(Spurgeon, All of Grace. part 2)

     Friend, the Lord can blot out all your sins. I make no shot
in the dark when I say this. "All manner of sin and of blasphemy
shall be forgiven unto men." Though you are steeped up to your
throat in crime, He can with a word remove the defilement, and
say, "I will, be thou clean." The Lord is a great forgiver.
     "I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins." Do You?
     He can even at this hour pronounce the sentence, "Thy sins
be forgiven thee; go in peace;" and if He do this, no power in
Heaven, or earth, or under the earth, can put you under
suspicion, much less under wrath. Do not doubt the power of
Almighty love. You could not forgive your fellow man had he
offended you as you have offended God; but you must not measure
God's corn with your bushel; His thoughts and ways are as much
above yours as the heavens are high above the earth.
     "Well," say you, "it would be a great miracle if the Lord
were to pardon me." Just so. It would be a supreme miracle, and
therefore He is likely to do it; for He does "great things and
unsearchable" which we looked not for.
     I was myself stricken down with a horrible sense of guilt,
which made my life a misery to me; but when I heard the command,
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I
am God and there is none else"--I looked, and in a moment the
Lord justified me. Jesus Christ, made sin for me, was what I saw,
and that sight gave me rest. When those who were bitten by the
fiery serpents in the wilderness looked to the serpent of brass
they were healed at once; and so was I when I looked to the
crucified Saviour. The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe,
gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was
forgiven, as before I felt sure of condemnation. I had been
certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it,
and my conscience bore witness to it; but when the Lord justified
me I was made equally certain by the same witnesses. The word of
the Lord in the Scripture saith, "He that believeth on him is not
condemned," and my conscience bears witness that I believed, and
that God in pardoning me is just. Thus I have the witness of the
Holy Spirit and my own conscience, and these two agree in one.
Oh, how I wish that my reader would receive the testimony of God
upon this matter, and then full soon he would also have the
witness in himself!
     I venture to say that a sinner justified by God stands on
even a surer footing than a righteous man justified by his works,
if such there be. We could never be surer that we had done enough
works; conscience would always be uneasy lest, after all, we
should come short, and we could only have the trembling verdict
of a fallible judgment to rely upon; but when God himself
justifies, and the Holy Spirit bears witness thereto by giving us
peace with God, why then we feel that the matter is sure and
settled, and we enter into rest. No tongue can tell the depth of
that calm which comes over the soul which has received the peace
of God which passeth all understanding.
     WE HAVE SEEN the ungodly justified, and have considered the
great truth, that only God can justify any man; we now come a
step further and make the inquiry--How can a just God justify
guilty men? Here we are met with a full answer in the words of
Paul, in Romans 3:21-26. We will read six verses from the chapter
so as to get the run of the passage:
     "But now the righteousness of God without the law is
manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the
righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all
and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference; for
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the
remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might
be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."     
Here suffer me to give you a bit of personal experience. When I
was under the hand of the Holy Spirit, under conviction of sin, I
had a clear and sharp sense of the justice of God. Sin, whatever
it might be to other people, became to me an intolerable burden.
It was not so much that I feared hell, but that I feared sin. I
knew myself to be so horribly guilty that I remember
feeling that if God did not punish me for sin He ought to do so.
I felt that the Judge of all the earth ought to condemn such sin
as mine. I sat on the judgment seat, and I condemned myself to
perish; for I confessed that had I been God I could have done no
other than send such a guilty creature as I was down to the
lowest hell. All the while, I had upon my mind a deep concern for
the honor of God's name, and the integrity of His moral
government. I felt that it would not satisfy my conscience if I
could be forgiven unjustly. The sin I had committed must be
punished. But then there was the question how God could be just,
and yet justify me who had been so guilty. I asked my heart: "How
can He be just and yet the justifier?" I was worried and wearied
with this question; neither could I see any answer to it.
Certainly, I could never have invented an answer which would have
satisfied my conscience.
     The doctrine of the atonement is to my mind one of the
surest proofs of the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture. Who
would or could have thought of the just Ruler dying for the
unjust rebel? This is no teaching of human mythology, or dream of
poetical imagination. This method of expiation is only known
among men because it is a fact; fiction could not have devised
it. God Himself ordained it; it is not a matter which could have
been imagined.
