Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dare to draw near to God

...Why is it that so many of us dare not indulge in close access to our God? We pray, but it is often to a distant God, as to one who stands upon a mountain beyond our reach! How few of us come like a child to his Father, and lay hold on God as one who is near to us by ties of divine affinity. The most of Christians, I fear, are outer court worshippers. They stand in the place of the priests, but they never come to stand where the high priest stood, within the veil. Luther was a man who used familiarities with God, and if some of us had heard Luther praying, we should have been shocked — “Oh,” we should have said, “how dare he talk thus with God?” But Luther knew that he was completely justified, that there was no sin on him, and therefore he did not tremble when he stood near to the holy, the perfect, and the just.

If I know that there is no sin remaining, but that all has been washed away, why need I fear? I may go the throne of God, and cry, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Not God, for he hath justified, nor Christ, for he hath died.” Once let the soul have perfect peace through believing in its perfect purity in Christ, and the nearness of our access will be perfectly wonderful. The boldness of our fellowship will make us look with wonder, and even Christians will be astonished that we dare to indulge in such a holy familiarity with God, and talk so plainly with our Father; and with our friend. There is guilt still upon the conscience of many professors [i.e., those who profess Christ], and it is proved by the fact that they fear to have a near approach to God.

From a sermon entitled "Perfect Cleansing," delivered April 7, 1861.

Photo by mike138; some rights reserved.

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