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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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PEACE THAT FLOWS LIKE A RIVER

Robert Murray M'Cheyne M’Cheyne:

Some of you have truly been brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no abiding peace, and very little growth in holiness. Why is this? It is because your eye is fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are so busy looking at books, or looking at men, or looking at the world, that you have no time, no heart, for looking at Christ. No wonder you have little peace and joy in believing. No wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. Oh, what low, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer – look upon Jesus. It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Jesus. Oh, believer, consider Jesus. Meditate on these things. Look and look again, until your peace flows like a river.

THE LIGHT OF THE BIBLE

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne:

When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.

UNTIL THE SPIRIT IS CALLED DOWN

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843):

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

The Lord had the fullness of the Spirit in Him. The Father has entrusted the whole work of redemption into the hands of Jesus, and so the spirit is given to Him. As the Father hath life in himself, and quickeneth whom he will, so hath he given the son to have life in himself, and to quicken whom he will.

It is He who keeps all His own children alive from day to day. He is the Fountain of living waters, and His children lie beside the still waters, and drink every moment eternal life from Him.

It is He that pours down the Spirit in His sovereignty on those that never knew Him. “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications.” Truly, the whole work from the beginning to end is His.

Every means will be in vain until He pours the spirit down (Isaiah 32:15): Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers, “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high.” We may preach publicly, and from house to house, we may teach the young, and warn the old, but all will be in vain; until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, briers and thorns shall grow. Our vineyard shall be like the garden of the sluggard. We need that Christ should awake; that He should make bare His arm as in the days of old; that He should shed down the Spirit abundantly.

The children of God should plead with Him. Put your finger on the promise, and plead, “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, I the Lord will hear them” (Isaiah 41:7). Tell Him you are poor and needy. Spread out your wants before Him. Take your emptiness to His Fullness. There is an infinite supply with Him for everything you need, at the very moment you need it. (“The Cry For Revival”)

REVIVAL IS ALL DIVINE

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843):

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

It is God who must revive us again. It is not human work. It is all divine. If you look to men to do it, you will only get that curse in Jeremiah 17. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”

The Lord has all the means in His hands. The Son of Man holds the seven stars in His right hand. The stars are His ministers. He lifts them up, or lets them down, at His sovereign will. He gives them all their light, or He takes it away. He holds them up and lets them shine clearly, or He holds them in the hollow of His hand, as it seemeth good in His sight. Sometimes He lets them shine on one district of a country, sometimes another. They only shine to lead to Him. The star that leads away from Him is a wandering star, and Christ will cast it into the blackness forever. We should pray to Christ to make His ministers shine on us. (“The Cry For Revival”)

LIFE FROM ABOVE

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne:

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

The divine life is all from above. They [human beings] have no life till they come to Christ. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Now this life is maintained by union to Christ, and by getting fresh supplies every moment out of His fullness. “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in Him.” In some believers this life is maintained by a constant inflowing of the Holy Spirit — “I will water it every moment” — like the constant supply which the branch receives from the vine. These are the happiest and most even Christians. Others have flood-tides of the Spirit carrying them higher and higher. Sometimes they get more in a day than for months before. In the one of these, grace is like a river; in the other, it is like a shower coming down in its season. Still, in both there is need of revival. The natural heart is all prone to wither. Like a garden in summer, it dries up unless watered. The soul grows faint and weary in well-doing. Grace is not natural to the heart. The old heart is always for drying and fading. So the child of God needs to be continually looking out, like Elijah’s servant, for the little cloud over the sea. You need to be constantly pressing near the Fountain of living waters; yea, lying down at the well-head of salvation, and drinking the living water. “Wilt thou not revive us again?” (“The Cry for Revival”)

PREACHERS NEED REVIVAL

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne:

