Sermon 483. Life And Walk Of Faith
SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 7, 1862, BY REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walkyou in Him. Colossians 2:6. OUR nature is fond of change. Although man was made in the image of God at first, it is plain enough that any trace of immutabilitywhich he may once have possessed has long ago departed. Man, unrenewed, could he possess the joys of Heaven, would in timegrow weary of them and crave for change. When the children of Israel in the wilderness were fed on angels' food, they murmuredfor variety and groaned out, "Our soul loathes this light bread." It is little wonder, then, that we need cautions againstshifting the ground of our hope and the object of our faith. Another evil principle will work with this love of change in our hearts and produce much mischief-our natural tendency tobuild upon our own works. For a time that pernicious habit is cured by conviction of sin. The Law, with its sharp axe, cutsdown the lofty cedar of fleshly confidence and withers all its verdure. But, since the root still remains, at the very scentof water it sprouts again and there is good need to set the axe going with all its former edge and weight. When we think legalityquite dead, it revives, and, linking hands with our love of change, it tempts us to forsake our simple standing upon Christ,the Rock of Ages. It urges us to advance to a something which it decorates before our eyes with fancied colors and makes out,to our feeble understandings, to be better or more honorable to ourselves. Though this will certainly be again beaten down in a Christian, for he will meet with trouble after trouble when once hegoes astray from his first path, yet again the old secret desire to be something, to do something, to have some little honorby performing the works of the Law, will come in and we shall have need to hear the voice of Wisdom in our hearts saying tous, "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in Him." Persevere in the same way in which you have begun, and,as at the first, Christ Jesus was the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so letHim be the same even till life's end-the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and enter into the joy,and the rest, which remain for the people of God. In trying to teach this very useful, though simple lesson, I shall, in the plainest possible language, first of all talka little of the text by way of exposition. Then, secondly, by way of advocacy. And then, thirdly, by way of application. I. Oh that the gracious Spirit, who alone can lead us into all the Truth of God, would aid me while I endeavor to open upthis verse BY WAY OF EXPOSITION. In expounding the text, we readily break it up into two parts-here is the life of faith-receivingChrist Jesus the Lord. Here is, secondly, the walk of faith-so walk you in Him. 1. The Holy Spirit here reveals to us the life of faith-the way by which you and I are saved, if saved at all. Mark, carefully,that it is represented as receiving. Now the word, "receiving," implies the very opposite of anything like merit. Merit ispurchasing-merit might be called making by labor, or winning by valor. But receiving is just the accepting of a thing as agift. The eternal life which God gives His people is in no sense whatever the fruit of their exertions. It is the gift ofGod. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, givingnothing, partake freely of the Grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells or streams. They are but cisterns into which the living water flows. They are but asthe empty vessel. Sovereign mercy puts them under the pipe and they receive Divine Grace upon Divine Grace till they are filledto the brim. He that talks about winning salvation by works-he that thinks he can earn it by prayers, by tears, by penance,by mortification of the flesh, or by zealous obedience to the Law-makes a big mistake. For the very first principle of theDivine life is not giving out, but receiving. It is that which comes from Christ into me which is my salvation. Not that whichsprings out of my own heart, but that which comes from the Divine Redeemer, and changes, and renews my nature. It is not whatI give out but what I receive, which must be life to me. The idea of receiving, again, seems to imply in it a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot verywell receive a shadow. We receive that which is substantial. Gold, silver, precious stones-such things we can receive. Estates,riches, bread, water, food, raiment-all these are things which are substances to us, and therefore it becomes possible forus to receive them. We do not receive a dream. We do not receive, again, I say, a shadow. We do not speak of receiving a specter.We do not receive a phantom. There is something real in a thing that is received. Well now, so is it also in the life of faith. We realize Christ. While we are without faith, Christ is a name to us, a Personthat may have lived a long while ago, so long that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Christ becomesa real Person in the consciousness of our heart, as real to us as our own flesh, and blood, and bones-and we speak of Himand think of Him as we would of our brother, our father, our friend. Our faith gives a substance to the history and idea ofChrist, puts real solidity into the spirit and name of Christ-and that which to the worldly man is but a phantom, a thingto hear about and talk about-becomes to us a thing to taste and handle, to lay hold upon and to receive as real and true. I know, you that are unconverted, think all these things an idle tale. But you that are saved, you who have received Christ-youknow that there is substance here-and shadow everywhere else. This has become to you the one grand reality, that God is inChrist reconciling you unto Himself. But receiving means also a third thing, that is getting a grip of it, grasping it. Thething which I receive becomes my own. I may believe it to be real, but that is not receiving it. I may believe, also, thatif I ever do get it, it must be given to me, and that I cannot earn it for myself. But still that is not receiving it. Receivingis the bona fide taking into my hands, and appropriating to myself as my own property that which is given to me. Now this is what the soul does when it believes on Christ. Christ becomes my Christ. His blood cleanses my sin, and it iscleansed. His righteousness covers me, and I am clothed with it. His Spirit fills me, and I am made to live by it. He becomesto me as much mine as anything that I can call my own. No, what I call my own here on earth is not mine. It is only lent tome, and will be taken from me. But Christ is so mine, that neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come,shall ever be able to rob me of Him. Oh, I hope, dear Friends, you have that blessed appropriating faith which says, "Yes,He is not another man's Christ, He is my Christ," I hope you can look into His face today and say, "My Beloved, who lovedme and gave Himself for me."
