“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The evening was “darkness” and the morning was “light,” and yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone! This is somewhat remarkable, but it has an exact analogy in spiritual experience. In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not to be named a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is to be named a saint because he possesses some degree of holiness. This will be a most comforting thought to those who are mourning their infirmities, and who ask, “Can I be a child of God while there is so much darkness in me?” Yes; for you, like the day, take not your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are spoken of in the word of God as if you were even now perfectly holy as you will be soon. You are called the child of light, though there is darkness in you still. You are named after what is the predominating quality in the sight of God, which will one day be the only principle remaining. Observe that the evening comes first. Naturally we are darkness first in order of time, and the gloom is often first in our mournful apprehension, driving us to cry out in deep humiliation, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” The place of the morning is second, it dawns when grace overcomes nature. It is a blessed aphorism of John Bunyan, “That which is last, lasts for ever.” That which is first, yields in due season to the last; but nothing comes after the last. So that though you are naturally darkness, when once you become light in the Lord, there is no evening to follow; “thy sun shall no more go down.” The first day in this life is an evening and a morning; but the second day, when we shall be with God, for ever, shall be a day with no evening, but one, sacred, high, eternal noon.
“And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.”
And was this Jesus whom they desired to depart? Yes: and what had the Redeemer done to merit this treatment? He had dispossessed the evil spirit from the mind of a poor creature, and caused the whole country to be freed from the fury of one whom no chains could bind: was this the cause? Yes. And is it possible that so divine an act could have had such an effect upon the minds of a whole body of people? What, would these Gadarenes rather have the devil ranging among them, in the person of this poor creature, than the Son of God in the kindness of our nature? Pause, my soul: is it not the same now? Do not men still prefer the raging uncontrolled lusts of their own hearts, the dominion of Satan, and the customs, pursuits, and follies, of the world; to the grace, mercy, and sweet dominion of Jesus? Do they not indeed, if not in words, say, “Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways?” Pause again, my soul. Was there not a time when the same was thy case? Indeed there was. And is not every one so by nature? And what but an act of grace, like the miracle Jesus wrought on this poor man, can bring any one out of it? Art thou, my soul, brought out of it? Yes, if so be, like him, thou art now sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in thy right mind. Surely, Lord, thou hast wrought this blessed change upon me! Could I desire thee to depart out of our coasts? Nay, is it not the daily, hourly desire of my heart, that thou wouldest be with me, dwell in me, reign and rule in me, and be my portion, my God, my Saviour, and make me thine for ever? Sweet testimony, in the midst of all my wanderings, coldness, undeservings! Cherish it, my soul! Jesus will not depart from thee. That love which brought him down from heaven to save a world, led him over the lake of Genesareth to save one poor sinner. And he who came in love unsent for, departed not until he was sent away. Oh ye poor blind, deluded, Gadarenes! Oh my poor, equally blind and deluded countrymen and fellow-sinners, who know not, nor desire to know Christ Jesus! Who are ye that thus reject the Lord of life and glory, and desire him to depart out of your coasts? Robert Hawker
“It is as difficult to convince men of their lost condition as it is to recover them from it. 0nly God can do both! You cannot help anyone until he is willing to be helped; but our Lord can make him willing. A man cannot truly bear the gospel of sovereign grace until HE CANNOT BEAR HIMSELF!”
The Hebrew word for “ark,” is (Tebah) and it is only used twice in the Bible. The first time it is mentioned in the scriptures is in reference to the “ark of Noah.” (Genesis 6:14) The second time it is mentioned in the Bible is in reference to the “ark of Moses.” (Exodus 2:3)
Both of these arks were instruments of salvation. Both were pitched (sealed) so they would float on the water. The ark of Noah saved only Noah and his family. The ark of Moses saved only Moses. In both cases water was the instrument of death. In both cases, judgment came by drowning. In the days of Noah, God drowned the whole world. In the days of Moses, Pharaoh drowned all the newborn male children. In both cases only a remnant was saved. Water, the instrument of death, fell on Noah and his family, the same as it did the rest of the world. But Noah and his family were in the ark. Moses was put in the water the same as all the other newborn male infants in Egypt. But Moses was in the ark. The wrath, judgment and justice of God fell on both Noah and Moses, but the only thing that saved them was the pitched ark that they were in. It wasn’t the great craftsmanship of Noah or the skilled weaving of Moses’ parents that kept the water out of the two arks. Man’s devices, man’s skills, man’s ability, the work of man’s hands will not keep God’s wrath and judgment off the sinner. But the blood of Christ will.
It is no different today. Christ, the Ark of God, is the saved sinner’s refuge from the wrath, judgment and justice of God. It is the pitch (atonement) of Christ’s blood that saves. Every sinner found in Him will rise above the surface of the condemning waters of God’s wrath, judgment and justice. Dear sinner, your only hope of redemption is to be found in Christ, and to be pitched (sealed) in His precious blood. Come into the Ark of Safety and Refuge and find rest. Come to Christ and be saved!
Is it important for a believer to confess Christ in believer’s baptism? Absolutely. The Savior commanded it. Believer’s baptism is the way we confess salvation through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16) Confessing Christ does not end with baptism. A child of God continually confesses Christ by being in the public worship service to hear of Him, by following His Word as our rule of life, and by showing love for His people. I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for a profession of faith that did not include believer’s baptism. I also wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for a profession of faith that didn’t affect the life with love and faith.