Biblical Perspectives Magazine, Volume 23, Number 43, October 17 to October 23, 2021

Christian Retirement

By Thomas Reade



The heart cannot be too deeply impressed with the absolute necessity of regenerating grace, nor seek to earnestly for the promised blessing. If the value of one immortal soul exceeds in amount all the wealth of the globe, yes, of millions of material worlds, how strange that men should barter their souls for trifles light as air, and empty as vanity itself! Awful infatuation! By many people, faith is considered as the cheapest commodity, and of the most easy attainment; forgetting that the eternal Son of God paid the price of his own most precious blood, that we might receive this heavenly grace, and be made partakers of everlasting glory.

Faith is the gift of God; and, if any man be in Christ, or, in other words, if any man possess this gift of faith, he is a new creature; with him, old things have passed away; and behold, all things have become new. Ah! how little is this delightful, yet solemn truth, considered by the great bulk of professing Christians! Solemn indeed, when viewed in reference to Christians in general; delightful, when contemplated in connection with the present holiness and future happiness of the new creation of God. To be made new creatures, two important changes must pass upon us. We must be renewed in the spirit of our mind; and we must walk before God in newness of life.

He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, must shine into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ, before we can walk in the light, as he is in the light. When thus enlightened, we shall walk circumspectly; watch ourselves closely; feel our own helplessness; lament our depravity; cast ourselves on Jesus unreservedly; plead his merits; implore his mediation; pray without ceasing; delight in the Scriptures; love the people of God; shun carnal pleasures; delight in labor for Christ and souls; stem the torrent of general impiety, and seek to abound in every good word and work. If this be a faithful miniature of the new creature, we must, while looking at unconverted man, exclaim, "What has God wrought!"

The true believer has been justly compared to a little flame miraculously burning in the midst of mighty waters. There is every thing around him and within him that is calculated to extinguish the holy fire. Satan, the prince of the powers of the air, is constantly agitating these troubled waters. The world is dashing its surges against it; and the flesh, with its mire and dirt, is laboring to smother the sacred flame. But all is vain. He who kindled it, is Almighty; he who has promised that it shall never go out, is Almighty.

Oh, then, let not the afflicted, tempest-tossed believer be dismayed, but rather rejoice, inasmuch as the power and grace of Jesus are glorified by those very trials, which tend to increase the graces of his redeemed people. John has declared, that "he that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself." If, then, we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we shall have the following indubitable evidence of regeneration in our souls.

Our perceptions will be new. A divine light will break in upon our minds. The darkness of error, which obscured the truth from our view, will be dissipated. We shall see with unveiled face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, and shall be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. In his light, we shall see light; and, following Jesus, who is the light of the world, we shall become the children of the light and of the day.

Our principles will be new. We shall act from pure, holy, unselfish motives. Faith working by love will be the grand moving principle. Self will no longer be the pivot on which we turn, but Jesus will be our all in all.

Our practice will be new. We shall live no longer according to the sinful customs of the world, or the powerful solicitations of the flesh, but according to the holy precepts of the everlasting Gospel. We shall delight in the law of God after the inward man. It will be our food and drink to do the will of our Father which is in heaven.

Our plans will be new. We shall dedicate ourselves, and all we have and are, to the service of that divine Savior who loved us, and gave himself for us. We shall not be daily occupied in forming plans for worldly pleasure, or projecting schemes for the acquisition of worldly profit; but in devising means for carrying on the cause of truth, and for spreading the knowledge of a crucified Redeemer throughout the earth.

Our prospects will be new. The darkness being past, and the true light now shining, we shall see the distant radiance of the heavenly Zion, and behold, with the telescopic eye of faith, the land which is very far off.

Our privileges will be new. God will be now our reconciled Father; Jesus, our elder brother, Savior, and friend; the Holy Spirit, our sanctifier and comforter; angels, our ministering spirits; and heaven, our eternal home.

Our portion will be new. All those exceeding great and precious promises, which in Christ are yes, and in him amen, to the praise and glory of God, will be ours. We shall be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. We shall be the citizens of the New Jerusalem, and inherit that kingdom which is incorruptible and undefiled, prepared for all the new creatures in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world.

To sum up all this blessedness, we shall experience in this world a progression in holiness, and in the world to come, a perpetuity of bliss.

"Blessed Lord! my soul longs for this rich grace, this unspeakably glorious state. O allow me not to lie a moment longer in nature's darkness; but speak the word, and light shall start into existence. Then shall the lineaments of the new creature, formed to your glory, be daily unfolding themselves in greater likeness to yourself, until the happy hour shall arrive, when every remnant of corruption shall be forever destroyed, and my soul be made perfect in your everlasting kingdom."

Lord, what I want, and still implore,
Is grace to love you more and more;
A heart renewed—set free from sin,
And filled with heavenly light within.

Oh could I reach this blissful state!
For this, my longing soul shall wait,
Until sovereign love, with mighty power,
Shall on my soul the blessing shower.

Then, when the sacred drops descend
From Jesus, my almighty friend,
The fruits of joy and peace shall grow,
And all the garden spices flow.

With holy love and humble joy
Shall grace my every power employ,
Until, far removed from sin and shame,
My soul shall ever bless your name.

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