I hope you do not talk of these things as I might talk of my lord So-and-So's park, and admire its beauties, while I, myself,have no right to one acre of the many thousands within the fence. But I trust, on the other hand, you can say- "The blessingsand promises of the Lord, my God, are allmy own. Whatever I read of in the Covenant of Grace that is good, that is comely, that is desirable, I have heard a voicesay in my ears, "Lift up now your eyes and look to the north and the south, to the east and the west: all this have I givenyou to be your possession forever andever by a covenant of salt."
Now put these three things together and I think your have the idea of receiving Christ. To receive Him is to have Him as theresult of God's free gift. To realize Him. And then to appropriate Him to yourselves. The word "receive" is used in some tenor a dozen senses in Holy Scripture. Five of themwill suffice my purpose just now. To receive is often used for taking. We read of receiving a thousand shekels of silver,and of receiving money, garments, sheep and oxen. Perhaps in this sense we understand the words of the Master-"No man canreceive anything unless it isgiven him from above." And that other sentence-"To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons ofGod."
We take Christ into us-to return to my old simile-as the empty vessel takes in water from the stream-so we receive Christ.The love, life, merit, nature, and Grace of Jesus freely flow into us, as the oil into the widow's vessels. But the word isalso used in Scripture to signifyholding that which we take in. Indeed, a vessel without a bottom could hardly be said to receive water. I do not supposeanyone would talk of a sieve receiving water except in a mock sense. But the life of faith consists in holding within us thatwhich Christ has put into us, sothat Jesus Christ is formed in us the hope of glory. By faith it comes in. By faith it is kept in. Faith gives me what Ihave, keeps what I have. Faith makes it mine, faith keeps it mine. Faith gets hold of it with one hand, and then clasps itwith both hands with a grasp thatneither death nor life can loose.
Then, receiving sometimes means in Scripture simply believing. "He came unto His own and His own received Him not." We readof receiving false prophets, that is, believing them. Now, to receive Christ is to believe Him. He says, "I can save you."I receive that. He says, "I will save you." Ireceive that. He says, "Trust Me and I will make you like Myself." I receive that. Whatever Jesus says, I believe Him, andreceive Him as true. I make His words so true to myself that I act upon them as being true, and regard them not as a wordthat may possibly be true but whichmust be true, even if Heaven and earth should pass away. This is receiving Christ-believing what He has said.
Receiving, also, often signifies in Scripture entertaining. Thus the barbarous people at Melita received Paul and his companionskindly and kindled a fire. Ah, after we have once found all in Christ to be our own and have received Him into ourselves byfaith, then we entreat the Lord to enter ourhearts and sup with us. We give Him the best seat at the table of our souls. We would feast Him on the richest daintiesof our choicest love. We ask Him to abide with us from morn till eve. We would commune with Him every day and every hour ofthe day. We entertain Him. We have areception chamber in our hearts and we receive Christ.
And then, once again, receiving in Scripture often signifies to enjoy. We hear of receiving a crown of life which fades notaway. That is, enjoying it, enjoying Heaven, and being satisfied with all its bliss. Now, dear Friends, when we receive Christ,there is intended in this an enjoying of it. Iam only now talking the simplicities of our faith, but I do want to make them very personal to you. Are you thus enjoyingChrist? If you had a crown you would wear it. You have a Christ-feed on Him. If you were hungry and there was bread on thetable, you would eat. Oh, eatand drink, Beloved, of your Lord Jesus Christ! If you have a friend, you enjoy his company-you have a Friend in Christ.Oh, enjoy His conversation! Do not leave Him, like a bottle of cordial for the fainting, sealed up from us.
