“I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD’s name for saving me.” Ps. 116:13 (NLT)
Last week we were reminded by Jerry Bridges of the vital importance of remaining focused on the gospel. The reason for that, according to Bridges, is that as we grow in holiness, we end up seeing more and more of our own sinfulness, and that view can so often lead to discouragement, and perhaps even despair. We might well cry out with the apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am!” To add insult to injury, an enemy who lurks within our hearts, likes nothing better than to condemn us, and make us wallow in misery!
It is at such times that we desperately need to remind ourselves of what the gospel really is! The gospel is good news – not good advice! It is not primarily something done to us, nor something done in us, but something done for us! Our Saviour has lived the perfect life of obedience for us, and died the perfect death of substitution for us! The life we could not live and the death we could not die has been accomplished for us, by Jesus Christ! When we receive that salvation by faith alone, our salvation is sealed!
When we look inside our own hearts, and examine our lives, there may be great reason for discouragement and even despair. It may be our sloppy devotional life, our lack of faith, or our hesitancy to witness for the Lord. If we are honest, at least with ourselves, we are all aware of the darkness that still seems to pervade the depths of our being!
But the great remedy to such discouragement and darkness is to remind ourselves of the unfathomable love of God! The truth of God’s love in the gospel has been summarized this way: “We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Salvation is of the Lord! From start to finish! If you are one of the saints who struggles with the assurance of your salvation, look outside of yourself, this morning, at the finished work of your Saviour on the Cross of Calvary in your place, and with the Psalmist, “lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD’s name for saving you!”