Where pride cannot live
He humbled himself. – Philippians 2:8
Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart.
We need daily to learn of him. See the Master
Follower of Christ, will you not humble yourself?
See him as the Servant of servants, and surely
Was he not on earth always stripping off first one
How low was our dear Redeemer brought!
Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple
And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground
If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus,
A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a
May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary,
Pride cannot live beneath the cross!
Let us sit there and learn our lesson,
MY READER has not followed me step by step as he has read my pages, I am truly sorry. Book-reading is of small value unless the truths which pass before the mind are grasped, appropriated, and carried out to their practical issues. It is as if one saw plenty of food in a shop and yet remained hungry, for want of personally eating some. It is all in vain, dear reader, that you and I have met, unless you have actually laid hold upon Christ Jesus, my Lord. On my part there was a distinct desire to benefit you, and I have done my best to that end. It pains me that I have not been able to do you good, for I have longed to win that privilege. I was thinking of you when I wrote this page, and I laid down my pen and solemnly bowed my knee in prayer for everyone who should read it. It is my firm conviction that great numbers of readers will get a blessing, even though you refuse to be of the number. But why should you refuse? If you do not desire the choice blessing which I would have brought to you, at least do me the justice to admit that the blame of your final doom will not lie at my door. When we two meet before the great white throne you will not be able to charge me with having idly used the attention which you were pleased to give me while you were reading my little book. God knoweth I wrote each line for your eternal good. I now in spirit take you by the hand. I give you a firm grip. Do you feel my brotherly grasp? The tears are in my eyes as I look at you and say, Why will you die? Will you not give your soul a thought? Will you perish through sheer carelessness? Oh, do not so; but weigh these solemn matters, and make sure work for eternity! Do not refuse Jesus, His love, His blood, His salvation. Why should you do so? Can you do it?
I beseech you, Do not turn away from your Redeemer!
If, on the other hand, my prayers are heard, and you, my reader, have been led to trust the Lord Jesus and receive from Him salvation by grace, then keep you ever to this doctrine, and this way of living. Let Jesus be your all in all, and let free grace be the one line in which you live and move. There is no life like that of one who lives in the favor of God. To receive all as a free gift preserves the mind from self-righteous pride, and from self-accusing despair. It makes the heart grow warm with grateful love, and thus it creates a feeling in the soul which is infinitely more acceptable to God than anything that can possibly come of slavish fear. Those who hope to be saved by trying to do their best know nothing of that glowing fervor, that hallowed warmth, that devout joy in God, which come with salvation freely given according to the grace of God. The slavish spirit of self- salvation is no match for the joyous spirit of adoption. There is more real virtue in the least emotion of faith than in all the tuggings of legal bond-slaves, or all the weary machinery of devotees who would climb to Heaven by rounds of ceremonies. Faith is spiritual, and God who is a spirit delights in it for that reason. Years of prayer-saying, and church-going, or chapel- going, and ceremonies, and performances, may only be an abomination in the sight of Jehovah; but a glance from the eye of true faith is spiritual and it is therefore dear to Him. “The Father seeketh such to worship him.” Look you first to the inner man, and to the spiritual, and the rest will then follow in due course.
If you are saved yourself, be on the watch for the souls of others. Your own heart will not prosper unless it is filled with intense concern to bless your fellow men. The life of your soul lies in faith; its health lies in love. He who does not pine to lead others to Jesus has never been under the spell of love himself. Get to the work of the Lord–the work of love. Begin at home. Visit next your neighbors. Enlighten the village or the street in which you live. Scatter the word of the Lord wherever your hand can reach.
Reader, meet me in heaven! Do not go down to hell. There is no coming back again from that abode of misery. Why do you wish to enter the way of death when Heaven’s gate is open before you? Do not refuse the free pardon, the full salvation which Jesus grants to all who trust Him. Do not hesitate and delay. You have had enough of resolving, come to action. Believe in Jesus now, with full and immediate decision. Take with you words and come unto your Lord this day, even this day. Remember, O soul, it may be
now or never
with you. Let it be now; it would be horrible that it should be never.