Let him not be as some choice dainty all untasted, while you are hungry. Oh, receive Christ, for this is the very Heaven andrest of the soul. His flesh is meat, indeed. His blood is drink, indeed. Never did angels taste such Divine fare. Come here,Saints, and satisfy yourselves in Him. To takeHim into one's self, to hold Him there, to believe every word He says, to entertain Him in our hearts, and to enjoy theluscious sweetness which He must confer upon all those who have eaten His flesh and have been made to drink of His blood-thisit is, to receive Christ.
But we have not brought out the real meaning of this life of faith yet till we dwell upon another word. As you have received.Received what? Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life.But Beloved, Beloved, here is a thoughthere-oh that you may get hold of it! We have not only received these things but we have received CHRIST. "As you have receivedChrist Jesus the Lord." Do you see it? It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin. He gave usimputed righteousness.These are all precious things- but do you see we are not content with them?
We have received Christ Himself!! The Son of God has been poured out into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him.Mark, I say, not merely the blessings of the Covenant, but Himself! Not merely the purchase of His blood, but He Himself,from whose veins the blood has flowed, has becomeours. And every soul that has eternal life is this day a possessor of Christ Jesus the Lord. Now we will put this, also,personally to you. Have I received Christ, that is the Anointed? My soul, have you seen Christ as the Anointed of the Fatherin the Divine decree to execute Hispurposes? Have you seen Him coming forth in the fullness of time wearing the robes of His priesthood, the Anointed of theFather?
Have you seen Him standing at the altar offering Himself as a Victim, an anointed Priest, anointed with the sacred oil bywhich God has made Him a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek? My Soul, have you seen Jesus going within the veiland speaking to Your Father and to His Father as Onewhom the Father has accepted, of whom we can speak, in the language of David, as our shield and God's Anointed? Oh, it isa delight, indeed, to receive Christ not as an unsent Prophet, not as a man who came of His own authority, not as a teacherwho spoke His own words, but as Onewho is Christos, the Anointed, the Anointed of God, ordained of the Most High, and therefore most certainly acceptable!
As it is written, "/have laid help upon One that is mighty, I have exalted One chosen out of the people. It pleased the Fatherto bruise Him, He has put Him to grief." Delightful is the contemplation of Christ under that aspect! Soul, do you thus receivethe Messiah of God? But the text says,"Christ Jesus." Now Jesus means a Savior. Christ is His relation to God, Jesus His relation to me. Have I received Christin His relationship to me as a Savior? My Soul, has Christ saved you? Come, no "ifs" and "ands" about it. Have you receivedHim as your Savior? Could you say inthat happy day when your faith closed with Him, "Yes, Jesus, You have saved me"?
Oh, there are some professors of religion who do not seem to have received Christ as Jesus. They look upon Him as One whomay help them to save themselves, who can do a great deal for them, or may begin the work, but not complete it.
Oh, Beloved, we must get a hold of Him as one that has saved us, that has finished the work. What? Don't you know that youare this day whiter than the driven snow because His blood has washed you? You are this day more acceptable to God than unfallenangels ever were, for you are clothed in theperfect righteousness of the Divine One. Christ has wrapped you about with His own righteousness. You are saved! You havereceived Him as God's Anointed. See that you receive Him as Jesus, your Savior.
Then, again, it is clear that saving faith consists also in receiving Him as He is in Himself, as the Divine Son. "You havereceived Christ Jesus the Lord." Those who they say cannot believe in His Deity have not received Him. Others theoreticallyadmit Him to be Divine, but He is never a subjectof confidence as such. They have not received Him. But I trust I speak to many hundreds this morning who willingly acceptHis Godhead and say, "I entertain no doubt about His Deity and, moreover, on that I risk my soul. I do take Him into my heartas being God over all, blessedforever, Amen. I kiss His feet while I see His humanity. But I believe that, since those feet could tread the waters, Heis Divine.
