by Ichabod Spencer
"What must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30
This is the anxious inquiry of an awakened sinner
By an awakened sinner, I mean the man who knows what sin is, and who painfully feels that he is a sinner; and as such, under the curse of God, and in danger of hell fire. Are you an awakened sinner? Alas! all men are naturally asleep, insensible of their danger; and so they continue till they are roused up out of their carnal slumbers by the Word and Spirit of God. They cry peace, peace to themselves, when there is no peace; for God hath said, "There is no peace to the wicked" (Isa. 48:22). They live on, day after day, keeping death, judgment, and eternity, out of their thoughts; never reading the Bible with a sincere desire to know what their state is, and never praying to God from the bottom of their hearts, "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). If you can live without earnest prayer to God for mercy, habitually neglecting it, you give as full proof that you are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in you, as if you were living in the grossest immoralities.
Conviction of sin is the sovereign work of God
But when it pleases God to fasten conviction on the heart of a man, and to awaken his conscience, then he starts up as one out of sleep. He sees, what he never discovered before, that it is an evil and bitter thing to sin against God. He reads in the word of truth, that the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17); and he trembles as he reads. He acknowledges, "I have forgotten God and sinned against Him;" and being convinced that the wages of sin is death, he asks, "how shall I escape the damnation of hell?" Such a man is deeply in earnest when he makes the inquiry, "What must I do to be saved?" He feels that his all for eternity is at stake. The world with all its pleasures, profits, and honors, becomes tasteless and insipid; it cannot give ease to his aching heart, nor heal his wounded conscience. He now begins to pray. His prayer is now the real language of his heart, not the formal, unmeaning service it was before. A sense of his danger drives him to the throne of grace. The Word of God he now reads as the decision of eternal truth; and he reads it as having an interest in every line. Sinner, has this inquiry ever been yours, "What must I do to be saved?"
Friday, June 27, 2008
by Ichabod Spencer