ASSURANCE OF SALVATION AND THE STRUGGLE FOR IT

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION AND THE STRUGGLE FOR IT

J.C. Philpot

“The entrance of Thy words giveth light” [Psalm 119:130]

We often get into such dark paths, that we feel as if there were no more grace in our souls, than we are as one altogether dead in trespasses and sins. And whether we look back at the past, or view the present, or turn our eyes to the future, one dark cloud seems to rest upon the whole; nor can we, with all our searching, find to our satisfaction that we have one spark of true religion, or one atom of grace, or one grain of vital godliness, or any trace that the Spirit of God has touched our consciences with his finger.

Now, when we are in this dark, benighted state, we want LIGHT; we want the blessed Son of righteousness to arise; we want the south wind to blow a heavenly gale, and drive the mists away; we want the clouds to part, and the light of God s countenance to shine into our souls, so as to show us where we are, and what we are, and make it clear, that base and vile as we are, yet that we are interested in the love of the Father, the blood of the Son, and the teachings of the Holy Ghost.

Are you never there in soul-feeling? Do you not sometimes look into your hearts, and weigh up your evidences, and examine yourselves, and say, “I must honestly confess” and you sink fathoms in a moment “that I cannot find in my soul one mark of grace; I am as worldly, as stupid, as ignorant, and as carnal, as though the finger of God bad never touched me.”

In these seasons, then, you want the ENTRANCE OF LIGHT. You cannot run to a friend, and say, “Be so kind as to give me a little flattery. Do just take the whitewash brush, and brush me over; get out the mortar and trowel, and daub me over with a little plaster. Pray, put a little putty into these cracked evidences; shore up my sinking religion, that it may not be altogether” a tottering wall, and a bowed fence.” No; you would rather ask a man of God to take his trowel, and pick out with the pointed end all the putty, instead of putting fresh into the crack.

You would rather stand naked before God, that he himself might, in his own time and way, clothe you with the garments of salvation, than be wrapped up in the veils and mantles of profession, or borrow a robe from your neighbour. Thus in these seasons you cannot go to man. You cannot angle for praise. If you resemble me, you cannot go to a child of God with a head hanging like a bulrush, and with demure looks throw out some disparaging, condemnatory sentence against yourself, for the express purpose of your Christian friend taking it up in order to underprop with it your religion. But you will act as Jeremiah says he did Jer 15:17, “I sat alone, because of thy hand;” you will do as we read La 3:28 he does who bears the yoke, -“he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.”

You will be crying unto the Lord in some secret corner, be tossing on your midnight couch, wrestling with the Saviour for a manifestation, and big scalding drops will be rolling down your cheeks, that the Lord would make himself known unto you, and sprinkle your conscience with his atoning blood. You will be sighing and mourning, away from every human eye and every human ear, that the Lord himself would lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and cause you experimentally to know the meaning of the words: The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” You can t be satisfied with the doctrine of Christ s blood, and the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness, and the doctrine of God s everlasting love, but you want the feeling application of it; the spiritual and supernatural entrance of it into your souls, so as to raise up that in your hearts which shall bring you out of prison to praise and bless his name.

And you want this entrance of light into your heart, that it may give you entrance into that which is within the veil, even a sweet and blessed entrance, by faith into the very heart and compassionate bosom of Jesus, so as to drink into his spirit, and to be melted into his likeness.

THIS IS THE RELIGION THAT I WANT; and as to any other, I would, in my right mind, tear every shred of it from me. As to any religion that does not stand in divine teachings, sweet applications, blessed manifestations, and heavenly testimonies, I would throw it aside from me as an unclean garment -I would bury all such rags and tatters in the first dunghill that I came to.

THE MORE YOU GROW THE MORE YOU LEARN YOUR HELPLESSNESS 

THE MORE YOU GROW THE MORE YOU LEARN YOUR HELPLESSNESS

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

GROWTH IN GRACE AND CHRISTIAN HUMILITY

GROWTH IN GRACE AND CHRISTIAN HUMILITY

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

J.C. Philpot

“The entrance of Thy words giveth light” [Psalm 119:130]

We often get into such dark paths, that we feel as if there were no more grace in our souls, than we are as one altogether dead in trespasses and sins. And whether we look back at the past, or view the present, or turn our eyes to the future, one dark cloud seems to rest upon the whole; nor can we, with all our searching, find to our satisfaction that we have one spark of true religion, or one atom of grace, or one grain of vital godliness, or any trace that the Spirit of God has touched our consciences with his finger.

