The biggest sin that I was holding on to was my doubts and unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ – that He was able to save my soul; to just trust in Him. And it would always be like, ok, I trust in Him, and then… Ok, I’ve got to repent and believe in that enough; I’ve got to keep trusting in Him and that will save my soul. I’ve got to keep believing Him and that will save my soul. I’ve got to repent enough; turn away from my sin enough, and that will save my soul. I mean, the Gospel to me was pretty much a law. It was repent and believe, and you won’t go to hell. But it was different. It was a law. It wasn’t the free grace of God in it that God would save me. It was like, oh, I’m going to seek You with all my heart and soul and then I’m going to bend Your arm, God. I’m going to try and pray enough. I’m going to seek You and it never sufficed. There’s never completeness in it all. It would always fail, even though I sought God; cried out to Him; prayed, thought good thoughts about Him. It didn’t suffice. God wasn’t looking at my works even though I prayed good. I mean before, I actually thought – when I was thinking I was a Christian and everything like that, I thought, man, look at my performance. I just prayed really good there. Then all of a sudden, I would even have the thought but that doesn’t matter.
You know Christ matters. And then that right there, because I said that, that was my performance right there. Because I was acknowledging that it’s Christ’s work. And me pointing to Christ and saying, “it’s His.” That was how I was performing before God. And that’s what I was holding on to. I was holding on to: I’m a special case. I mean, I can’t believe… woe is me. The big thing was, God was pointing at me and saying, you won’t believe. My Gospel is free and it extends its arm to you. Nothing holds you back from trusting in My Son. You’re the one that won’t come.
And I kept thinking, well, I guess I’ll wait. Wait for that special feeling. The more I waited, the fruit of waiting came more doubts and unbelief about God. Hatred towards Him and everything. And then, ok, I’m going to cry out to Him. People would tell me, cry out to the Lord. If you really cry out to Him, He’ll answer you. I was like, ok. So I cried out to Him, and I’m thinking about Him and trying… I was trusting in my crying out to Him. I came to a point where I can just believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that it was His prayers that were 100% completely perfect. And all that merit of Him is now imputed to my account. Not that I’m perfect and righteous in my own self, but there’s righteousness in Him. And if I keep believing in Him and trusting in Him – not that these are works or anything like that, but it’s a ceasing – giving up and saying, He has a righteousness that’s going to pay for all my sin. His death pays for all my sin. It’s His righteousness that covers me and clothes me.
And God looks at me with love now because of Christ and not because of myself. There’s absolutely nothing inside me that I can come to God with. It has to come from outside. There has to be Christ. If I don’t have Christ, then I don’t have that propitiation that He’s made, how can I come to God? I mean, if I didn’t see the Gospel, all I would be doing is trying to bend God’s arm, even though I was condemned. I was a vile, filthy sinner before Him. I mean, we hope in the Lord because He saves. We pray to God because He answers. I mean, we look to Christ because He saves us. He steps in our place when we should be there. I mean, it’s to the one who does not work but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith – the person who does not work and believes in God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. Not the person who trusts in his works; trusts in his prayers; and trusts in his sighs and says, oh wow, I did good this time. He doesn’t have any peace from God. God might give him up to that and give him a peace in it, and He’d be perfectly just in doing that. But in His mercy, He causes no peace for that person. That person, like me, that was trying to repent, trying to believe, trying to come to God, trying and doing anything to come to God outside of His Son and what He’s done, it’s nothing. I can’t give God my heart and then God’s going to give me His heart. No. God comes down and says, here’s My Son. Do you consent? Will you believe in Him? This is My beloved Son. I’m well pleased with Him. He’s willing to take your place. Will you trust Him?
And then people would go, well, what about election? Find your election in Jesus Christ. Election has done but saved people. If He didn’t elect, we’d all be like Sodom and Gomorrah. Totally trashed. Everything would be totally gone. There would be no salvation for anybody. But because God saves… God is a loving God and we’re wicked. The thing is, we have a wrong view about God when we start going, well, I don’t know if I’m elect. Because we’re saying, God, You’re a tyrant. You’re the person that elects people, and I guess I’m just going to have to wait. And we sit around waiting and just harbor bad thoughts about God, instead of coming to Him exactly as we are. He is loving. God is love. And He gives a righteousness to sinners. People who just come to Him exactly as they are. Not trying to put on a show. Just saying, God, I hate you. I mean literally, you can come to God exactly as you are. But don’t expect to stay like that. Because His love encompasses you. John 5:39-40 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refused to come to Me that you may have life.”