     I had heard the plan of salvation by the sacrifice of Jesus
from my youth up; but I did not know any more about it in my
innermost soul than if I had been born and bred a Hottentot. The
light was there, but I was blind; it was of necessity that the
Lord himself should make the matter plain to me. It came to me as
a new revelation, as fresh as if I had never read in Scripture
that Jesus was declared to be the propitiation for sins that God
might be just. I believe it will have to come as a revelation to
every newborn child of God whenever he sees it; I mean that
glorious doctrine of the substitution of the Lord Jesus. I came
to understand that salvation was possible through vicarious
sacrifice; and that provision had been made in the first
constitution and arrangement of things for such a substitution. I
was made to see that He who is the Son of God, co-equal, and co-
eternal with the Father, had of old been made the covenant Head
of a chosen people that He might in that capacity suffer for them
and save them. Inasmuch as our fall was not at the first a
personal one, for we fell in our federal representative, the
first Adam, it became possible for us to be recovered by a second
representative, even by Him who has undertaken to be the covenant
head of His people, so as to be their second Adam. I saw that ere
I actually sinned I had fallen by my first father's sin; and I
rejoiced that therefore it became possible in point of law for me
to rise by a second head and representative. The fall by Adam
left a loophole of escape; another Adam can undo the ruin made by
the first. When I was anxious about the possibility of a just God
pardoning me, I understood and saw by faith that He who is the
Son of God became man, and in His own blessed person bore my sin
in His own body on the tree. I saw the chastisement of my peace
was laid on Him, and that with His stripes I was healed. Dear
friend, have you ever seen that? Have you ever understood how God
can be just to the full, not remitting penalty nor blunting the
edge of the sword, and yet can be infinitely merciful, and can
justify the ungodly who turn to Him? It was because the Son of
God, supremely glorious in His matchless person, undertook to
vindicate the law by bearing the sentence due to me, that
therefore God is able to pass by my sin. The law of God was more
vindicated by the death of Christ than it would have been had all
transgressors been sent to Hell. For the Son of God to suffer for
sin was a more glorious establishment of the government of God,
than for the whole race to suffer.
     Jesus has borne the death penalty on our behalf. Behold the
wonder! There He hangs upon the cross! This is the greatest sight
you will ever see. Son of God and Son of Man, there He hangs,
bearing pains unutterable, the just for the unjust, to bring us
to God. Oh, the glory of that sight! The innocent punished! The
Holy One condemned! The Ever-blessed made a curse! The infinitely
glorious put to a shameful death! The more I look at the
sufferings of the Son of God, the more sure I am that they must
meet my case. Why did He suffer, if not to turn aside the penalty
from us? If, then, He turned it aside by His death, it is turned
aside, and those who believe in Him need not fear it. It must be
so, that since expiation is made, God is able to forgive without
shaking the basis of His throne, or in the least degree blotting
the statute book. Conscience gets a full answer to her tremendous
question. The wrath of God against iniquity, whatever that may
be, must be beyond all conception terrible. Well did Moses say,
"Who knoweth the power of thine anger?" Yet when we hear the Lord
of glory cry, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" and see Him yielding
up the ghost, we feel that the justice of God has received
abundant vindication by obedience so perfect and death so
terrible, rendered by so divine a person. If God himself bows
before His own law, what more can be done? There is more in the
atonement by way of merit, than there is in all human sin by way
of demerit.
     The great gulf of Jesus' loving self-sacrifice can swallow
up the mountains of our sins, all of them. For the sake of the
infinite good of this one representative man, the Lord may well
look with favor upon other men, however unworthy they may be in
and of themselves. It was a miracle of miracles that the Lord
Jesus Christ should stand in our stead and
     Bear that we might never bear
     His Father's righteous ire.
     But he has done so. "It is finished." God will spare the
sinner because He did not spare His Son. God can pass by your
transgressions because He laid those transgressions upon His only
begotten Son nearly two thousand years ago. If you believe in
Jesus (that is the point), then your sins were carried away by
Him who was the scapegoat for His people.
