I find salvation written nowhere, till in this volume of my Father’s grace I find his blessed love unfolded towards the great human family, teaching them that they are lost, but that he can save them, and that in saving them he can be “just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.” Salvation, then, is to be found in the Scriptures, and in the Scriptures only; for we can read nothing of it elsewhere.
He who does not always preach the gospel, ought not to be accounted a true-called minister of God.
My friends, it is one thing to go to church or chapel; it is quite another thing to go to God. There are many people who can pray right eloquently, and who do so; who have learned a form of prayer by heart, or, perhaps, use an extemporary form of words of their own composing: but who, instead of going to God, are all the while going from God. Let me persuade you all not to be content with mere formality.
And let me tell you, again, that coming to God is not what some of you suppose—now and then sincerely performing an act of devotion, but giving to the world the greater part of your life. You think that if sometimes you are sincere, if now and then you put up an earnest cry to heaven, God will accept you; and though your life may be still worldly, and your desires still carnal, you suppose that for the sake of this occasional devotion God will be pleased, in his infinite mercy, to blot out your sins. I tell you, sinners, there is no such thing as bringing half of yourselves to God, and leaving the other half away. If a man has come here, I suppose he has brought his whole self with him; and so if a man comes to God, he cannot come, half of him, and half of him stay away. Our whole being must be surrendered to the service of our Maker. We must come to him with an entire dedication of ourselves, giving up all we are, and all we ever shall be, to be thoroughly devoted to his service, otherwise we have never come to God aright.
Let me warn you all. It is of no earthly use for you to pretend to be on two sides of the question. “If God be God, serve him; If Baal be God, serve him.” I like an out-and-out man of any sort. Give me a man that is a sinner; I have some hope for him when I see him sincere in his vices, and open in acknowledging his own character; but if you give me a man who is half-hearted, who is not quite bold enough to be all for the devil, nor quite sincere enough to be all for Christ, I tell you, I despair of such a man as that. The man who wants to link the two together is in an extremely hopeless case. Do you think, sinners, you will be able to serve two masters, when Christ has said you cannot? Do you fancy you can walk with God and walk with mammon too? Will you take God on one arm, and the devil on the other? Do you suppose you can be allowed to drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of Satan at the same time? I tell you, ye shall depart, as cursed and miserable hypocrites, if so you come to God. God will have the whole of you come, or else you shall not come at all. The whole man must seek after the Lord; the whole soul must be poured out before him; otherwise it is no acceptable coming to God at all.
The Father will never save a man apart from Christ; there is not one soul now in heaven who was not saved by Jesus Christ; there is not one who ever came to God aright, who did not come through Jesus Christ. If you would be at peace with God, you must come to him through Christ, as the way, the truth, and the life, making mention of his righteousness, and of his only.
Sinner, if thou askest me how Christ can save thee, I tell thee this—he can save thee, because he did not save himself; he can save thee, because he took thy guilt and endured thy punishment. There is no way of salvation apart from the satisfaction of divine justice. Either the sinner must die, or else some one must die for him. Sinner, Christ can save thee, because, if thou comest to God by him, then he died for thee. God has a debt against us, and he never remits that debt; he will have it paid. Christ pays it, and then the poor sinner goes free.
Ah! poor sinner, if thou knewest that Christ died for thee—and I know that he did, if thou repentest—if thou knewest that one day thou wilt be his, wouldst thou spit upon him now? wouldst thou scoff at God’s day, if thou knewest that one day it will be thy day? wouldst thou despise Christ, if thou knewest that he loves thee now, and will display that love by-and-bye? Oh! there are some of you that will loathe yourselves when you know Christ because you did not treat him better. He will come to you one of these bright mornings, and he will say, “Poor sinner, I forgive you;” and you will look up in his face, and say, “What! Lord, forgive me? I used to curse thee, I laughed at thy people, I despised everything that had to do with religion. Forgive me?” “Yes,” says Christ, “give me thy hand; I loved thee when thou hatedst me: come here!” And sure there is nothing will break a heart half so much as thinking of the way in which you sinned against one who loved you so much.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon