Sermon 2793. Five Divine Declarations
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, AUGUST 24, 1902.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 15, 1878.
"Surely, shall one say, in the LORD I have righteousness and strength: even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensedagainst Him shall be ashamed. In the LORD all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory." Isaiah 45:24,26.
IF YOU carefully read the chapter from which our text is taken, you must notice the high style which God here adopts. He speakslike a king-no, more-He speaks like a God, as He is entitled to do, for He is God. David says, in the 29th Psalm, "The voiceof the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty." We can hear that powerful, majestic voice in this Chapter!The Lord here speaks about men coming to Him, confessing to Him and obeying Him without inserting any "if as to their ownwill in the matter, or raising any question as to whether He can accomplish what He promises. Listen attentively to thesewords in the verse before our text, for they are very strong and forcible-"I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out ofMy mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." The Lord laysunusual emphasis upon the irrevocable oath which He has sworn and says that He will never recall the word which has gone outof His mouth. He speaks with that same power which said, "Let there be light: and there was light." In a word, He speaks Divinelyand, therefore, He can fulfill what He has declared.
"But," someone says, "men are free agents." Who denied it? "But men will not bow their knee before Him unless they are willingto do so." Who said they would? Yet, He who has the power to control the freedom of the human will- He who rules, not onlyover inanimate objects and over creatures whose wills are gladly subordinated to His, but even over souls that are naturallyrebellious-still has a way of turning them according to His own mind! He speaks in the majesty of His Sovereignty and swearsthat every knee shall bow before Him-and that all shall acknowledge Him to be the only supreme Lord and Governor!
It is true that there are two ways in which men shall be made to bow the knee before God. Some of them will bow unwillinglywhen they shall feel the weight of His iron rod. Others shall bow joyfully before Him when they shall feel the power of HisGrace. I am going to read my text in that sweet and merciful manner, and I think the context justifies us in so reading it.I want you to see how God's power over mankind is exerted in a way of Grace, although it is also true that His power is putforth in a way of Judgment towards those who reject His mercy. I read, with delight, the expressions of my text as the decrees,determinations, promises and declarations of the God of Grace, who affirms that men shall say, "In the Lord have we righteousnessand strength. Even to Him shall men come and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed. In the Lord all the seedof Israel shall be justified and shall glory." There is no doubt about this great Truth of God-Christ did not die in vain-theGospel has not been sent into the world for nothing! There shall be a people "saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation."There shall be a multitude that no man can number who shall bow before the Savior. There shall be an adequate reward for thetravail of His soul which shall satisfy even the infinite heart of the great Son of God Himself!
I. There are five Divine declarations in the text. The first is this, that THERE SHALL BE A PEOPLE WHO SHALL ACKNOWLEDGE THETRUTH CONCERNING GOD. Our version says, "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord I have righteousness and strength," but thereare other readings which appear to be more accurate. "Men shall say, In the Lord
is righteousness and strength," would be quite as correct a rendering, or even more so. It means that there shall be a peoplewho shall confess that in God there is righteousness and strength.
First, they shall see these to be His attributes. Everybody ought to be able to plainly see the evidences of God's strength.Many shudder in terror before the thunder of His power, yet they will not, or they cannot, see God's righteousness. They beginaccusing Him, from one point or another, of being unjust in His dealings with the sons of men. So it always has been and soit will be as long as the ungodly are on the earth. But there shall still be a people who shall be able, because their eyeshave been touched with Heaven's eye salve, to see that God's strength is always associated with righteousness. They shallperceive what human nature full often refuses to perceive-that God is as good as He is great and as just as He is strong!Even the terrible things, they shall see to be "terrible things in righteousness." They shall cease to question anything doneby the Most High and they shall submit unreservedly to His Sovereign sway. This is one of the miracles of God's Grace, butit is a miracle that shall never cease so long as God sits upon the Throne ruling over
More than this, our text means that there shall be a people who will see that all their righteousness and strength must befound in God. Each of them shall say, "In the Lord I have righteousness and strength." Other men may fancy that they can findrighteousness in their own doings, but the Lord's people know that the work of righteousness has been carried out to the fullonly by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and they are content to accept God's righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus-and so tobecome righteous before God as Abraham was, for he, "believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness." There shallnever cease from off the face of the earth a people who shall feel that all their righteousness is found in "the Lord OurRighteousness," who justifies the ungodly, and they shall also find their strength in Him. They shall be conscious of theirown weakness. They shall perceive that they have no strength to run in the ways of holiness by themselves, but they shalllook to the Holy Spirit for help and shall trust in the Lord to uphold them and preserve them in the ways of integrity evento the end. I am addressing many a Believer who can say, "In the Lord I have righteousness and strength." You have neitherrighteousness nor strength apart from Him and you know it-and it is your delight to confess that you do not expect to findeither righteousness or strength anywhere but in Him! Thus, you show that you are resting on Him, alone, and you are helpingto fulfill the promise of the text that there shall always be a people who shall know and feel that their righteousness andstrength are found only in the Lord.
Besides that, they shall not only know and feel it, but they shall be prepared openly to declare it, for the text says, "Surely,shall one say, in the Lord I have righteousness and strength." Some, who truly know the Lord, are very timid in confessingHim-they keep back much that they know concerning Him. But I thank God that there shall always be a people brave enough to"stand up for Jesus" whatever it may cost them! There were many such people when, to confess that righteousness and strengthwere in the Lord, alone, involved burning at the stake of the one who made such a confession. He who held the Lutheran doctrineof Justification by Faith was condemned to die. He was hunted as though he had been a wolf or a mad dog. His existence wasthought to be obnoxious to the human race and, therefore, he was put to death in the most painful form. Yet persecution couldnot stop the confession of faith in Jesus, for, as fast as one was slain, another stepped forward to take his place! Throughall the centuries that have passed since the death of Christ, the grand Truth of God that strength and righteousness are notto be found in men, and come not through the priest, or by human works, rites and ceremonies has never lacked men and womento come forward to state it plainly and boldly in the teeth of all mankind-nor shall it ever want for such witnesses whilesun and moon endure!
Some may be cowards and turn their backs in the day of battle, but God has reserved unto Himself a people who will be bravefor Him even to the end! And should Rationalism and Ritualism, in these evil days, devour the strength of the Church of God,yet has He reserved unto Himself hundreds of thousands whose knees have never bowed before these modern Baals and which willnever so bow-for these men first confess their faith to God, alone, upon their knees in prayer, and afterwards boldly declareto the world, each one for himself, "Surely, in the Lord I have righteousness and strength."
I wonder how many of us really know this great Truth of God in our inmost souls, for this is one of the weightiest mattersyou ever heard about in all your lives. If you think that you have any righteousness of your own, you are sadly mistaken.If you fancy that you have strength of your own which will carry you to Heaven, you are living in grievous error. You shallfaint and die, "as a snail which melts," if you trust in yourselves! There is no foundation upon which we
can build so as to secure the blessings of eternal salvation but Jesus Christ, the Crucified-and the only way to build uponthat foundation is by simple trust in Him. If you are resting alone upon Him for righteousness, strength and everything thatyou need, it is well with you-but if you are not, may the Lord in mercy bring you to do so this very hour!
Every now and then, dear Friends, it is advisable for us to review our past lives-to look back and honestly, as in the sightof God, to make a summary of what they have been. Many a Christian has done this when he has been slandered. He has then lookedover his past career to see whether there was any ground for the calumny cast upon him. And he has been truly happy if hehas been able to sum all up by saying to the Lord, "I have kept Your precepts and Your testimonies." We frequently make thesereviews of our lives in times of sickness. Then we are all alone and quiet-and being incapable of attending to our worldlybusiness-we begin to turn our gaze within, to see how we stand before God. Possibly, we cannot raise ourselves up in our bed,to look out of the window, or, as we lie awake in the watches of the night, we mentally recall our whole career from our childhoodeven to that hour. And it is truly wise on our part to do so-it is then exceedingly beneficial to mark the evil and repentof it, or to note the good and thank God for it.
