|Around the Wicket Gate|
|Topic: Salvation||Type: Book Chapter||Author: C. H. Spurgeon|
To Those Who Have Believed
Friends, if now you have begun to trust the Lord, trust Him out and out. Let your faith be the most real and practical thing in your whole life. Dont trust the Lord in mere sentiment about a few great spiritual things; but trust Him for everything, for ever, both for time and eternity, for body and for soul. See how the Lord hangs the world upon nothing but His own word! It has neither prop nor pillar. Yonder great arch of Heaven stands without a buttress or a wooden center. The Lord can and will bear all the strain that faith can ever put upon Him. The greatest troubles are easy to His power, and the darkest mysteries are clear to His wisdom. Trust God to the hilt. Lean, and lean hard; yes, lean all your weight, and every other weight upon the Mighty God of Jacob.
The future you can safely leave with the Lord, who ever lives and never changes. The past is now in your Saviors hand, and you shall never be condemned for it, whatever it may have been, for the Lord has cast your iniquities into the midst of the sea. Believe at this moment in your present privileges. You ARE SAVED. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you have passed from death unto life, and YOU ARE SAVED. In the old slave days a lady brought her black servant on board an English ship, and she laughingly said to the Captain, "I suppose if I and Aunt Chloe were to go to England she would be free?" "Madam," said the Captain, "she is now free. The moment she came on board a British vessel she was free." When the Negro woman knew this, she did not leave the ship--not she. It was not the hope of liberty that made her bold, but the fact of liberty. So you are not now merely hoping for eternal life, but He who believes in Him has everlasting life [JOH 6:47]. Accept this as a fact revealed in the sacred Word, and begin to rejoice accordingly. Do not reason about it, or call it in question; believe it, and leap for joy.
I want my reader, upon believing in the Lord Jesus, to believe for eternal salvation. Do not be content with the notion that you can receive a new birth which will die out, a heavenly life which will expire, a pardon which will be recalled. The Lord Jesus gives to His sheep eternal life, and do not be at rest until you have it. Now, if it be eternal, how can it die out? Be saved out and out, for eternity. There is a living and incorruptible (seed), , which lives and abides for ever [1PE 1:23]; do not be put off with a temporary change, a sort of grace which will only bloom to fade. You are now starting on the railway of grace--take a ticket all the way through. I have no commission to preach to you salvation for a time: the gospel I am bidden to set before you is, He who believes and is baptized shall be saved [MAR 16:16]. He shall be saved from sin, from going back to sin, from turning aside to the broad road. May the Holy Spirit lead you to believe for nothing less than that. "Do you mean," says one, "that I am to believe if I once trust Christ I shall be saved whatever sin I may choose to commit?" I have never said anything of the kind. I have described true salvation as a thorough change of heart of so radical a kind that it will alter your tastes and desires; and I say that if you have such a change wrought in you by the Holy Spirit, it will be permanent; for the Lords work is not like the cheap work of the present day, which soon goes to pieces. Trust the Lord to keep you, however long you may live, and however much you may be tempted; and according to your faith be it unto you [MAT 9:29]. Believe in Jesus for everlasting life.
Oh, that you may also trust the Lord for all the sufferings of this present time! In the world you will have tribulation; learn by faith to know that all things work together for good, and then submit yourself to the Lords will. Look at the sheep when it is being shorn. If it lies quite still, the shears will not hurt it; if it struggles, or even shrinks, it may be pricked. Submit yourselves under the hand of God, and affliction will lose its sharpness. Self-will and repining cause us a hundred times more grief than our afflictions themselves. So believe your Lord as to be certain that His will must be far better than yours, and therefore you not only submit to it, but even rejoice in it.
Trust the Lord Jesus in the matter of sanctification. Certain friends appear to think that the Lord Jesus cannot sanctify them wholly, spirit, soul, and body. Hence they willingly give way to such and such sins under the notion that there is no help for it, but that they must pay tribute to the Devil as long as they live in that particular form. Do not basely bow your neck in bondage to any sin, but strike hard for liberty. Be it anger, or unbelief, or sloth, or any other form of iniquity, we are able, by divine grace, to drive out the Canaanite, and, what is more, we must drive him out. No virtue is impossible to him who believes in Jesus, and no sin need have victory over him. Indeed, it is written, Sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace [ROM 6:14]. Believe for high degrees of joy in the Lord, and likeness to Jesus, and advance to take full possession of these precious things; for as you believe, so shall it be unto you. All things are possible to him who believes [MAR 9:23]; and he who is the chief of sinners may yet be not a whit behind the greatest of saints.
