“Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6
Suggested Further Reading: Titus 1:7- 2:8
“Let us watch.” There are many that never watch. They never watch against sin; they never watch against the temptations of the enemy; they do not watch against themselves, nor against “the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life.” They do not watch for opportunities to do good, they do not watch for opportunities to instruct the ignorant, to confirm the weak, to comfort the afflicted, to succour them that are in need; they do not watch for opportunities of glorifying Jesus, or for times of communion; they do not watch for the promises; they do not watch for answers to their prayers; they do not watch for the second coming of our Lord Jesus. These are the refuse of the world: they watch not, because they are asleep. But let us watch: so shall we prove that we are not slumberers. Again: let us “be sober.” Albert Barnes says, this most of all refers to abstinence, or temperance in eating and drinking. Calvin says, not so: this refers more especially to the spirit of moderation in the things of the world. Both are right: it refers to both. There be many that are not sober; they sleep, because they are not so; for insobriety leadeth to sleep. They are not sober—they are drunkards, they are gluttons. They are not sober—they cannot be content to do a little business—they want to do a great deal. They are not sober—they cannot carry on a trade that is sure—they must speculate. They are not sober—if they lose their property, their spirit is cast down within them, and they are like men that are drunken with wormwood. If on the other hand, they get rich, they are not sober: they so set their affections upon things on earth that they become intoxicated with pride.
For meditation: The Christian in the pew should aim at the same standards as those which he expects to see in the Christian in the pulpit (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Sermon no. 163
15 November (1857)