Many godly people set apart special seasons for making these examinations. It would be well if we all reviewed each day beforewe fell asleep. Some folk, if they knew themselves better, would not brag as loudly as they now do. A keener eye might, perhaps,make their tongue less talkative. Some persons like to go through this process with peculiar rigor on their birthdays, orupon the anniversary of their conversion, or at the close of some notable period of time. Whenever it is done, it is well.And happy, thrice happy, is the man who closes up his account of himself in the words of our text-"In the Lord I have righteousnessand strength."
When we come to die is another time for making this review. Looking back from the shelving bank of the great river, our eyesgaze along the whole track which we have traversed. We see that goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our life,but we also see that we have not always kept to the King's Highway, but have often gone astray like a lost sheep. We are blessed,indeed, if, notwithstanding all that, we can still feel that the set and current of our being has been towards that whichis right, so that we can join with the Psalmist in saying, "I have kept Your precepts and Your testimonies: for all my waysare before You."
I urge you young people who are beginning your Christian life to begin on a sound foundation, searching the Scriptures toknow what is the will of God, and yielding yourselves up entirely to the sway of God the Holy Spirit, that you may not havea broken life, running for a while in the wrong direction, so that you have to go back and start afresh. There are some menwhom I know who seem to pick up every novelty that they come across, but they soon drop it and go off after something else.These are the people who need new prophets to arise every week. I said to one individual of that kind, when I met him in thestreet-and he was a preacher, too-"Well, what are you now!" He said to me, "Why, you asked me that question the last timeyou saw me." I said, "I know I did, but what are you now!" He was something very different from what he had been when I methim six months earlier! And a year later, when I saw him again, I saluted him in the same way. I said, "Dear Friend, whatare you now?" He was very angry with me and said that it was a shame that I should ask him that question. But I replied, "Well,never mind-what are you now?" And when he told me, I found that he had again changed his denomination! What he is or wherehe is now, I do not know-probably something quite different from what he had been before.
You might as soon measure the moon for a suit of clothes as measure some men's doctrine. They seem to be perpetually waxingor waning. They box the compass. They shift like the wind. That is a poor life, when it comes to the close, in which the manhas been "everything by starts, and nothing long." My dear young Friends, give yourselves up to the teaching and guidanceof the Spirit of God and resolve that if you do err, it shall be unintentionally, for you wish to be right-you desire to knowand to do nothing save what the Lord taught you and the Lord bade you do.
II. The second declaration of the text is that men will not only acknowledge the Truth concerning God, but that THEY WILLACT UPON IT-"Even to Him shall men come."
I must remark again how the Lord speaks here like a God-"Even to Him shallmen come." Someone asks, perhaps, "Suppose theywill not come, what then?" Yes, but they willcome, for He makes them willing in the day of His power. "But suppose," saysthe objector, "that, having heard the Gospel, they reject it." Then they shall hear it again, and yet again and, at last,they shall yield to its entreaty, for they shall come! When God says, "Men shall come," You may depend upon it that His, "shallcome," will carry the day! Christ said, "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me" and
"shall come" will win the victory! Not by violating the freedom of men's will, nor by treating them otherwise than as freeagents, yet does God prevail over them so that they do come and submit themselves unto Him!
Notice the wording of this gracious declaration. "Even to Him shall men come," The glory of it lies in the fact that theyrest in nothing but Himself. The bulk of men stop short of coming to God in Christ Jesus-and content themselves with readingthe Bible, or saying prayers, or attending places of worship. But my text says that there is a people who shall get beyondall that-"Even to Him shall men come." If you would be saved, you must get to God in Christ. Short of that, you are lost.Many go to priests and think that all is well with them. And many go to rites and ceremonies, and suppose that all is wellwith them, yet it is not. I tell you, prodigal son, it will never be well with you till you come to your Father! You mustget your head on His bosom, make your confession to Him and receive His kiss of forgiveness, or else you will never have peacein your soul. Christ said to the men of His day, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life:and they are they which testify of Me. But you will not come to Me, that you might have life." There was the fatal flaw-theyread their Bibles, but they would not come to Christ, though even the Old Testament Scriptures pointed them to Him! And manya man, when we bid Him come to Christ, says, "I will pray about it." Pray, by all means, but praying will not save you-youmust come to Christ, as our text says, "Even to Him shall men come."