Now, when we are in this dark, benighted state, we want LIGHT; we want the blessed Son of righteousness to arise; we want the south wind to blow a heavenly gale, and drive the mists away; we want the clouds to part, and the light of God s countenance to shine into our souls, so as to show us where we are, and what we are, and make it clear, that base and vile as we are, yet that we are interested in the love of the Father, the blood of the Son, and the teachings of the Holy Ghost.

Are you never there in soul-feeling? Do you not sometimes look into your hearts, and weigh up your evidences, and examine yourselves, and say, “I must honestly confess” and you sink fathoms in a moment “that I cannot find in my soul one mark of grace; I am as worldly, as stupid, as ignorant, and as carnal, as though the finger of God bad never touched me.”

In these seasons, then, you want the ENTRANCE OF LIGHT. You cannot run to a friend, and say, “Be so kind as to give me a little flattery. Do just take the whitewash brush, and brush me over; get out the mortar and trowel, and daub me over with a little plaster. Pray, put a little putty into these cracked evidences; shore up my sinking religion, that it may not be altogether” a tottering wall, and a bowed fence.” No; you would rather ask a man of God to take his trowel, and pick out with the pointed end all the putty, instead of putting fresh into the crack.

You would rather stand naked before God, that he himself might, in his own time and way, clothe you with the garments of salvation, than be wrapped up in the veils and mantles of profession, or borrow a robe from your neighbour. Thus in these seasons you cannot go to man. You cannot angle for praise. If you resemble me, you cannot go to a child of God with a head hanging like a bulrush, and with demure looks throw out some disparaging, condemnatory sentence against yourself, for the express purpose of your Christian friend taking it up in order to underprop with it your religion. But you will act as Jeremiah says he did Jer 15:17, “I sat alone, because of thy hand;” you will do as we read La 3:28 he does who bears the yoke, -“he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.”

You will be crying unto the Lord in some secret corner, be tossing on your midnight couch, wrestling with the Saviour for a manifestation, and big scalding drops will be rolling down your cheeks, that the Lord would make himself known unto you, and sprinkle your conscience with his atoning blood. You will be sighing and mourning, away from every human eye and every human ear, that the Lord himself would lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and cause you experimentally to know the meaning of the words: The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” You can t be satisfied with the doctrine of Christ s blood, and the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness, and the doctrine of God s everlasting love, but you want the feeling application of it; the spiritual and supernatural entrance of it into your souls, so as to raise up that in your hearts which shall bring you out of prison to praise and bless his name.

And you want this entrance of light into your heart, that it may give you entrance into that which is within the veil, even a sweet and blessed entrance, by faith into the very heart and compassionate bosom of Jesus, so as to drink into his spirit, and to be melted into his likeness.

THIS IS THE RELIGION THAT I WANT; and as to any other, I would, in my right mind, tear every shred of it from me. As to any religion that does not stand in divine teachings, sweet applications, blessed manifestations, and heavenly testimonies, I would throw it aside from me as an unclean garment -I would bury all such rags and tatters in the first dunghill that I came to.

GROWTH IN GRACE AND THE COW’S TAIL

GROWTH IN GRACE AND THE COW’S TAIL

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN GROW IN GRACE?

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN GROW IN GRACE?

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

THE STRUGGLE FOR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

THE STRUGGLE FOR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

J.C. Philpot

“The entrance of Thy words giveth light” [Psalm 119:130]

We often get into such dark paths, that we feel as if there were no more grace in our souls, than we are as one altogether dead in trespasses and sins. And whether we look back at the past, or view the present, or turn our eyes to the future, one dark cloud seems to rest upon the whole; nor can we, with all our searching, find to our satisfaction that we have one spark of true religion, or one atom of grace, or one grain of vital godliness, or any trace that the Spirit of God has touched our consciences with his finger.

Now, when we are in this dark, benighted state, we want LIGHT; we want the blessed Son of righteousness to arise; we want the south wind to blow a heavenly gale, and drive the mists away; we want the clouds to part, and the light of God s countenance to shine into our souls, so as to show us where we are, and what we are, and make it clear, that base and vile as we are, yet that we are interested in the love of the Father, the blood of the Son, and the teachings of the Holy Ghost.