     What is it to believe in Him? It is not merely to say, "He
is God and the Saviour," but to trust Him wholly and entirely,
and take Him for all your salvation from this time forth and
forever--your Lord, your Master, your all. If you will have
Jesus, He has you already. If you believe on Him, I tell you you
cannot go to hell; for that were to make the sacrifice of Christ
of none effect. It cannot be that a sacrifice should be accepted,
and yet the soul should die for whom that sacrifice has been
received. If the believing soul could be condemned, then why a
sacrifice? If Jesus died in my stead, why should I die also?
Every believer can claim that the sacrifice was actually made for
him: by faith he has laid his hands on it, and made it his own,
and therefore he may rest assured that he can never perish. The
Lord would not receive this offering on our behalf, and then
condemn us to die. The Lord cannot read our pardon written in the
blood of His own Son, and then smite us. That were impossible. Oh
that you may have grace given you at once to look away to Jesus
and to begin at the beginning, even at Jesus, who is the
Fountain-head of mercy to guilty man!
     "He justifieth the ungodly." "It is God that justifieth,"
therefore, and for that reason only it can be done, and He does
it through the atoning sacrifice of His divine Son. Therefore it
can be justly done--so justly done that none will ever question
it--so thoroughly done that in the last tremendous day, when
heaven and earth shall pass away, there shall be none that shall
deny the validity of the justification. "Who is he that
condemneth? It is Christ that died. Who shall lay anything to the
charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."
     Now, poor soul! will you come into this lifeboat, just as
you are? Here is safety from the wreck! Accept the sure
deliverance. "I have nothing with me," say you. You are not asked
to bring anything with you. Men who escape for their lives will
leave even their clothes behind. Leap for it, just as you are.   
  I will tell you this thing about myself to encourage you. My
sole hope for heaven lies in the full atonement made upon
Calvary's cross for the ungodly. On that I firmly rely. I have
not the shadow of a hope anywhere else. You are in the same
condition as I am; for we neither of us have anything of our own
worth as a ground of trust. Let us join hands and stand together
at the foot of the cross, and trust our souls once for all to Him
who shed His blood for the guilty. We will be saved by one and
the same Saviour. If you perish trusting Him, I must perish too.
What can I do more to prove my own confidence in the gospel which
I set before you?
     IN THIS PLACE I would say a plain word or two to those who
understand the method of justification by faith which is in
Christ Jesus, but whose trouble is that they cannot cease from
sin. We can never be happy, restful, or spiritually healthy till
we become holy. We must be rid of sin; but how is the riddance to
be wrought? This is the life-or-death question of many. The old
nature is very strong, and they have tried to curb and tame it;
but it will not be subdued, and they find themselves, though
anxious to be better, if anything growing worse than before. The
heart is so hard, the will is so obstinate, the passions are so
furious, the thoughts are so volatile, the imagination is so
ungovernable, the desires are so wild, that the man feels that he
has a den of wild beasts within him, which will eat him up sooner
than be ruled by him. We may say of our fallen nature what the
Lord said to Job concerning Leviathan: "Wilt thou play with him
as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?" A man
might as well hope to hold the north wind in the hollow of his
hand as expect to control by his own strength those boisterous
powers which dwell within his fallen nature. This is a greater
feat than any of the fabled labors of Hercules: God is wanted
     "I could believe that Jesus would forgive sin," says one,
"but then my trouble is that I sin again, and that I feel such
awful tendencies to evil within me. As surely as a stone, if it
be flung up into the air, soon comes down again to the ground, so
do I, though I am sent up to heaven by earnest preaching, return
again to my insensible state. Alas! I am easily fascinated with
the basilisk eyes of sin, and am thus held as under a spell, so
that I cannot escape from my own folly."
     Dear friend, salvation would be a sadly incomplete affair if
it did not deal with this part of our ruined estate. We want to
be purified as well as pardoned. Justification without
sanctification would not be salvation at all. It would call the
leper clean, and leave him to die of his disease; if would
forgive the rebellion and allow the rebel to remain an enemy to
his king. It would remove the consequences but overlook the
cause, and this would leave an endless and hopeless task before
us. It would stop the stream for a time, but leave an open
fountain of defilement, which would sooner or later break forth
with increased power. Remember that the Lord Jesus came to take
away sin in three ways; He came to remove the penalty of sin, the
power of sin, and, at last, the presence of sin. At once you may
reach to the second part--the power of sin may immediately be
broken; and so you will be on the road to the third, namely, the
removal of the presence of sin. "We know that he was manifested
to take away our sins."
