July 2, 2008

"Utterly Inconsistent with Grace..."

I read this quote in a letter from a dear brother and evangelist in Christ (as you read it, just know these are the words of a man who loved people):

"Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbors. Also, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace... Dost thou live close by them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their soul, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?" (Richard Baxter).

That quote convicted me so much. It is grace that motivates true believers to love the lost. I thank God for this reminder to check my own heart and seek to love those who are ignorant of their guilt and condemnation apart from the grace of Christ Jesus, who is the Savior of all men. I want to tell them of the reconciliation, forgiveness and free righteousness that is through faith in Him alone.

The letter also challenges those in the reformed community: "There are many... who know the doctrines of grace, but how many know Jesus Christ the God of All Grace! Also, how many know of His mighty grace that can work through us to make Him known. Paul knew this grace: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12)." Knowing this grace ought to help us remember our first love, repent, and do the things we did at first (Revelation 2:4-5).

May those of us privileged to know and love the grace of the Lord Jesus never get so involved with this world that we forget what is coming on the last day. Jesus calls His followers by grace, then He makes them fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).

4 comments:

Kaysie said...

Wow. This is an amazing message. (I actually posted something very similar to this on my blog today!)
I stand convicted, but encouraged as well.

Thanks for sharing.

Penn Tomassetti said...

Kaysie,
I appreciate your response. I am convicted, too. I actually read your post today, but didn't have time to write a response. Maybe I will now :)

cj said...

Wow! That quote was very convicting. Thank you. Do know if that guy Richard Baxter has written any books?

-cj

Penn Tomassetti said...

CJ,

Thanks for your comment, I'm very glad to hear from you!
Richard Baxter wrote plenty of books, but I would rather refer you to this site: http://www.gracegems.org/SERMONS.htm
His name is the second one down under Archibald Alexander. Thanks for the question, hope you are blessed.