"I look up to His hands, and as I see them pierced I know that He is human. But as I know that those hands multiplied theloaves and fishes till they fed five thousand, I know that He is Divine. I look upon His corpse in the tomb, and I see thatHe is Man. I see Him in the resurrection, and I knowthat He is God. I see Him on the Cross, suffering, and I know that He is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. But I heara voice which says, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.' 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.' And I bow before Himand say, 'Oh Lord, You Son of God,and son of Mary, I receive You as Christ Jesus the Lord.' "
Now this is all very plain talking, you will say. And I remind you that souls are saved by very plain truths, and the dealingsof men's souls with Christ are not carried on in learned or metaphysical terms. We do believe, and so take Christ Jesus theLord into us, and by that act of faith, withoutany doing of our own, we are completely saved.
I shall only make this further remark here, that the Apostle speaks of this as a matter of certainty and goes on to arguefrom it. Now we do not argue from a supposition. I must have you clear, dearly Beloved in the Lord, that this is a matterof certainty to you. We can hardly get to the nextpoint unless you can say, "I have received Jesus." The verse runs, "As, or since, you have received Christ Jesus the Lordso walk you in Him." We must not alter it into, "Since I hope I have," "Since I trust I have." You either have or have not.
If you have not, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and cry to Him for His great gift. But if you have, O, dearFriends, do not let it be a question with you, but say, "Yes, yes, yes, I can say, once and for all, I have received Him.Poor, weak, and worthless though I am, I do put myhumble seal to the fact that God is true, and I trust in Him who is able to save unto the uttermost them that come untoGod by Him." This is the life of faith.
2. Now, in expounding the text, our second point was the walk of faith. "Since you have received Him, walk in Him." Walk implies,first of all, action. Do not let your reception of Christ be a mere thing of thought to you, a subject only for your chamber,and your closet-but act upon it all.If you have really received Christ, and are saved, act as if you were saved-with joy, with meekness, with confidence, withfaith, with boldness. Walk in Him-do not sit down in indo-lence-but rise and act in Him. Walk in Him. Carry out into practicaleffect thatwhich you believe.
See a man who has received an immense fortune, his purse is bursting, and his caskets are heavy. What does he do? Why, hebehaves like a rich man. He sees a luxury which pleases him, and he buys it. There is an estate he desires, and he purchasesit. He acts like a rich man. Beloved Brethren, youhave received Christ-act upon it. Do not play the beggar, now that boundless wealth is conferred upon you!
Walking, again, implies perseverance. Not only being in Christ today-that would be standing in Him and falling from Him. Butbeing in Him tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next-walking in Him all your walk of life. Iremember Matthew Henry, speaking aboutEnoch walking with God, says he did not only take a turn or two up and down with God, and then leave Him, but he walkedwith God four hundred years. This implies perseverance. You have received Christ-persevere in receiving Him. You have cometo trust Him-keep ontrusting Him. You hang about His neck as a poor, helpless sinner-remain hanging there. In other words, abide in Him.
Walking implies habit. When we speak of a man's walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life.Now, dear Friends, if you and I sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget Him, if sometimes we say He is ours and soon looseour hold, that is not a habit. We do not walk in Him.But if you have received Him, let it be your habit to live upon Him, keep to Him-cling to Him, never let Him go-live andhave your being in Him. This walking implies a con- tinuance. There is no notice given in the text of the suspension of thiswalking, but there mustbe a continual abiding in Christ. How many Christians there are who think that in the morning and evening they ought tocome into the company of Christ, but then they may be in the world the rest of the day?
Ah, but we ought always to be in Christ, that is to say, all the day long, every minute of the day. Though worldly thingsmay take up some of my thoughts, yet my soul is to be in a constant state of being in Christ, so that if I am caught at anymoment, I am in Him. At any hour, if anyone shouldsay to me, "Now, are you saved?" I may be able still to say, "Yes." And if they ask me for an evidence of it, I may, withoutsaying so, prove it to them by the fact that I am acting like a man who is in Christ, who has Christ in him, has had his naturechanged by receiving Christ'snature, and has Christ to be his one end and aim. I suppose, also, that walking signifies progress. So walk in him-proceedfrom Divine Grace to Grace-run forward until you reach the uttermost limit of knowledge that man can have concerning our Beloved."As you havereceived Him walk in Him."