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

Ministers are naturally hard-hearted and unbelieving as other men (Mark 6:14), so that Christ has often to unbraid them. Their faith is all from above. They must receive from God all that they give. In order to speak the truth with power, they need a personal grasp of it. It is impossible to speak with power from mere head knowledge, or even from past experience. If we would speak with energy, it must be from present feeling of the truth as it is in Jesus. We cannot speak of the hidden manna unless we have the taste of it on our mouth. We cannot speak of the living water unless it be springing up within us. Like John the Baptist, we must see Jesus coming, and say; “Behold the Lamb of God.” We must speak with Christ in our eye, as Stephen did. “I see Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” We must speak from a present sense of pardon and access to God, or our words will be cold and lifeless. But how can we do this if we are not quickened from above. Ministers are far more exposed to be cast down than other men; they are standard bearers, and Satan loves when a standard-bearer faints. Oh, what need of full supplies out of Christ’s fullness! Pray, beloved, that it may be so. “Wilt thou not revive us again?” (“The Cry for Revival”)

MORE GRACE

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843)

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

The soul of a believer needs grace every moment. “By the grace of God I am what I am.” But there are times when he needs more grace that at other times. Just as the body continually needs food; but there are times when it needs food more than at others — times of great bodily exertion, when all powers are to be put forth.

Sometimes the soul of a believer is exposed to hot persecution. Reproach breaks the heart; or it beats like a scorching sun upon the head. “For my love they are my adversaries.” Sometimes they are God’s children who reproach us, and this is still harder to bear. The soul is ready to rest or sink under it.

Sometimes it is flattery that tempts the soul. The world speaks well of us, and we are tempted to pride and vanity. This is still worse to bear.

Sometimes Satan strives within us, by stirring up fearful corruptions, till there is a tempest within. Oh, is there a tempted soul that reads these words? Jesus prays for thee. You need more peace. Nothing but the oil of the Spirit will feed the fire of grace when Satan is casting water on it. Send up this cry, “Wilt thou not revive us again?” (“The Cry for Revival”)

IN A TIME OF BACKSLIDING

Robert Murray M'CheyneRobert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843):

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6 ESV)

There are many times when, like Ephesus, many of God’s children lose their first love. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. Believers lose their close and near communion with God. They go out of the holiest, and pray at a distance with a curtain between. They lose their fervency, sweetness, and fullness in secret prayer. They do not pour out their hearts to God.

They have lost their clear discovery of Christ. They see Him but dimly. They have lost the sight of His beauty — the savor of His good ointment — the hold of His garment. They seek him, but find Him not. They cannot stir up the heart to lay hold on Christ.

The Spirit dwells scantily in their soul. The living water seems almost dried up within them. The soul is dry and barren. Corruptions are strong: grace is very weak. Continue reading

Robert Murray McCheyne: Do Not Doubt His Love

In the words of Robert Murray McCheyne:

God’s children should not doubt His love when He afflicts. Christ loved Lazarus peculiarly, and yet He afflicted Him very sore. A surgeon never bends his eye so tenderly upon his patient, as when he is putting in the lancet, or probing the wound to the very bottom. And so with Christ – He bends His eye most tenderly over His own at the time He is afflicting them… A goldsmith when he casts gold into the furnace looks after it. (“Comfort in Sorrow”)

A Treasure Left Untouched By The World

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

From the pen of Robert M. M’Cheyne:

When a man’s eye is closed on Christ and the eternal world, he cannot stand the shock of afflictions; but if his eyes clearly see Jesus, you may take away houses and lands, his dearest earthly possessions, his loved ones, still his chief treasure is untouched. (M’Cheyne, The Believer’s Joy, 101)

Christ’s Persevering Love

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

The true measure of life is not its length, but its usefulness. Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s ministry lasted but a short seven and a half years (He died at the age of 29.), yet the fruitfulness of that brief life remains active to this day. M’Cheyne left notes of only some 300 sermons when he died in 1843, but his sermons continue to bless. He once counseled a fellow pastor: “Get your texts from God – your thoughts, your words, from God… It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.” Below, M’Cheyne elaborates on love and perseverance:

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

[I]f Christ’s love to us be the object which the Holy Spirit makes use of, at the very first, to draw us to the service of Christ, it is by means of the same object that He draws us to persevere even unto the end. So that if you are visited with seasons of coldness and indifference; if you begin to be weary, or lag behind in the service of God, behold! Here is the remedy: look again to the bleeding Savior. That Sun of Righteousness is the grand attractive centre, round which all His saints move swiftly, and in smooth harmonious concert, “not without song”. As long as the believing eye is fixed upon His love, the path of the believer is easy and unimpeded; for that love always constrains. But lift off the believing eye, and that path becomes impracticable, the life of holiness a weariness.

