Believer, What Happens When You Sin?

What makes you doubt your salvation? Many will say, “When I sin I doubt my salvation.”

“When I sin there is the worst grief that comes in my heart. I have a heavy grief that I have grieved my Father and that I have grieved the Holy Spirit. But listen to me, my salvation does not depend on whether I sin or didn’t sin. My salvation depends on what Jesus Christ did with my sins on Calvary’s cross.” – Mike Morrow

Christ is the Absolute Owner of Everything


Christ… is the absolute owner. Go out to your car this afternoon and you just stop in your tracks and look at it and you recognize that’s His. Look at yourself in the mirror those eyeballs in your head those are His. Your hand, it’s His. He can take it away from you.

Many of you are familiar with Abraham Kuyper’s quote: There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry “Mine!” It is His.

To read the rest of this article, click HERE


Are You Proud? God Moment by Moment Upholds You


by  of Lake Road Chapel on April 27, 2017


How should this truth of the providence of God affect our lives?

First of all: This ought to fill all of us with great humility. Great humility. Everything we have. Everything we are. Everything we have accomplished. Even the fact that you are alive here tonight, sitting here tonight, is hanging from the slenderest thread of God’s merciful providence.

You have a strong body? So did Christopher Reeve, Superman, till he got thrown from a horse and became a quadriplegic who had to be on a breathing apparatus for the rest of his life.

You have good eyes? So did Fanny Crosby till the doctor put the wrong thing in her eyes when she was a little girl, and made her go blind.

Are you athletic? So was Joni Eareckson until she jumped into that water that was too shallow and broke her neck.

Mona and I were in a coma unit a number of years ago there was a fellow in there maybe in his forties. We said what happened to him? Well the wife and husband were out riding their bikes and they got tangled up somehow and fell down. They were not going fast. They were just out for a little bike ride. Fell down he hit his head on the pavement and he’d been in a coma ever since. One little chance accident.

You have financial prosperity? There are so many people in human history that thought they had it made they lost everything just like that. And you could too.

Paul says in in 1 Corinthians 4:7 “What do you have that you had not received?” And we might well add to that and what would be what have you received that God hasn’t sustained moment by moment or you would have lost it by now.

So I want to say to you beloved: What are you tempted to be proud of tonight? Are you girls, tempted to be proud of your beauty? Do you realize you could lose that in a second? Are you proud of how smart you are? One little thing and it could be gone and you can’t even put sentences together.

Beloved, we’re being upheld by this slender thread of providence all the time. Everything, everything you have, everything you are, everything that you’ve accomplished, its been accomplished through grace, grace, grace all along the way. And every little individual thing that has kept you alive to get you here tonight.

If you’re not a Christian, don’t go out of here without crying out to God.

If you are a Christian, God have mercy on you if you’ve got pride welling up in you. Moment by moment sustained by unspeakable, slender, thread of providence.


I’ll Be Honest

Don’t Soften the Reality of Hell

Some say a “God of love could never punish people eternally in hell.” Well beloved, Jesus talked about eternal torment, darkness, and weeping. We dare not soften up on the reality of hell and allow our minds to let the spirit of the age come into us so much that the reality of hell doesn’t impact us as it should.

How to Awaken a Dead and Unregenerate Church?


Steve Lawson encourages pastors to preach from the book of 1 John in order to awaken a dead church.

I was asked at my table what would I preach to bring church members to Christ. And I said the last thing I would preach would be John 3 16. That just lulls everyone in the building to sleep. I would preach the Lordship of Christ, I would preach repentance, I would preach the new birth, I would preach the necessary evidence of the new birth, I would preach the sovereignty of God in salvation to the extent that I could push that. I would do everything that I could to blow a trumpet in Zion and to awaken those that are asleep.

And when I was at my previous church it was not a county church but it was a long standing church, 100 years old; when I preached 1 John and the necessary evidences of the new birth it rocked the planet – for good and for worse. And if you do not see this evidence in your life, you are not saved, you are self deceived, you have never been born again. And I mean across the board, it’s not 3 out of these 9 tests. It’s not a multiple choice. All 9 of these will be evident and present in your life if you are born of God, if you know God, and if not, you’re going to hell. And I remember one year we had 100 adult conversions. That’s a lot of adult conversions. That’s a lot of people 60 years old, years old, being saved. I had one deacon saved in the deacon’s meeting. I just happened to be sitting next to him and he said, “If this is what it is to be a Christian, then I’ve never been a Christian.”