But how do they come to Him? They come, first, by repentance. They come weeping because of their sins. They also come by faith-theycome trusting in Jesus and disowning all other confidences. They come just as they are-naked, filthy-"poor, wretched, blind"-acknowledgingthat they are undeserving, ill-deserving, Hell-deserving sinners. But they come to Him-to God in Christ Jesus-and they lookup to Him and they cry, "Jesus, save me! Father, I have sinned! Have mercy upon me, for Christ's sake!" Neither will theyrest until they do come there. I hope I am addressing many in whom this prophecy has been fulfilled-"They shall come to Him."When it is fulfilled in any of you, admire the Grace that drew you, otherwise you would never have come! Sing, from your veryhearts, those sweet verses by Dr.
"Why was I made to hear Your voice,
And enter while there's room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
'Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin."
What confidence it gives me, when I am preaching, to feel-I do not know who it may be, but I am sure that some soul will cometo Christ and will come to Christ just now-for, if it is the true Gospel which is preached, with a pure motive and in simpleterms, there is no question about the success of it! The Lord has said, "My Word shall not return to Me void." It will notgo back to Him without having accomplished His Divine purpose of love and mercy! Jesus is drawing you, so yield to Him, Beloved!Pray from your hearts the prayer, "Draw us; we will run after You" and so, in your case, my text shall be blessedly true,"Even to Him shall men come."
III. The third Divine declaration might be read in another light, but I prefer to keep to the strain of mercy. It says
that THOSE WHO DO COME SHALL BE ASHAMED OF THEIR FORMER OPPOSITION-"All that are incensed
against Him shall be ashamed."
There is never a soul that comes to Christ that does not soon begin to be ashamed-with a blessed and holy shame- of havingbeen angry with God. Is it not a very shameful thing and enough to make us blush scarlet and crimson, that we should everhave been "incensed" against God? It is most ridiculous, as well as terribly wicked, that such puny creatures as we are shouldever think of being angry with God! I recollect hearing a little child say to his big father, "I am mad with you." "Yes,"I thought, "and if you had been my boy and had talked to me like that, I would have tried to take some of the madness outof you." He was in such a fury that he could scarcely stand! And there is many a man who, compared with God, is far smallerthan that little child was in comparison with his father, yet who, nevertheless, talks to God as if he were His equal andis not ashamed to acknowledge that he is angry with God.
There are some who are angry with God's Providence. They have said that they will never forgive Him for some action of Hiswhich has offended them-as if they could forgive HIM! They have impudently stood up before Him as though they would-
"Snatch from His hand the balance and the rod, Rejudge His judgments, be the God of God."
They have dared to summon the Eternal to their bar! They have been "incensed against Him." Ah, but when they come to Him andwhen they find righteousness and strength in Him, how ashamed they are of all their former anger! They hardly like to be remindedthat they ever thought or said such hard things-and they are heartily ashamed of themselves.
Some are incensed against God because of His Law and its penalty. Have you not heard them say, "It is too severe, too stringent!Men cannot be expected to keep such a perfect Law as that"? Some of them almost foam at the mouth, like madmen, when theytalk of the punishment of sin. When God says, that "the soul that sins, it shall die." And when His dear Son speaks of a wormthat dies not and a fire that never shall be quenched, I scarcely dare repeat the blasphemies that even professed ministersof the Gospel have dared to utter against the righteous and holy God-and the terrible doom which surely awaits the ungodly!But when those who have been angry at the plain declarations of God concerning the punishment of sin are brought to Him, theyare utterly ashamed of themselves! When they really come to know Him-when they find righteousness and strength in Him-theywould gladly eat their own words if they could and they will bare their backs to His rod and feel that if He were even todestroy them, He would be fully justified! Many and many a Christian has had a broken heart when he has been forgiven as hehas mourned that he could ever have been so rebellious against his God.