Often realize the joy of Heaven. This is grand faith: and yet it is no more than we ought to have. Within a very short time the man who believes in the Lord Jesus shall be with Him where He is. This head will wear a crown; these eyes shall see the King in His beauty; these ears shall hear His own dear voice; this soul shall be in glory; and this poor body shall be raised from the dead and joined in incorruption to the perfected soul! Glory, glory, glory! And so near, so sure. Let us at once rehearse the music and anticipate the bliss!
But cries one, "We are not there yet." No: but faith fills us with delight in the blessed prospect, and meanwhile it sustains us on the road. Reader, I long that you may be a firm believer in the Lord alone. I want you to get wholly upon the rock, and not keep a foot on the sand. In this mortal life trust God for all things; and trust Him alone. This is the way to live. I know it by experience. Gods bare arm is quite enough to lean upon. I will give you a bit of the experience of an old laboring man I once knew. He feared God above many, and was very deeply taught of the Spirit. He was great at hedging and ditching; but greater at simple trust. Here is how he described faith:-- "It was a bitter winter, and I had no work, and no bread in the house. The children were crying. The snow was deep, and my way was dark. My old master told me I might have a bit of wood when I wanted it; so I thought a bit of fire would warm the poor children, and I went out with my chopper to get some fuel. I was standing near a deep ditch full of snow, which had drifted into it many feet deep--in fact, I did not know how deep. While aiming a blow at a bit of wood my bill-hook [a tool with a curved or hooked blade at one end, for pruning or cutting] slipped out of my hand, and went right down into the snow, where I could not hope to find it. Standing there with no food, no fire, and the chopper gone, something seemed to say to me, Will Richardson, can you trust God now? and my very soul said, That I can." This is true faith--the faith which trusts the Lord when the bill-hook is gone: the faith which believes God when all outward appearances give Him the lie; the faith which is happy with God alone when all friends turn their backs upon you. Dear reader, may you and I have this precious faith, this real faith, this God honoring faith! The Lords truth deserves it; His love claims it, His faithfulness constrains it. Happy is He who has it! He is the man whom the Lord loves, and the world shall be made to know it before all is finished.
After all, the very best faith is an everyday faith: the faith which deals with bread and water, coats and stockings, children and cattle, house rent and weather. The superfine confectionery religion which is only available on Sundays, and in living room meetings and Bible readings, will never take a soul to Heaven till life becomes one long Conference, and there are seven Sabbaths in a week. Faith is doing her very best when for many years she plods on, month by month, trusting the Lord about the sick husband, the failing daughter, the declining business, the unconverted friend, and such like things.
Faith also helps us to use the world and not abusing it. It is good at hard work, and at daily duty. It is not an angelic thing for skies and stars, but a human grace, at home in kitchens and workshops. It is a sort of maid-of-all-work, and is at home at every kind of labor, and in every rank of life. It is a grace for every day, all the year round. Holy confidence in God is never out of work. Faiths work is so valued at the Heavenly court that she always has one fine piece of work or another on the wheel or in the furnace. Men dream that heroes are only to be made on special occasions, once or twice in a century; but in truth the finest heroes are home-spun, and are more often hidden in obscurity than observed on the public platform. Trust in the living God is the bullion out of which heroism is coined. Perseverance in well-doing is one of the fields in which faith grows not flowers, but the wheat of her harvest. Plodding on in hard work, bringing up a family on a few dollars a week, bearing constant pain with patience, and so forththese are the feats of valor through which God is glorified by the rank and file of His believing people.
Reader, you and I will be of one mind in this: we will not have an intense longing to be great, but we will be eager to be good. For this we will rely upon the Lord our God, whose we are, and whom we serve. We will ask to be made holy throughout every day of the week. We will pray to our God as much about our daily business as about our souls salvation. We will trust Him concerning our farm, and our turnips, and our cows, as well as concerning our spiritual privileges and our hope of Heaven. The Lord Jehovah is our household God; Jesus is our brother born for adversity; and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter in every hour of trial. We have not an unapproachable God: He hears, He pities, He helps. Let us trust Him without a break, without a doubt, without a hesitation. The life of faith is life within Gods wicket gate. If we have hitherto stood trembling outside in the wide world of unbelief, may the Holy Spirit enable us now to take the great decisive step, and say, once for all, Lord, I believe: help my unbelief [MAR 9:24]!
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This Page Last Updated: 12/11/98 A. Allison Lewis email@example.com