People wrest many passages of scripture that speak of the “world” and try to make them say that Christ came to make salvation possible for every son of Adam. We know that cannot be so because our Lord prayed, “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me for they are thine” (John 17:9). Christ did not die for the whole population of the world, but he did die for sinners from all over the world. In all things Christ will have the preeminence, so there is not a place Adam’s sin has gone that is out of the reach of Christ’s sin atoning blood. The curse of sin cannot spread anywhere that is beyond the scope of the power of Christ to remove the curse. A sinner cannot plunge so deep that he is too far gone for Christ to save him. There is no sheep of God who is so lost they are beyond the reach of the Shepherd of the Sheep to come find him and carry him back to the fold because Christ came to save sinners from every corner of the world. —Pastor Frank Tate
Long before we sinned in Adam, the Lord planned the salvation of his elect in Christ. The plan of salvation is not a path we follow to find God. It is the path God follows to find his elect. — Pastor Don Fortner
WHAT DOES GOD REQUIRE?
If a person has concern and doubts about his hope of grace and eternal glory, he might consider the following questions.
1. God requires perfection. Am I perfect? No! Then do I have ONE who is perfect to stand for me and I in Him?
2. Do I have a righteousness that can stand the test of God’s holy law and presence? No! Then is there ONE who will give to me such a holiness?
3. Will God hear my weak and sinful voice before His throne? No! Then is there ONE? He will hear who shall be my advocate and intercessor?
4. Do I have an acceptable blood atonement and can I act as a suitable high priest before His presence? No! Then do I have ONE who is a great High Priest in the heavens with one sacrifice for sins forever?
5. The scriptures declare, “He that hath clean hands, a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” shall stand in His holy place. Can this be said of me? No! Then do I have ONE in whom all the fullness of holiness, power, and truth dwells who will love me, take my case as His, and bring me to God?
“Yes, there’s ONE, only ONE; the blessed, blessed Jesus, He’s the ONE: When afflictions press the soul, and waves of trouble roll, and you need a friend to help you, HE’S THE ONE!”
–Pastor Henry Mahan
I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: 1. Inclining to unbelief; 2. Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth; 3. A leaning to the works of the law; 4. Wanderings and coldness in prayer; 5. To forget to watch for that I pray for; 6. Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have; 7. I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves.
When I would do good, evil is present with me. These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with, yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good; 1. They make me abhor myself; 2. They keep me from trusting my heart; 3. They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness; 4. They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus; 5. They press me to pray unto God; 6. They show me the need I have to watch and be sober; 7. And provoke me to pray unto God, through Christ to help me, and carry me through this world.
IN THE LORD’S HANDS
“No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29)
Think, my soul, how eternally safe and secure must the church of Jesus be, thus kept by the mighty power of God, through faith, unto salvation! What shall unclasp the hands of Jehovah? Who shall wrest the weakest, the humblest, the poorest of Christ’s little ones from the holding of His omnipotency? Why then are thou, my soul, so frequently exercised with fears, and doubts, and misgivings? It is the Lord’s love that is the foundation of thy assurance, and not the strength of thy graces! His own free mercy, and not thy merit were the first causes of thy calling, and what is it now, in thy present preservation, but the same which holds thee up and carries thee through every difficulty? “Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hands” (Deau. 33:3). Precious Lord Jesus! It is enough. How shall a child of Thine perish when secured by such almighty support? Oh to hear Thy voice, in the soft whispers of Thy love, comforting my soul as Thou didst the church of old. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget; yet, will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
CHRIST IS ALL
If salvation depends upon our being or doing anything, we shall inevitably be lost. Thank God, it does not; for the great fundamental principle of the Gospel is that Christ is all; man is nothing. It is not a mixture of Christ and man – it is all of Christ. The peace of the Gospel does not rest in part on Christ’s work and in part on man’s work; it rest wholly on Christ’s work, because that work is perfect, perfect forever; and it renders all who put their trust in Him as perfect as Himself? Christ must either be a whole Savior or no Savior at all. The moment a man says, “Except you be this or that, you cannot be saved,” he totally subvert the Gospel; for in the Gospel I find Christ coming down to me, just as I am – a lost, guilty, self-destroyed sinner; and coming, moreover, with a full remission of all sins, and a full salvation from my lost estate, all perfectly wrought by Himself on the Cross.
—C.H. Mackintosh (1820-96), minister in Ireland