Whoever, then, would live a life of persevering holiness, let him keep his eye fixed on the Savior. As long as Peter looked only to the Savior, he walked upon the sea in safety, to go to Jesus; but when he looked around and saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried, “Lord, save me!” Just so will it be with you. As long as you look believingly to the Savior, who loved you, and gave Himself for you, so long you may tread the waters of life’s troubled sea, and the soles of your feet shall not be wet. But venture to look around upon the winds and waves that threaten you on every hand, and, like Peter, you begin to sink, and cry, “Lord, save me!” How justly, then, may we address to you the Savior’s rebuke to Peter: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Look again to the love of the Savior, and behold that love which constrains you to live no more to yourself, but to Him that died for you and rose again. (“The Love of Christ”)

Can A Man Be Frightened Into Holiness?

Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Christ’s love for us is the object which the Holy Spirit uses to draw us to the service of Christ. Christ’s love is also the means that the Holy Spirit uses to draw us to persevere to the end. As long as the believing eye is fixed upon His love, the path of the believer’s sanctification will be traveled. Christ’s love always constrains us. However, if the believing eye is directed elsewhere, the life of holiness becomes drudgery. Robert Murray M’Cheyne explains the necessity of love in living a holy life:

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

It is truly admirable to see how the Bible way of making us holy is suited to our nature. Had God proposed to frighten us into a holy life, how vain would have been the attempt! Men have always an idea, that if one came from the dead to tell us of the reality of the doleful regions where dwell in endless misery the spirits of the damned, that that would constrain us to live a holy life; but what ignorance does this not show of our mysterious nature!

Suppose that God should this hour unveil before our eyes the secrets of those dreadful abodes where hope never comes; suppose, if it were possible, that you were actually made to feel for a season the real pains of the lake of living agony, and the worm that never dies; and then that you were brought back again on earth, and placed in your old situation, among your old friends and companions; do you really think that there would be any chance of your walking with God as a child? I doubt not you would be frightened out of your positive sins; the cup of godless pleasure would drop from your hand; you would shudder at an oath, you would tremble at a falsehood, because you had seen and felt something of the torment that awaits the drunkard, and the swearer, and the liar, in the world beyond the grave; but do you really think that you would live to God any more than you did, that you would serve Him better than before? It is quite true you might be driven to give larger charity; yea, to give all your goods to feed the poor, and your body to be burned; you might live strictly and soberly, most fearful of breaking one of the commandments, all the rest of your days: but this would not be living to God, you would not love Him one whit more. You are sadly blinded to your curiously formed hearts, if you do not know that love cannot be forced; no man was ever frightened into love, and, therefore, no man was ever frightened into holiness.

But thrice blessed be God, He has invented a way more powerful than hell and all its terrors; an argument mightier far than even a sight of those torments; He has invented a way of drawing us to holiness. By showing us the love of his Son, He calls forth our love. He knew our frame; He remembered that we were dust; He knew all the peculiarities of our treacherous hearts; and, therefore, He suited His way of sanctifying to the creature to be sanctified. Thus, the Spirit does not make use of terror to sanctify us, but of love. (“The love of Christ constrains us”)

 

His Love Brings Peace

Robert Murray McCheyne

God has invented a way of drawing us to holiness. When he shows forth the love of his Son, God calls forth our love. Robert Murray M’Cheyne touches on this idea in the excerpt below:

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

The love of Christ to man constrains the believer to live a holy life; because that truth not only takes away our fear and hatred, but stirs up our love.

