The old Puritans of England in the 1500-1600’s have gotten what J.I. Packer calls “a bad rap.” Usually if someone calls a person a “Puritan”, or says that something is “Puritanical”, they mean it as an insult: that the person is being a “stick in the mud,” or is acting “holier than thou.” But in reality, the English Puritans were some of the best Christians ever to walk the earth, and we can learn much in our own Christian life from reading them.
One book of Puritan writings is called “The Valley of Vision.” It is actually a little book of prayers from the Puritans which a minister (Arthur Bennett) edited in the 1900’s. Many of these prayers are very beautiful, but they are also very convicting. One prayer in particular asks God: “For if I do not walk holily before Thee, how can I be assured of my salvation?” (p. 14)
That’s a good question. If you don’t walk holy before God, how CAN you be assured of your salvation? Our verse for today answers that question in a very firm way:
“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Continue reading