Sermon 580. God Is With Us
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, JULY 17, 1864, BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31.
THE Truth of God here asserted is indisputable. Even heathens have taken this for their motto and emblazoned it upon theirstandards of war. "God is for us!" has been the war cry of many a warrior as he has dashed to the fight, however out of placeit was in such association its force was clearlyperceived. Our text, however, protects itself from ill usage, for you observe that the text is guarded with the little word,"If," as a sentinel. No man, therefore, has any right to the treasures of this text unless he can give the password and answerthe question!
It is not every man who can say that God is on his side. On the contrary, the most of men are fighting against the Lord. Bynature we are the friends of sin and then God is against us-with all the powers of Justice He is against us for our destructionunless we turn and repent. Is God for us?Remember He is so if we have been reconciled to Him by the death of His Son. But an absolute God must be in arms againstus, for even our God is a consuming fire. It is only when we behold the Lord Jehovah in the Person of Jesus Christ that ourhope and joy can begin! When we seeDeity Incarnate, when we see God surrendering the glories of His Throne to become Man and then stooping to the shamefuldeath of the Cross-it is then that we perceive Emmanuel, "God with us," and perceiving Him, we feel that He is on our side.
Question yourself then, Soul, whether you are in Christ. He who is not with Christ is not with God. If you are without Christ,you are without God and a stranger from the commonwealth of Israel. But if through the sprinkled blood you can say that youare reconciled unto God, then take the fullmeaning of this text and feast upon it and be blessed, for "If God is for us, who can be against us?" We shall handle thetext thus and may the Holy Spirit make it profitable-how is God for us? Secondly, who are against us? And thirdly, who arenot against us?
I. First, HOW IS GOD FOR US? Augustine, in his notes upon the verses preceding our text has very beautifully said that Godis for us according to the preceding words of the chapter in four senses. Look back a verse or two and you will find it. Heis for us, for He has predestinated us. He is for usfor He has called us. He is for us for He has justified us. He is for us because He has virtually glorified us and willactually do so. To the people of God here are four very prolific subjects of thought.
1. God is for us, because, according to the words of the Apostle He has predestinated His people to be conformed to the imageof His own dear Son. Now, if God has predestinated us to eternal life, who can be against us? Must not the predestinatingdecree of God take effect? If God has determinedit, who shall disannul it? If God has said it shall be, who is he that shall stay His hand, or resist the Omnipotent fiatof the Most High? He said, "Let there be light: and there was light." He bade the world spring out of nothing and forth itcame. All things obey Him. Heavenadores Him. Hell trembles at Him. No creature can resist Him.
As the potter molds the clay according to his own will while it revolves upon the wheel, even so the Infinite, the OmnipotentJehovah does according to His good pleasure in the armies of Heaven and among the inhabitants of this lower world. "It isHe that sits upon the circle of the earth and theinhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers." He takes up the isles as a very little thing. Who then, out of these little things,can stand against or resist Him?
See, my Brethren, the force of God's decree of old in the case of Israel. The Lord had promised to Abraham that his seed shouldinherit the whole land of Canaan, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. See, amid the smoke ofthe brick kilns Israel toils in Egypt. How wasGod's decree to be fulfilled? When God makes bare His arm, you shall see and wonder! Pharaoh and all his hosts cannot holdthose captives whom God determines to set free!
There they go, led forth like sheep by the hands of Moses and Aaron. They cross the desert until they come to the sea, evento the Red Sea. See, the mighty stream rolls before them and their ferocious enemies are behind but the Lord has determinedthat they shall inherit the land and thereforeneither can the sea refuse to divide, nor can Pharaoh save himself when he goes down into the depths thereof. They are inthe wilderness-famine shall destroy them! No, the heavens drop with manna! Thirst shall scorch them! No, the Rock followsthem with its living stream! Theserpents shall surely bite them! Yes, but the brazen serpent is lifted up and whoever looks shall be healed! The Amalekitesattack them, but while Moses holds up his hands Joshua puts the foe to the route.
