The following excerpt is from the Life and Diary of David Brainerd, which I hope to review for you tomorrow, beloved. This is the testimony of how one lost wretch, working day and night to earn his salvation, was found by the grace of the sovereign God.
“I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty; it was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost; but it appeared to be divine glory. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious Divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied that he should be God over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought (as I remember) at first about my own salvation, and scarce reflected there was such a creature as myself.
Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace, and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before.If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ.“
David Brainerd’s testimony is one that is very similar to many of ours, dear friends. Once we knew there was certainly a God, and that we would be held accountable to Him on judgment day, we set forth in attempting to earn His forgiveness. I confess I did a very bad job of this, before getting saved. It was laughable to have assumed the little effort I put into it would have saved me. Then again, it’s laughable to think any effort can save. Brethren, we all now know and see, owing to the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that salvation can come only by grace alone. We are not saved by merit, good works, obedience to the law, speaking in tongues, or sacraments. We are saved by faith in Christ Jesus, because of the grace of a just and loving God.
Friend, if your reading this and have never experienced what Brainerd described, I implore you to work through your salvation through fear and trembling. Today is the day of salvation! We have sinned against an infinite God, thus our due judgment is infinite. The Good News of the Gospel is that God became man, lived a sinless life, died in our place, had the wrath of God poured out on Himself, rose from the dead for our justification, and is now making intercession for us in heaven. Repent of your sins, place your trust in Christ alone, flee from the wrath to come.
As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.