Message of Grace


MAY - JUNE 2004


If any man thirst, let him come unto ME, and drink. John 7:37

There is nothing more satisfying than a cool drink of water when one has been toiling in the hot sun for a few hours. It is not difficult to get a man who is thirsty to stop what he is doing and take a water break. In fact, when a man is thirsty enough he will drink water that he might reject under other circumstances. Having played football in the days before squeeze bottles, I remember the water bucket not always being perfectly clean. But that was of little concern when we were hot, tired, and gasping for breath. This is very much the picture that the LORD sets forth when HE says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” He is speaking to particular individuals.

The LORD doesn’t do anything indiscriminately. HE is always very specific in what HE says and does. Many imagine that since the gospel is to be preached to all nations that its message is general in nature. Yet the LORD JESUS plainly said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) In another passage HE said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

CHRIST JESUS came into the world to save sinners. HE didn’t come for the righteous, the religious, the wise, or men of high morality. In fact the gospel has no appeal to those who find themselves so described. Just as a man who has feasted on a fine meal in an air-conditioned dining room has no desire for a cool glass of water so the righteous and religious man feels no need for the gospel. He is filled and contented as he is. The world is full of such men and women. The wise and learned see the gospel as foolishness. Having no need of it, they make a mockery of its teaching and look with pity on those who hold on to its promises. The religious are satisfied with their doctrines and church affiliations. The righteous are sure that their good deeds and morality are sufficient to make them acceptable to GOD.

But as a drowning man clings ever tightly to a life preserver thrown his way, so the lost and dying of this world, who know themselves to be unworthy of GOD’s mercy, hang onto every word that falls from the SAVIOR’s lips. They rejoice at the good fortune of being set free from sin and death and take delight in being called HIS sons. They are fed from HIS table and drink long soothing draughts from the fountain of HIS grace.

Are you thirsty? Are you tired and sick of the sinfulness of your heart and mind? Do you find yourself desiring to have a place of communion with the true and living GOD, but you feel unworthy to even call upon HIS name? Do you feel like your sins are so great that GOD will not hear you? Do you tremble at the thought of facing HIM in the day of judgement? Do you examine yourself and yet you find nothing but unrighteousness in your thoughts and deeds? The LORD JESUS says, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. “ (Matt 11:28-30)

HE is water to the thirsty soul. HE is the solution for those with insurmountable problems. HE is the helper of the helpless. The provider for the needy. If you are thirsty, the gospel says, “come and drink”.


Come, ye souls, by sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless sorrow down;
By the broken law convicted,
Through the cross behold the crown!
Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through him alone.

Sweet as home to pilgrims weary,
Light to newly-opened eyes,
Flowing springs in deserts dreary,
Is the rest the cross supplies;
All who taste it
Shall to rest immortal rise.

Blessèd are the eyes that see him;
Blest the ears that hear his voice;
Blessèd are the souls that trust him,
And in him alone rejoice;
His commandments
Then become their happy choice.

But to sing the “Rest remaining,”
Mortal tongues far short must fall;
Heavenly tongues are ever aiming,
But they cannot tell it all;
Faith believes it – Hope expects it –
But it overwhelms them all.

Joseph Swain (1761-1796)


Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood HE entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:12

There seems to be some confusion in the minds of many who preach the gospel today, as to exactly what the LORD JESUS accomplished when HE died on Calvary’s cross. One of the most popular ideas that I hear being proclaimed far and wide is that by shedding HIS blood and dying HE made salvation a possibility for all men. Now this idea sounds plausible enough except that if it is true then no one is actually redeemed. No one’s guilt is canceled, no one’s sin debt paid. No one would have received any actual benefit from the death of CHRIST, in a substantial way. The only thing we would have is the potential to be redeemed. Something would be lacking, we would still be in our sins. The whole concept of redemption (buying something with a price) would have no real meaning. The scripture is quite clear that the LORD JESUS actually secured (obtained) something for HIS people. We are certain that the LORD JESUS had a particular purpose (and people) in mind when HE went to the cross.(see Mt.1:21; Rev.13:8) HE came into the world with this purpose and HE accomplished exactly what HE intended to do.(Heb.9:26-28; I Pet.1:18-20) To save HIS people from their sins.