The Folly and Danger of Parting with Christ

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
The Folly and Danger of Parting with Christ for the Pleasures
and Profits of Life
Matthew 8:23–34 — “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And,
behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:
but he was asleep. And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we
perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked
the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of
man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! And when he was come to the other side
into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the
tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying,
What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before
the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils
besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said
unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the
whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And
they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was
befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and
when they saw him, they besought [him] that he would depart out of their coasts.”
If we were but sensible of the great necessity there is, in this our day, of being real Christians,
sure we should not be contented with being nominal ones; but we are sunk into I know not what;
we are no better than baptized heathen. And how amazing is it, that we should profess the name of
Christ, and yet so little converse about him; surely, this name whereby we are called, should be the
theme of our discourse here, and of our eternal Hallelujahs in a world to come. But is it not more
amazing, to consider, that instead of the name of Jesus, whereby we are to have salvation, we are
taught to look for it in ourselves, and that there must be a fitness in us before God bestows his grace
and favor upon us. But what doctrine is this? Not the doctrine of the scripture, not the doctrine of
Jesus, not that of the primitive Christians, not that of the reformation, nor that of the articles of the
church of England. No, it is the doctrine of the devil; this is making Christ but half a Savior, and
driving man into an error of the greatest consequence, in making him go to Jesus in his own strength,
and not in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, my brethren, unless you go in the strength of
Jesus Christ; unless you depend only upon him for salvation; unless he is your wisdom, righteousness
and sanctification, he will never be your redemption. Our salvation is the free gift of God; it is
owing to his free love, and the free grace of Jesus Christ, that ever you are saved.
Do not flatter yourselves of being good enough, because you are morally so; because you go
to church, say the prayers, and take the sacrament, therefore you think no more is required; alas,
you are deceiving your own souls; and if God, in his free grace and mercy, does not show you your
error, it will only be leading you a softer way to your eternal ruin; but God forbid that any of you,
to whom I am now speaking, should imagine this; no, you must be abased, and God must be exalted,
or you will never begin at the right end, you will never see Jesus with comfort or satisfaction, unless
you go to him only on the account of what he has done and suffered.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD
 
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