But now I want you to notice just this. It says, "Walk you in Him." Oh, I cannot attempt to enter into the mystery of thistext-"Walk in Him!" You know if a man has to cross a river, he fords it quickly and is out of it again at once. But you areto suppose a person walking in a certainelement always, in Christ. Just as we walk in the air, so am I to walk in Christ. Not sometimes, now and then coming toHim and going away from Him, but walking in Him as my element. Can you comprehend that? Not a soul here can make anythingout of that but the most silly jargon,except the man who, having received the inner spiritual life, understands what it is to have fellowship with the Fatherand with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Dear Friends, in trying to open up that point just for a moment, let us notice what this walking in Christ must mean. As Christwas at first when we received Him the only ground of our faith-so as long as we live, we are to stand to the same point. Didyou not sing the other day when youfirst came to Him-
"I'm a poor sinner and nothing at all, But Jesus Christ is my All in All"? Well, that is how you are to continue to the end. We commence our faith with- "Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to the Cross I cling."
When you are old with honors, when you are covered with fame, when you have served your Master well, still come in just thesame way with-
"A guilty weak and helpless worm, On Christ's kind arms I fall, He is my strength and righteousness, My Jesus and my All"
Let not your experience, your sanctification, your graces, your attainments, come in between you and Christ. But just as youtook Him to be the only pillar of your hope at first, so let Him be even to the last.
You received Christ, again, as the substance of your faith. The infidel laughed at you, and said you had nothing to trustto. But your faith made Christ real to you. Well, now, just as the first day when you came to Jesus you no more doubted thereality of Christ than you did your own existence, sowalk in Him. Well can I remember that first moment when these eyes looked to Christ! Ah, there was never anything so trueto me as those bleeding hands, and that crown of thorns on His head. I wish it were always so, and indeed, it ought to be.As you have received Christ really, sokeep on realizing and finding substance in Him.
And remember that day, Beloved, when Christ became to us the joy of our souls? Home, friends, health, wealth, comforts-alllost their luster that day when He appeared, just as stars are hidden by the light of the sun. He was the only Lord and giverof life's best bliss, the one well of livingwater springing up unto everlasting life. I know that the first day it mattered not to me whether the day itself was gloomyor bright. I had found Christ! That was enough for me. He was my Savior. He was my All. I do think that that day I could havestood upon the fire wood ofSmithfield to burn for Him readily enough.
Well now, just as you received Him at first as your only joy, so receive Him still, walking in Him, making Him the source,the center, yes, and the circumference, too, of all your souls' range of delight, having your all in Him. So, Beloved, thatday when we received Him, we received Him as theobject of our love. Oh, how we loved Christ then! Had we met Him that day, we would have broken the alabaster box of preciousointment, and poured it upon His head. We would have washed His feet with our tears, and wiped them with the hairs of ourhead.
Ah, Jesus, when I first received You, I thought I should have behaved far better than I have. I thought I would spend, andbe spent for You, and should never dishonor You or turn aside from my faith and devotedness and zeal. But ah, Brethren, wehave not come up to the standard of ourtext-walking in Him as we have received Him. He has not been by us so well beloved as we dreamed He would have been. I takeit, then, to be the meaning of our text, as Christ Jesus the Lord was at the first All in All to you, so let Him be whilelife shall last.
II. I shall be very brief upon THE ADVOCACY OF THIS PRINCIPLE, for surely you need no urgent persuasion to cleave unto sucha Lord as yours. In advocating this principle, I would say, first of all, suppose, my Brethren, you and I, having been savedby Christ, should now begin to walk in someoneelse, what then? Why, what dishonor to our Lord! Here is a man who came to Christ and says he found salvation in Him. Butafter relying upon the Lord some half-a-dozen years, he came to find it was not a proper principle, and so now he has begunto walk by feelings, to walk bysight, to walk by philosophy, to walk by carnal wisdom. If such a case could be found, what discredit would it bring uponour Holy Leader and Captain!
But I am certain no such instance will be found in you, if you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Have you not up tillnow found your Lord to be a compassionate and generous Friend to you, and has not simple faith in Him given you all the peaceyour spirit could desire? I pray you, then, unlessyou would stain His glory in the dust, as you have received Christ, so walk in Him.