They come to the banks of the Jordan-what ailed you, O Jordan, that you were driven back? The priests go through dry-shodand all the people of God march after them. Then the Canaanites, with their chariots of iron, came against them in battle.The kings of mighty cities anointed the shieldand laid hold on sword and buckler. But which of them prevailed? Did not Jehovah destroy them all? As He had given themOg, king of Bashan, "because His mercy endured forever," and Sihon, king of the Amorites, "because His mercy endured forever,"so not a man could stand againstthem until they possessed the land!
The right hand of the Lord fulfilled His own decree. His own right hand and His holy arm have gotten Him the victory. As witha rod of iron He dashes His enemies in pieces like a potter's vessel. None could withstand the hosts of Israel! The walledcities were cast down and the people of God dweltin the fat of the land. See, Beloved, the result of God's decree! The sons of Jacob were feeble and weak but the Lord madethem strong enough to drive out the Anakim who were men of gigantic stature-for His purpose shall stand-He will do all Hispleasure. Let us bewareof fighting against one who has God in league with him! It is in vain to fight against God!
It was a good remark of the soothsayers to Haman of old. They said, "If Mordecai is of the seed of the Jews, before whom youhave begun to fall, you shall not prevail against him but shall surely fall before him." And so if any man is of the companyof the elect-if he is one of those whosenames are written in the Book of Life-his enemies may contend but they shall never prevail against him! He must stand whomthe Lord ordains to hold. And if God determines his salvation, neither mortal nor infernal power shall prevail to destroyhim.
On this account we may boldly say with the Apostle, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" You cannot believe in a disappointedGod-you cannot imagine the imperial decree from the Throne of Heaven treated as waste paper. It would be far from us so toblaspheme God as to think that anypower, known or unknown, can ever overcome Him! "Has He said and shall He not do it? Has He commanded and shall it not cometo pass?" If your soul is written upon the palms of Jesus' hands and engraved on His heart, no weapon which is formed againstyou shall prosper and everytongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn!
2. But in looking back you observe the second thing-God is on our side for He has called us. In the Word of God much stressis laid upon calling. When Abraham left the land of his forefathers and went forth, not knowing where he went, he was quitesafe, though in the midst of implacableenemies, because God had called him. "Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his feet, gave the nationsbefore him and made him rule over kings?" Who but the God that called him?
On that memorable occasion, when Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings, you remember Melchizedek met him. At thattime Abraham was in great peril for there was every probability that the defeated kings would gather their troops, would formalliances with other kings and would certainlycome up to cut down so insignificant a person as that wandering shepherd, Abraham. But what does God say to him-"Fear not,Abraham, I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward." This became his comfort-God had called him. He was a calledman and where God calls,He will not desert His chosen.
"The gifts and calling of God are without repentance." He does not reverse the call which He has given, but having once calledHis children He remains faithful to the call He has given. To use the illustration we have used before, when God called Hisson out of Egypt, when He fetched Israel fromthe furnace who could stand against the called Israelites? Plague after plague ravaged the land. The cattle died. The cropswere blasted. Frogs came up into the king's chamber! Lice covered all their borders-at last the first-born of Egypt died andthey besought Israel to goforth-for when God called them out, who could hold them in? When He said to His prisoners, "Go forth," what bolts of iron,or what gates of brass could keep them captives? Let the Lord call by the effectual voice-who is he that shall stand againstHim?
Many of us, I trust, have heard the sacred call-we have made our calling and election sure. You know how you were called fromdarkness to light-from sin to holiness-from self-righteousness to spiritual faith in Jesus. Now, He who has called you isfaithful and He will not forsakethe work of His own hands. He has not called you in order to put you to shame! He has not quickened you and preserved youand brought you thus far to deliver you over to the hands of your enemies! "Be of good courage and He shall strengthen yourheart." Wait upon the Lord for Hiscall will give you comfort. "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
3. But again-God proves that He is for us by having justified us. All the people of God are wrapped about with the righteousnessof Christ. And wearing that glorious robe, the eyes of God see no fault in them-Jehovah sees no sin in Jacob, neither iniquityin Israel. Christ is seen andnot the sinner! Christ being therefore perfection's own self, the Believer is seen as perfect in Him. God regards His peoplewith the same affection as that wherewith He loves His only-begotten Son!