Well you just got to peel back all of the veneers and layers of religiosity and churchianity to get down to the live nerve of what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. And there is a necessary evidence of the new birth and that’s why 1 John is written. That you may know that you have eternal life and there is something worse than not having the assurance of your salvation. What’s worse is to have a false assurance of no salvation. And so you just have to shake people loose from their dead testimony, from their dead religion and you just have to be relentless with it. You have to paint things black and white. And people like that usually don’t walk the aisle at the end of the service.

I mean Spurgeon said the wounded deer wants to withdraw to the thickets and lick its wounds in private, rather than be paraded forward in front of a TV camera. And so there was week, after week, after week, after week, just nonstop – that knock on my office door – when the service is over. “Can I talk to you?” And my office became like the birthing room at the hospital. And I would just say have a seat and the cushion is still creased from the last person that sat there, the box of Kleenex right there and people just under a sense of desperation and that’s the way it was in Acts 2. They interrupted Peter’s sermon and the sinners gave the invitation. “What must we do to be saved?” There was a sense of desperation. So you know, there is a certain kind of preaching, and there are certain subject matters that are like well chosen arrows for the bow that find their target.

You’re Dead to Sin, But Still at War


Brethren, you’re dead to sin, but doesn’t mean it’s easy, that doesn’t mean we go to sleep or sit back and relax. God does make us dead to sin, that’s true, but He means to demonstrate that reality by exerting His own power upon us, and in the us to create within us, what? A militancy! To fight sin and mortify sin and put it to death. He means for us to have this determination of will but it’s a determination of will that’s based on what we know, it’s based on what we believe. It’s grabbing hold of truths about my being united to Christ. I’m dead to sin. And in the light of that reality, with the militancy of determination in my will to say, “Yes I believe I am dead to sin, I am going to fight this!”

That pride that just keeps holding on and lingering, I am going to fight that.

That sexual lust, I am going to fight that, controlling my eyes, I am going to make a covenant with my eyes and I believe by the power of Jesus Christ that I can keep control, and I may fall, but I’m gonna get back up and I’m going to confess that sin and I’m gonna go on in the power of the Spirit of God. Clinging to Christ.

Brethren and we’ve got to have that mindset, that is what this is all about. This is war. This is war brethren. Those passions of the flesh seek to destroy your soul. That’s what Peter tells us (1 Peter 2:11). You better take this dead serious. As John Owen said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” And it will, it’s one or the other. There’s no in-between. There’s no neutrality here. You’re either killing sin or it’s taking your life. This is serious.

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this but they’re definitely spiritual parallels between Joshua and Israel going into the land of Canaan. What did God tell them? You kill everybody, you go in there and you wipe them out. Young and old. Man and woman. Children, you wipe them out. You go in there, wipe them out. That is a spiritual parallel to our Christian life.

No longer brethren! No longer. No longer. You are dead to sin. No quarter.

It will plead mercifully, those little children will plead mercifully, “Don’t kill me.” The women… nope, you kill them all. You kill them all. You know what I’m talking about, I’m not talking about actual women and children. I’m talking about every sin, and they will plead mercifully, “Just spare me, just spare me.” “I’m just a little one.” No quarter. You gotta have the mindset to know that you’re dead to sin. You can do this. You must do this and God commands you to think right.

Brethren, this is huge. This is huge.

Abortion: Who’s to Say?

Over 50 million abortions in the USA since 1970! Our hospitals and clinics, our cities, our nation is still in the dilemma – is abortion right or wrong?

Some adamantly say that the unborn is in fact a person and that abortion is therefore murder. But isn’t that just the opinion of religious conservatives? Who’s to say whether abortion is OK or not? Do we let medical science have the final say-so, or can the issue be determined by popular opinion, or convenience, or the courts, or the pope, or the pastor? All of this is just one man’s judgment against another’s. No, we need a ruling from outside the human race, an infinite reference point, a final authority, an absolute. The bottom line on the whole issue is this: is there a word from God on it?

I put forward that there is indeed a word from God. The Bible, the law of the Lord, gives us a ruling on the matter – that the unborn is a person.

Listen to these scripture proofs:

The case of the Lord Jesus Christ: Isaiah 9:6 [and many others] teaches that Jesus Christ is an eternal person. He is deity and became a man. Thus, He had to exist as a person in His mother’s womb. The point: the unborn is a person. Personhood exists in the pre-natal state.

