Counsel of Chalcedon
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How Stands My Case With God? Part 2

The work of self-examination is often marred by introducing tests not found in God's word. This was the grand error of the pharisees in Christ's day. The ultraists, fanatics, and hypocrites of every generation, invent rules for judging of character, always taking care to insist much on those which will be favourable to themselves. Thus in all ages we find them straining at gnats and swallowing camels, pronouncing lawful things sinful, curtailing Christian liberty, and standing on punctilios, while they pull down pillars of truth, justice and mercy. So also in judging of Christian character, one man says you must have a remarkable dream or vision; another, you must hear a voice saying, "Thy sins are forgiven thee;" another, you must be willing to be damned before you can be saved; another has no confidence in a conversion not attended with great terrors; another takes popular notions around him for his guide, and another exalts some whim of his own into a rule of judgment. To such we may well say: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures." Men should not be surprised that, when they ignore God's word, they fall into the most dangerous mistakes. "The word that I have spoken, it shall judge him at the last day," says Christ. A wise man thus resolved: "I will regard the Bible as the only infallible test of character. With this in my hands, if I am deceived as to my spiritual state, it is my own fault."