Are you never there in soul-feeling? Do you not sometimes look into your hearts, and weigh up your evidences, and examine yourselves, and say, “I must honestly confess” and you sink fathoms in a moment “that I cannot find in my soul one mark of grace; I am as worldly, as stupid, as ignorant, and as carnal, as though the finger of God bad never touched me.”

In these seasons, then, you want the ENTRANCE OF LIGHT. You cannot run to a friend, and say, “Be so kind as to give me a little flattery. Do just take the whitewash brush, and brush me over; get out the mortar and trowel, and daub me over with a little plaster. Pray, put a little putty into these cracked evidences; shore up my sinking religion, that it may not be altogether” a tottering wall, and a bowed fence.” No; you would rather ask a man of God to take his trowel, and pick out with the pointed end all the putty, instead of putting fresh into the crack.

You would rather stand naked before God, that he himself might, in his own time and way, clothe you with the garments of salvation, than be wrapped up in the veils and mantles of profession, or borrow a robe from your neighbour. Thus in these seasons you cannot go to man. You cannot angle for praise. If you resemble me, you cannot go to a child of God with a head hanging like a bulrush, and with demure looks throw out some disparaging, condemnatory sentence against yourself, for the express purpose of your Christian friend taking it up in order to underprop with it your religion. But you will act as Jeremiah says he did Jer 15:17, “I sat alone, because of thy hand;” you will do as we read La 3:28 he does who bears the yoke, -“he sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.”

You will be crying unto the Lord in some secret corner, be tossing on your midnight couch, wrestling with the Saviour for a manifestation, and big scalding drops will be rolling down your cheeks, that the Lord would make himself known unto you, and sprinkle your conscience with his atoning blood. You will be sighing and mourning, away from every human eye and every human ear, that the Lord himself would lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and cause you experimentally to know the meaning of the words: The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” You can t be satisfied with the doctrine of Christ s blood, and the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness, and the doctrine of God s everlasting love, but you want the feeling application of it; the spiritual and supernatural entrance of it into your souls, so as to raise up that in your hearts which shall bring you out of prison to praise and bless his name.

And you want this entrance of light into your heart, that it may give you entrance into that which is within the veil, even a sweet and blessed entrance, by faith into the very heart and compassionate bosom of Jesus, so as to drink into his spirit, and to be melted into his likeness.

THIS IS THE RELIGION THAT I WANT; and as to any other, I would, in my right mind, tear every shred of it from me. As to any religion that does not stand in divine teachings, sweet applications, blessed manifestations, and heavenly testimonies, I would throw it aside from me as an unclean garment -I would bury all such rags and tatters in the first dunghill that I came to.

GROWTH IN GRACE

growth in grace

GROWTH IN GRACE

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

SPURGEON AND OTHER GREAT DIVINES WHO BEWAILED THEIR DEPRAVITY!

Depravity

SPURGEON AND OTHER GREAT DIVINES WHO BEWAILED THEIR DEPRAVITY!

Said the Prince of Preachers (Spurgeon):

“There are some professing Christians who can speak of themselves in terms of admiration; but, from my inmost heart, I loathe such speeches more and more every day that I live. Those who talk in such a boastful fashion must be constituted very differently from ME. While they are congratulating themselves, I have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s Cross, and MARVEL THAT I AM SAVED AT ALL, for I know that I am saved. I have to wonder that I do not believe Christ more, and equally wonder that I am privileged to believe in Him at all—to wonder that I do not love Him more, and equally to wonder that I love Him at all—to wonder that I am not holier, and equally to wonder that I have any desire to be holy at all considering what a polluted debased, depraved nature I find still within my soul, notwithstanding all that divine grace has done in me.

If God were ever to allow the fountains of the great deeps of depravity to break up in the best man that lives, HE WOULD MAKE AS BAD A DEVIL AS THE DEVIL HIMSELF IS. I care nothing for what these boasters say concerning their own perfections; I feel sure that THEY DO NOT KNOW THEMSELVES, OR THEY COULD NOT TALK AS THEY OFTEN DO. There is tinder enough in the saint who is nearest to heaven to kindle another hell if God should but permit a spark to fall upon it. In the very best of men there is an infernal and well-nigh infinite depth of depravity. Some Christians never seem to find this out. I almost wish that they might not do so, for IT IS A PAINFUL DISCOVERY FOR ANYONE TO MAKE; but it has the beneficial effect of making us cease from trusting in ourselves, and causing us to glory only in the Lord!”

Incidentally Spurgeon is not alone in his lament concerning his depravity. Here are a few more quotes from eminent divines of the past:

Mr. Bradford, of holy memory, who was martyred in the reign of bloody queen Mary, in a letter to a fellow-prisoner in another penitentiary, subscribed himself thus: “The sinful John Bradford: a very painted hypocrite: the most miserable, hard-hearted, and unthankful sinner, John Bradford.” (1555 A.D.)

Godly Rutherford wrote, “This body of sin and corruption embitters and poisons our enjoyment. Oh that I were where I shall sin no more.” (1650 A.D.)

Bishop Berkeley wrote, “I cannot pray, but I sin; I cannot preach, but I sin; I cannot administer, nor receive the holy sacrament, but I sin. My very repentance needs to be repented of: and the tears I shed need washing in the blood of Christ.” (1670 A.D.)

Jonathan Edwards, himself, than whom few men have been more honored of God, either in their spiritual attainments or in the extent to which God has used them in blessing to others, near the end of his life wrote thus: “When I look into my heart and take a view of its wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deeper than hell. And it appears to me, that, were it not for free grace, exalted and raised up to the infinite height of all the fullness and glory of the great Jehovah, I should appear sunk down in my sins below hell itself; far below the sight of everything, but the eye of sovereign grace, that alone can pierce down to such a depth. And it is affecting to think how ignorant I was, when a young Christian [alas, that so many older Christians are still ignorant of it.—A.W.P.], of the bottomless depths of wickedness, pride, hypocrisy and deceit left in my heart” (1743 A.D.).

Augustus Toplady, author of “Rock of Ages,” wrote thus in his private diary under December 31, 1767—“Upon a review of the past year, I desire to confess that my unfaithfulness has been exceeding great; my sins still greater; God’s mercies greater than both.” And again, “My short-comings and my mis-doings, my unbelief and want of love, would sink me into the lowest hell, was not Jesus my righteousness and my Redeemer.”

John Newton, writer of that blessed hymn, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see;” when referring to the expectations which he cherished at the outset of his Christian life, wrote thus: “But alas! these my golden expectations have been like South Sea dreams. I have lived hitherto a poor sinner, and I believe I shall die one. Have I, then, gained nothing? Yes, I have gained that which I once would rather have been without! Such accumulated proof of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of my heart, as I hope by the Lord’s blessing has, in some measure, taught me to know what I mean when I say, Behold, I am vile. . .I was ashamed of myself, when I began to seek it, I am more ashamed now”.

“O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM.” This then is the language of a regenerate soul. It is the confession of the normal (undeceived and undeluded) Christian. The substance of it may be found not only in the recorded utterances of Old and New Testament saints, but as well, in the writings of the most eminent Christians who have lived during the last five hundred years. Different indeed were the confessions and witnessings borne by eminent saints of the past from the ignorant and arrogant boastings of modern Laodiceans!

The unregenerate man is WRETCHED INDEED, but he is a STRANGER to the “wretchedness” here expressed, for he knows nothing of the experience which evokes this wail. The whole context is devoted to a description of the conflict between the two natures in the child of God. “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (v. 22), is true of none but born-again persons. But the one thus “delighting” discovers “ANOTHER LAW in his members.” This reference must not be limited to his physical members, but is to be understood as including all the various parts of his carnal personality. This “other law” is also at work in the memory, the imagination, the will, the heart, etc.

It is the consciousness of this warring within him and this being brought into captivity to sin, which causes the believer to exclaim, “O wretched man that I am!” This is a cry brought about by a deep realization of indwelling sin. It is the confession of one who knows that in his natural man there dwelleth no good thing. It is the mournful plaint of one who has discovered something of the horrible sink of iniquity which is in his own heart. It is the groan of a divinely-enlightened man who now hates himself—his natural self—and longs for deliverance.

May God in His mercy so deliver us from the spirit of pride which now defiles the air of modern Christendom, and grant us such an humbling view of our own uncleanness that we shall join the apostle in crying with ever-deepening fervor, “O wretched man that I am!” Yea, may God vouchsafe to both writer and reader such a view of their own depravity and unworthiness that they may indeed grovel in the dust before Him, and there praise Him for His wondrous grace to such hell-deserving sinners.

