« PreviousContinue »
in fact, inseparable from it. The carnal mind-your old natural mind-is enmity to God. But the mind that believes God's testimony concerning Christ is quite a new, another mind. The carnal mind can do nothing
, but sin. The believing mind sees sin to be hateful, learns its true evil, sorrows over it at the cross, loves Him who bore its curse. In the Gospel, God proclaims Himself; the sinner who sees and believes the proclamation, is instantaneously changed—saved, is at peace with God, and happy in the knowledge of Divine love. What God proclaims in the Gospel is good news of Himself, and asks, as a first thing, from the sinner simply to believe. Really seeing God, as the Prodigal came to see his home, and his Father, the mind is changed.
What a glorious Gospel! a Gospel on which a sinner, living or dying, can have immediate peace.
Dear hearers, you may have been unbelievers up to this moment; but it would not surprise me if you were all saved to-day; I should not marvel if all led to say, “ Well, if that be God's thought, that He finds me helpless; that He wants such as me, sinner that I am, in heaven; if it be so that I am dead, and have no power of my own to save, but that Christ has died; that, believing, I am saved ; then is it a Gospel which suits me. Oh, let me take it ! let me embrace it! or, rather, I believe it. God is my salvation. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and believing, He hath said, thou shalt be saved."" Believe, then, now. All else will follow-penitence, peace, holiness, love. You remember the
poor ger of whom I have spoken to you. He swept a crossing, and collected halfpence. But a property was left him ; the messenger was happy to bring him the message. Why, on hearing of it, the man gave up the brush I never thought again of sweeping the streets ! gave it all up on hearing the message of the messenger. Beloved, you are the poor scavenger. I am the
messenger. I come this morning with the news of all the massive glory, the ponderous riches which a believing sinner possesses in God — riches, glories unsearchable, untraceable, eternal—to be enjoyed in association with Him whom the heavens have received —a glorified man—and who will one day descend from those heavens and take you unto Himself for ever and ever, to enjoy the riches and share the glories of the eternally glorified One. Do not hesitate. Supposing the scavenger had said, “Sir, I have never done anything to deserve this.” Says the messenger, “It is a matter of gift, not of desert.” 6 But I never heard of it before. - That makes no difference.” “It is all new." “ Never mind if it be true.” 6. But I am not able to bear the weight of riches.” He who gives Himself, even Christ, for you, along with Himself freely gives all things—all qualities meet for enjoyment. This He does by the Spirit, who, along with the believed message, enters the sinner who believes. You understand. The Lord gives salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe in the grace of God, believe in all the provisions of that grace. Oh! I want your soul, dear sinner; I want it now. I want your soul for God; I want your soul for Jesus; dear sinner, I love your soul. I love this salvation of God. I love this Gospel. This is the Gospel of God! God is at the root of things — His timeless grace, His timeless
- , love!
And to believe is your first duty. Satan will say, ask first, or pray first, or grieve first; but no, God requires none of these things till you have first believed. You are a rebel against God-root and branch evil—at enmity against God-your doom is pronounced, which is death. As a sinner, at enmity, you can do nothing acceptable till you take what God has proclaimed
He proclaims life through Christ's death. He does not ask you to ask Him to save. Salvation is an
accomplished fact—a finished work. On having believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will, indeed, ask, you will indeed pray, and have a sorrow ever 80 much-a life-long sorrow, it may be—for sin, wretched sin, miserable sin ! Meanwhile, as we have already done, you may sing—yea, at once, believingly sing
DELIGHTING IN THE LORD.
“ Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of
thine heart."- PSALM xxxyii. 4.
The blessings here promised are, doubtless, temporal blessings, but the principles of the passage are of present application to us who are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
I need scarcely say, though it seems suitable to say it at the outset, how little, comparatively, is there among God's children of “ delight in the Lord.” There is, doubtless, a large amount of trust in the Lord, and a large amount of hope in Him, but with all this trust and hope, and having no confidence in anything else but the Lord, let me ask
you, as witnesses in
own case, Do you know much, in your own life, of delight in the Lord ? Is it not so, that some of
little of rest even in the Lord, to say nothing of positive delight? There must be something wrong at the root of things, when a believer is living barely trusting and hoping, but never fully at rest, never delighting in the Lord. And yet the broad command to every saint is, “ Delight thyself in the Lord.”
There are many reasons why men do not delight in the Lord. Some of them regard the unsaved, the natural man, of whom we do not now speak; the others regard believers. Shall I say it is because of the unbelief of believers that they have so little of true delight in the Lord? Some have but little truth, and that little is dull and torpid in their souls. And, alas ! that it should be so, when more truth is put before them they do not see it. They seem to have no receptive faculty. Talk to them of a thousand blessed things concerning our adorable Master and Lord, and of our association with Him, the eternal love and grace of the Father, and they cannot receive them. How can they rejoice
. and have joy when they do not believe? You understand me; they do believe, and are on the rock as to the blood, but they are, as it were, clinging to the outside of the ark of gopher wood, (which ark was Christ,) with the storm yet, seemingly, pitilessly lashing them; and are not like Noah, who was in perfect security inside the refuge, having the gopher wood (Christ) between him and judgment, and the open window alone between him and the calm azure of heaven beyond ! Believers must be ascertainedly in Christ Jesus, or they will not know the joy of the Lord as their strength.
Now, I want, beloved friends, at present, to speak from these words, first, a little doctrinally ; next, experimentally, and then, practically.
For if there be no doctrine, there is no basis for our delight. If no experience, if no delight in the Lord, no practical issue. "We shall be able to traverse these things by observing in the text A SPECIAL COMMAND and a SPECIAL PROMISE.
The command is, “ Delight thyself also in the Lord; the promise is, “ He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
And here I would that the Lord may begin with me; for I cannot tell you how I desire and long, yea long, that God may give me what I want—more truth,