Besides, what reason have you to make a change? Has there been any argument in the past? Has not Christ proved Himself all-sufficient!He appeals to you today-"Have I been a wilderness unto you?" When your soul has simply trusted Christ, have you ever beenconfounded? When you have dared tocome as a guilty sinner, and believed in Him, have you ever been ashamed? Very well, then, let the past urge you to walkin Him. And as for the present, can that compel you to leave Christ? Oh, when we are hard beset with this world or with theseverer trials within the Church, wefind it such a sweet thing to come back! Pillow our head upon the bosom of our Savior. This is the joy we have today-thatif we are in trial-we are saved in Him. And if we find this today to be enough, why should we think of changing!
I will not forswear the sunlight till I find a better, nor leave my Lord until a brighter Lover shall appear. And, since thiscan never be, I will hold Him with a grasp immortal, and bind His name as a seal upon my arm. As for the future, can you suggestanything which can arise that shall renderit necessary for you to tack about, or strike sail, or go with another captain in another ship? I think not. Suppose lifeto be long-He changes not. Suppose you die-is it not written that, "neither death, nor life, nor things present, nor thingsto come, shall be able toseparate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"?
You are poor. What better than to have Christ who can make you rich in faith? Suppose you are sick. What more do you wantthan Christ to make your bed in your sickness? Suppose you should be maltreated and mocked at, and slandered for His sake-whatbetter do you want then to have Him as aFriend who sticks closer than a brother? In life, in death, in judgment-you cannot conceive anything that can arise in whichyou would require more than Christ bestows.
But, dear Friends, it may be that you are tempted by something else to change your course for a time. Now what is it? Is itthe wisdom of this world, the cunning devices and discoveries of man? Is it that which our Apostle mentions as philosophy?The wise men of the world have persuaded you tobegin questioning. They have urged you to put the mysteries of God to the test of common sense, reason and so forth, asthey call it, and not lean on the inspiration of God's Word. Ah, well, Beloved, it is wisdom, I suppose, which philosophyoffers you. Well, but have you not thatin Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge? You received Christ at first, I thought, as beingmade of God unto you wisdom, and sanctification, and righteousness, and so on. Well, will you cast Him off when you have alreadymore than all the wisdom whichthis philosophy offers?
Is it ceremonies that tempt you? Has the priest told you that you ought to attend to these, and then you would have anotherground of confidence? Well, but you have that in Christ. If there is anything in the circumcision of the Jews, you have that,for you are circumcised in Him. If there isanything in Baptism-as some think that to be a saving ordi-nance-you have been buried with Him in Baptism. You have that.Do you want life? Your life is hid with Him. Do you want death? You are dead with Christ, and buried with Him. Do you wantresurrection? He hasraised you up with Him. Do you want Heaven? He has make you sit together in heavenly places in Him.
Getting Christ, you have all that everything else can offer you. Therefore be not tempted from this hope of your calling,but as you have received Christ, so walk in Him. And then, further, do you not know that your Jesus is the Lord from Heaven?What can your heart desire beyond God? God isinfinite. You cannot want more than the infinite. "In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Having Christ,you have God. And having God, you have everything. Well might the Apostle add to that sentence, "And you are complete in Him!"
Well, then, if you are complete in Christ, why should you be beguiled by the bewitcheries of this world to want somethingbesides Christ? If resting upon Him, God is absolutely yours, and you are, therefore, full to the brim with all that yourlargest capacity can desire, oh, why should you thus beled astray, like foolish children, to seek after another confidence and another trust? Oh, come back, you Wanderer! Comeyou back to this solid foundation and sing once again with us-
"On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand."
III. And now, last of all, a few words BY WAY OF APPLICATION "So walk you in Him." One of the first applications shall bemade with regard to some who complain of a want of communion, or rather, of those of whom we ought to complain, since theyinjure us all by their distance from Christ.
There are some of you who never have much communion with Christ. You are members of the Church and very decent people, I daresay, in your way. But you do not have communion with Christ. Ask some professors-"Do you ever have communion with Christ?"They would be obliged to say-"Well, Ido not know that my life is inconsistent. I do not think anybody could blame me for any wrong act towards my fellow man.But if you come to that, whether I have ever had communion with Christ, I am compelled to say that I have had it now and then,but it is very seldom-it islike the angels' visits-few and far between."
Now, Brethren, you have received Christ, have you not? Then the application of the principle is as you have received Him,so walk in Him. If it were worth while for you to come to Him at first, then it is worth while for you always to keep to Him.If it were really a safe thing for you to come toHim and say, "Jesus, you are the way," then it is a safe thing for you to do now. And if that were the foundation of blessednessto you, to come simply to Christ, then it will be the fountain of blessedness to you to do the same now. Come, then, to Himnow.
