“‘Coram Deo’: …Live the whole of your life as in the presence of God.” – S.Ferguson

In Christ Alone - SFergusonOnce more we take a quotation from the thirty-fourth chapter of Sinclair Ferguson’s profitable book In Christ Alone.

In this chapter, titled “Where God Looks First”, Ferguson is using the past (church) masters of the Christian life to show us how to live true, heart-religion, the one lived before and unto God and not before and unto men. His final section under this heading is overwritten with the Latin words Coram Deo, which we should learn well.

This is how he explains this principle of the Christian life:

Third, these masters learned to live visibly, even in secret. They lived coram Deo (before the face of God). That one principle is enough to transform the whole of life and to rid us of all attempts at deception – of others, of God, of self. Nothing is hid from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Heb.4:13).

Has that thought sufficiently gripped my mind and begun to dominate my every action, producing the quality of transparency in my life? It is the one sure way to enjoy liberty from the pressures of the world to conform to its mold, and to overcome the fear of man. Those who make it their aim to have a conscience void of offense before God are Christ’s free men. Therefore, live the whole of your life as in the presence of God.

And so he concludes his treatment of these three points with this summary:

Here, then, are three tests that provide a good measure of where I am spiritually:

1. What am I really like in secret?

2. How do I react to the word duty?

3. Am I living with a sense of how visible my life is to God?

To which Ferguson adds this quote from the Puritan John Owen:

He suggests that to fail to deal with these issues in the heart is like leaving ‘a moth in a garment, to eat up and devour the stringed threads of it, so that though the whole hang loose together, it is easily torn to pieces.’

Wise words indeed! (Kindle ed.)

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