WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?
“Oh!” cries one, “WHO then can be saved?” Ah! that is the point to which I wish to bring you. WHO, then can be saved by this law? Why, NO ONE IN THE WORLD! Salvation by the works of the law is proved to be a CLEAN IMPOSSIBILITY!
None of you, therefore, will say you will try to obey it, and so hope to be saved. I hear the best Christian in the world groan out his thoughts—”O God,” saith he, “I am guilty; and shouldst thou cast me into hell I dare not say otherwise. I have broken this command from my youth up, even since my conversion; I have violated it every day; I know that if Thou shouldst lay justice to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, I must be swept away forever. Lord, I renounce my trust in the law; for by it I know I can never see Thy face and be accepted.
But hark! I hear the Christian say another thing. “Oh!” saith he to the commandment, “Commandment I cannot keep thee, but my Saviour kept thee, and what my Saviour did, He did for all them that believe; and now, O law, what JESUS DID IS MINE! Hast thou any question to bring against me? Thou demandest that I should keep this commandment wholly: lo, my Saviour kept it wholly for me, and He is my substitute; what I cannot do myself my Saviour has done for me; thou canst not reject the work of the Substitute, for God accepted it in the day when He raised him from the dead. O law! shut thy mouth for ever; thou canst never condemn me; though I break thee a thousand times, I put my simple trust in Jesus only, His righteousness is mine, and with it I pay the debt and satisfy thy hungry mouth.”
“Oh!” cries one, “I wish I could say that I could thus escape the wrath of the law! Oh that I knew that Christ did keep the law for me!” Stop, then, and I will tell you. Do you feel to-day that you are guilty, lost, and ruined? Do you with tears in your eyes confess that none but Jesus can do you good? Are you willing to give up all trusts, and cast yourself alone on Him who died upon the cross? Can you look to Calvary, and see the bleeding sufferer, all crimson with streams of gore? Can you say
“A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
Into thine arms I fall;
Jesus, be Thou my righteousness,
My Saviour and my all!”
Canst say that? Then He kept the law for you, and the law cannot condemn whom Christ has absolved. If Law comes to you and says, “I will damn you because you did not keep the law,” tell him that he dares not touch a hair of your head, for though you did not keep it, Christ kept it for you, and Christ’s righteousness is yours; tell him there is the money and though you did not coin it Christ did; and tell him, when you have paid him all he asks for, he dares not touch you; you must be free, for Christ has satisfied the law!
And after that—and here I conclude—O child of God, I know what thou wilt say; after thou hast seen the law satisfied by Jesus thou wilt fall on thy knees and say, “Lord, I thank thee that this law cannot condemn me, for I believe in Jesus. But now, Lord, help me from this time forth for ever to keep it. Lord, give me a new heart, for this old heart never will love thee! Lord, give me a new life, for this old life is too vile. Lord, give me a new understanding; wash my mind with the clean water of the Spirit; come and dwell in my judgment, my memory, my thought; and then give me the new strength of thy Spirit, and then will I love Thee with all my new heart, with all my new life, with all my renewed mind, and with all my spiritual strength, from this time forth, even for evermore.”
May the Lord convince you of sin, by the energy of His divine Spirit, and bless this simple devotion, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.