Evening and Morning
By Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"Thou art weighed in the balances and art
found wanting."—Daniel 5:27.
It is well frequently to
weigh ourselves in the scale of God's Word. You will
find it a holy exercise to read some psalm of David, and, as you meditate upon
each verse, to ask yourself, "Can I say this? Have I felt as David felt?
Has my heart ever been broken on account of sin, as his was when he penned his
penitential psalms? Has my soul been full of true confidence in the hour of
difficulty as his was when he sang of God's mercies in the cave of Adullam, or in the holds of Engedi?
Do I take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord?" Then
turn to the life of Christ, and as you read, ask yourselves how far you are
conformed to His likeness. Endeavour to discover whether you have the meekness,
the humility, the lovely spirit which He constantly
inculcated and displayed. Take, then, the epistles, and see whether you can go
with the apostle in what he said of his experience. Have you ever cried out as
he did—"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death"? Have
you ever felt his self-abasement? Have you seemed to yourself the chief of
sinners, and less than the least of all saints? Have you known anything of his devotion? Could you join with him and say, "For me to
live is Christ, and to die is gain"? If we thus read God's Word as a test
of our spiritual condition, we shall have good reason to stop many a time and
say, "Lord, I feel I have never yet been here, O bring me here! give me true penitence, such as this I read of. Give me real
faith; give me warmer zeal; inflame me with more fervent love; grant me the
grace of meekness; make me more like Jesus. Let me no longer be 'found
wanting,' when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, lest I be found
wanting in the scales of judgment." "Judge yourselves that ye be not
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy
calling."—2 Timothy 1:9.
The apostle uses the
perfect tense and says, "Who hath saved us." Believers in
Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a
hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved.
Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed, and to be sung of
in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and
enjoyed now. The Christian is perfectly saved in God's purpose; God has
ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as
to the price which has been paid for him: "It is finished" was
the cry of the Saviour ere He died. The believer is
also perfectly saved in His covenant head, for as he fell in Adam, so he
lives in Christ. This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling.
Those whom the Saviour saved upon the cross are in
due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness:
they leave their sins; they endeavour to be like
Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the stress of
a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as
aforetime they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because
they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the
beauty produced by His workmanship in them. The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much
the work of God as the atonement itself. Thus is brought out very sweetly the fulness of the grace of God. Salvation must be of grace,
because the Lord is the author of it: and what motive but grace could move Him
to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such
a manner that our righteousness is for ever excluded.
Such is the believer's privilege—a present salvation; such is the
evidence that he is called to it—a holy life.