Again I charge you,
Meet me in heaven.
Meet me in heaven – by Charles Spurgeon from All of Grace
(William S. Plumer, “The Rock of Our Salvation” 1867)
Jesus Christ is a wonderful, a glorious person. His names and titles are as important as they are significant. Every one of them is as ointment poured forth. His people sit under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit is sweet to their taste. To them He is altogether lovely.
He is their Advocate, the angel of the covenant, the author and finisher of faith. He is as the apple-tree among the trees of the forest; the alpha and the omega.
He is their the Beloved, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, the bread of life, the righteous Branch, the bridegroom, the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person. He is a bundle of myrrh.
To His saints He is and is owned to be Creator, captain, counselor, covenant, cornerstone, a covert from the tempest, and the chief among ten thousand.
He is to them as the Dew, the door into the fold, a days-man, a day-star, a deliverer, a diadem, and the desire of all nations, ranks, and generations of pious men.
In their eyes He is the Elect, Emmanuel, the everlasting Father and eternal life.
He is a Fountain of living waters to thirsty souls, of joy to troubled souls, of life to dying souls. He is the foundation on which His people of all ages safely build their hopes of heaven. He is the father of eternity, the fir-tree under whose shadow the saints rejoice, the first and the last, the first fruits of the greatest harvest ever gathered, the first-born among many brethren and the first-begotten from the dead.
To His chosen He is as the most fine Gold, a guide, a governor, a glorious Lord, God, the true God, God over all blessed for ever.
He is the Head of the church, the health, the hope, the husband, the heritage, the habitation of His people. He is the horn of their salvation.
He rides upon the heavens by His name JAH. He is the Jehovah, the inheritance, Judge and King of His saints. He is their Light, their life, their Lord, their leader, their lawgiver, their atoning lamb, the lily of the valley, the lion of the tribe of Judah.
He is the Man Christ Jesus, the master, the mediator, the messenger of the covenant, the minister of the true sanctuary. He is the mighty God of Isaiah, the Michael of Daniel, the Melchisedek of David and of Paul, the bright and morning star of John, and the Messiah of all the prophets.
He is the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He is at once the root and the offspring of David.
He is the Peace, the prince, the priest, the prophet, the potentate, the purifier, the propitiation for our sins, the physician of souls, the plant of renown, the power of God unto salvation, the Passover of all saints. He is a polished shaft in the quiver of God.
He is the Rock, the refuge, the ruler, the ransom, the refiner, the Redeemer, the righteousness and the resurrection of all who walk in white. He is the rose of Sharon.
He is the Seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the stem of Jesse, the Son of God, the son of man, the shield, the strength, the surety, the Shiloh, the sacrifice, the sanctuary, the salvation, the sanctification, and the sun of righteousness to all believers.
He is the Truth, the treasure, the teacher, the temple, the tree of life, the great testator of His church.
He is the Way, the well of salvation, the Word of God, the wisdom of God, the faithful witness. He is THE WONDERFUL.
His person is one; His natures are two. He is both human and divine, finite and infinite, created and uncreated. He was before Abraham, though not born for ages after that patriarch slept with His fathers. He was dead, and behold He is alive for evermore!
On earth He had no where to lay His head; yet He disposes of all diadems. By Him kings rule and princes decree justice. He has the arm of a God, and the heart of a brother. To Him all tongues shall confess and all knees bow; yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. None loves like Him, none pities like Him, none saves like Him!
It is not surprising that such a person lives and reigns in the hearts of His people. No marvel that the virgins love Him, and the saints praise Him, and the martyrs die for Him, and the confessors are not ashamed of Him, and the sorrowing sigh for Him, and the penitent lie at His cross and pour out their tears before Him, and the humble trust in Him, and the believing lay fast hold of Him and will not let Him go. His frown shakes the frame of universal nature, His smile gives life, His presence converts dungeons into palaces, His blood cleanses from all sin, His righteousness is the white robe of the redeemed.
If men would be safe, or wise, or holy, or happy, or useful, or strong, or victorious–let them look to JESUS! Let them look to none else, let them walk in Him, abide in Him, glory in Him, and count as loss all things besides. You may look at the law until the spirit of bondage overwhelms you with terrors and torments. You may go about to establish your own righteousness until you can boast, and sin, and perish like a Pharisee. You may weep until the fountain of your tears has gone dry, you may have all gifts, understand all mysteries, bestow all your goods to feed the poor, and yield your body to be burned; but all these things will not atone for sin, will do nothing toward regaining the lost favor of God, will not make you fit for the inheritance of the saints in light.
“None but Christ! None but Christ! None but Christ!” has been the cry of the faithful witnesses of all ages when truth has triumphed, when sinners were converted, when saints shouted for joy, when the word of God mightily grew and prevailed.
To such as have not fled to Christ, and are yet in their sins. Will you not embrace the Savior? If Christ shall not be taken as your surety, you must pay your own sin debt. Despise not his cross. It is the life of men. By wicked men it was designed to be, and is still esteemed, the seal of infamy, the badge of ignominy. Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. But see to it that you follow not their wicked ways. Come to Christ; he died for our sins; he offered himself without spot to God, a ransom for many, a sweet-smelling savor. Cast yourselves upon him. Believe in him, and the law has no more penal demands against you; believe in him, and God will accept you in the Beloved; believe in him, and your right to the tree of life is at once complete; believe in him, and the sting of death is extracted; believe in him, and you shall have part in the first resurrection; believe in him, and you shall have boldness in the day of judgment. But reject him a little longer, and your heart will be harder than it is now; reject him a little longer, and the call to light and life will reach you no more; reject him a little longer, and the day of grace will be gone forever; reject him a little longer, and you will awake to shame and everlasting contempt! “There is a fearful chasm in that heart, which has no love for Christ.”
William S. Plumer
THE ONLY WAY TO GOD.
JOHN XIV. 4—11.
“And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
“Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
“If ye had known Me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.
“Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it stifficeth us.
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me liath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
“Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father thatdwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.
“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.”
We should mark, in these verses, what glorious names the Lord Jesus gives to Himself. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The fulness of these precious words can probably never be taken in by man. He that attempts to unfold them does little more than scratch the surface of a rich soil.
Christ is “the way,“—the way to heaven and peace with God. He is not only the guide, and teacher, and lawgiver, like Moses; He is Himself the door, the ladder, and the road, through whom we must draw near to God. He has opened the way to the tree of life, which was closed when Adam and Eve fell, by the satisfaction He made for us on the cross. Through His blood we may draw near with boldness, and have access with confidence into God’s presence. (Ephes. iii. 12.)
Christ is “the truth,“—the whole substance of true religion which the mind of man requires. Without Him the wisest heathen groped in gross darkness, and knew nothing rightly about God. Before He came even the Jews saw “through a glass darkly,” and discerned nothing distinctly under the types, figures, and ceremonies of the Mosaic law. Christ is the whole truth, and meets and satisfies every desire of the human mind.
Christ is “the life,“—the sinner’s title to eternal life and pardon, the believer’s root of spiritual life and holiness, the surety of the Christian’s resurrection life. He that believeth on Christ hath everlasting life. He that abideth in Him, as the branch abides in the vine, shall bring forth much fruit. He that believeth on Him, though he were dead, yet shall he live. The root of all life, for soul and for body, is Christ.
For ever let us grasp and hold fast these truths. To use Christ daily as the way,—to believe Christ daily as the truth,—to live on Christ daily as the life,—this is to be a well-informed, a thoroughly furnished, and an established Christian.
We should mark, again, in these verses, how expressly the Lord Jesus shuts out all ways’of salvation but Himself. “No man,” He declares, “No mancometh unto the Father but by Me.”
