Read Your Own Biography
Now, if a man wants to find out what he is, let him turn to the 3rd chapter of Romans. He can read his life there. If you want to read your own biography, you need not write it yourself. Turn to the 3rd chapter of Romans, and it is all there, written by a man who knows a good deal more about us than we do about ourselves. Christ was the only one that ever trod this earth that saw everything in the heart of man. We read that he didn’t commit himself because he knew their hearts. The heart is deceitful. Who can know it? It is deceitful above all things and it is desperately wicked. Now, Satan either tries to make men believe that they are good enough without salvation, or if he can’t make them believe that, he tries to tell them that they are so bad God won’t have anything to do with them.
The law isn’t to save men, but the law is brought in just to show man that he is lost and ruined under the law. These people that are trying to save themselves by the law are making the worst mistake of their lives. Some people say, if they try to do right, they think that is all that is required of them. They say, “I try to keep the law.” Well, did you ever know a man keep the law, except the Son of God himself? The law was never given to save men by. “And what was the law then given for?” It was given to show man his lost and ruined condition. It was given to measure men by their fruits. Before God saves a man, he first stops his mouth. I meet some people in the inquiry-room who talk a good deal. When I meet those people, I say to myself, “They are very far from the kingdom of God.” A perfect God couldn’t give an imperfect standard; a perfect God sees that the law is pure and good; but we are not good if we don’t come up to the standard.
Stop all this idle doing, and just come to the fountain that has just been opened in the house of David for sin and uncleanliness. I can imagine some of you may say: “I am sure I am not as bad as some people. I am not a publican. I never got drunk in my life. I don’t like to have Mr. Moody say I am as bad as other people.” I don’t know but pharisaism is as bad as drunkenness, and I find you can just sum up the whole human race into about two heads – the publican and the pharisee. Yonder is an orchard, and in that orchard there are two apple trees – miserable, sour, bitter. Stop, one of them is bare; they are worthless. Why are they good for nothing? Well, one tree has got five hundred apples, and the other has got five. There is no difference. The fact is, the tree is bad. One man may have more fruit than another, but the fruit is bad – from the old Adam stock. God didn’t look for good fruit from Adam’s stock. Make the fountain good, and the stream will be good. Make men’s hearts good and their lives will be good. You might as well tell a man to jump over the moon as to be moral, if he hasn’t got God in his heart.
Christ kept the law. He was the lamb, pure and spotless. He never broke the law; therefore he can die for the sins of man. The law cuts all down, as a scythe cuts down the grass. All go down before its sweep. Right here comes in the gospel – the Son of God came to seek and to save that which was lost. The grace of God brings grace down to men. Substitution. If you take that out of the Bible, you can take the Bible along with you, if you wish to. The same story runs all through the book. The scarlet thread is unbroken from Genesis to Revelation. Christ died for us, that’s the end of the law.
~ This is from “No Difference” in The Gospel Awakening