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Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.in Phil. ii. 12., I .
; The salvation of lost sinners, from first to last, is alt of grace, 'not of works.... Rom. xi. 16. It was planned in the covenant of grace; by the grace of Jesus it is FINISHED. The moment we. believe on Jesus, salvation is ours; it is OUR OWN SALVATION. Mind that. Why are we called to work it out? Consider, salvation: implies deliverance from dangers and enemies. Are we not sure rounded with these, without as well as within? The legality of our spirits, the pride of our natures, the lasts of the flesh, the carnal reasonings of our minds, unbelief of the offspring of them, the rebellion of our wills, the self-righteousness of our hearts, the worldly mindedness of our desires, the carnality of our affections, the turbulency of our passions, eçc. say, are not these like a legion of enemies to our salvation? Is not satan, our grand adversary, ever-working by means of these enemies to bring us into dangers and distress, if by any means he may prevent our peaceably possessing, and eternally enjoying salvation?
Judge then, I believer, is not deliverance from danger through these enemies needful? Is there not a necessity for thy 'working out thy deliverance from their force and fraud? Is there not need for faith to work by love, striving against-sin, resisting satan, mortifying the flesh, perfecting holiness, fruitful in good works? The commands of thy God make the work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope necessary. The gospel requires, love con strains to be much in prayer and meditation, searching the scrips tures, and in all holy ordinances; and to encourage to this, ever remember, it is “God who worketh in us both to wilt and to do.”. "Be strong, for I am with you,” saith the Lord of hosts.... Hag. ii. 4. Does all thy happiness consist in the comfortable enjoyment of the full assurance of this salvation? Then 5 work it out with fear and trembling." FEAR to think of establishing thy works and duties as thine own righteousness, or to procure the favor of thy God. TREM BLE to entertain any hope of salvation, but by the atoning blood of Pesso enderen en schopen de calmatas not beat by in Jesus, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus; any way of access to God, but through his mediation. Fear and tremble, above all, after thou hast. done all, to think I am PERFECT. · Know, thou art still « an unprofitable servant.” TREMBLE to entertain the least notion that thy might; thy power, thy faithfulness, háth wrought any thing as terms and conditions to procure salvation. FEAR ever to ascribe any glory to thyself. “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continuęth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”.... James i. 25.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see youro
good works, and glorify your Father which is in hea..ven....Matt. v. 16. .. .,
Can a lump of animated clay, a worm of the earth, a creature of a day, glorify the infinitely great and eternally glorious Jehovah?' Yes: such honor, such exalted honor have all his saints. For his pleasure they were created at first; for his glory they are born again of his Spirit. Jesus commands his members to it as their duty; the Spirit enables to it as their greatest privilege. '“The Father accepts, and is well pleased with, and declares himself glorie fied by the practice of his children.”....Psalm 1. 23. Did Samuel consent to Saul's request, “ Honor me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people?”.... 1 Sam. XV. 30. * And canst 'thou, O son of the Most High, ever need a motive, or want an argument to glorify thy Father before men? It is to be the chief work of thy life. In this work, as Moses said to Pharaoh, so thy deliverer saith to thee, “not an hoof is to be left behind.". With all that thou hast and art, thou art to glorify thy Lord. .: Thou hast but one thing only but what thou hast received from thy Lord; this is sin: by this thou dishonorest thy God; by èvery thing contrary to this, God is glorified. Happy souls, who study God's word as the rule of their conduct, consider the enjoyment of God in Christ as their greatest felicity, and direct all their views to his glory. Thus the light of Jesus, when it shines into the heart; beams forth its evidence and glory in the outward life and conversation. . When the light of truth is accompanied by the warmth of love and obedience of faith, men will see that we have been with Jesus; that we not only have light in our heads, but love and zeal for God's glory in our hearts. The former 'may acquire honor to ourselves of being good TALKERS- for God, but the latter only can prove that we are upright .WALKERS, as his obedient children; that we are his “peculiar people, by being zealous of good works.".... That we are really concerned for his glory, that we have it at heart, that we love, not only in word, but also in deed and in truth. It is the genuine language of a converted soul, with Paul, “Lord what wouldest thou have me to do? It is the burden of a faithful, loving heart, that it doth so little for the glory of God, and ever longs to glorify him more. While the light of truth is our glory, and the love of truth is our happiness, we shall study to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things."....Titus ii. 10. in
Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God....Eph. iv. 30.;
How affectionate and condescending is this address of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ to his children! Paul writes to Philemon, “Though I might be bold to enjoin thee that which is convenient; yet, for love's sake, I rather beseech thee.” So with infinitely higher authority, the Lord might command with terror, instead of beseech with love. · Astonishing expression! Grieve not the holy Spirit of God. Hast thou? Canst thou, o believer, be guilty in this matter? It is easy to conceive that we may grieve our own spirits, and the spirits of good men by our sin and folly: but to think of grieving the Spirit of God, is enough to make us cry out in amazement, What mystery of love is this? . But verily, so dear are God's children to him, that as in love to our souls he took on him our nature, so in condescension to our weak capacities, he borrows language from nature, and assumes to himself passions like unto ourselves: for he was in all things like unto’us, but without sin.' So it is said, God DELIGHTs in the prosperity of his people, he REJOICETH over them to do them good. But when, through their sin and folly, they hurt their own souls, Jesus is touched with a feeling of our infirmities; his Spirit is grieved åt our conduct. • Who can tell in how many ways christians do this? Inwardly by giving way to unbelief; by low unworthy thoughts of Jesus, his blood, righteousness and salvation; his mediation and intercession, of whom the Spirit is the glorifier; so also by indulging vain, carnal, sinful thoughts: outwardly, by neglecting the gospel of grace, not walking closely with Jesus by faith, not conforming to his will in our lives and conversations: and experience woefully convinceth, that when the holy Spirit is grieved, the poor soul is distressed. We never send the Spirit grieved to heaven, but he leaves our spirits grieved on earth. He is our comforter; by him believers are sealed unto the day of redemption. Though we are sealed by him, as the Lord's own possession, yet if he leaves us to ourselves, the view of Jesus is obscured to us, and his comforts are withheld from us. Then natural fears, legal terrors, and desponding doubts seize on us, and evil spirits rejoice over us, 'with "there, there, so would we have it." Though he never becomes the Spirit of bondage tous, yet he leaves us to the bondage of our own legal spirits. What reason have we to pray daily, “cleanse thy servant, O Jesus, from his secret faults; and let not, o Spirit of grace, presumptuous sins get the dominion over me.”.... Psalm xix. 12, 13. The Spirit, like a peaceful dove, Why should we vex and grieve his love, Flies from the realms of noise and strife, Who leads our souls to heav'nly life!
