|Around the Wicket Gate|
|Topic: Salvation||Type: Book Chapter||Author: C. H. Spurgeon|
We cannot too often or too plainly tell the seeking soul that his only hope for salvation lies in the Lord Jesus Christ. It lies in Him completely, only, and alone. To save both from the guilt and the power of sin, Jesus is all sufficient. His name is called Jesus, because He shall save His people from their sins. The Son of man has power on Earth to forgive sins [MAT 1:21; 9:6]. He is exalted on high to give repentance and forgiveness of sins [ACT 5:31]. It pleased God from of old to devise a method of salvation which should be all contained in His only-begotten Son. The Lord Jesus, for the working out of this salvation, became man, and being found in fashion as a man, became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [PHI 2:8]. If another way of deliverance had been possible, the cup of bitterness would have passed from Him. It stands to reason that the darling of Heaven would not have died to save us if we could have been rescued at less expense. Infinite grace provided the great sacrifice; infinite love submitted to death for our sakes. How can we dream that there can be another way than the way which God has provided at such cost, and set forth in Holy Scripture so simply and so urgently? Surely it is true that Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved [ACT 4:12].
To suppose that the Lord Jesus has only half saved men, and that there is needed some work or feeling of their own to finish His work, is wicked. What is there of ours that could be added to His blood and righteousness? All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [ISA 64:6]. Can these be patched on to the costly fabric of His divine righteousness? Rags and fine white linen! Our dross and His pure gold! It is an insult to the Savior to dream of such a thing. We have sinned enough, without adding this to all our other offenses.
Even if we had any righteousness in which we could boast; if our fig leaves were broader than usual, and were not so utterly fading, it would be wisdom to put them away, and accept that righteousness which must be far more pleasing to God than anything of our own. The Lord must see more that is acceptable in His Son than in the best of us. The best of us! The words seem satirical, though they were not so intended. What best is there about any of us? There is none who does good; no, not one [PSA 53:3]. I who write these lines, would most freely confess that I have not a thread of goodness of my own. I could not make up so much as a rag, or a piece of a rag. I am utterly destitute. But if I had the fairest suit of good works which even pride can imagine, I would tear it up that I might put on nothing but the garments of salvation, which are freely given by the Lord Jesus, out of the heavenly wardrobe of His own merits.
It is most glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we should hope for every good thing from Him alone. This is to treat Him as He deserves to be treated; for as He is God, and beside Him there is none else, we are bound to look unto Him and be saved.
This is to treat Him as He loves to be treated, for He bids all those who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him, and He will give them rest. To imagine that He cannot save to the uttermost is to limit the Holy One of Israel, and put a slur upon His power; or else to slander the loving heart of the Friend of sinners, and cast a doubt upon His love. In either case, we should commit a cruel and wanton sin against the tenderest points of His honor, which are His ability and willingness to save all that come unto God by Him.
The child, in danger of the fire, just clings to the fireman, and trusts to him alone. She raises no question about the strength of his limbs to carry her, or the zeal of his heart to rescue her; but she clings. The heat is terrible, the smoke is blinding, but she clings; and her deliverer quickly bears her to safety. In the same childlike confidence cling to Jesus, who can and will bear you out of danger from the flames of sin.
The nature of the Lord Jesus should inspire us with the fullest confidence. As He is God, He is almighty to save; as He is man, He is filled with all fullness to bless; as He is God and man in one Majestic Person, He meets man in His as His creature and God in His holiness. The ladder is long enough to reach from Jacob prostrate on the earth, to Jehovah reigning in Heaven. To bring another ladder would be to suppose that He failed to bridge the distance; and this would be grievously to dishonor Him. If even to add to His words is to draw a curse upon ourselves, what must it be to pretend to add to Himself? Remember that He, Himself, is the Way; and to suppose that we must, in some manner, add to the divine road, is to be arrogant enough to think of adding to Him. Away with such a notion! Loathe it as you would blasphemy; for in essence it is the worst of blasphemy against the Lord of love.
To come to Jesus with a price in our hand, would be insufferable pride, even if we had any price that we could bring. What does He need of us? What could we bring if He did need it? Would He sell the priceless blessings of His redemption? That which He wrought out in His hearts blood, would He barter it with us for our tears, and vows, or for ceremonial observances, and feelings, and works? He is not reduced to make a market of Himself: He will give freely, as is suitable to His royal love; but He that offers a price to Him knows not with Whom he is dealing, nor how grievously he vexes His free Spirit. Empty handed sinners may have what they will. All that they can possibly need is in Jesus, and He gives it for the asking; but we must believe that He is all in all, and we must not dare to breathe a word about completing what He has finished, or fitting ourselves for what He gives to us as undeserving sinners.
The reason why we may hope for forgiveness of sin, and life eternal, by faith in the Lord Jesus, is that God has so appointed. He has pledged Himself in the gospel to save all who truly trust in the Lord Jesus, and He will never run back from His promise. He is so well pleased with His only-begotten Son, that He takes pleasure in all who lay hold upon Him as their one and only hope. The great God Himself has taken hold on him who has taken hold on His Son. He works salvation for all who look for that salvation to the once-slain Redeemer. For the honor of His Son, He will not suffer the man who trusts in Him to be ashamed. He who believes on the Son has everlasting life [JOH 3:36]; for the ever living God has taken him unto Himself, and has given to him to be a partaker of His life. If Jesus only be your trust, you need not fear but what you shall effectually be saved, both now and in the day of His appearing.
When a man confides, there is a point of union between him and God, and that union guarantees blessing. Faith saves us because it makes us cling to Christ Jesus, and He is one with God, and thus brings us into connection with God. I am told that, years ago, above the Falls of Niagara, a boat was upset, and two men were being carried down by the current, when persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to them, which rope was seized by them both.
One of them held fast to it, and was safely drawn to the bank; but the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go the rope, and clung to the great piece of timber, for it was the bigger thing of the two, and apparently better to cling to. Alas! the timber, with the man on it, went right over the vast abyss, because there was no union between the wood and the shore. The size of the log was no benefit to him who grasped it; it needed a connection with the shore to produce safety. So, when a man trusts to his works, or to his prayers, or alms giving, or to sacraments, or to anything of that sort, he will not be saved, because there is no junction between him and God through Christ Jesus; but faith, though it may seem to be like a slender cord, is in the hand of the great God on the shore side; infinite power pulls in the connecting line, and thus draws the man from destruction. Oh, the blessedness of faith, because it unites us to God by the Savior, whom He has appointed, even Jesus Christ! O is there not common sense in this matter? Think it over, and may there soon be a band of union between you and God, through your faith in Christ Jesus!
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This Page Last Updated: 12/10/98 A. Allison Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org