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Charles Simeon: “true hope has holiness for its inseparable companion.”

July 24, 2017

Reading some tonight in Simeon’s Horae Homileticae, on Ephesians 6, I came across this comment by him on the relationship between salvation – which he calls “our true hope” – and holiness.

Once more; true hope has holiness for its inseparable companion. Whatever may be imagined to the contrary, there is no salvation to those who live in sin. Christ came to “save us from our sins,” but not in them. We are expressly told that “the grace of God which bringeth salvation, teaches us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” There is a kind of hope that will consist with the indulgence of secret lust, and with a total want of holy dispositions: but that is “the hope of the hypocrite which perisheth, and shall be swept away with the besom of destruction”. But the hope of the upright is far different from this: it will admit of no allowed sin, whether of omission or of commission : on the contrary, we are told, that “he who hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as God is pure”:” he will retain no bosom lusts; he will not so much as wish for any exceptions and reserves in his obedience to God: he will desire, and endeavour, to be “holy as God is holy, and perfect even as his Father that is in heaven is perfect.”

Quite well said, that “true hope has holiness for its inseparable companion.”

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