To the Believerâ€”on living in the unclouded enjoyment of covenant blessings.
To the BelieverÂ—on living in the unclouded enjoyment of covenant blessings.
The Lord Jesus did not die merely to make salvation possible for sinners, if they would but truly repent, and trust in Him, and persevere in faithfulness to the end of life. He died, not to make salvation possible, but to make it certain, for all that the Father gave Him. His death ensures that all such shall receive grace to repent and believe, and persevere to the end.
Covenant engagements include the gift of everything necessary for full, final, and complete salvation; and place all the power in the hands of the Lord Jesus for carrying out these engagements, according to His own words: “Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
It is written, “He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” It is not written that the Father made His Son to be sin for us, that we might have an opportunity of making ourselves the righteousness of God. No! He who made His Son to be sin for us, also made us to be the righteousness of God in Him.
It is essential for your spiritual comfort, that the certainty of your salvation should be with you a matter of abiding and uninterrupted consciousness in mind and heart. Many things will tend to surround this consciousness with clouds of darkness and doubt, and will succeed in doing so, unless you are firmly built upon the true foundationÂ—Christ crucified; and unless your mind so continually refers to it, on the first approach of questioning doubts, as to make it a refuge always at hand and easily reached. Indeed it is well very frequently to refer to this even when no questioning doubts arise, so that what is true concerning you in God’s purposes and work of grace may become at all times a clear and vivid consciousness to yourself.
One of the greatest hindrances to the spiritual life of the child of God is a state of continued doubt about his salvation. Such a state has a tendency to weaken the soul for everything good and to lay it more open to .the ensnaring influences of its spiritual enemies. It prevents the soul laying hold on eternal life and laying claim to the promises of grace for time of need, and robs it of the enjoyment of all those spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus which are its rightful portion. It makes trial harder to bear and all the cares of life a
heavier burden. It casts a gloom over every earthly good making the present joyless and the future hopeless.
Being spiritually enlightened to see its danger and need the soul can find no true source of comfort or hope in anything earthly; yet it has no abiding comfort, no assured hope, no rest in anything heavenly, no joy in the world, no joy in spiritual things. Thick clouds above; deep waters beneath; storm and tempest all around;
tossed to and fro like a ship without a helm, and ready to sink at any moment.
Nothing can remove you from the safety of the refuge provided by the perfect work of Christ on your behalf. God Himself will take care of that. Let it be yours to take care that nothing prevents you from fully enjoying the comfort and peace of that refuge.
Remember that you have altogether done with the law as the covenant of works. One failure takes you out of that covenant for ever. You are now dealt with according to the covenant of grace, in which covenant you for ever abide. No failure can remove you from that; for in its arrangements every failure, every sin to the end of your life, is taken into account, and fully arranged for, and completely put away by the death of Christ. By His death you are for ever delivered. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.
You cannot lay up a store of grace for future use. The Lord Jesus will have you to be a continual receiver from Himself and therefore keeps your store of grace in His own hands where it was first placed by your heavenly Father for your use (2 Tim. 1.9). It is well however to be laying up a store of sound doctrine and spiritual experience; so that when the time of more pressing need may come the soul so well knows its standing and refuge in Christ that this special need is at once met and satisfied.
Look upon your salvation as a thing accomplished once and for ever and live in accordance with this fact. The Lord Jesus never changes, but if it were possible that He could change, the work of salvation which He completed for you can never be altered. If a friend clears off the debts of a penniless debtor by paying all freely and fully, however much that friend might change in after-years, it would not alter the fact that the debtor is cleared and stands free. It is, however, your joy to know that the Lord Jesus is not like sinful men. What He has done for you is the result of a love without beginning and without end. Whom He loves He loves always; not withstanding all the changes, and perverseness, and unworthiness of the object loved.
Furthermore, ever remember that, as a believer, you are already fit for the heavenly inheritance, and made so by One who never fails in any work to which He puts His hand, even by God the Father Himself, as it is written: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1.12). “Which hath made us meet.” Then it is already done. You are already and always meet or fit to be a partaker of the heavenly inheritance, however much you may each day have cause to mourn over your want of conformity to the image of your Lord.
You have a twofold meetness or fitness for that inheritance: a legal meetness, and an experimental or spiritual meetness. A legal meetness, because the claims of the Divine law against you have been satisfied, and a perfect legal righteousness has been provided for you; and an experimental meetness, because of a spiritual capacity implanted within you, enabling you to enjoy spiritual things.
You have neither meetness of yourself naturally; inasmuch as you could never yourself satisfy the claims which Divine justice had against you because of your transgressions, nor work out for yourself a perfect legal righteousness; and you have naturally no spiritual life whereby spiritual things and spiritual joys become desirable.
Your legal meetness is by the substitutionary work of Christ;
whereby through His obedience you are made righteous, and through His atoning death on the cross, you are redeemed from the curse of the law. Your spiritual or experimental fitness or meetness is by the quickening work of the Holy Spirit in your heart, whereby you become a possessor of a spiritual life, with spiritual capacities, enabling you to appreciate and enjoy the holiness of your heavenly inheritance.
Without the legal meetness, you could not enter heaven. Without the spiritual meetness, you could not enjoy heaven.
This twofold meetness is God the Father’s gift to you. He gave for you His only-begotten Son to work out your legal meetness. He gave to you the Holy Spirit, through whom you have your experimental meetness in being born again unto newness of life.
Let us then, evermore, out of the depths of our heart, give “thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Thomas Moor 1881.