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘The Christian in Romans Seven!’]

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

Star out of heaven

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his SAINTS; they are PRESERVED for ever…. (Psalm 37:28) (Emphasis mine)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I GIVE unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them
out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:27-30)

Our Lord calls the elect sheep. They hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. Where? They hear His voice in the Holy Bible. They do not hear the voice of strangers (false messiahs, false prophets and false teachers). They flee from strangers.

Our Lord knows (with love and approval) his own sheep. He laid down His life for them at Calvary’s Cross. He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. He leads and they follow, in trust and obedience. He gives to us ETERNAL LIFE. We shall never perish.

No man, nor devil, can ever pluck a single sheep out of our Lord’s hand. Nor can they pluck themselves out of His hand. They are secure in Him. It would be easier to pluck a star out of heaven than to pluck a saint out of our Lord’s hand. Ditto with His Father’s Hand.

They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from a state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (Westminster Confession)

PERSEVERANCE DEPENDS ON PRESERVATION

The saint’s perseverance is due to God’s preservation. It depends, not on the saint’s free will, but on the immutable decree of God’s election. God’s love for his elect is unchangeable.

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

The obedience of Christ their Representative secures the saint’s preservation. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

The once for all sacrifice, on the Cross, of our Lord Jesus Christ for His people paid for all their sins. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)
The continual intercession of Christ for His people guarantees the perseverance of every true believer. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

True believers are in UNION with Christ. They have God’s promise. His Holy Spirit abides in them. They are thus SEALED unto the Day of Redemption. They have a NEW NATURE implanted in them at their new birth. This is a sphere in which man does not have control.

No creature can change the fundamental principles of its nature. Only God can do that. This new nature will always love God. This new life is ETERNAL and EVERLASTING. It can never be lost. The born-again Christian can never lose his sonship to his Heavenly Father.

NOT SINLESS PERFECTION

Believers may fall into grievous sins. Why? The temptations of Satan and the world, the corruption remaining in them from their old nature, and the neglect of the means of their preservation (such as the Word of God and prayer) are all causes.

They may continue for a time in sin and incur God’s displeasure. Through sin they may have their graces and comforts impaired.

They may have their hearts hardened and their consciences wounded. They may hurt and scandalize others. They may bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

Yet they will renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Jesus the Messiah to the end. In fact, the very presence of strife between the old, sinful nature and the new, holy nature is the sign of life. It is the promise of final victory to every blood bought child of God.

The Christian is like a man making his way up hill, who occasionally slips back, yet always has his face set toward the summit. The unregenerate man has his face turned downwards, and he is slipping all the way. (A. H. Strong)

The believer, like a man on shipboard may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard. (C. H. Spurgeon)

Each one of the elect is like the prodigal son in this, that for a time he is deluded by the world and is led astray by his own carnal appetite. He tries to feed on the husks, but they do not satisfy.

And sooner or later he is obliged to say, I will arise and go to my father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight. And he meets with the same reception … This my son was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Let it be noticed that … the prodigal was a SON, and could not lose that relationship. Those who are not sons never have the desire to arise and go to the Father. (Loraine Boettner)

NOT ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD

Not all who PROFESS to be Christians are sure of heaven. Only saints (those set apart by the Spirit) PERSEVERE to the end. Multitudes claim the name Christian who are destitute of Christian knowledge, experience and character.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

Baptism, church membership, a good outward appearance, etc. are NO GUARANTEE that the person is truly elect. Many make a great profession of religion although they know nothing of the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth. Their hearts have never been changed.

Some of these people will finally fall away from the Christian faith. But they were never sheep in the first place. They did not lose their salvation. They never had it. These wolves either have their sheep’s clothing stripped off, of they cast it off themselves.

Only when a person’s faith in Christ issues in a consistently holy life can he be assured of his salvation. By their fruits ye shall know them is the test given by our Lord. Therefore, true believers strive to make their calling and election sure.

They work out their salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that works in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. They fear God and depart from evil. They love God and keep His Commandments.

They persevere to the end and are saved. They are preserved: kept by the power of Almighty God through faith unto salvation.

[The Above is Quoted from Tulipgems]