Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment - THE WAY OF SALVATION


George Cutting
Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment 

Please open your Bible and read carefully the 13th verse of the 13th chapter of Exodus; there you find these words from the lips of Jehovah — "And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem."

Now, come back with me in thought to a supposed scene of three thousand years ago. Two men (a priest of God and a poor Israelite) stand in earnest conversation. Let us stand by, with their permission, and listen. The gestures of each bespeak deep earnestness about some matter of importance, and it is not difficult to see that the subject of conversation is a little ass that stands trembling beside them.

"I am come to inquire," says the poor Israelite, "if there cannot be a merciful exception made in my favour this once. This feeble little thing is the firstling of my ass, and though I know full well what the law of God says about it, I am hoping that mercy will be shown, and the ass's life spared. I am but a poor man in Israel, and can ill afford to lose the colt."

"But," answers the priest firmly, "the law of the Lord is plain and unmistakable: 'Every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb, and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck.' Where is the lamb?" (Exodus 13:13)

"Ah, sir, no lamb do I possess."

"Then go purchase one and return, or the ass's neck must surely be broken. The lamb must die or the ass must die."

"Alas! then all my hopes are crushed," he cries, "for I am far too poor to buy a lamb."

While this conversation proceeds, a third person joins them, and after hearing the poor man's tale of sorrow, he turns to him and says kindly, "Be of good cheer, I can meet your need," and thus he proceeds: "We have in our house on the hill top yonder, one little lamb brought up at our very hearthstone, which is 'without spot or blemish.' It has never once strayed from home, and stands (and rightly so) in highest favour with all that are in the house. This lamb will I fetch." And away he hastens up the hill. Presently you see him gently leading the fair little creature down the slope, and very soon both lamb and ass are standing side by side.

Then the lamb is bound to the altar, its blood is shed, and the fire consumes it.

The righteous priest now turns to the poor man, and says, "You can freely take home your little colt in safety; no broken neck for it now. The lamb has died in the ass's stead, and consequently the ass goes righteously free. Thanks to your friend."

Now, poor troubled soul, can you not see in this God's own picture of a sinner's salvation? His claims as to your sin demanded "a broken neck," that is, righteous judgment upon your guilty head, the only alternative being the death of a divinely approved substitute. Now, you could not find the provision to meet your case; but in the Person of His beloved Son, God Himself provided the Lamb. "Behold the Lamb of God," said John to his disciples as his eyes fell upon that blessed spotless One. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Onward to Calvary He went, "as a lamb to the slaughter," (Isaiah 53:7) and there and then He "once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). He "was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25). So that God does not abate one jot of His righteous, holy claims against sin when He justifies (i.e., clears from all charge of guilt) the ungodly sinner who believes in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Blessed be God for such a Saviour, such a salvation! "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"

"Well," you reply, "I have, as a condemned sinner, found in Him one that I can safely trust. I do believe in Him." Then I can tell you that the full value of His sacrifice and death, as God estimates it, He makes as good to you as though you had accomplished it all yourself.

Oh, what a wondrous way of salvation is this! Is it not great and grand and godlike — worthy of God Himself? The gratification of His own heart of love, the glory of His precious Son, and the salvation of a sinner, all bound up together. What a bundle of grace and glory! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has so ordered it that His own beloved Son should do all the work and get all the praise, and that you and I, poor guilty things, believing on Him, should not only get the blessing, but enjoy the blissful company of the Blesser for ever and ever. "O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).

But perhaps your eager inquiry may be, "How is it that since I do really distrust self and self-work, and wholly rely upon Christ and Christ's work, that I have not the full certainty of my salvation?" You say, "If my feelings warrant my saying that I am saved one day, they are pretty sure to blight every hope the next, and I am left like a ship storm-tossed, without any anchorage whatever."

Ah! there lies your mistake. Did you ever hear of a captain trying to find anchorage by fastening his anchor inside the ship? Never. Always outside.

It may be that you are quite clear that it is Christ's death alone that gives SAFETY, but you think that it is what you feel that gives you CERTAINTY.

Now again take your Bible, for I wish you to see from God's Word how He gives a man