“As precious liquors are best kept in clean vessels–so sound doctrine is best kept in a pure heart and life. Who, indeed, would knowingly pour a choice wine into a tainted cask? It would be foolish to do so.
When we hear of men living in sin, and yet claiming to be children of God–we are disgusted with their pretenses, but we are not deceived by their professions.
In the same manner, we care little for those who are orthodox Christians in creed–if it is clear that they are heterodox in life. He who believes the truth–should himself be true. How can we expect others to receive our religion–if it leaves us foul, false, malicious, and selfish?
We sicken at the sight of a dirty dish, and refuse even good food when it is placed thereon. So pure and holy is the doctrine of the cross, that he who hears it aright, will have his ears cleansed, he who believes it aright, will have his heart purged, and he who preaches it aright, will have his tongue purified. Woe unto that man who brings reproach upon the gospel by an unholy life!
Lord, evermore make us pure vessels fit for Your own use, and then fill us with the pure wine of the grapes of sound doctrine and wholesome instruction. Do not allow us to be such ‘foul cups’–as to be only fit for the wine of Sodom!”
– Charles Spurgeon
“A most sovereign antidote against all kind of errors, is to be grounded and settled in the faith: persons unfixed in the true religion, are very receptive of a false; and they who are nothing in spiritual knowledge, are easily made any thing. Clouds without water are driven to and fro with every wind, and ships without ballast liable to the violence of every tempest.”
– The Westminster Assembly, Westminster Confession of Faith, p.6
“The two great pillars upon which the kingdom of Satan is erected, and by which it is upheld, are ignorance and error…”
– The Westminster Assembly, Westminster Confession of Faith, p.5
“Sound Protestant and Evangelical doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse then useless; it does positive harm. It is despised by keen-sighted and shrewd men of the world, as an unreal and hollow thing, and brings religion into contempt.”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.1
“…so few today are accustomed to meditate upon the personal perfections of God. Comparatively few of those who occasionally read the Bible are aware of the awe-inspiring and worship-provoking grandeur of the divine character. That God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, yet full of mercy, is assumed by many to be almost common knowledge; but, to entertain anything approaching an adequate conception of His being, His nature, and His attributes, as these are revealed in Holy Scripture, is something which very, very few people in these degenerate times have attained unto. God is solitary in His excellency. ‘Who is like unto You, O Lord, among the gods? who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?’ (Exodus 15:11).”
– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.3