I have heard this personality of holy grief stigmatized as being morbid, self-conscious, and even selfish, but I take leaveto say that those gentlemen who thus speak are strangers to spiritual facts and know nothing about them. Their opinion isnot worth the breath they spend in uttering it, for, if they did know the Truth about this matter, they would understand thatthere is nothing selfish in a man's praying to be rendered unselfish-and that is a main part of our prayer! And there is nothingselfish in an individual confessing before God that he has been selfish-and that is a large part of our confession. How shalla man do good to another until he has been made good himself? Is it not the very height of benevolence to my fellow creaturesthat I should begin by wishing to be made fit to be of service to them? And how can that be until I first have been personallycleansed and have personally known the value of true religion in my own soul? I charge you, dear Friends, that instead ofthat "broad-hearted philanthropy" of which we hear so much-which consists in talking fine nonsense about the good other peopleought to do-you had better begin by getting your own hearts right with God so that you may be taught to love God with allyour heart, mind, soul and strength-and to love your neighbors as yourselves-for then and not till then are you in a rightcondition to learn what is true philanthropy! Be sorry first, that afterwards you may not be sad. Repent first, so that youmay get close to God, that afterwards you may go and close in with your fellow men and live and die to serve them for Jesus'sake!
There are others who are incensed against God because of the great plan of salvation. Some are even incensed against the SaviorHimself. The preaching of the Deity of Christ makes some men gnash their teeth! They cannot endure that blessed fact. But,oh, when He saves them by His Grace, there is no quarrel, then, with the Divine Savior! Emmanuel, God With Us, is very preciousto the Believer. Away goes all Socinianism-the soul loathes it and cannot even bear to think that it could have fallen solow as to think or say anything derogatory to the dignity of the ever-blessed Son of God! Some are incensed against the bloodof Christ-they are so delicate that they do not even like to hear about it. They can sin without compunction, but the Divineway of cleansing from sin offends them! Some men positively rave at the Atonement. Substitution, the vicarious expiatory sufferingof Christ in the sinner's stead, they cannot endure! But when the Lord breaks their hearts with the hammer of His Word andwhen He makes them see their sin as it is in His sight, I guarantee you that the precious blood of Jesus becomes to them thedearest thing in earth or Heaven! And they rejoice in it, for it gives them access to God and peace and pardon! Some of thosewho have most reviled the Gospel have, when they have been converted, been the most faithful preachers of it!
That grand Truth of God of Justification by Faith-that a sinner is saved not by works of righteousness which he has done,but according to the free Grace of God, through Jesus Christ-oh, how fiercely some hate it! They do not call themselves Papists,but Protestants, and though this is the central truth of Protestantism-the very core of Lutheran-
ism-yet do they object to it and revile it! They do not act so when the blessed Spirit of God brings them to the Father byway of Jesus Christ and His atoning Sacrifice. "Then are they glad because they are quiet," for they are brought to the FairHavens of Gospel security and joy!
Beloved, if you are incensed against God about anything, it is foolish and wicked on your part to be in such a condition!I pray God, of His great Grace, to speedily bring you out of it and when He does, He will make you to be ashamed of yourselves!What a melting thing the love of Christ is! Stout-hearted sinners are sometimes not even moved by the thunderbolts of God,but when they see the wounds of Jesus, that sight brings them to their knees! When they find that He loved them even whilethey were rejecting Him. That He died for them when they were dead in trespasses and sins. That He had their names engravedupon the palms of His hands and upon His heart even when they were blaspheming Him, and that in "free Grace and dying love,"there is a shelter provided even for them-then do they bite their lips and cover their eyes and turn unto the Lord with deephumiliation of spirit.
1 heard someone say, once, that God might forgive his sin, but that he would never forgive himself-and I think that is thefeeling of all who have been enraged against God, but who have been brought as penitents to His feet. Now that they love Him,they are grievously ashamed of their past conduct and they will never open their mouths in boasting any more. As I look roundthis place, I notice some who once were very strongly opposed to our dear Lord and Master. Ah, my Brothers and Sisters, Iknow who they are who now love Him most and desire to serve Him best-it is you who were formerly exceedingly angry with Him.See that persecuting Saul of Tarsus when the Lord lays His pierced hand upon him-what a loving, gracious, pleading Paul, theGrace of God makes of him! Oh, that the Lord Jesus would lay hold of somebody this very moment! I am greedy for the soulsof some of you who might become my Master's best servants. Even if you are saying, "We want Him not! We hate His religionand the cant that, we believe, always goes with it," you are the very ones whom I pray Him to lead captive, in silken chainsof blessed bondage, as trophies of the Irresistible Grace with which His almighty Love wins the hearts of His greatest enemiesand transforms them into His faithful friends and willing servants forever and ever!