The case of John the Baptist: The scripture says that John the Baptist’s mother “conceived a son”. And it says that the “baby leaped in her womb for joy”. John was even filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb [Luke 1:15, 36, 44]. Now that does not sound like John was some piece of tissue.

The case of Jeremiah: God had a special love and purpose for Jeremiah before he was born. “Before you were born, I consecrated you … a prophet to the nations.” God even says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” [Jeremiah 1:5]. It sounds like the pre-natal state is pretty important to God.

The unborn child is specifically God’s handiwork, “Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb” [Psalm 139:13]. How do you like it when someone messes with your handiwork?

God’s judgment is on those who rip open pregnant women. “Thus says the LORD, ‘For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead’”  [Amos 1:13].

Capital punishment was the God-ordained penalty upon a man who causes a fetal miscarriage, “life for life”“And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage …[and the child dies], then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life”  [Exodus 21:22,23].

We must be honest.  The law of the Lord indicates that the fetus is a person and thus, abortion is murder, it stops a beating heart, it takes a child’s life.  Now if the chief justice of the universe has given us a ruling, doesn’t that settle it?  Or will we go on haggling, in contempt of court, shaking our fist in the face of the Judge of all the earth?

In view of the awful judgment God pronounces on murder and the danger of permanent physical damage to the body, abortion is an incredibly poor choice.

Adoption is the option. And there is yet another option – abstain from sexual immorality. If you want to emphasize choice, choose to stay pure. Choose Christ. He issues the power to get pure and stay pure. Utterly turn from serving self and give your heart to Christ entirely. Trust that He died on the cross to pay your sin-debt. Choose life!

Hebrews 9:14 – How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Matthew 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

bobjenningsBob Jennings

(1949 – 2012)
Bob Jennings began a pastoral ministry in Kirksville, Missouri in 1978 in the church that now meets at Lake Road Chapel. In 1983 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri to pastor a small flock which God had raised up in that city (now meeting at Highway M Chapel).

Condemned: Awaiting Execution


by  on January 21, 2017

A certain Prince traveling through France visited the arsenal of Toulon, where convicted criminals were held. The commandant, as a courtesy to the Prince’s rank, said he was welcome to set any of the prisoners free, whom he should choose. The Prince, desiring to make the wisest use of this privilege, spoke to many of them in succession, inquiring why they were condemned to death.

“Falsely accused,” cried one. “Unfair trial and prejudiced witnesses,” grumbled another. “Unjust and unreasonable laws” was the contention of another who had set himself against civil authority. Still another complained that he had been the victim of the corrupt social and economic system. They were all innocents who had been ill treated and oppressed.

At last he came to one who, when asked the same question, answered: “My Lord, I have no reason to complain; I have been a very wicked and rebellious wretch. I account it great mercy that I am still alive.”

The Prince fixed his eyes upon him and said: “You wicked wretch! It is a pity you should be placed among so many honest men; by your own confession you are bad enough to corrupt them all; but you shall not stay with them another day.” Then, turning to the officer, he said, “This is the man, sir, I wish to see released.”

The bitter remorse that filled the hearts of the other men as they saw their companion walk out free while they themselves remained to face their doom can better be imagined than told. Any other one of them might have been set free had they confessed their guilt.

But infinitely greater remorse awaits every reader of these lines who refuses to confess his ruin, guilt, and righteous condemnation, and receive the pardon which God offers only to confessed sinners.

Only sinners who have been pardoned and cleansed will be in heaven. Jesus says: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

His cross, His blood, His righteousness — My hope, my only plea.
My sins deserve eternal death, But Jesus died for me.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36.


Will God Give Me Life If I Have Sinned?

Category: Questions & Answers
Bible: 1 John 5:16

True life is to know the Lord intimately, but sin interrupts this. One of the greatest griefs behind sin is how it affects the Christian’s fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you pray for a brother who has committed a sin as a believer, which does not lead unto death, then what happens? The text says that God will give him life, meaning restore him in the specific area of sin that entered and interrupted his intimate walk with Christ.

1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

Original Question

If I have sinned, and sin brings death (James 1:15), how can I have life and fellowship with God again? I have committed a sin and realize I no longer have the same relationship I had, although I was pressed by God to repent and did so.

Can you say something about 1 John 5:16? “God will give him life”, because that is what I am looking for.

I have read somewhere that the relationship is not broken, but fellowship can be broken. Is it biblical to say so?