If you were foolish in trusting Him at the first, then you are wise in leaving off doing so now. If you were wise, however,in approaching to Christ years gone by, you are foolish in not standing by Christ now. Come, then, let the remembrance ofyour marriage unto the Lord Jesus rebuke you! And ifyou have lost your fellowship with Jesus, come again to His dear body wounded for your sake and say, "Lord Jesus, help mefrom this time forth as I have received You, day by day to walk in You."
There are many of you who complain of a want of comfort. You are not so comfortable as you would like to be and why? Why,you have sinned. Yes, yes, but how did you receive Christ. As a saint? "No, no," you say, "I came to Christ as a sinner."Come to Him as a sinner now, then. "Oh, but I feel soguilty." Just so, but what was your hope at first? Why, that guilty though you were, He had made an atonement and you trustedin Him. Well, you are still guilty-do the same as you did at first-walk in Him, and I cannot imagine a person without comfortwho continuallymakes this the strain of his life, to rest on Christ as a poor sinner, just as he did at first.
Why, Lord, You know the devil often says to me, "You are no saint." Well, then, if I am not a saint, yet I am a sin-ner-andit is written-"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." Then-
"Just as I am and waiting not, To rid my soul of one foul spot, To Him whose blood can cleanse each blot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come."
Why, you cannot help having comfort if you walk with your Surety and Substitute as you did at the first, resting on Him andnot in feelings, nor experience, nor graces, nor anything of your own-living and resting alone on Him who is made of God untoyou all that your soul requires.
There is yet another thing. There are many Christians whose lives really are not consistent. I cannot understand this if theyare walking in Christ. In fact, if a man could completely walk in Christ, he would walk in perfect holiness. We hear an instance,perhaps, of a little shopkeeper who puffsand exaggerates as other shopkeepers do-he does not exactly tell a lie, but something very near it. Now I want to know whetherthat man was walking in Christ when he did that. If he had said to himself, "Now I am in Christ," do you think he would havedone it?
We hear of another who is constantly impatient, always troubled, fretting, mournful. I want to know whether that man is reallywalking in Christ as he walked at first, when he is doubting the goodness, the Providence, the tenderness of God. Surely heis not! I have heard of hard-hearted professorswho take a Christian Brother by the throat with, "Pay me what you owe." Do you think they are walking in Christ when theydo that? We hear of others, when their Brothers have need, shut up the heart of their compassion-are mean and stingy. Arethey walking in Christ when theydo that?
Why, if a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act. For Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy,his life-he is the reflex of the image of Christ. He is the glass into which Christ looks. And then the image of Christ isreflected, and men say of that man, "He is likehis Master. He lives in Christ." Oh, I know, dear Brethren, if we lived now, as we did the first day we came to Christ,we should live very differently from what we do. How we felt towards Him that day! We would have given all we had for Him!How we felt towards sinners that day!Lad that I was, I wanted to preach and-
"Tell to sinners round, What a dear Savior I had found."
How we felt towards God that day! When we were on our knees, what pleading there was with Him! What a nearness of access toHim in prayer! Oh, how different! How different with some now! This world has with rude hands brushed the bloom from the youngfruit. Is it true that flowers of Divine Grace,like the flowers of nature, die in the autumn of our piety? As we all get older, ought we to be more worldly? Should itbe that our early love, which was the love of our espousals, dies away? Forgive, O Lord, this evil, and turn us anew untoYou-
"Return, O holy Dove! return, Sweet messenger of rest! We hate the sins that made You mourn, And drove You from our breast. The dearest idol we have known, Whatever that idol be, Help us to tear it from Your throne, And worship only You. So shall our walk be close with God, Calm and serene our frame- So purer light shall mark the road That leads us to the Lamb."
"As you have received Him walk in Him," and if you have not received Him, oh, poor Sinner, remember He is free and full-fullto give you all you need-and free to give it even to you. Let the verse we sung be an invitation to you-
"This fountain, though rich, from charge is quite clear; The poorer the wretch, the more welcome here- Come, needy and guilty; come, loathsome and bare; Though leprous and filthy, come just as you are."
Trust in God's anointed-that is receive Him-and then, having trusted Him, continue still to trust Him. May His Spirit enableyou to do it and to His name shall be glory forever and ever.