“Are you relying entirely on Jesus for your salvation, so that if you died this evening and stood before the bar of God’s judgment and someone said, “Why would you be welcome or why would you be acceptable to God,” you’re able to say, “Actually, myself I’m completely unacceptable to God, but because of all that Jesus is and all that Jesus has done and because I am resting in him as my Savior, I approach this gateway boldly.” See, the biggest danger here at [the church] is that lots of people just slide along with the group, caught up in the crowd, singing the songs, saying the peace, somehow or another we think that if we hang around long enough we’ve got membership in the club, you know, in the Jesus club. Well I’d been hanging around 22 years in America and they never gave me membership yet until I put up my hand and said, please could I become a member and then they put me through my paces, and very graciously they said yes. Have you ever put up your hand and said Lord Jesus Christ, please could I become a member of your discipleship team? Would you forgive my sins and fill me with the Holy Spirit because I’m making a hash of this? I say again, the room is filled with almost Christians”…
“Take what Archbishop William Temple said on one occasion: you can give me a Shakespeare play and ask me to write a play like that and I can’t do it. You can show me a painting by Turner and ask me to paint that and I can’t do it, and you can show me the life of Jesus of Nazareth and ask me to live a life like that and I can’t do it, but if the genius of Shakespeare could come live in me, then I could write those plays and if the power of Turner could come live in me, I could paint those paintings, and if the power of the risen Lord Jesus could come live in me, then I could live that life. See, we often ask the wrong questions. The real question is, do rivers of water flow from my life? Not, have I signed up, have I been baptized, have I done what they told me, but is there any evidence that the Spirit of God actually lives in me, that I’m a new person? And if not, then maybe I’m just an almost Christian. And almost Christians will almost get to heaven, but close isn’t going to be close enough.” — Alistair Begg
I tune into 91.9 going home and get to catch Alistair Begg’s teaching for 20 minutes. I left a few minutes later than usual today so did not hear it in its broadcast entirety. Here I have included true words for this Friday evening, everything I heard from the moment I turned on the radio. (For the complete audio, please visit Truth for Life for a free download.)
The opening sentences reminded me of something I heard at BSF, “Your sins are on Jesus, or women, your sins are on you and you haven’t got a chance. Do you still feel the heaviness of them? You can’t fool God. Are you still carrying your sins?” Jesus must be our sin bearer. It cut me to the heart. Because sin and shame have been my constant companions and I still can’t shake them off. But if I truly know grace, I know I have been declared righteous before God by faith. Not by works, or anything I will do or have done. Not because I am good or not nearly as bad, but because He is good.
And then, “Do rivers of water flow from my life?” Is there fruitfulness, because fruit is the outward manifestation of an inward reality (forgot who said that)? I am saturated with Biblical teaching and sermons at this point in my life like never before, yet where is the outlet? Is it visible?
Afterwards, James MacDonald came on and where did he go but to Galatians 6:7-9. I am convicted. What am I planting? Another link for your audio consideration, Laws of the Harvest. If I am disappointed with my harvest, what should I be planting differently?
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;
the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Finally, I noticed the license plate of the car in front of me. It said,
Hope in Him. Appropriately so.