IV. The fourth Divine declaration is that THE LORD'S PEOPLE SHALL ALL BE JUSTIFIED. "In the Lord all the seed of Israel shallbe justified."
What is meant by our being justified? It means that we are made and constituted just before God. "But," someone asks, "canthat be done? Can an unjust person be made just in the sight of God?" Yes, it is done, as our text says, "in the Lord."
The Prophet here means to teach us that the Lord Jesus Christ stands in the sinner's place and puts the sinner in His place.This was done, in God's purpose, from all eternity, as John Kent sings-
"Then, in the glass of His decrees, Christ and His bride appeared as one! Her sin, by imputation, His, While she in spotlesssplendor shone." And it is actually done, in time, as each of the chosen ones is, by Grace, led to believe in Jesus. Thenis the righteousness of Christ received by faith and it becomes ours-and we stand before God justified through Christ's righteousness.Perhaps you ask, "Can I, who have been sinful all my life, become righteous in God's sight?" Yes, Beloved, if you believein the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall, for His sake, be accounted righteous. That long list of your sins which now so greatlytroubles you, shall be cancelled. There shall be written at the bottom of it, "Forgiven," and you shall be as clear of sin,in God's sight, as if you had never sinned! And, inasmuch as you cannot enter Heaven without merit, the merit of Christ shallbe set down to your account and you shall stand "accepted in the Beloved," perfect in Christ Jesus! There shall come to you,also, a change of heart and a change of life, so that you shall become a just man or woman or child. But, still, that greatdeclaration will be true, "The just shall live by faith," so the justification which you are to have before God will neverbe your own justification, except by imputation-and it will always be because you have taken the spotless robe of Christ'srighteousness and have wrapped it around you-that you will be accepted of God.
I hope, I believe, no more-I feel certain that I am addressing some of the poor of the people-some who have no confidencein themselves, no righteousness of their own, no power for prayer or anything that is good apart from the Holy Spirit. Well,then, come to the Lord Jesus, who is the David of our dispensation, and dwell beneath His shadow! Trust yourselves with Him.Repose in His promises. Rest in His Atonement. Rely upon His intercession. Rejoice in His
eternal love. Look for His coming. It is a grand thing to feel a bit of rock under your feet, and if you are on the Rock ofAges, you are safe for time and eternity. A dear Brother reminded us in prayer, before this service, that we may tremble onthe Rock, but the Rock never trembled under us. Another reminded me of a remark I made some time ago, "What time I am afraid,I will trust in Jehovah." "Well," I said, "that is going to Heaven in a third-class carriage-the better way is to go to Heavenfirst class, so-'I will trust, and not be afraid,'" letting no fear come in at all, but depending entirely upon what God hasdeclared in His Word and feeling that it must be fulfilled, for nothing can prevent God's carrying out His purpose! Nothingcan hinder Him from keeping His promise. So, dear Friends, with good Dr. Watts, let us, each one, say to the Lord-
"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, On Your kind arms I fall; Be You my strength and righteousness, My Jesus, and my All."
Every soul that believes in Jesus belongs to the true seed of Israel, so in Him shall every such soul be justified! What agrand thing it is to be justified! A justified man need not fear to live, or to die, for, "there is, therefore, now no condemnationto them which are in Christ Jesus." No, more-such a man may, without fear, go right up to the bar of God, Himself, in thatlast tremendous day, for what says the Apostle? "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies.Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, whoalso makes intercession for us." Do you all know what justification means? Have you all received it? You recollect what MartinLuther did when he was going up those stairs-the Santa Scala-in Rome? I have stood, two or three times, at the foot of thatstaircase and seen the poor devotees going up and down, on their knees, saying a prayer on each step and so trying to winHeaven by merit. As Luther was doing this, there suddenly flashed into his mind this text, "The just shall live by faith."Up he sprang! There was no more going up and down the Santa Scala for him! He had found another and a better way of salvationand this is the way which we preach to you-and which our Master has bid us preach to every creature in all the world-"He thatbelieves on the Son has everlasting life." "He that believes on Him is not condemned." "He that believes and is baptized shallbe saved; but he that believes not shall be damned."
