None but Jesus
Charles Spurgeon, Author
“He that believeth on him is not condemned.” John 3:18
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 15:5-11
When I stand at the foot of the cross, I do not believe in Christ because I have got good feelings, but I believe in him whether I have good feelings or not.
“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.”
Mr Roger, Mr Sheppard, Mr Flavell, and several excellent divines, in the Puritan age, and especially Richard Baxter, used to give descriptions of what a man must feel before he may dare to come to Christ. Now, I say in the language of good Mr Fenner, another of those divines, who said he was but a babe in grace when compared with them—“I dare to say it, that all this is not Scriptural. Sinners do feel these things before they come, but they do not come on the ground of having felt it; they come on the ground of being sinners, and on no other ground whatever.” The gate of Mercy is opened, and over the door it is written, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Between that word “save” and the next word “sinners,” there is no adjective. It does not say, “penitent sinners,” “awakened sinners,” “sensible sinners,” “grieving sinners,” or “alarmed sinners.” No, it only says, “sinners” and I know this, that when I come, I come to Christ today, for I feel it as much a necessity of my life to come to the cross of Christ today as it was to come ten years ago,—when I come to him, I dare not come as a conscious sinner or an awakened sinner, but I have to come still as a sinner with nothing in my hands.
For meditation: We have no more right to complicate the Gospel than we have to water it down. Feelings are good and proper, but Satan can use them not only to give false assurance of salvation, but also to make sinners feel too bad to obey the Gospel and come to Christ.
The Benefits Of Wisdom
By: Ray Stedman
Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.Ecclesiastes 8:1
There is a marvelous, fourfold description of what happens to one who discovers the true wisdom of righteousness as a gift from God, one who walks with God in the fear of God.
First, it will make that person a unique human being.
Who is like the wise man? One of the follies of life is to try to imitate somebody else. The media constantly bombards us with subtle invitations to look like, dress, or talk like some popular idol. If you succeed in that, of course, you will be nothing but a cheap imitation of another person. The glory of the good news is that when you become a new creature in Jesus Christ, you will be unique. You will become more and more like Christ, but unlike everyone else in personality. You will not be a copy, a cheap imitation, but an original from the Spirit of God.
Secondly, the Searcher says, godly wisdom will give you a secret knowledge:
Who knows the explanation of things? The implication of that question is that the wise person knows. This is what Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 2:
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things (1 Corinthians 2:15a). Spiritual people are in a position to pass moral judgment on the value of everything, not because they are so smart, but because the God who teaches them is wise.
Thirdly, such a person will experience a visible joy:
Wisdom brightens a man’s face. Grace—not grease—is what makes the face shine. Manufacturers put grease in cosmetics to make the face shine artificially, but it is grace that does it from within. Grace and the joy that results from it visibly expressed make a face shine.
Finally, it changes the inner disposition of a person:
[Wisdom] changes its hard appearance. Have you ever watched somebody whose life was under the impact of the Spirit of God soften, mellow, and grow easier to live with? That is the work of the Spirit of God.
All of us have sung the hymns of John Newton. One in particular is a favorite of many:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound—that saved a wretch like me! That is John Newton’s story. He was raised by a godly mother who prayed for him all his life. As soon as he came of age, he joined the slave trade, running slaves from Africa to England. He fell into wild, riotous living, involving himself in drunken brawls. He ended up at last, as he himself confesses,
a slave of slaves, actually serving some of the escaped slaves on the African coast, wretched, miserable, and hardly even alive. Then he found voyage on a ship back to England. In the midst of a terrible storm in the Atlantic, when he feared for his life, he was converted; he remembered his mother’s prayers, and he came to Christ. He became one of the great Christians of England, author of many hymns that set forth the joy, the radiance, the gladness of his life as he found it in Jesus Christ.
Here the Searcher has clearly declared what he emphasizes throughout the whole book of Ecclesiastes: that it is the man or woman who finds the living God who discovers the answer to the riddles of life.