When we are brought to see the reconciled face of God in peace, that is a great privilege. But how can we look upon that face, reconciling and reconciled, and not love him who has so loved us? Love begets love. We can hardly keep from esteeming those on earth who really love us, how worthless they may be. But when we are convinced that God loves us, and convinced in such a way as by the giving up of His Son for us all, how shall we but love Him, in whom are all excellences – everything to call forth love?

I have already shown you that the gospel is a restorative scheme; it brings us back to the same state of friendship with God which Adam enjoyed, and thus takes away the desire of sin. But now I wish to show you, that the gospel does far more than restore us to the state from which we fell. If rightly and consistently embraced by us, it brings us into a state far better than Adam’s. It constrains us by a more powerful motive. Adam had not this strong love of God to man shed abroad in his heart; and, therefore, he had not this constraining power to make him live to God. But our eyes have seen this great sight. Before us Christ has been evidently set forth crucified. If we really believe, His love has brought us into peace, through pardon; and because we are pardoned and at peace with God, the Holy Spirit is given us. What to do? Why, just to shed abroad this truth over our hearts, to show us more and more of this love of God to us, that we may be drawn to love Him who has so loved us, to live to Him who has so loved us, to live to Him who died for us and rose again. (“The Love of Christ”)

How Shall We Be Cured Of The Love Of Sin?

Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray McCheyne was born in Edinburgh, 21 May 1813. At the age of four he knew the characters of the Greek alphabet, and was able to sing and recite fluently. He was licensed as a preacher by the Annan presbytery on 1 July 1835. His health, which had never been robust, broke down under the strain of his new office; but his fame as a preacher spread through Scotland, and on 24 November 1836 he was ordained to the pastorate of St. Peter’s Church, Dundee. The congregation numbered eleven hundred hearers, and McCheyne addressed himself to the work of the ministry with so much ardor that his health again gave way, and in December 1838 he was compelled to desist from all public duty. By the end of 1839 McCheyne resumed his ministerial duties in Dundee with renewed energy. In the autumn of 1842 he visited the north of England on an evangelical mission, and made similar journeys to London and Aberdeenshire. On his return from the latter place he was seized with sudden illness, and died on Saturday, 25 March 1843. In the article below, McCheyne helps us to understand how we might cast sin aside:

The love of Christ to man constrains the believer to live a holy life, because that truth takes away all his dread and hatred of God. Now I am quite sure that many of you may hear this charge against the natural man with incredulous indifference, if not with indignation. You do not feel that you hate God, or dread his presence; and therefore you say it cannot be true. But when God says of your heart that it is “desperately wicked”; when god claims for Himself the privilege of knowing and trying the heart, is it not presumptuous in such ignorant beings as we are to say that that is not true with respect to our hearts, which God affirms to be true, merely because we are not conscious of it? God says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God”, that the very grain and substance of an unconverted mind is hatred against god, absolute, implacable hatred against Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is quite true that we do not feel this hatred within us; but that is only an aggravation of our sin and of our danger. We have so choked up the avenues of self-examination, there are so many turnings and windings before we can arrive at the true motives of our actions, that our dread and hatred of God, which first moved man to sin, and which are still the grand impelling forces whereby Satan goads on the children of disobedience; these are wholly concealed from our eyes, and you cannot persuade a natural man that they are really there. But the Bible testifies that out of these two deadly roots – dread of God and hatred of God – grows up the thick forest of sins with which the earth is blackened and overspread. . . .

If, then, dread of God, and hatred of God, be the cause of all our sins, how shall we be cured of the love of sin, but by taking away the cause? How do you most effectually kill the noxious weed? Is it not by striking at the root? In the love of Christ to man then – in that strange, unspeakable gift of God, when He laid down His life for His enemies, when He died the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God – do you not see an object which, if really believed by the sinner, takes away all his dread and all his hatred of God? The root of sin is severed from the stock. In His bearing double for all our sins, we see the curse carried away, we see God reconciled. Why should we fear any more? Not fearing, why should we hate God any more? Not hating God, what desirableness can we see in sin any more? Putting on the righteousness of Christ, we are again placed as Adam was, with God as our friend. We have no object in sinning; and, therefore, we do not care to sin. . . .