He has pronounced them clean and clean they are. He has proclaimed them just, covered with the righteousness of Christ andjust they are. Come on you accusing devil-come on you who lay a thousand things to our charge-if our Jesus pronounces ouracquittal, who is he that condemns? If Hemounts the chariot of salvation, who is he that can be against us? Is it not a mysteriously blessed thing to wear upon one'ssoul the mark of complete justification? The heathen have a custom of marking themselves upon the forehead with the seal oftheir God. But, oh, what a seal isthis to wear- what a mark of the Lord Jesus-to go about this world a perfectly justified man!
God looks upon common men with anger-they are not reconciled unto Him. But towards His people He looks always with eyes oflove-no anger is in His heart to them-not a jot of wrath. All this has been put away through the great Sacrifice. Towardsthem His whole heart goesout-"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are open to their cry." Being justified, they have peace withGod through Jesus Christ their Lord. O dear Friends, if God is at peace with you, it matters not who is at war with you!
If your Master acquits, it little matters who condemns. If Jehovah absolves, it mattes not if your name is cast out as evil!It matters not if you are ranked among the vilest of the vile-if your name is a byword and a proverb only fit to be workedup into the drunkard's song-for who ishe that can be against you? What are all these things if put into the balance but lighter than vanity, if Jehovah Himselfhas justified you?
4. And yet again, another sweet reflection comes here-He has also glorified us! Remember the four golden links of the chain-"WhomHe did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He alsoglorified." Now, in one sense God'speople are glorified even now for He "has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Mark, it does not say, "He has promised that we shall sit there," but He "has" made us sit there! We do sit there at thishour for Christ is the Representative of every soul for whom He shed His blood! And when Christ took His seat in Heaven everyelect soul took his seat in Heavenrepresentatively. Remember, Beloved, that the glorification of God's people is a certain fact. It is not a thing which maybe, but it is a thing which must be. What does Jesus Christ say to His people when He gathers them at His right hand? "Come,you blessed of My Father, inheritthe kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Observe that. Do you think God has prepared a kingdom and that He will not bring His people there? Moreover it is said, "Preparedfor you"-for you-the chosen people of God. And do you imagine that the Covenant wisdom of God would prepare a kingdom formen who would not ultimately getthere? Would He plan and arrange how to make them eternally blessed and yet allow them to perish by the way? "Prepared foryou," remember, "from the foundation of the world."
There is a crown in Heaven which no head can fit but mine. There is a harp there which no fingers must ever touch but mine!Child of God there is a mansion in Heaven which will never be rightly tenanted if you do not get there! And there is a placeat God's right hand which must be empty-itwill be said, "David's seat was empty," unless you shall arrive there! Will it be so? Will there be empty mansions in Heaven?Will there be crowns without heads to wear them? Will there be harps without hands to strike them?