[Recorded in March 2016]

Self-Righteously Trying to Save Myself: David Brainerd’s Testimony

 of I’ll Be Honest San Antonio, Texas


When reading the Life and Diary of David Brainerd I was struck by how self-righteous Brainerd was prior to being saved.  Many of the struggles Brainerd expressed and wrestled with are the exact same things that the self-righteous person today is ensnared by. No doubt, I am sure you could find someone a thousand years ago who wrestled with these same aspects of trying to save themselves by their own works. Why?  Because all of humanity is fallen, and in lost mankind’s fallenness they so often seek subtle ways to try to earn their own salvation.  My hope in posting these extracts from the book and commenting on them is that those who are asking these similar questions will yet find one more testimony of a man who found rest in Christ.  Rest, not because he was able to qualify himself to God, but because he gave up and trusted in the perfect qualifications of Jesus Christ on his behalf.

All of the following extracts are taken from sections on pages 58 to 70 of the book:

When about twenty years of age, I applied myself to study; and was now engaged more than ever in the duties of religion. I became very strict, and watchful over my thoughts, words, and actions; and thought I must be sober indeed, because I designed to devote myself to the ministry; and imagined I did dedicate myself to the Lord.

My manner of life was now exceeding regular, and full of religion, such as it was; for I read my Bible more than twice through in less than a year, spent much time every day in prayer and other secret duties, gave great attention to the word preached, and endeavored to my utmost to retain it. So much concerned was I about religion, that I agreed with some young persons to meet privately on sabbath evenings for religious exercises, and thought myself sincere in these duties…  In short, I had a very good outside, and rested entirely on my duties, though not sensible of it.

David says it well, “I had a very good outside”, one in which he was filling his life with religious duties, but “rested entirely on my duties”, trusting in them for his hope of salvation.  He says, “though not sensible of it”; as in he didn’t realize he was self-righteous because he was blinded by it. He goes on to explain:

Some time in the beginning of winter, 1738, it pleased God, on one sabbath-day morning, as I was walking out for some secret duties, to give me on a sudden such a sense of my danger, and the wrath of God, that I stood amazed, and my former good frames, that I had pleased myself with, all presently vanished. From the view I had of my sin and vileness, I was much distressed all that day, fearing the vengeance of God would soon overtake me. I was much dejected, kept much alone, and sometimes envied the birds and beasts their happiness, because they were not exposed to eternal misery, as I evidently saw I was. And thus I lived from day to day, being frequently in great distress: sometimes there appeared mountains before me to obstruct my hopes of mercy; and the work of conversion appeared so great, that I thought I should never be the subject of it. I used, however, to pray and cry to God, and perform other duties with great earnestness; and thus hoped by some means to make the case better.

And though, hundreds of times, I renounced all pretenses of any worth in my duties, as I thought, even while performing them, and often confessed to God that I deserved nothing, for the very best of them, but eternal condemnation; yet still I had a secret hope of recommending myself to God by my religious duties. When I prayed affectionately, and my heart seemed in some measure to melt, I hoped God would be thereby moved to pity me, my prayers then looked with some appearance of goodness in them, and I seemed to mourn for sin. And then I could in some measure venture on the mercy of God in Christ, as I thought, though the preponderating thought, the foundation of my hope, was some imagination of goodness in my heart-meltings, flowing of affections in duty, extraordinary enlargements. Though at times the gate appeared so very strait, that it looked next to impossible to enter, yet, at other times, I flattered myself that it was not so very difficult, and hoped I should by diligence and watchfulness soon gain the point. Sometimes after enlargement in duty and considerable affection, I hoped I had made a good step towards heaven; imagined that God was affected as I was, and that he would hear such sincere cries, as I called them. And so sometimes, when I withdrew for secret duties in great distress, I returned comfortable; and thus healed myself with my duties.

Notice how Brainerd said that he was hoping that the Lord was looking at him and his “heart-meltings” as something by which the Lord will now save him because of those feelings being present.  The self-righteous man is constantly doing these “secret duties” and finding a false comfort in doing them, as Brainerd said above.  He went on from this point still trying to save himself, but getting a greater glimpse of his wickedness, he says:

I set apart a day for secret fasting and prayer, and spent the day in almost incessant cries to God for mercy, that he would open my eyes to see the evil of sin, and the way of life by Jesus Christ. And God was pleased that day to make considerable discoveries of my heart to me. But still I trusted in all the duties I performed; though there was no manner of goodness in them, there being in them no respect to the glory of God, nor any such principle in my heart. Yet, God was pleased to make my endeavors that day a means to show me my helplessness in some measure.