     The angel said of our Lord, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus,
for he shall save his people from their sins." Our Lord Jesus
came to destroy in us the works of the devil. That which was said
at our Lord's birth was also declared in His death; for when the
soldier pierced His side forthwith came there out blood and
water, to set forth the double cure by which we are delivered
from the guilt and the defilement of sin.
     If, however, you are troubled about the power of sin, and
about the tendencies of your nature, as you well may be, here is
a promise for you. Have faith in it, for it stands in that
covenant of grace which is ordered in all things and sure. God,
who cannot lie, has said in Ezekiel 36:26:
     A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I
put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your
flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
     You see, it is all "I will," and "I will." "I will give,"
and "I will take away." This is the royal style of the King of
kings, who is able to accomplish all His will. No word of His
shall ever fall to the ground.
     The Lord knows right well that you cannot change your own
heart, and cannot cleanse your own nature; but He also knows that
He can do both. He can cause the Ethiopian to change his skin,
and the leopard his spots. Hear this, and be astonished: He can
create you a second time; He can cause you to be born again. This
is a miracle of grace, but the Holy Ghost will perform it. It
would be a very wonderful thing if one could stand at the foot of
the Niagara Falls, and could speak a word which should make the
river Niagara begin to run up stream, and leap up that great
precipice over which it now rolls in stupendous force. Nothing
but the power of God could achieve that marvel; but that would be
more than a fit parallel to what would take place if the course
of your nature were altogether reversed. All things are possible
with God. He can reverse the direction of your desires and the
current of your life, and instead of going downward from God, He
can make your whole being tend upward toward God. That is, in
fact, what the Lord has promised to do for all who are in the
covenant; and we know from Scripture that all believers are in
the covenant. Let me read the words again:
     A new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the
stony heart out of your flesh, and will give an heart of flesh.
(Ezekiel 11:19).
     What a wonderful promise! And it is yea and amen in Christ
Jesus to the glory of God by us. Let us lay hold of it; accept it
as true, and appropriate it to ourselves. Then shall it be
fulfilled in us, and we shall have, in after days and years, to
sing of that wondrous change which the sovereign grace of God has
wrought in us.
     It is well worthy of consideration that when the Lord takes
away the stony heart, that deed is done; and when that is once
done, no known power can ever take away that new heart which He
gives, and that right spirit which He puts within us. "The gifts
and calling of God are without repentance"; that is, without
repentance on His part; He does not take away what He once has
given. Let Him renew you and you will be renewed. Man's
reformations and cleanings up soon come to an end, for the dog
returns to his vomit; but when God puts a new heart into us, the
new heart is there forever, and never will it harden into stone
again. He who made it flesh will keep it so. Herein we may
rejoice and be glad forever in that which God creates in the
kingdom of His grace.
     To put the matter very simply--did you ever hear of Mr.
Rowland Hill's illustration of the cat and the sow? I will give
it in my own fashion, to illustrate our Saviour's expressive
words--"Ye must be born again." Do you see that cat? What a
cleanly creature she is! How cleverly she washes herself with her
tongue and her paws! It is quite a pretty sight! Did you ever see
a sow do that? No, you never did. It is contrary to its nature.
It prefers to wallow in the mire. Go and teach a sow to wash
itself, and see how little success you would gain. It would be a
great sanitary improvement if swine would be clean. Teach them to
wash and clean themselves as the cat has been doing! Useless
task. You may by force wash that sow, but it hastens to the mire,
and is soon as foul as ever. The only way in which you can get a
sow to wash itself is to transform it into a cat; then it will
wash and be clean, but not till then! Suppose that transformation
to be accomplished, and then what was difficult or impossible is
easy enough; the swine will henceforth be fit for your parlor and
your hearth-rug. So it is with an ungodly man; you cannot force
him to do what a renewed man does most willingly; you may teach
him, and set him a good example, but he cannot learn the art of
holiness, for he has no mind to it; his nature leads him another
way. When the Lord makes a new man of him, then all things wear a
different aspect. So great is this change, that I once heard a
convert say, "Either all the world is changed, or else I am." The
new nature follows after right as naturally as the old nature
wanders after wrong. What a blessing to receive such a nature!
