My friend Reg Burrows – he’s a pastor. He’s retired now. He was shaking hands at the door with people as they left one Sunday morning and an old lady came up to him, and she shook his hand. She said, “Oh, Mr. Burrows, I hope I manage to do enough for God to accept me.” Now, it’s very helpful to a minister when somebody says something like that because then we can understand just where they are in this journey into a living, saving relationship with Jesus Christ. A remark like that tells us that they haven’t understood Christianity. They haven’t understood the gospel. They haven’t understood grace. They are showing their lostness. They think God’s made a contribution, and then we need to make contribution. Then God will accept us.
But we are saved by the achievement of someone else; by what that Person did. That’s what saves us. We never manage to do enough. We never do. Because of ego and pride and self-pity and all the things that spoil our lives in this world. I’ve never prayed a sinner’s prayer. Never done a zealous action. I need at the end of every day to say, “Sorry, Lord, about today.” “Forgive another day, Lord.” My best things, I have to say that. We are saved by the achievement of somebody else, who never had to say sorry at the end of every day.
The lovely beauty… holy, harmless, undefiled. Separate from sinners. High above the heavens. This is extraordinary life of the man Christ Jesus. The Son of God. Saved by what He did. Christmas comes and then we have “The Sound of Music.” All those lovely songs. And Maria in the end, the stern grieving widower – the Captain – he collapses before her and wants to marry her. And she can’t get over it. She is just amazed. She’s just a simple peasant girl. Got a good voice. There she is. And so she sings then. She’s puzzling over why is it that God has allowed this fellow to fall in love with her? And she sings, and you remember what she sings? “Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” That’s what she says, doesn’t she? I helped an old lady over the road. I was kind to my parents. I wasn’t nasty to animals. I was patient with people. God saw all that, so He gave me this rich dude. I have three daughters, and my youngest was born with the silver spoon in her mouth. So it all works out for her. She passes, goes to university, meets Glenn – a lovely fellow. Marries him, gets a job as a teacher. Has three children. She tells me the next thing, I say, how is it that everything seems to happen to you like this? She says, “Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” She knows it’s a heresy. And she likes to tease her old man about it.
Now the Christian doesn’t think like that. We don’t think like that at all. The Christian says because of everything that Jesus Christ did, God has blessed me. Oh, what wonderful blessings! I’ve got Him. His mercies are new every morning. His faithfulness – it’s immeasurable. You can’t see the east or west of it. How kind, how good, how patient He is with me! He’s forgiven all my sins. And so a Christian, you say, a Christian has someone to believe in. We want to believe in such a Savior, don’t we? I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus. Trusting only Thee. Trusting Thee for full salvation, great and free. That’s the response to this amazing love. That Jesus had seen the file on us. He’d seen it. He knew. He knew about everything. The things done in darkness. The things that God has veiled from those who knows us best that we’re so ashamed of. He still loved us. Still loved us. We’re joined to Him by saving faith.
Well now, who are you going to believe in? If you say no to my Savior again tonight, who are you going to trust in? It can’t be Hollywood, after all the ugly disclosures – really, the foundations have gone there. That’s hollow and ugly. Sportsmen? What figures are there? Philosophers? Writers? If you reject my Savior Jesus Christ, who have you got to look into? When you get married; when you get children and they’re sick? When you’ve got bills to pay and you’re getting older, and the grandchildren are quite demanding too, and you’re getting nearer death. Who have you got? Who do you have? If you say no to Jesus Christ, who have you got? Look, there’s this wonderful privilege. A Christian has someone to believe right into, to trust. You can rely on Him completely. I can’t understand how anyone can hear this offer of what the Lord will do for you tonight and go away saying no. How can you do that? When He’s brought you here and He’s telling you of these wonderful benefits. These wonderful blessings and privileges.
Excerpt taken from the full sermon: The Privileges of the Christian