Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Voices from the Past


William Reid (1814-1896)

IF the Holy Ghost be awakening you to a true apprehension of your danger as a rebel against God’s authority—a guilty, polluted, hell-deserving sinner—you must be in a deeply anxious state of mind, and such questions as these must be ever present with you: What must I do to be saved? What is the true ground of a sinner’s peace with God? What am I to believe in order to be saved? Well, in so far as laying the foundation of your reconciliation is concerned, I wish you to observe that you have nothing to do; for the almighty Surety of sinners said on Calvary, “It is finished,” (Joh 19:30). Jesus has done all that the holy Jehovah deemed necessary to be done to insure complete pardon, acceptance, and salvation to all who believe in His name. If you take Jesus as your Savior, you will build securely for eternity. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Co3:11). He is the foundation-stone of salvation laid by God Himself, and on His finished atoning work alone you are instructed to rest the salvation of your soul, and not on anything accomplished by you, wrought in you, felt by you, or proceeding from you.

It is of the utmost importance to be clear as to the fact that it is the work of Christ without you, and not the work of the Spirit within you, that must form the sole ground of your deliverance from guilt and wrath, and of peace with God. You must beware of resting your peace on your feelings, convictions, tears, repentance, prayers, duties, or resolutions. You must begin with receiving Christ, and not make that the termination of a course of fancied preparation. Christ must be the Alpha and Omega. He must be everything in our salvation, or He will be nothing. Beware lest you fall into the common mistake of supposing that you will be more welcome and accepted of Christ if you are brought through a terrible process of “law-work.” You are as welcome to Christ now as you will ever be. Wait not for deeper convictions of sin, for why should you prefer conviction to Christ? And you would not have one iota more safety though you had deeper convictions of sin than any sinner ever had. Convictions of sin are precious; but they bring no safety, no peace, no salvation, no security; but war, and storm, and trouble. It is well to be awakened from sleep when danger is hanging over us; but to awake from sleep is not to escape from danger. It is only to be sensible of danger, nothing more.

In like manner, to be convinced of your sins is merely to be made sensible that your soul is in danger. It is no more. It is not deliverance. Of itself, it can bring no deliverance; it tells of no Savior. It merely tells us that we need one. Yet there are
many who, when they have had deep convictions of sin, strong terrors of the law, congratulate themselves as if all were well. They say, “Ah, I have been convinced of sin; I have been under terrors; it is well with me; I am safe.” Well with you? Safe? Is it well with the seaman when he awakes and finds his vessel going to pieces upon the rocks amid the fury of the whelming surge? Is it well with the sleeper when he awakes at midnight amid the flames of his dwelling? Does he say, “Ah, it is well with me; I have seen the flames?” In this way sinners are not infrequently led to be content with some resting-place short of the appointed one. Anxiety to have deep convictions, and contentment with them after they have been experienced, are too often the means which Satan uses for turning away the sinner’s eye from the perfect work of Jesus, Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Our peace with God, our forgiveness, our reconciliation, flow wholly from the sin-atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

Behold, then, O Spirit-convinced soul, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world! In His death upon the cross, behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world! In His death upon the cross, behold the mighty sacrifice, the ransom for the sins of many! See there the sum of all His obedience and sufferings! Behold the finished work—a work of stupendous magnitude, which He alone could have undertaken and accomplished! Behold our sacrifice, our finished sacrifice, our perfected redemption, the sole foundation of our peace, and hope, and joy. “He his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1Pe 2:24). It is not said that our duties, or our prayers, or our fastings, or our convictions of sin, or our repentance, or our honest life, or our alms deeds, or our faith, or our grace—it is not said that these bore our sins; it was Jesus, Jesus Himself, Jesus alone, Jesus, and none but Jesus, bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Rest, then, in nothing short of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ has done the mighty work; Nothing left for us to do,
But to enter on His toil, Enter on His triumph too.
His the labor, ours the rest; His the death, and ours the life;
Ours the fruits of victory, His the agony and strife.

From The Blood of Jesus; booklet available from CHAPEL LIBRARY (www.chapellibrary.org)

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