3)  Activity.

II. SOME GOOD REASONS WHY ONE SHOULD ENTER IN THIS LIFE. Most have some conception of a character. With one it is wealth, with another learning, with others art, eloquence, home life. But these are not you. There is a living, controlling being behind all achievements: character is the fashioning of that. I urge you, therefore, to accept the Christian ideal — the man in Christ Jesus — because —

1. The Divine power, as a living influence on your souls, is the only reconstructive force adequate to your needs. Those ideals which men form, exterior to themselves, have no transforming power upon their dispositions. What man needs is a perfect control of his animal nature, his selfishness, pride, sensuality.

2. This developing power reveals the only harmonizing elements around which all of a man's nature can reorganize itself. Love is the only point of crystallization.

(1)  Crown pride and there are many faculties which say, "I will not bow down to pride."

(2)  Crown vanity, and many parts of the soul will say, "I am higher than thou."

(3)  Crown reason, and many feelings will rebel.

(4)  Crown beauty, and there is not one faculty that under stress of trial will cry, "O Beauty, save me!"

(5)  Crown conscience, and many faculties indeed will follow; but conscience is a despot.

(6)  But crown love, and all will acknowledge his supremacy.

3. It is only in a character fashioned on the model of Christ that we can find relief from things seemingly or really antagonistic.

(1)  Aspiration and content.

(2)  Conscience and peace.

(3)  Hope and fear.

4. The Divine power in the soul harmonizes man with his fellow-men.

5. This Divine power gives to the whole economy of life and flow of events a reconciliation which nothing else can. Christ is not working for results that appear in this life alone, but for those that shall appear in the life hereafter. You do not care what befalls you, so long as you have the certainty that the end of it shall be right. This redeems death from being a catastrophe, and exalts it into a victory.Conclusion: If this view be correct —

1. There is a very great difference between reasoning upon Christianity and testing Christianity. No man is competent to determine questions in regard to it until he has put his whole soul into the attitude of Christ. There are multitudes asking for arguments; Christ says, "The words that I speak unto you," etc.

2. Is there not reason to fear that many persons who believe themselves to be safe come far short of true Christian life? No man is a Christian, whatever his morality, etc., until Christ's Spirit dwells in him.

3. No man can come into this position by his own power. But open your heart and the Spirit will come in with His vivific power.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

WEB: Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?"

A Certain Test
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