There is no quitting of sin—there is no escaping from its power— except by contact and union with the Lord Jesus Christ. I may stand here and preach against sins but no sin will be put down merely by my denunciation of it. I may charge this man to shake off his sins by righteousness and to escape for his life, but I have set him a task which is quite impossible to him unless I also tell him where the power is to be found by which this work is to be done.
You will not bring a man to break off his sin by merely telling him that it is his duty, or by warning him that he will be ruined unless he does so. No, but if you can lay that dead man at the foot of the Cross—if you can bring the pierced hands of Jesus to touch that dead and powerless sinner—then he will live!
If he does but look to Christ, a glance at Him will give that moral and spiritual power which shall enable the man to make a total alteration in his life, because inwardly there shall be made, by the Holy Spirit, a complete transformation in his inner self.
You may take a lantern which has no candle in it and you may clean the exterior as long as you like, but it will not guide you through the darkness. There must be a candle placed within, or else it will be useless to you, cleanse it as you may!
Wthin man’s secret nature there must be put the Divine candle of faith in Christ, otherwise all his outward moralities will leave him a dark lantern.
You may take a sow from the trough and you may wash it with much soap and expend much toil upon it— but whatever you may do, as soon as it is set free—the creature will go back to its wallowing and be as filthy as the rest of the swine. It can never be cleanly, like the sheep, unless an Almighty hand shall transform the sow into a sheep and, in like manner, sinners are never really changed until they are born again.
It is a good thing for the sow to be washed, I have no doubt it is all the better for it. It is a good thing for the lantern to be cleaned though it has no candle—it is all the better for it. And so, it is a good thing for the drunk to become a total abstainer. It is a right thing for the thief to become honest. It is a wise thing for the impure to become chaste. All these things are good, but, still, they fall short of what is needed to enable a man to enter Heaven.
There is no way of getting the power with which we can kill sin, the great adversary of our souls, except by laying hold upon the conquering Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
If God the Holy Spirit shall open your eyes to see Jesus Christ as having died for you—and you shall look to Him and find life in that look—then you will no longer be what you are! You will no longer wish to do what you have been doing. You will not even ask for an hour’s furlough or respite, but this will be your cry, “No longer! No longer would I spend my time in the flesh to the lusts of men.”
For, first, it is a dishonorable thing for a man to let his body, which is his baser part, rule his spirit, which is his nobler part. It is a disgraceful thing for a man to live only for the pleasures of the day and never cast a glance into the future and think about his immortal soul which will outlive the stars. Say to yourself, “Why should I act so dishonorably? Come, my spirit, wake yourself up!”
I have been charmed, this week, by some whom I have seen who have found the Saviour just lately. And I am pleased to find that the Lord is at work in many ways bringing sinners to Himself.
“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Trusting in Christ, you are saved, and you may sing of it, and bless the name of the Most High!
Know you not that you are laborers together with God, and that what you do aright, God does through you? If you can but realize this, how honorably and gloriously will the rest of your life be spent!
Excerpts from Luminous Words, Sermon #2549 by C. H. Spurgeon