[I]t is indeed too true that believers do sin; but it is just as true that unbelief is the cause of their sinning. If you and I were to live with our eye so closely on Christ bearing double for all our sins, freely offering to all a double righteousness for all our sins; and if this constant view of the love of Christ maintained within us, as assuredly it would if we looked with a straightforward eye, the peace of God which passes all understanding – the peace that rests on nothing in us, but upon the completeness that is in Christ – then I do say that, frail and helpless as we are, we should never sin; we should not have the slightest object in sinning. But this is not the way with us. How often in the day is the love of Christ quite out of view! How often is it obscured to us! Sometimes hid from us by God Himself, to teach us what we are. How often are we left without the realizing sense of the completeness of His offering, the perfectness of His righteousness, and without the will or confidence to claim an interest in Him . . . .?

The matter is very plain, if only we had spiritual eyes to see it. If we live a life of faith on the Son of God, then we shall assuredly live a life of holiness. I do not say we ought to do so; but I say, we shall, as a matter of necessary consequence. But in as far as we do not live a life of faith, in so far we shall live a life of unholiness. It is through faith that God purifies the heart; and there is no other way.

God’s Love Lost?

Robert Murray McCheyne

It is God who tells us that our hearts are “desperately wicked. I’m sure that many of you hear this charge with indignation and say it cannot be true. Yet, God claims for Himself the privilege of knowing and trying the heart. God says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God”. The inclination of the unconverted mind is hatred against god. We may not be conscious of this hatred within us, but that is because we have made our true self-consciousness into a maze of self-deception. The dread and hatred of God, is an impelling force which blinds us to our true state of being. Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) explains mans dilemma:

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

When Adam was unfallen, God was everything to his soul; and everything was good and desirable to him, only in so far as it had to do with God. Every vein of his body, so fearfully and wonderfully made, every leaf that rustled in the bowers of Paradise, every new sun that rose, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race, brought him in every day new subjects of godly thought and of admiring praise; and it was only for that reason that he could delight to look on them. The flowers that appeared on the earth, the singing of birds, and the voice of the turtle heard throughout the happy land, the fig tree putting forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes giving a good smell, all these combined to bring in to him at every pore a rich and varied tribute of pleasantness. And why? Just because they brought into the soul rich and varied communications of the manifold grace of Jehovah. For, just as you may have seen a child on earth devoted to its earthly parent, pleased with everything when he is present, and valuing every gift just as it shows more of the tenderness of that parent’s heart, so was it with that genuine child of God. In God he lived, and moved, and had his being; and not more surely would the blotting out of the sun in the heavens have taken away that light which is so pleasant to the eyes, than would the hiding of the face of God from him have taken away the light of his soul, and left nature a dark and desolate witness. But when Adam fell, the fine gold became dim; the system of his thoughts and likings was just reversed. Instead of enjoying God in everything, and everything in God, everything now seemed hateful and disagreeable to him, just in as far as it had to do with God.

When man sinned, then he feared, and hated Him whom he feared; and fled to all sin just to flee from Him whom he hated. So that, just as you may have seen a child who has grievously transgressed against a loving parent doing all it can to hide that parent from its view, hurrying from his presence and plunging into other thoughts and occupations, just to rid itself of the thought of its justly offended father; in the very same way when fallen Adam heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, that voice which before he sinned was heavenly music in his ears – then “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden”. And in the same way does every natural man run from the voice and presence of the Lord, not to hide under the thick embowering leaves of Paradise, but to bury himself in cares and business and pleasures and reveling. Any retreat is agreeable, where God is not; any occupation is tolerable, if God be not in the thoughts.