Only the Holy Ghost can give it.
     Did it ever strike you what a wonderful thing it is for the
Lord to give a new heart and a right spirit to a man? You have
seen a lobster, perhaps, which has fought with another lobster,
and lost one of its claws, and a new claw has grown. That is a
remarkable thing; but it is a much more astounding fact that a
man should have a new heart given to him. This, indeed, is a
miracle beyond the powers of nature. There is a tree. If you cut
off one of its limbs, another one may grow in its place; but can
you change the tree; can you sweeten sour sap; can you make the
thorn bear figs? You can graft something better into it and that
is the analogy which nature gives us of the work of grace; but
absolutely to change the vital sap of the tree would be a miracle
indeed. Such a prodigy and mystery of power God works in all who
believe in Jesus.
     If you yield yourself up to His divine working, the Lord
will alter your nature; He will subdue the old nature, and
breathe new life into you. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ, and He will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and
He will give you a heart of flesh. Where everything was hard,
everything shall be tender; where everything was vicious,
everything shall be virtuous: where everything tended downward,
everything shall rise upward with impetuous force. The lion of
anger shall give place to the lamb of meekness; the raven of
uncleanness shall fly before the dove of purity; the vile serpent
of deceit shall be trodden under the heel of truth.
     I have seen with my own eyes such marvellous changes of
moral and spiritual character that I despair of none. I could, if
it were fitting, point out those who were once unchaste women who
are now pure as the driven snow, and blaspheming men who now
delight all around them by their intense devotion. Thieves are
made honest, drunkards sober, liars truthful, and scoffers
zealous. Wherever the grace of God has appeared to a man it has
trained him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live
soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world: and,
dear reader, it will do the same for you.
     "I cannot make this change," says one. Who said you could?
The Scripture which we have quoted speaks not of what man will
do, but of what God will do. It is God's promise, and it is for
Him to fulfill His own engagements. Trust in Him to fulfill His
Word to you, and it will be done.
     "But how is it to be done?" What business is that of yours?
Must the Lord explain His methods before you will believe him?
The Lord's working in this matter is a great mystery: the Holy
Ghost performs it. He who made the promise has the responsibility
of keeping the promise, and He is equal to the occasion. God, who
promises this marvellous change, will assuredly carry it out in
all who receive Jesus, for to all such He gives power to become
the Sons of God. Oh that you would believe it! Oh that you would
do the gracious Lord the justice to believe that He can and will
do this for you, great miracle though it will be! Oh that you
would believe that God cannot lie! Oh that you would trust Him
for a new heart, and a right spirit, for He can give them to you!
May the Lord give you faith in His promise, faith in His Son,
faith in the Holy Spirit, and faith in Him, and to Him shall be
praise and honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
     "By grace are ye saved, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8 ).    
     I THINK IT WELL to turn a little to one side that I may ask
my reader to observe adoringly the fountain-head of our
salvation, which is the grace of God. "By grace are ye saved."
Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven,
converted, purified, and saved. It is not because of anything in
them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but
because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy,
and grace of God. Tarry a moment, then, at the well-head. Behold
the pure river of water of life, as it proceeds out of the throne
of God and of the Lamb!
     What an abyss is the grace of God! Who can measure its
breadth? Who can fathom its depth? Like all the rest of the
divine attributes, it is infinite. God is full of love, for "God
is love." God is full of goodness; the very name "God" is short
for "good." Unbounded goodness and love enter into the very
essence of the Godhead. It is because "his mercy endureth for
ever" that men are not destroyed; because "his compassions fail
not" that sinners are brought to Him and forgiven.
     Remember this; or you may fall into error by fixing your
minds so much upon the faith which is the channel of salvation as
to forget the grace which is the fountain and source even of
faith itself. Faith is the work of God's grace in us. No man can
say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. "No man
cometh unto me," saith Jesus, "except the Father which hath sent
me draw him." So that faith, which is coming to Christ, is the
result of divine drawing. Grace is the first and last moving
cause of salvation; and faith, essential as it is, is only an
important part of the machinery which grace employs. We are saved
"through faith," but salvation is "by grace." Sound forth those
words as with the archangel's trumpet: "By grace are ye saved."
