Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chadwick: the example of Judas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
    Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
    Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.
    —Philippians 1:27-28 (NIV)
    Contemplating this blighted and sinister career, the lesson is burnt in upon the conscience, that since Judas by transgression fell, no place in the Church of Christ can render any man secure. And since, falling, he was openly exposed, none may flatter himself that the cause of Christ is bound up with his reputation, that the mischief must needs be averted which his downfall would entail, that Providence must needs avert from him the natural penalties for evil-doing. Though one was as the signet upon the Lord’s hand, yet was he plucked thence. There is no security for any soul except where love and trust repose, upon the bosom of Christ.
    Now if this be true, and if sin and scandal may conceivably penetrate even the inmost circle of the chosen, how great an error it is to break, because of these offenses, the unity of the Church, and institute some new communion, purer far than the Churches of Corinth and Galatia, which were not abandoned but reformed, and more impenetrable to corruption than the little group of those who ate and drank with Jesus.
    ... G. A. Chadwick (1840-1923), The Gospel of St. Mark [1887], London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891, p. 90-91 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, let Your church rely on no power but Yours.
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