Now I am quite sure that many of you may hear this charge against the natural man with incredulous indifference, if not with indignation. You do not feel that you hate God, or dread his presence; and therefore you say it cannot be true. But when God says of your heart that it is “desperately wicked”; when god claims for Himself the privilege of knowing and trying the heart, is it not presumptuous in such ignorant beings as we are to say that that is not true with respect to our hearts, which God affirms to be true, merely because we are not conscious of it? God says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God”, that the very grain and substance of an unconverted mind is hatred against god, absolute, implacable hatred against Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is quite true that we do not feel this hatred within us; but that is only an aggravation of our sin and of our danger. We have so choked up the avenues of self-examination, there are so many turnings and windings before we can arrive at the true motives of our actions, that our dread and hatred of God, which first moved man to sin, and which are still the grand impelling forces whereby Satan goads on the children of disobedience; these are wholly concealed from our vies, and you cannot persuade a natural man that they are really there. But the Bible testifies that out of these two deadly roots – dread of God- – and hatred of God grows up the thick forest of sins with which the earth is blackened and overspread. And if there be one among you, who has been awakened by God to know what is in his heart, I take that men this day to witness that his bitter cry, in view of all his sins, has ever been: “Against thee, thee only have I sinned.”

If, then, dread of God, and hatred of God, be the cause of all our sins, how shall we be cured of the love of sin, but by taking away the cause? How do you most effectually kill the noxious weed? Is it not by striking at the root? In the love of Christ to man then – in that strange, unspeakable gift of God, when He laid down His life for His enemies, when He died the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God – do you not see an object which, if really believed by the sinner, takes away all his dread and all his hatred of God? The root of sin is severed from the stock. In His bearing double for all our sins, we see the curse carried away, we see God reconciled. Why should we fear any more? Not fearing, why should we hate God any more? Not hating God, what desirableness can we see in sin any more? Putting on the righteousness of Christ, we are again placed as Adam was, with God as our friend. We have no object in sinning; and, therefore, we do not care to sin.

In the sixth chapter of Romans Paul seems to speak of the believer sinning, as if the very proposition were absurd. “How shall we, that are dead to sin,” that is, who in Christ have already borne the penalty – “how shall we live any longer therein?” And again he says very boldly: “Sin shall not have dominion over you” – it is impossible in the nature of things – “for you are not under the law, but under grace”; you are no longer under the curse of a broken law, dreading and hating God; you are under grace; under a system of piece and friendship with God.

But is there anyone ready to object to me that if these things be so, if nothing more than that a man may be brought into peace with god is needful to a holy life and conversation, how comes it that believers do still sin? I answer, it is indeed too true that believers do sin; but it is just as true that unbelief is the cause of their sinning. If you and I were to live with our eye so closely on Christ bearing double for all our sins, freely offering to all a double righteousness for all our sins; and if this constant view of the love of Christ maintained within us, as assuredly it would if we looked with a straightforward eye, the peace of God which passes all understanding – the peace that rests on nothing in us, but upon the completeness that is in Christ – then I do say that, frail and helpless as we are, we should never sin; we should not have the slightest object in sinning. But this is not the way with us. How often in the day is the love of Christ quite out of view! How often is it obscured to us! Sometimes hid from us by God Himself, to teach us what we are. How often are we left without the realizing sense of the completeness of His offering, the perfectness of His righteousness, and without the will or confidence to claim an interest in Him! Who can wonder then that, where there is so much unbelief, dread and hatred of God should again creep in, and sin should often display its poisonous head.

The matter is very plain, if only we had spiritual eyes to see it. If we live a life of faith on the Son of God, then we shall assuredly live a life of holiness. I do not say we ought to do so; but I say, we shall, as a matter of necessary consequence. But in as far as we do not live a life of faith, in so far we shall live a life of unholiness. It is through faith that God purifies the heart; and there is no other way.

Is there one of you, then, desirous of being made new, of being delivered from the slavery of sinful habits and affections. We can point you to no other remedy but the love of Christ. Behold how He loves you! See what He bore for you; put your finger, as it were, into the prints of the nails, and thrust your hand into His side; and be no more faithless, but believing. Under a sense of your sin, flee to the Savior of sinners. As the timorous dove flies to hide itself in the crevices of the rock, so do you flee to hide yourself in the wounds of your Savior; and when you have found Him, like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; when you sit under His shadow, with great delight; you will find that He has slain all the enmity, that He has accomplished all your warfare. God is now for you. Planted together with Christ in the likeness of His death, you shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Dead unto sin, you shall be alive unto God.

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