Here is the masterpiece of Satan. Farther than this he cannot go. Men are declared holy without a grain of holiness in them-- holy in Christ, however unholy in themselves. They are said to be in Christ, without one semblance of the mind that was in Christ. They claim to be in Christ, though their fallen nature is altogether alive in them. They claim they are "complete in Him," though they are "in themselves" as proud, as vain, as covetous, as passionate as ever. They teach this is enough, because they may be unrighteous still, seeing that Christ has "fulfilled all righteousness" for them in their stead. O you simple ones, "how long will you love simplicity?" How long will you "seek death in the error of your life?" "Don't you know," no matter who teaches you otherwise, "that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" "Be not deceived," even though there are many who lie in wait to deceive, doing it under the beautiful pretense of "exalting" Christ--a pretense which the more easily steals upon you, because "to you He is precious." But as the LORD liveth, "neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." "Such, indeed, were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified," as well as "justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." You are really changed; your are not only accounted, but actually made righteous: "the law"--the inward power-- "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made you free" --really, actually free "from the law (or power) of sin and death." This is liberty, TRUE LIBERTY, experienced by every truly born-again believer. Not freedom from the law of God or the works of God, but from the law of sin and the works of the devil. See that you "stand fast in" this real, not imaginary, "liberty wherewith Christ has made you free." And take heed that you "be not entangled again," by means of these vain boasters, "in the yoke of" that vile "bondage of sin," from which you are now escaped. I testify unto you that if you still continue in sin, Christ shall profit you nothing; that Christ is no Savior to you unless He saves you from your sins. Unless your experience with Christ goes deep enough to purify your heart, your faith shall profit you nothing. O when will you understand that to oppose either inward or outward holiness, under the guise of exalting Christ, is directly to act the part of Judas,to "betray the Son of man with a kiss!"
Repent! Lest He cut you asunder with the two-edged sword that cometh out of His mouth! It is you yourselves who, by opposing the very purpose of His coming into the world, are crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting Him to an open shame. It is you who, by expecting to "see the LORD without holiness," through the righteousness of Christ, "make the blood of the covenant an unholy thing," keeping those persons unholy who so trust in it. Beware! because you are headed for terrible disaster! If those who do not name the name of Christ die in their sins, and shall be punished sevenfold, surely you who thus make Christ "a minister of sin" shall be punished seventy times seven. What?! Make Christ destroy His own kingdom? Make Christ a factor for Satan? Set Christ against holiness? Talk of Christ as "saving His people in their sins?" It is no better than to say, "He is able to save them from the guilt but not from the power of sin." It is of you that Paul warns, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away...". Will you make the righteousness of Christ such a cover for the unrighteousness of man--so that by this means "the unrighteous" of every kind "shall inherit the kingdom of God?"
STOP! CONSIDER! What are you doing? You did run well; who has bewitched you? Who has corrupted you from the simplicity of Christ, from the purity of the gospel? You did know that "he that believeth is born of God" and "whosoever is born of God sinneth not;" but while "he keepeth himself, that wicked one toucheth him not." O come back to the true, the pure, the old gospel--that which you received in the beginning! Come back to Christ who died to make you a holy people, "zealous of good works." "Remember from whence you are fallen and repent and do the first works." Your "Father worketh hitherto." Do your work, otherwise your faith is vain. For "wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Will you not admit that "though I have all faith so as to remove mountains and have not love, I am nothing?" Will you not also admit that all the blood and righteousness of Christ--unless that "mind be in you which was in Him" and you likewise "walk as Christ walked"--will only increase your damnation? "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about strife of words, whereof come railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth." Be no longer afraid of the strongest exhortations either to inward or outward holiness. Hereby God the Father is glorified and God the Son truly exalted. Do not stupidly and senselessly call this "legal" or "legalism". Do not be afraid of being "under the law of God," but be exceedingly fearful of being "under the law of sin and death." Love the strictest preaching best, that which most searches the heart and shows you wherein you are unlike Christ, and that which presses you most to love Him with all your heart and serve Him with all your strength; that which will bring "True Liberty".
Allow me to warn you of another meaningless statement. Do not say, "I can do nothing." If so, then you know nothing of Christ; then you have no faith. For if you have faith, if you believe, then you "can do all things through Christ who strengthens" you. You can love Him and keep His commandments, and to you "His commandments are not grievous." Grievous to them that believe? Far from it! They are the joy of your heart. Show then your love to Christ by keeping His commandments, by walking in all His ordinances blamelessly. Honor Christ by obeying Him with all your might, by serving Him with all your strength. Glorify Christ by imitating Him in all things, by walking as He walked. Keep close to Christ by keeping in all His ways. Trust Christ to live and reign in your heart. Have confidence in Christ that He will fulfill in you all His great and precious promises, that He will work in you all the good pleasure of His goodness, and all the work of faith with power. Cleave to Christ until His blood has cleansed you from all pride, all anger, all evil desire. Let Christ do all; He that has done all for you, do all in you. Exalt Christ as Prince to give repentance, a Savior both to give remission of sins and to create in you a new heart, to renew a right spirit within you. This is "True Liberty", the pure, genuine gospel of peace: glad tidings of great salvation. Not the new, but the old, the everlasting gospel, the gospel of Jesus, the Christ. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ give you, "according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that, being rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height: and to know that love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God!" This is the "True Liberty" wherein lies our safety.
The resurrection of Christ is God's pledge to the world that every man shall stand
before the judgment seat of Christ. That is settled. You and I expect it; we preach it; we
believe it. Then why not put ourselves there, and stand steadily there? Why wait? Those
who wait, and continue to wait, will not be able to stand there. The ungodly can not stand
in this judgment; but those who put themselves before the judgment seat of God, facing
the standard of judgment, and hold themselves there constantly in thought, word, and deed,
are ready for the judgment any moment. Ready for it? They have it; they are there; they
are passing it; they are inviting the judgment, and all that the judgment brings; they stand
there expecting to be passed upon: and only he who does this is safe. The very blessing that
comes in that thing is all the reward that any person needs for putting himself just now
before the judgment seat. And standing there, what has he to fear? Nothing. And when all
fear is cast out, what is it that does it? Perfect love. But perfect love can come only by
our meeting that perfect standard of the judgment, in the judgment, and can be kept
only by standing there.
WILL YOU NOT STAND THERE, NOW ?
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