Again, he says he “still trusted in all the duties I performed” and not in the perfect performance of Jesus Christ. He goes on:

Sometimes I was greatly encouraged, and imagined that God loved me, and was pleased with me; and thought I should soon be fully reconciled to God. But the whole was founded on mere presumption, arising from enlargement in duty, or flowing of affections, or some good resolutions, and the like…

Notice, when he did more works, that is “enlargement in duty” he had a false assurance that God loved him because of his performance or zealous resolution that he made, such as fasting and praying:

Thus, though I daily longed for greater conviction of sin, supposing that I must see more of my dreadful state in order to a remedy; yet when the discoveries of my vile, hellish heart, were made to me, the sight was so dreadful, and showed me so plainly my exposedness to damnation, that I could not endure it. – I constantly strove after whatever qualifications I imagined others obtained before the reception of Christ, in order to recommend me to his favour…

Two of the things just mentioned are common threads in the proud and self-righteous person. The first being this idea that one needs “greater conviction of sin” and that then somehow they will be prepared and ready to be saved. The second being this temptation to look at “whatever qualifications”“others obtained before the reception of Christ” and seeking to have those for yourself. The self-righteous man is constantly looking at other’s testimonies and comparing his own to that of the other.  As he seeks to imitate the feelings and experiences the other had prior to conversion, he deceives himself to think he is close to now being saved because of the similarities he has with that person before they were saved.  Again, none of this is looking to Christ, it is all a works based salvation that is hopeless.  In the following extracts you will see how he continued with this mindset of trying to prepare himself for saving mercy, rather than trust in the perfect sacrifice that has been prepared for us in Jesus Christ:

When at any time I took a view of my convictions, and thought the degree of them to be considerable, I was accustomed to trust in them; but this confidence, and the hopes of soon making some notable advances towards deliverance, would ease my mind, and I soon became more senseless and remiss: but then again, when I discerned my convictions to grow languid, and I thought them about to leave me, this immediately alarmed and distressed me.

Being sensible of the necessity of a deep humiliation in order to a saving close with Christ, I used to set myself to work in my own heart those convictions that were requisite in such an humiliation…

I was accustomed to tell God in my prayers, that now I had those very dispositions of soul that he required, and on which he showed mercy to others, and thereupon to beg and plead for mercy to me. But when I found no relief, and was still oppressed with guilt, and fears of wrath, my soul was in a tumult, and my heart rose against God, as dealing hardly with me…

Thus, scores of times, I vainly imagined myself humbled and prepared for saving mercy.

Brainerd goes on to describe some of the faults that he found with God, and this too is often common with the self-righteous person. They view themselves as faultless, and God as the one at fault and to blame:

The many disappointments, great distresses, and perplexity I met with, put me into a most horrible frame of contesting with the Almighty; with an inward vehemence and virulence finding fault with his ways of dealing with mankind. I found great fault with the imputation of Adam’s sin to his posterity; and my wicked heart often wished for some other way of salvation, than by Jesus Christ.

I used before to imagine, that my heart was not so bad as the Scriptures and some other books represented it. Sometimes I used to take much pains to work it up into a good frame, an humble submissive disposition; and hoped there was then some goodness in me.

Brainerd said, “my heart was especially irritated with the following things”:

(1) The strictness of the divine law. For I found it was impossible for me, after my utmost pains, to answer its demands.

(2)  Another thing was, that faith alone was the condition of salvation; that God would not come down to lower terms, and that he would not promise life and salvation upon my sincere and hearty prayers and endeavors.

(3) Another thing was, that I could not find out what faith was; or what it was to believe, and come to Christ. I read the calls of Christ to the weary and heavy laden; but could find no way that he directed them to come in. I thought I would gladly come, if I knew how, though the path of duty were never so difficult. I read Mr. Stoddard’s Guide to Christ, (which I trust was, in the hand of God, the happy means of my conversion) and my heart rose against the author; for though he told me my very heart all along under convictions, and seemed to be very beneficial to me in his directions; yet here he failed, he did not tell me any thing I could do that would bring me to Christ, but left me as it were with a great gulf between, without any direction to get through. For I was not yet effectually and experimentally, taught, that there could be no way prescribed, whereby a natural man could, of his own strength, obtain that which is supernatural, and which the highest angel cannot give.

(4) Another thing to which I found a great inward opposition, was the sovereignty of God. I could not bear that it should be wholly at God’s pleasure to save or damn me, just as he would.