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ....2 Cor. x, 5. ! It is fit that soldiers of Jesus should have the sentence of death in themselves. They are hereby taught not to trust in themselves, Though armed with the spiritual weapons of their warfare, yet they, are no farther mighty and conquering but as aided by the power of God. Poor souls, by trusting to their graces instead of the God of, all grace, have been foiled by the enemy, and have, fallen. "I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me: but, through, the Lord, will we push down our enemies."....Psal. xliv, 5, 6. This is, the language of faith, this the confidence of humble souls: after, believers have escaped the corruptions that are in the world through, lust, and have been turned, from their sinful courses to the Lord, Jesus, then danger threatens from another quarter; self-righteous, ness will exalt its baneful head against them, “Now I am somebody;: I have received inherent grace and strength, I am justified, my sins, are pardoned, and I have got a clean heart.” Thus towering imaginations swell against God's everlasting love, his election of grace, the imputed righteousness of Jesus, and final perseverance of the saints. When these evangelical truths are rejected, it argues that pride, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness .prevail. . Verily, O soul, “thou trustest in thine own beauty, and playest the harlot, because of thy renown. Woe, woe, unto thee." This is a severe reproof from the mouth of the Lord.... Ezek. xvi. 30. Şt. Austin is peremptory, “that it hath been profitable to some proud spirits to fall into gross offence; for they have not lost so much by their fall as they have got by being down." It is better to be humble under sin, than to be proud of grace. God will suffer no flesh to glory in his presence; his truths tried at the bar of carnal reason will be rejected. But as free-grace truths are precious to that Spirit who indited them, so he will bring disciples to submit to them. To reject the doctrines of grace, under a specious pretence to holiness, is to blaspheme the Godof wisdom. High thoughts of purselves oppose the truths of God; vain imaginations strengthen self-confidence, which is contrary to the faith of Christ. To see Jesus all in all, and to see ourselves nothing at all, is to see and know aright, in the light of truth, and by the views of the Spirit of truth. There is an inward obedience of the heart, a submission to the righteousness of God, as well as an outo ward obedient walk. There may be much of the pride and holiness of the Pharisee without, where there is none of the simple faith and love of Jesus within..
I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword....Matt.x.34,
Is not our Saviour the prince of peace? Hath he not made peace between God and man, by the blood of his cross? Doth he not give peace in the conscience, and establish peace among his people ? Is it not the essence of the gospel to preach peace by Christ? All this is true. Why then doth my Lord say, “ I came not to send peace, but a sword?” Conceive not of the meek Lamb as though his soul delighted in war, and that the sword of slaughter should be drunk with human blood. No: he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Therefore this sword is no other than the “sword of the Spirit, the word of God." It is rendered in St. Luke, DIVISION. This sword divides and separates a christian from his carnal. friends and relations; yea, divides asunder flesh and Spirit. Hence open war commences, and hostilities begin; for there never, never can be any peace, harmony, and agreement, subsisting between carnal and spiritual men, no more than between flesh and Spirit in the christian. These are contrary to, and at continual war with each other. “ Wars and fightings come from your lusts.” Sin is the cause of all contention and division among men: every christian is a soldier; the sword of the Spirit, the word of God is one blessed part of his armour. By this he is enabled to resist satan, subdue his lusts, cut down unbelief, and to stand his ground against every enemy from the world, flesh, and devil, which are always in battle array against him.
Thus the weapons of thy warfare, O soul, are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty, through God, "to the pulling down the strong holds of satan." Though earth and hell are at war against thee, yet strengthen thyself in thy God, he is on thy side. Fortify thyself by the word of his truth. This, for thy comfort, assures thee, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn.".... Isa. liv. 17. By " this sword of the Spirit thou shalt prevail: by the blood of the Lamb thou shalt overcome.” “Not by might or power, but by iny Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.".... Zech. iv. 6, Alas! the poor sensible soul is ready to say, my strength is small, my arm is, weak; though such a weapon is put into my hand, I have neither skill nor courage to use it aright; sin, satan, and the world will be too strong for, and overcome me at last. No; that is impossible. Though weak as infancy, feeble as childhood, this blessed word exactly suits our state, and is a cordial to our spirits, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them.” Why so? Because “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”.... 1 John iv. 4.