What glad tidings for the undeserving!
     Faith occupies the position of a channel or conduit pipe.
Grace is the fountain and the stream; faith is the aqueduct along
which the flood of mercy flows down to refresh the thirsty sons
of men. It is a great pity when the aqueduct is broken. It is a
sad sight to see around Rome the many noble aqueducts which no
longer convey water into the city, because the arches are broken
and the marvelous structures are in ruins. The aqueduct must be
kept entire to convey the current; and, even so, faith must be
true and sound, leading right up to God and coming right down to
ourselves, that it may become a serviceable channel of mercy to
our souls.
     Still, I again remind you that faith is only the channel or
aqueduct, and not the fountainhead, and we must not look so much
to it as to exalt it above the divine source of all blessing
which lies in the grace of God. Never make a Christ out of your
faith, nor think of as if it were the independent source of your
salvation. Our life is found in "looking unto Jesus," not in
looking to our own faith. By faith all things become possible to
us; yet the power is not in the faith, but in the God upon whom
faith relies. Grace is the powerful engine, and faith is the
chain by which the carriage of the soul is attached to the great
motive power. The righteousness of faith is not the moral
excellence of faith, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ which
faith grasps and appropriates. The peace within the soul is not
derived from the contemplation of our own faith; but it comes to
us from Him who is our peace, the hem of whose garment faith
touches, and virtue comes out of Him into the soul.
     See then, dear friend, that the weakness of your faith will
not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift. The
Lord's salvation can come to us though we have only faith as a
grain of mustard seed. The power lies in the grace of God, and
not in our faith. Great messages can be sent along slender wires,
and the peace-giving witness of the Holy Spirit can reach the
heart by means of a thread-like faith which seems almost unable
to sustain its own weight. Think more of Him to whom you look
than of the look itself. You must look away even from your own
looking, and see nothing but Jesus, and the grace of God revealed
in Him.
     WHAT IS THIS FAITH concerning which it is said, "By grace
are ye saved, through faith?" There are many descriptions of
faith; but almost all the definitions I have met with have made
me understand it less than I did before I saw them. The Negro
said, when he read the chapter, that he would confound it; and it
is very likely that he did so, though he meant to expound it. We
may explain faith till nobody understands it. I hope I shall not
be guilty of that fault. Faith is the simplest of all things, and
perhaps because of its simplicity it is the more difficult to
     What is faith? It is made up of three things--knowledge,
belief, and trust. Knowledge comes first. "How shall they believe
in him of whom they have not heard?" I want to be informed of a
fact before I can possibly believe it. "Faith cometh by hearing";
we must first hear, in order that we may know what is to be
believed. "They that know thy name shall put their trust in
thee." A measure of knowledge is essential to faith; hence the
importance of getting knowledge. "Incline your ear, and come unto
me; hear, and your soul shall live." Such was the word of the
ancient prophet, and it is the word of the gospel still. Search
the Scriptures and learn what the Holy Spirit teacheth concerning
Christ and His salvation. Seek to know God: "For he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek him." May the Holy Spirit give you the
spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord! Know the
gospel: know what the good news is, how it talks of free
forgiveness, and of change of heart, of adoption into the family
of God, and of countless other blessings. Know especially Christ
Jesus the Son of God, the Saviour of men, united to us by His
human nature, and yet one with God; and thus able to act as
Mediator between God and man, able to lay His hand upon both, and
to be the connecting link between the sinner and the Judge of all
the earth. Endeavour to know more and more of Christ Jesus.
Endeavour especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of
Christ; for the point upon which saving faith mainly fixes itself
is this--"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto them." Know that Jesus was
"made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that
hangeth on a tree." Drink deep of the doctrine of the
substitutionary work of Christ; for therein lies the sweetest
possible comfort to the guilty sons of men, since the Lord "made
him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of
God in him." Faith begins with knowledge.
     The mind goes on to believe that these things are true. The
soul believes that God is, and that He hears the cries of sincere
hearts; that the gospel is from God; that justification by faith
is the grand truth which God hath revealed in these last days by
His Spirit more clearly than before. Then the heart believes that

(continued in part 3...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: spgr-02.txt