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Living Unto God

Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Why do believers in Christ still sin? Believers do sin and unbelief is the cause of their sinning. However, if we Christians were to live with our eyes focused ever so closely on Christ – who bore our sins – and freely offers His righteousness for all our sins, then this constant view of the love of Christ maintained within us would provide the peace that rests on nothing in us. This is peace in Christ, which constrains us, helpless as we are, to live holy lives to the honor of God. Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) explains further:

“For the love of Christ constrains us.” (II Cor. 5:14)

I appeal to those of you who know what it is to be just by believing. What is it that still clouds the brow, which represses the exulting of the spirit? Why might we not always join in the song of thanksgiving: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all thine iniquities”! If we have received double for all our sins, why should it ever be needful for us to argue as does the psalmist: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul: and why are thou disquieted within me?” My friends there is not a man among you who has really believed, who has not felt the disquieting thought of which I am now speaking. There may be some of you who have felt it so painfully, that it has obscured, as with a heavy cloud, the sweet light of gospel peace, the shining in of the reconciled countenance upon the soul. The thought is this: “I am a justified man; but, alas! I am not a sanctified man. I can look at my past life without despair; but how can I look forward to what is to come?”

Now it is to the man precisely in this situation, crying out at morning and at evening, “How shall I be made new?” What good shall the forgiveness of my past sins do me, if I be not delivered from the love of sin? It is to that man that we would now, with all earnestness and affection, point out the example of Paul, and the secret power which wrought in him. “The love of Christ” (says Paul) “constraineth us.” We, too, are men of like passions with yourselves; that same sight, which you view with dismay within you, was in like manner revealed to us in all its discouraging power. Ever and anon the same hideous view of our own hearts is opened up to us. But we have an encouragement which never fails. The love of the bleeding Savior constrains us. The Spirit is given to them that believe; and that almighty agent has one argument that moves us continually – the love of Christ.

[The] hand of the Spirit . . . . [moves] the believer to live unto God; how so simple a truth as the love of Christ to man, continually presented to the mind by the Holy Ghost, should enable any man to live a life of gospel holiness. (Sermon: “The Love of Christ”)

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