Paul speaks about 'the holiness which is no illusion" ( Eph.4:24 - J.B. Philips translation). This does not come through understanding doctrine but through Jesus Himself living His life through us. The secret of godliness mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16 is not the doctrine of Jesus having come in our flesh, but Jesus Himself Who came in our flesh. It is by looking unto Jesus and not at any doctrine that we are going to be transformed into His likeness (2 Cor.3:18. Remember this all your life.
"Church is like a hospital, where the worst cases are welcome. They can all be cured. No-one need feel that he or she is too wretched to be helped."
Every doctrine can lead you astray: (1) if you don't keep your eyes on the Lord Himself, and (2) if you do not love all who love Him, whichever group they are in, and whatever doctrine they may hold. Jesus Himself is the Head of the church which is His Body. But if a doctrine becomes the Head, then people will become Pharisees - and the purer the doctrine, the greater the Pharisees that will be produced! Remember the words of the hymn: " Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord".
The image we present as a church must be consistent with the image Jesus presented of the Father - especially what we see in John 8:1-12 , where He was on the side of the repentant adulteress against the religious Pharisees. Jesus preached the highest standard of holiness ever preached on earth, and yet He mingled with the worst of sinners ( e.g., Mary Magdalene, who was given the privilege to be the first to see the risen Lord). He never once criticised such sinners or reminded them about their past. This is our calling as a church too - to preach the same standard of holiness that Jesus preached, and yet to be warm to the worst of sinners and backsliders, to draw them to Him.
Our church is like a hospital, where the worst cases are welcome. They can all be cured. No-one need feel that he or she is too wretched to be helped. Some churches are like clubs where the rich and the self-satisfied meet together. But we want to be a hospital for the worst of sinners.
Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first at all times (Matt 6:33 Then you will prosper in everything you do, and God will work on your behalf like a Mighty Champion (Jer.20:11). This is what I have experienced all through my life.
Seeking God's kingdomdoes not refer primarily to evangelism or missionary work. It means to make God the Ruler of your life, to live at all times under God's authority, and to allow His heavenly values to take precedence over the pull of money, earthly pleasures, and man's honour.
To seek God's righteousness first means to long for His nature to be manifested in your inner life and in every part of your external behaviour.
May this truth grip you all your days! And when you have children, you must teach your children also this truth, so that they too can find the same result in their lives. Thus, generation after generation the Lord will have a witness on earth until He returns.