13910 Lyons Valley Road Suite A, Jamul CA 91935
Phone: (888) 602-3456
Phone: (888) 602-3456
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3).
Until the Son of God speaks to a man’s heart in effectual grace, that man is unclean and dead in sins. But when Christ speaks in saving power to His own, they are made clean through His word that is spoken to them. Nothing is more important than for God to speak to us in sovereign mercy, love and grace. If God be silent and withhold His compassion, we perish (Psalm 28:1).
The Washing of Regeneration
God our Savior came into the world and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her to sanctify and cleanse her by the washing of water by the word (Eph 5:25-27). By one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified (Heb 10:14). This means that all of God’s elect are holy and complete in Christ their Covenant Head. But each one of God’s people must be washed individually and personally in regenerating grace. God must bring His people into the sweet enjoyment of His grace. He does this by speaking directly and personally to their hearts by His Spirit through the Gospel. God ministers His matchless, free, eternal grace to chosen sinners through Gospel preaching, till they all come to Christ in the unity of the faith, unto a perfect man (Eph 4:11-13).
What then is the sure and blessed effect of the Savior’s effectual washing? What words describe the sweet experience of His grace? Here are two words: conviction and submission.
Conviction of Sin
First, God reveals in a sinner the filth and corruption of his sin. He exposes the wickedness of his heart (Jer 17:9). He discovers the indwelling lewdness and corruption of his affections. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man (Matt 15:19-20). Through the truth of God’s word, a man is convinced of his incurable, leprous, inbred disease of sin. He is forced to cry, “Unclean, unclean! Woe is me! For I am undone!” (Lev 13:45; Isa 6:5). He is made to acknowledge that he is totally ruined and incapable of doing good (Jer 13:23). Reformation is impossible!
Without Holy Spirit conviction, no sinner will trust Christ alone for cleansing by God’s free grace (Jn 16:7-9). Except the Father draw men to Christ, no man can come to Him (Jn 6:44). Unless sinners are taught of God, they naturally trust in their filthy rags of self-righteousness and perish. It takes divine intervention to strip a man of all hope in himself, so that he willingly lays aside his filthy rags for the spotless robes of Christ.
Submission to Christ
Second, God shuts a sinner up to sovereign mercy. He makes a man acknowledge that his only hope is if God will be pleased to show him mercy. A sinner is forced to take sides with God against himself, declaring God righteous and just in the punishment of his sin (Ps 51:4). This is the truth of God’s word whereby sinners are washed. There can be no mercy except it be in perfect agreement with truth and justice. By mercy and truth, iniquity is purged (Prov 16:6). If God shows mercy, forbearing His wrath, then He must graciously make a way for justice to be satisfied for the sinner. Mercy is God’s tender compassion that delivered the guilty by providing an all-glorious, divine Substitute to suffer in the sinner’s place. And God’s mercy is sovereign, distinguishing mercy. God has mercy on whom He will have mercy (Rom 9:15). God is not obligated to show mercy.
Will God show mercy to guilty sinners? God has promised to show mercy for Christ’s sake! All who come to Christ seeking mercy shall find it! The Lord Jesus Christ came to save guilty, vile, corrupt, filthy sinners (1 Tim 1:15). He came to show mercy to those who have nothing to offer in return. He only came for the poor and needy. If a man has something to offer, he doesn’t need rich, free mercy. But that man who’s full of sin and helpless, falling at the feet of the Lord Jesus, finds a willing, richly compassionate Savior! “Behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matt 8:2-3). Amen.