It avails nothing that a man is clever, learned, highly gifted, amiable, charitable, kind-hearted, and zealous about some sort of religion. All this will not save his soul, if he does not draw near to God by Christ’s atonement, and make use of God’s own Son as his Mediator and Saviour. God isso holy that all men are guilty and debtors in His sight. Sin is so sinful that no mortal man can make satisfaction for it. There must be a mediator, aransom-payer, a redeemer, between ourselves and God, or else we can never be saved.
There is only one door, one bridge, one ladder, between earth and heaven,—the crucified Son of God. Whosoever will enter in by that door may be saved; but to him who refuses to use that door the Bible holds out no hope at all. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb. ix. 22.)
Let us beware, if we love life, of supposing that mere earnestness will take a man to heaven, though he know nothing of Christ. The idea is a deadly and ruinous error. Sincerity will never wipe away our sins. It is not true that every man will be saved by his own religion, no matter what he believes, provided he is diligent and sincere. We must not pretend to be wiser than God. Christ has said, and Christ will stand to it, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
Short expository readings on the Gospel of John
By John Charles Ryle (bishop. of Liverpool)
Lo! dear friends, to-day, as it were, an angel is saying to the shepherds: I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all people. And suddenly a multitude of angels breaks into praise, saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of goodwill!
As you commemorate these things, dear friends, rejoice that to-day God is born a man, that there may be glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of goodwill. Rejoice that to-day the infinitely Mighty is born a child, that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Rejoice that to-day a Reconciler is born to reconcile man to God, that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Rejoice that to-day He is born to cleanse sinners from their sin, to deliver them from the devil’s power, to save them from eternal perdition, and to bring them to eternal joy, that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Rejoice with great joy that to-day is born unto us a King, to bestow in its fulness upon us the heavenly kingdom, a Bishop to grant His eternal benediction, a Father of the ages to come, to keep us as His children by His side for ever: yea, there is born a Brother beloved, a wise Master, a sure Leader, a just Judge, to the end that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Rejoice, ye wicked, that God is born as a Priest, Who hath granted to every penitent absolution from all sins, that there may be glory, etc. Rejoice that to-day the Bread of Angels—that is, God—is made the Bread of men, to receive the starving with His Body, that there may be peace among them, and on earth, etc. Rejoice that God immortal is born, that mortal man may live for ever. Rejoice that the rich Lord of the Universe lies in a manger, like a poor man, that he may make us rich. Rejoice, dearly beloved, that what the prophets prophesied has been fulfilled, that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Rejoice that there is born to us a Child all-powerful, and that a Son is given to us, all-wise and gracious, that there may be glory to God in the highest, etc. Oh, dear friends, ought there to be but a moderate rejoicing over these things? Nay, a mighty joy! Indeed, the angel saith: I bring you good tidings of great joy, for that there is born a Redeemer from all misery, a Saviour of sinners, a Governor of His faithful ones; there is born a Comforter of the sorrowful, and there is given to us the Son of God that we may have great joy, and that there may be glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of goodwill. May it please God, born this day, to grant to us this goodwill, this peace, and withal this joy!
Jan Huss 1412
And now, it may be, some of you are convinced of sin, by the Holy Spirit. I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Behold, O trembling penitent the means of thy deliverance. Turn thy tearful eye to yonder Mount of Calvary! see the victim of justice—the sacrifice of atonement for your transgression. View the Saviour in his agonies, with streams of blood purchasing thy soul, and with intensest agonies enduring thy punishment. He died for thee, if now thou dost confess they guilt. O come thou condemned one, self-condemned, and turn thine eye this way, for one look will save. Sinner, thou art bitten. Look! it is nought but “Look!” It is simply “Look!” If thou canst but look to Jesus thou art safe. Hear the voice of the Redeemer: “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Look! Look! Look! O guilty souls.
“Venture on him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude; None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good,”
May my blessed Master help you to come to him, and draw you to his Son, for Jesu’s sake. Amen and Amen.
– Charles Spurgeon