V. I close with the last three words of the text-"In the Lord all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory."
Those who find righteousness and strength in the Lord, THOSE WHO COME TO CHRIST AND ARE JUSTIFIED IN HIM, SHALL GLORY.
What does the text mean when it says that they shall glory? Sometimes, when I have been preaching in Wales or among Methodists-whenI have set before them good, rich, Gospel Truth, perhaps two or three have shouted, at the same time, "Glory!" And thoughit has not increased the solemnity of the service, it has added a good deal of vivacity to it. And, really, when we see whatDivine Grace has done for us, we often feel inclined to cry out, "Glory! Glory be to
Have not many of you felt the glory in your soul, even if you have not uttered it with your mouth? All your sin gone, JesusChrist as your Savior, your soul forever secure in His hands-and all that granted to you by Divine Grace, simply through believing-surely,you must have felt the glory within your soul? The devil has said to you, "That is too good to be true," but you have believedit, notwithstanding what he said, and you have felt as if you needed to be enlarged to be able to hold so much joy and blessedness!Do you ever sit down alone and think over what the Lord has done for you? If you do and you have the full assurance of faith,I am sure you will glory in the Lord, and you will say like those delivered from captivity, "Then was our mouth filled withlaughter, and our tongue with singing...The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad."
But the Lord's true people will not keep that glory all to themselves. They shall so glory that they shall speak about itto others. I should not wonder if when they tell what the Lord has done for them, some should think that they are intrusive.I wish we were more so. Some of them shall so glory in God that they shall, sometimes, imprudently cast their pearls beforeswine-but they had better even do that than keep their pearls concealed and never let them show the brightness which God hasgiven them. "They shall glory." That is to say, they shall speak of the Lord's love with flashing eye and smiling countenance.They shall speak of it as of a priceless treasure, as of something worth more than all worlds. They shall wonder that otherpeople do not think as much of it as they do. They shall often feel sad at heart because the worth of Christ is not more widelyknown among men, but, as for themselves, "they shall glory." And they shall so glory
that nobody shall be able to stop their glorying, for, when they are ridiculed, they shall only glory in that, also! And whenothers sneer at and try to depreciate their Lord, they shall only the more firmly believe and rejoice in Him who is All inAll to them! I am sure, dear Friends, that if Christ is really yours, you must glory in Him and boast about Him- and sometimesmake other people wonder why you talk so much about Him!
Those who truly know Christ will glory in Him alone. They will glory neither in their church, nor in their creed, nor in theirgood works, nor in the earnestness with which they serve the Lord-but only in Him, according as it is written, "He that glories,let him glory in the Lord." Oh, yes, we will glory in the Lord when we lie sick and all things are melting away from us. Wewill say to those around us, "Now do we find Jesus near! Now do we find Him dear! We must bid 'good-bye' to the dearest friends,but He sticks closer than a brother to us." We will glory in the Lord with our last breath! We will be propped up in our bed,as many a saint has been, to tell those around us yet once more what a precious Christ-what a blessed Christ we have-and whata glorious salvation we have found through His precious blood!
And will we not glory in Him alone when we enter those pearly gates above? What will our disembodied spirits say to our comradeswho have gone on before? What shall we have to tell them but the story of the great love and the amazing mercy, and the abundantpower and Grace of God in Christ Jesus? I think that if we are in Heaven for ages before our bodies rise from the grave, weshall have nothing to talk of or think of but Him! And when this poor dust of ours shall, at His coming, rise again and weshall be able, with spirit, soul and body, to speak, again-what shall we speak of except His Glory? Oh, we will glory in Him!We will glory in Him! Well may each saint say with the gracious Countess of Huntingdon-
"Then loudest of the crowd I'll sing, While Heaven's resounding mansions ring With shouts of Sovereign Grace."
May every soul now here, be thereto do it, for Jesus sake! Amen.