What he has expressed above is yet again some of the common threads among the self-righteous today.  When you tell the lost, “Believe on Christ!” their first response is, “How do I do that?” Rather than looking to Christ and His finished work, they seek for something that they can do.  As Brainerd said, Mr. Stoddard’s guide did not, “tell me any thing I could do that would bring me to Christ” and that is exactly where the self-righteous are looking, they are looking for something they can do! Yet Jesus has declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

He went on to describe the Lord breaking him and showing him that nothing he could do would earn salvation and Christ’s favor:

But the truth was, I could see no safety in owning myself in the hands of a sovereign God, and that I could lay no claim to any thing better than damnation.

But after a considerable time spent in such like exercises and distresses, one morning, while I was walking in a solitary place, as usual, I at once saw that all my contrivances and projects to effect or procure deliverance and salvation for myself, were utterly in vain; I was brought quite to a stand, as finding myself totally lost. I had thought many times before, that the difficulties in my way were very great; but now I saw, in another and very different light, that it was for ever impossible for me to do any thing towards helping or delivering myself. I then thought of blaming myself, that I had not done more, and been more engaged, while I had opportunity — for it seemed now as if the season of doing was for ever over and gone — but I instantly saw, that let me have done what I would, it would no more have tended to my helping myself, than what I had done; that I had made all the pleas I ever could have made to all eternity; and that all my pleas were vain. The tumult that had been before in my mind, was now quieted; and I was something eased of that distress, which I felt, while struggling against a sight of myself, and of the divine sovereignty. I had the greatest certainty that my state was for ever miserable, for all that I could do; and wondered that I had never been sensible of it before.

I saw it was self-interest had led me to pray, and that I had never once prayed from any respect to the glory of God. Now I saw there was no necessary connection between my prayers and the bestowment of divine mercy; that they laid not the least obligation upon God to bestow his grace upon me; and that there was no more virtue or goodness in them…

I now saw that something worse had attended my duties, than barely a few wanderings, for the whole was nothing but self-worship, and a horrid abuse of God.

What Brainerd just said shows forth a repentance, a change of his mind, he saw, “that it was for ever impossible for me to do any thing towards helping or delivering myself.” He saw that what had led him to pray was self-interest and that he had “never once prayed from any respect to the glory of God.” He saw that his duties as a “whole was nothing but self-worship, and a horrid abuse of God.”  He saw there was nothing in his hands he could bring, but it was simply to the Cross he must cling. The Lord kept opening his eyes:

…a new inward apprehension or view that I had of God, such as I never had before, nor any thing which had the least resemblance of it. I stood still, wondered, and admired! I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty; it was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost; but it appeared to be divine glory. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious Divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied that he should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought (as I remember) at first about my own salvation, and scarce reflected there was such a creature as myself.

Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace, and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before. If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ.

But not long after I was again involved in thick darkness, and under great distress; yet not of the same kind with my distress under convictions. I was guilty, afraid, and ashamed to come before God; was exceedingly pressed with a sense of guilt: but it was not long before I felt, I trust, true repentance and joy in God.

Friend, here we see a man who had looked to his inward feelings, his quantity of Bible reading, his prayers and fasting, the level of conviction he felt, but none of it could give him rest. He found rest “entirely by the righteousness of Christ” which he received by faith and not by works of the law. He like many today were wondering, “How do I come to Christ?” and yet it was only a subtle way of asking, “What can I do to save myself?”  Yet what a hope there is in Christ. If you are weary and tired of trying to earn your way to God, give up, believe on Christ.  Don’t look inwardly and ask, “How do I give up?”, but look outwardly at Christ who gave His life as a ransom for vile sinners. Drop your own contrivances and comply with, “This lovely, blessed, and excellent way”; that way “entirely by the righteousness of Christ”. You too can freely receive Jesus Christ’s perfect record of obedience to your account and be declared righteous before God by faith alone in Christ’s finished work.

After serving as a missionary to the Indians, David Brainerd died at the young age of 29, and in his final days he said, the thought was suggested to him inwardly, “‘You are filthy, not fit for heaven.’ Hereupon instantly appeared the blessed robes of Christ’s righteousness which I could not but exult and triumph in.” There in lies the only hope for the Christian, in the blessed robes of Christ’s perfectly keeping of the standard on our behalf, and dying in our place to pay the penalty in full. If you have not rest, then come by faith and trust in Christ’s finished work.

I’ll Be Honest