No! The muster roll of the redeemed shall be read and not one shall be found absent! As many as were written upon the breastplateof the great High Priest shall be securely found there-
"Not death nor Hell shall ever divide His chosen from His breast. In the dear bosom of His lo ve They must forever rest." This gives a fourth reason why God is for us. But, O my Brethren, though this brings in the context, I cannot-it is impossible for any human speech to bring out the depthof the meaning of how God is for us! He was for us before the worlds were made-He was for us, or else He never would havegiven His Son. He was for us even when He struck the Only-Begotten and laid the whole weight of His wrath upon Him! He wasfor us though He was against Him! He was for us when we were ruined in the Fall-He loved us notwithstanding all. He was forus when we were against Him and with a high hand were bidding Him defiance! He was for us, or else He never would have broughtus humbly to seek His face. He has been for us in many struggles. We have had to fight through multitudes of difficulties. We have had temptations fromwithout and within-how could we have held on until now if He had not been with us? He is for us, let me say, with all theInfinity of His heart, with all the Omnipotence of His love! He is for us with all His boundless wisdom. Arrayed in all theattributes which make Him God He is for us-eternally and immutably for us! He is for us when yon blue skies shall be rolledup like a worn out vesture-for us throughout eternity! Here, Child of God, is matter enough for thought even though you hadages to meditate upon it-God is for you! And if God is for you, who can be against you? II. In the second place, WHO ARE AGAINST US? The Apostle never meant to say that Christians have no enemies for he knewbetter than that! An old Latin writer observes upon this text that the succeeding context will show us the enemies we havewho are against us. Very briefly let us notice that there are four main enemies who conspire against the life of the childrenof God-these are man, the world, the flesh and the devil. These always will be against us but who are they? 1. First, there is man. How man has struggled against man! Man is the wolf of mankind. Not the elements in all their furynor the wild beasts of prey in all their cruelty have ever been such terrible enemies to man as man has been to his own fellow!When you read the story of the Marian persecution in England, you are astounded that ever creatures wearing a human form couldbe so bloodthirsty. Call these Catholics who thus persecuted the Protestants? Call them Catholics? Much better call them cannibalsfor they behaved more like savages than Christians in their bloody martyrdoms and murders of the saints of God! We do not in this age feel the cruelty of man to that extent but this is only because the custom of the land will not allowit. There are many who dare not strike with the hand who are very busy in laying on their tongue-and this not by exposingour errors which they have a perfect right to do-but in many cases the children of God are misrepresented, slandered, abused,persecuted, ridiculed for Truth's sake. We know many instances where other means are resorted to- anything to drive the servantsof God away from their integrity and from their simple following of their Master. Well did the Lord Jesus say, "Beware of men." "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be you wise as serpentsand harmless as doves." Do not expect men to be the friends of your piety, or if they are, suspect the reality of that pietyof which ungodly man is a friend. You must expect to be sometimes bullied and sometimes coerced-to be sometimes flatteredand threatened. You must expect at one time to meet with the oily tongue which has under it the drawn sword and at another time with thedrawn sword itself. Look out and expect that men will be against you. But what are they all? Suppose every living man in theworld were against you and that you had to stand in solitude like Athanasius? You might say, as Athana-sius did, "I, Athanasius,against the whole world! I know I have Truth on my side and therefore against the world I stand."
Of what use was the malice of men against Martin Luther? They thought to burn him, but he died in his bed despite them all.They thought to put an end to him, but his little tracts went everywhere and the words of Luther seemed to be carried on thewings of angels until in the most distant placesthe Pope found an enemy suddenly springing up where he thought the good seed had all been destroyed. I do not know thatit is of any great service to have numbers with you. I question whether Truth has not generally to be with the minority andwhether it is not quite as honorable toserve God with two or three as it would be with two or three millions.
If numbers could make a thing right, idolatry ought to be the right religion and if in countries across the sea numbers madethe thing right, why, those who fear the Lord would be few, indeed, and idolatry and Romanism would be the right thing! Neverjudge according to numbers-say they arenothing but men after all. If they are good men fight on their side. But if they and the Truth of God fall out, fall outwith Truth! Be a friend to the Truth-make your appeal to the Law and to the Testimony-and if they speak not according to thisWord it is because thereis no light in them. And if there is no light in them do not trust your soul with them-for if the blind leads the blind,they shall both fall into the ditch.
Who then, what then, are men? Only puppets moved by God's hand. He has the string to pull them all which way He wills andif they will not serve Him He can soon put them quietly into the grave. Therefore be not afraid of the son of man who is buta worm, a little heap of dust! Be not dismayed byhim. And if he puts on a black and terrific face, look him in the face with your own truthfulness and put him to the blush.That was grand of Latimer when he preached before Henry VIII. He had greatly displeased His Majesty by his boldness in a sermonpreached before the king andwas ordered to preach again on the following Sunday and to make an apology for the offense he had given.
After reading his text, the bishop thus began his sermon-"Hugh Latimer, do you know before whom you are this day to speak?To the high and mighty monarch, the king's most excellent majesty, who can take away your life if you offend. Therefore, takeheed that you speak not a word that maydisplease. But then consider well, Hugh, do you not know from where you I? Upon whose message you are sent? Even by thegreat and mighty God who is All-Present, and who beholds all your ways and who is able to cast your soul into Hell! Therefore,take care that you deliver yourmessage faithfully."
He then proceeded with the same sermon he had preached the preceding Sunday, but with considerably more energy! Such courageshould all God's children show when they have to do with man. You are yourself nothing but a worm! But if God puts His Truthinto you, do not play the coward or stammer outHis message, but stand up manfully for God and for His Truth!
Some people are forever crying up what they call a becoming modesty. Modesty is very becoming but an ambassador of God mustrecollect there are other virtues besides modesty. If Her Majesty sent an ambassador to a country with whom we were at warand the little man should step into the conferenceand say, "I humbly hope you will excuse my being here. I wish to be in all things complacent to your honors and lordshipsthe ambassadors. I feel I am a young man and you are much older than I am and therefore I cheerfully submit my judgment toyour superior wisdom and experience,"and so on. Why I am sure Her Majesty would command him back again and then command him into a long retirement!
What business has he to humble himself when he is an ambassador for the Queen! He must remember he is clothed with the dignityof the power which sent him. And even so is God's minister and he counts it foul shame to stoop to any man! He takes for hismotto, Cedo nulli, "I yield to none," andpreaching God's Truth in love and honesty, he hopes to be able to render a fair account to his Master at last-for only untohis Master does he stand or fall!
2. The second adversary is the world. This world is like a great field covered with brambles and thorns and thistles and asthe Christian goes through it he is continually in danger of tearing his garments or cutting his feet. Yet-
"The dear path to our abode, Lies through this barren land."
Every citizen of Heaven must be taught with thorns and briars, as were the men of Succoth. Every child of God must march throughthe enemies' land, for Christ says, "I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep themfrom the Evil One."
When is a Christian out of danger? Never. If he is prosperous, then he is apt to grow purse-proud or carnally secure. If adversitiespress upon him, then he is apt to murmur and to grow unbelieving. There are temptations in the high places of the earth andthe valleys are not without them. When theChristian is in honor he is in great peril. Ah, how many have found the high places to be slippery ones? When the Believeris in shame and disrepute, he is in danger, too, for many professors have found this cross too heavy for their shoulders.A Believer ought to walk through thisworld expecting to meet with an enemy behind every hedge, reckoning it a wonder if he shall escape for a single day withouta bullet from the foe!
You are in an enemy's country and this enemy is on the alert continually. You may sleep, but the world never sleeps! Its customsare always seeking to bind you with their chains. Its spirit is creeping over you while you are in the Exchange, or in themarket, or even in the family! You will findthe very atmosphere of this world tends to make you sleep as do others. You will have much ado while you are in this stateof temptation to stand your ground and unless you watch and pray the world will be too much for you.
O Brethren, I would that we knew the world to be more our enemy than we do, for many walk as if they were friends with thisworld! But such is not the Christian's position-he can say, "The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." Lutherused to say there was no love lost between himand the world, for the world hated him and he hated it no less. There is a memorable story told of a good old minister whensome young minister went weeping to him because he had been slandered. "Ah," said he, "that is a trouble I shall never haveagain, for I lost my character thefirst year of my ministry and Slander herself can say no more than she has said."
God's servants must expect to lose their characters, to have every virtue denied them and every vice imputed to them. Butunder all this they can face the world and say to it, "You think badly of me, do you? Not so badly as I think of you! Youthrow this and that in my teeth-I throw worsethings in yours. And whereas you say I am a noisy busybody and a meddler, I will tell you I purpose to be wilder still andto be noisier still against you and to meddle yet more with your vanities which ruin the souls of men."
The world is a terrible assailant if we are left alone in the conflict, but what is the world, after all, if God is for us?As for this present age, where will it be in forty years? I see a long line of turf mounds and many a, "Here he lies"! Andthis generation is all gone, it passes away in thefashion thereof. It is like a candle-snuff and he that cares for it is like a man worshipping a dying taper. Care littlefor this world, but think much of the world to come! This poor quicksand-get off of it lest it swallow you up! But yonderRock of Ages-build on it andyou shall never suffer loss!
3. I think we said there is a third enemy and that is the flesh. It is the worst of the three. We should never need to fearman nor the world if we had not this wicked flesh to carry about with us. Inbred corruption is the worst corruption. "Lord,"said Augustine, "deliver me from my worst enemy,that wicked man myself." If a Christian could lay himself down and run away from himself and never see himself again hewould be delighted beyond measure, for, "truly in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing," is the experience not ofthe Apostle only, but of every child ofGod!
When you would do good, evil is present with you. You want to flee, but like the hawk which has a chain to her leg you canbut stretch your wings and flutter-you cannot mount aloft. You long to feel your heart as hot as an oven, but there is a mountainof ice within you which chills yourflaming desires. To will is present with you-oh, if you could be what you would be! But how to perform that which is goodyou find not by reason of the infirmity and weakness of your nature and the depravity you have inherited from your parents.
Some of you have an irritable temper. It will be your plague until you die. Others find that though you desire to be liberalto the cause of God, yet a covetous disposition has to be struggled with. Some have to fight against levity, others againstpride. And, on the other hand there are some of uswhose daily burden is to fight against despondency and low-ness of spirits-so that we have all some besetting sin. But ifGod is for us, what matters the flesh? Ah, poor Flesh! You may kick and struggle as you will, but when God holds His silverscepter over you, you shallsurely yield! When Jehovah decrees that a man shall be sanctified, that man's flesh may cry and groan but the furnace shallrefine him. The Holy Spirit shall purify him and experience shall teach him and the blood of Christ shall perfect him. Despitethat wicked heart of ours, weshall on eagles' wings ascend and be found without fault before the Throne of God!
4. The last enemy is the devil. I do not know whether he is worse than the flesh or not, but I think I may put him down asbeing about on a par with it. For when the devil meets our flesh, the two shake hands and say, "How do you do, Brother?" Trulythe two are brothers-for our flesh wasoriginally in the family of wrath.
Ah, that arch-traitor Satan! Little do we know what temptations he is plotting and planning for us even now. He is so craftythat he understands human nature better than human nature understands itself. He has been playing the trade of a tempter forsix thousand years! He ought to be a thoroughmaster of the business. And certainly he is. He who made us knows more of us than Satan does-but, next to God-Satan is thebest student of humanity.
He knows our weak points, too. He understands where to touch us so as to touch our bone and our flesh. He knows how to coverup the hook with the bait-for every soul he has his lure and for every sinner he has his trap. He knows how to take one thisway and the other the opposite-someby straining after pretended spirituality and others by descending into the grossest sensuality. Depend on it, my Brothersand Sisters, you may think yourself to be safe against Satan but there is a joint in your harness and he will find it. Andremember, as one leak may sink aship, so one weak point may be and would be your ruin if God did not prevent it! But what matters the devil when we havethis text-"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The devil is mighty, but God is Almighty! Satan is strong, but all strength belongs to God! What is Satan, after all, butan enemy who has had his head broken? He is a broken-headed dragon. The Lord has a hook in his nose and a bridle in his jawsand He knows how to pull him back. Sometimes I wishHe would take him up a link or two, that he might not be so busy among some of our Churches. But he is a chained enemy-theLord lets him go just so far-but never any further. Oh, if the Fiend could get just a little further, what havoc he wouldwork!
You know how it was with Job-Satan dared not touch his flesh at first-he could only touch his children and cattle. He hadto get permission to touch his flesh and even then he dared not touch his life. He went as far as his tether and vexed poorJob with sore troubles-but he couldnot go any further-for God restrained him. Rejoice, Christian, whether it is man, or the world, or your flesh, or Satan-ifGod has predestinated you, called you, justified you and in the Person of Jesus Christ glorified you-you may put the wholetogether and thensay, "Who can be against us?" As chaff is driven away, so, O Lord, have You driven them away."
III. We shall close our meditation this morning-God make it profitable to His own people-by observing WHO ARE THOSE WHO ARENOT AGAINST US. There are some who cannot be our enemies. Here is a very pleasing part of the subject. God the Father cannotbe against us. He is our Father! Hecannot be against His own children! He has chosen us-He will not cast us away-He has adopted us into His family, He willnever discard us. He has been pleased to ordain us unto eternal life, He will never reverse the decree.
He was for us in the Covenant of Grace when He planned the way to save rebellious man. He has been for us in the great orderingof Providence-all things have worked together for good for us until now. We wonder how we have arrived where we now are-butsurely Providence, under God, hasworked wondrously on our behalf! He is for us in all the decrees which are yet to be fulfilled. There is not a single linein the great Book which is against the Christian. You may rest assured that whether the earth shall rock and reel, or themoon is black as a sackcloth of hair,or the earth is licked up with tongues of fire, still Jehovah has not a single thought, nor wish, nor word, nor look againstany one of the blood-bought ones. They are all safe in Him! God the Father cannot be against us.
Then God the Son is not against us. O Beloved, how sweetly He has been for us! I think I see Him now, lifting up that faceall covered with bloody sweat and saying to every Believer, "I am for you. These gouts of gore fall to the dust for you. Isweat great drops of blood that I might redeem you."He stands before Pilate. And when He is brought forth with the "Ecce homo," I think I hear Him say, "Poor Sinner, I am foryou." I see Him carrying the Cross upon His bleeding shoulders and every step He takes is to this tune, "I am for you."
I behold Him bleeding upon the Cross with outstretched hands and all His wounds and all the drops of blood which flow fromHis side, all say, "Christ is for you." Today, as He pleads before the Eternal Throne, this is the tenor of His plea, "I amfor you." When He shall come a second time without asin offering, unto salvation, the sound of the mighty trumpet which shall herald His advent will ring out, "Christ is foryou, O you blood-bought saints." When He shall sit upon the Throne of His Father and His kingdom shall come-of which thereshall be no end-this shallbe the tenor of that kingdom, "I am for My people. I will rule My people righteously and bless the nations upon earth."
Christ cannot be against you. You cannot look into that dear face of His and think that He will ever leave you. Your Husbandis married to you and He has proved His love by such indisputable tokens that you must not, oh, you cannot doubt it! Childof God, I almost defy you to doubt the love of yourLord Jesus Christ. How can He put you away? Could He have bought you at such a price-could He have suffered so much foryou and yet leave you-throw you away upon the dunghill? Impossible! Impossible! Those wounds forever seal your everlastingsecurity!
Then the Holy Spirit cannot be against us. He must always, as the Comforter, comfort His own people. As the Illuminator Hemust lead us into the Truth of God. As the great Giver of Life He must always quicken us from our death of sin. Whatever powerthe Holy Spirit has it is all engaged for us! "Iam with you always, even unto the end of the world." Then the holy angels-these cannot be against us. Before Elisha openedhis servant's eyes, the servant had cried, "Alas,
Master, what shall we do?" when he saw the Syrians and their chariots. But now he sees horses of fire and chariots of fireround about Elisha. It is so with you! The angels are ministering spirits who minister unto the heirs of salvation. They bearyou up in their hands lest you dash your footagainst a stone.
Millions of spiritual creatures walk this earth both when we wake and when we sleep-and when the black angels come to attackus, the good angels contend against them and many a heavenly duel is fought where none but spirit eyes can see! Many a sacredfight goes on for the defense of thesaints, even as Michael fought with the dragon for the body of Moses. The good angels are all for us and here we may rejoice.Then we know the Law of God cannot be against us. It was our enemy once through our sins, but it is now satisfied. Christhas made it honorable. It has not aword to say against any soul that is justified in Christ.
The Justice of God has not a word to say against the Christian! On the contrary, Justice is well content to confirm the savingdecree, "For," says Justice, "that sinner owes me nothing-Christ has discharged his debts. I will not put that sinner in prison-Ihave no right to do so, forChrist was imprisoned instead of him. I will not lay my whip upon his shoulders for Christ suffered with His much-plowedshoulders in the place of that poor believing soul." So, Christian, whoever may be against you, here is a comfort-God theFather, God the Son and God theHoly Spirit never can be against you! Nor the angels of Heaven, the Law and Justice of God-they must always be for you.And if it is so, who can be against you?
Two remarks and then I have done. One is there is an opposite to all this, and it belongs to some who are present here thismorning. If God is AGAINST you, who can be for you? If you are an enemy to God this morning, your very blessings are cursesto you! Your pleasures are only the prelude to yourpains. Remember, Sinner, that whether you have adversity or prosperity, so long as God is against you, you can never trulyprosper. If you spread yourself like a green bay tree it is only that you may be ready for the axe! You may be fattened withwealth but you are only prepared asthe bullock for the slaughter. Take these words home, I pray you, and let them ring in your ears-"If God is against me"-justthat supposition! A supposition which is fact because you have not believed in Christ-you have not given your heart to God."If God isagainst me!"
Will you just think this over on your road home? Take half-an-hour this afternoon to think it over. "If God is against me,what then? What will become of me in time and eternity? If God is against me, how shall I die-how shall I rise again? Howshall I face Him in the Day of Judgment if Godis against me?" It is not an impossible "if," but an "if which amounts to a certainty, I fear, in the case of many who aresitting in this house today.
Then, Christian, here is another thought and I have done. If God is for you, do you not see how you ought to be for God? IfGod has espoused your cause, ought you not to espouse His? I pleaded with you last Sunday since Christ has pleaded the causesof your soul to plead the cause of Christ. Thereis a great battle which has only just began! The trumpet which musters the warriors sounds loud and long and the fight willbe stern and desperate between Christ's pure Truth and the ceremonials of the world's Church.
You must take your post, every one of you, on one side or the other. "If the Lord is God, follow Him-but if Baal, then followhim." One side or the other you must be on and I beg you, if God has been for you and defended you, stand up for Him! Neverdeny a jot of Christ's Truth. Not a hair ofthe head of Christ's Truth must ever be suffered to be touched with the smell of the fire of compromise. Be not as the harlotswere who stood before Solomon. You remember one was quite content to have half the living child. But be your motto, "All ornone-I will never take aparticle of error. Death to it all!" No amalgamation, no compromise, no peace with error!
The men of this generation cry to me and say, "Is there peace?" and my answer is, "What peace can there be so long as thesins of Jezebel are so many?" Then they revile me and say, "Are you he that troubles Israel?" I have not troubled Israel,but you and your father's house, in that you haveforsaken the Commandments of the Lord and you have followed Baal."
Stand up and bear witness against regeneration by Baptism and against those who use Popish words and would have us believethat it is right to attach another sense to them! Take your part with Christ and His despised people and when the day comeswhen He shall distribute His rewards, happy shallthat man be who never flinched. And blessed shall he be and shall she be who stood fast in the evil day and stood stillin the integrity of the Lord and in the firmness of His Truth, firm even to the end! The Lord bless you in this thing forChrist's sake. Amen.