1 These days, most people are in this sort of state: “In order to gain blessings, I must expend myself for God and pay a price for Him. In order to gain blessings, I must abandon everything for God; I must complete what He has entrusted me with, and perform my duty well.” This is dominated by the intention of being blessed; this is an example of expending oneself entirely for the purpose of gaining God’s rewards, for gaining the crown. Such people do not have the truth in their hearts, and surely their understanding merely consists of some words of doctrine which they show off everywhere. Theirs is the path of Paul.
2 Such people’s belief in God is an act of constant work, and in their hearts, they feel that the more they do, the more it will prove their loyalty to God; also, that the more they do, the more God will certainly be satisfied, and that the more they do, the more they deserve to be granted the crown before God, and that they will certainly receive the greatest blessings in the house of God. They feel that if they can endure suffering, preach, and die for Christ, if they can disregard their own lives, and if they can complete all of the duties with which God has entrusted them, then they will be among God’s most blessed—those who gain the greatest blessings—and they will certainly receive the crown.
3 It was under the guidance of such thoughts that Paul worked to serve God. Such thoughts and intentions originate from Satan’s nature. People have a satanic nature, so out in the world, they will pursue knowledge, status, learning, and worldly success; in God’s house, they will seek to expend themselves for God, be faithful, and eventually receive the crown and great blessings. If people do not pursue the truth after they become believers in God, and have not had a change in their disposition, then they will certainly be on this path. This is a reality that no one can deny.
Adapted from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks