[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christ is not just necessary -- He is enough!

by H.A. Ironside

In a hospital ward a lady missionary found an undersized and undeveloped little Irish boy, whose white, wizened face and emaciated form excited her deepest sympathy. Perhaps of about fifteen years of age, he scarcely looked to be twelve. Winning the lad's confidence by gifts of flowers and fruit, she soon found him very willing, even eager, to listen to the story of the sinner's Savior.
At first his interest seemed of an impersonal character, but gradually he began to be immediately concerned. His own soul's need was put before him, and he was awakened to some sense of his lost condition, insomuch that he commenced seriously to consider how he might he saved. Brought up a Romanist, he thought and spoke of penance and confessional, of sacraments and church, yet never wholly leaving out Christ Jesus and His atoning work.

One morning when the lady called again upon him, she found his face aglow with a new-found joy. Inquiring the reason, he replied with assurance born of faith in the revealed Word of God, "I always knew that Jesus was necessary, but I never knew till yesterday that He was enough!"

It was a blessed discovery, and I would that every reader of these pages had made it. Mark it well; Jesus is enough! "He, of God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption." "Ye are complete in Him." "God hath made us accepted in the beloved." These are only a few of the precious declarations of Scripture which show clearly that Jesus is indeed not only necessary, but enough.

You see, it is not Christ and good works, nor Christ and the church, that save. It is not through Christ and baptism, or Christ and the confessional, that we may obtain the forgiveness of our sins. It is not Christ and doing our best, or Christ and the Lord's Supper, that will give us new life. It is Christ alone.

Christ and . . . is a perverted gospel which is not the Gospel. Christ without the "and" is the sinner's hope and the saint's confidence. Trusting Him, eternal life and forgiveness are yours... for salvation itself, Jesus is not only necessary, but He is enough.

29 Comments:

  • That is a great message! Thanks for posting that, Antonio.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, December 15, 2008 10:16:00 AM  

  • Yes it’s so difficult to believe that Christ is really enough!
    After doing a search last Friday I dropped by a young mans office that was in the same building. He had been sending me e-mails for sometime now. The e-mails usually would have beautiful pictures and at the bottom some saying about Jesus. Then there were verses which were taken out of context concerning if your not ashamed of God you will send this on to ten more people then you will get a special blessing. The young man attends a local Community Church that is LS.
    Soon as I stuck my head in his office he said “I can’t wait for Jesus to come!” So I went in and sat down, and we talked about everything from Santa Claus who his smallest child was confused about to him not being able to watch TV anymore cause it was so bad. I finally asked him a question: “Why should God guarantee that you will spend eternity with Him?” He was quick with his reply: “Because He is my Lord and Savior and He died for my sin!” I said ok! Then he told me that in the past he became very angry at God because his little boy had died. He said he throw the gift back in Gods face, and that if he would have died then he would have went to hell! I quoted John 3:16 to him and explained the only condition in that verse was to believe and at the moment you do Jesus promises you will never perish and you have eternal life. I told him He was yet to believe Jesus promise because he believed he could perish. He said you believe in OSAS don’t you? I told him yes I believe it’s a forever gift that’s why it’s called eternal life. He said “I don’t believe that!” So I started explaining the sufficiency of the cross to him, that all his sin was on the cross and paid for in full. He said “ so your saying I could commit adultery with some women and still go to heaven?” See folks not only was he not believing that eternal life was a gift you can take freely but he did not believe the sufficiency of the cross that all his sins were in the future when Christ died for them on the cross. I went and got my bible and took him first through many verses in the gospel of John. He told me “I just don’t believe it’s a gift you can take freely!” I told him “then you don’t believe Jesus promise.” He sat back and just looked at me with amazement, because he realized that I was saying he wasn’t even saved yet, and he believed he was. His final words were “everything you’ve said makes sense but I just don’t believe it.”
    Christ wasn’t enough for him, but the seed was planted and I’m looking forward to more conversations with this young man.
    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God because He is enough!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 15, 2008 10:25:00 AM  

  • Rose, I am glad that you enjoyed it.

    Alvin, what a timely story, and very telling. It is very sad that discussions on eternal destinies seem to end up raising the issue of behavior.

    The Arminian and Reformed LS just can't seem to understand that behavior has nothing to do with one's eternal destiny, nor does the presence or absence of godly qualities and good works indicate a lost or saved condition.

    It is also very frustrating that the Reformed folks speak out of two sides of the mouth. Out of one they state that the grace that saves is perfect, perfectly justifying the sinner, here and now. Out of the other they state that sanctifying grace is imperfect, having verying degrees of effectiveness. Why the disparity? Why does God's saving grace save fully here in time but His sanctifying grace is insufficient to sanctify fully here in time?

    They may say the answer to that question lies in the participation of the regenerate one.

    But here you see the terrible logic of their man made system of theology. The answer I propose above is the only one that they could give. But if that answer is true, and the variableness of one regenerate's sanctification over anothers is due to individual participation and cooperation with God, then in order to be consistent, their system would have to posit the possibility of not persevering.

    Why does God not work harder in those individuals who are not cooperating and participating as much as another regenerate in order to have a consistent program of sanctification?

    If saving grace is irresistable and complete, why is sanctifying grace to some degree resistable and utterly incomplete? (And don't answer that it ultimately is irresistable and complete in the hereafter, for such is the view of the Free Gracers as well!)

    The problem is that LS of all varieties have behavior on the brain. It all started with Calvin backtracking in his views in the face of the opposition of the Romanists.

    "Yes, salvation is by grace through faith alone, but that faith is never alone. If a person does not increasingly show forth the behavior commensurate with a profession of faith, his profession is a false one. If a person's behavior does not persevere until the end, he is on the way to the lake of fire. A person's behavior is instrinsically corelated to one's hope of heaven."

    With these statements the Romanists would find little to disagree with.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, December 15, 2008 11:42:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    I've always appreciate Ironside, where did this quote come from? I.e. what is the bibliographic info.?

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at Monday, December 15, 2008 12:10:00 PM  

  • Bro. Alvin,

    That just makes me want to throw a shoe at somebody!! Haha!! Just kidding. But it does make me really joyful deep down inside to know that He IS enough!! You know, I think I also just realized something else! I used to not be able to fully understand what you & bro. Antonio meant by believing His promise, & that I had believed in the sufficiency of His cross & that I ended up at the same place: that eternal salvation is just that: eternal salvation due to Christ's death to pay for for my sin ALONE! I have messed up royally over & over again, & yet His forgiveness just keeps on forgiving, because it is forever. I admit my thinking has been kinda fuzzy in the past, but I must give the Lord first & foremost credit, but bro. Hodges certainly helped me to clear up some unclear points. Other greats like Dr. Ironside has also been used of the Lord to help me, also good ol' Dr. McGee! So, I thank God forthem all, as I do you, bro. Antonio, bro. Gary, etc etc!!
    Y'all are a blessing to me & I thank God for you all.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, December 15, 2008 3:57:00 PM  

  • Hi David

    Just as long as you don’t throw your banjo at me! That was a pretty good dodge the President made. I was looking in the Bible anything to do with throwing shoes, maybe a prophecy “a shoe hitting a bush”. . . . . .Ha!Ha!
    But of course if it was a prophecy it would have hit him between the eyes.
    I think we are all learning from one another. That what I asked that young man "Why should God guarantee you will live with Him forever" I picked up from John Neimila. I thought it was a very good question. And John had got it from Kennedy but changed it a little. The idea is to give them the ends so they give you the means. I think I said that right . .Ha!Ha! Anyway what we want people to believe is that they will spend eternity with God. So by asking that question, they tell us just what they are trusting in.
    I read an article from Dixson's site concerning a response to Tony Evans. It had to do with where children go when they die. I sent the article to Diane to read. And then when she replyed back to me I learnt from her something I didn't even see in it.
    That just shows we need each other to make the connections sometimes. I believe God works that all out, so Praise His name!!!

    Anyway the moral of the story is "if it's as cold as it is here eight degrees, you want to keep your shoes on...Ha!Ha!

    brother alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 15, 2008 9:48:00 PM  

  • Oh yes I forgot a person. When Rose asked me "What exactly are you saying here? What is it that you are taking issue with Hixon on in this point?
    I want to understand.


    Then it all came together in my brain. That just some children being saved with the personal Savior all linked to Calvinism.
    So I guess what I'm trying to say is we need women to make our brains fuction correctly, or something like that? Ha!Ha!

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 15, 2008 10:05:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    it was an excerpt found in a newsletter used with permission from another newsletter who had the rights. Try to google it. You will find that I got it from the GES but maybe another source will pop up that will help you more.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, December 16, 2008 2:52:00 AM  

  • Great article, what a profound mystery that Christ is truly enough.

    By Blogger Jim, at Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:30:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio:

    The last thing I want to do today is open up another front with you on another blog. Suffice to say that I have given several quotes from Harry Ironside over in my latest reply to you on Rose’s site. They constitute the 58th posting and weigh in at: 12/17/2008 4:48 AM

    The main quote is as follows:

    “People say, “I see you believe in that old Baptist doctrine of ‘once in grace, always in grace.’” Or another says, “I understand you hold that old Presbyterian idea of ‘the final perseverance of the saints.’” I do not know why this should be called either Baptist or Presbyterian, only to the extent that Baptists and Presbyterians agree with the Book, and the Word of God clearly shows that once God takes us up in grace nothing can separate us from the love of Christ so that evidently the expression, “once in grace, always in grace,” is a perfectly correct one. But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence.”

    I agree with Ironside 100%. I don’t particularly share his lack of enthusiasm for the term “perseverance of the saints.” I note that he believes in it, so I won’t quibble over words.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:54:00 AM  

  • Thank you Antonio, just curious (I like bibliographic info . . . maybe I'm a bibliographic-file or something ;-).

    By Blogger Bobby Grow, at Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:41:00 PM  

  • Hi all,

    Not sure, but you might already be aware of this link, but there is a lot of HAI's writings and some commentaries available online:

    http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/byauthor/44

    Very useful stuff here

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:14:00 AM  

  • I was excited to have an e-mail waiting for me when I got back to work from the young man I spoke about. Zane once said something like:a person could have gotten saved in the past, and then have gotten into false teaching. Then it's not until they dig down through all that they realize they had believed in the past in Jesus for His gift of eternal life.
    The young man:
    Thanks, I read a lot of what we talked about......funny thing. You are right, when I was kid I did believe this. So some where in the past I have let my flesh dictate and influence what I believe. I have been truly wrong......Thank you for spending time with me and talking about this matter.

    Praise the Lord!!!! I'm looking forward to spending more time in the word with this young man.
    Jesus is enough, and He always has been!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, December 18, 2008 3:02:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio

    Those ones who say that faith alone in Christ alone is not enough make the category error of putting forgiveness and eternal life as the same.
    Enjoy the read while your sipping on your hot chocolate and eating your crispy crunchies!
    Repentance for forgiveness of sins is to be preached! All men are called on to repent! It’s repentance toward God and Faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Christian makes a great error when he tries putting eternal life and forgiveness in the same category.
    The Gospel of John was written for the purpose people might have life (John 20:31).
    Over and over again in the Gospel of John the ONLY condition for the gift of eternal life is to believe in Jesus for it.
    There is not ONE mention of repentance, and only ONE mention of forgiveness.
    And even though eternal life is offered over and over again as a gift one can take, forgiveness is not offered as something one can just take freely.
    “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23).
    We see this put in action in Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Here we see forgiveness of sins wasn’t something you could just freely take like eternal life is (John 3:16;5:24;4:10;6:47; Rev 22:17).
    Why?
    Because repentance for forgiveness of sins has to do with HARMONY with God concerning your sin and is personal.
    Where as eternal life is offered freely for anyone to take (Rev 22:17).
    That is why it’s “repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
    John in his gospel is concerned with the gift of “eternal life” because it is the main issue, and sin is not.
    Why?
    Because “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus is not only our propitiation but the propitiation for the whole world (1John 2:2).
    This is confirmed at the Great White Throne, the reason people are cast into the lake of fire is because they do not have LIFE. Their names are not found in the book of life! Sin as sin is not mentioned ONE time, only their works and that is not EVEN the reason for their condemnation BUT IT’S BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE LIFE!
    So what if someone believes in Jesus FOR ETERNAL LIFE what do they have?
    They are regenerated (born again) have the gift of eternal life, and they are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are justified before God and granted forgiveness based upon Jesus sacrificial death. They are in harmony with God and thus have fellowship.
    So why do we preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins?
    So that the wayward sinner might change his mind about his sins and seek forgiveness from God. And when he has forgiveness he is in HARMONY with his Creator because he has believed in Jesus FOR eternal life.
    Remember forgiveness is PERSONAL and has to do with sin, but eternal life is a gift anyone can take freely because it has nothing to do with sin because sin has ALL been paid for.
    Proof of that is the invitation to anyone to take the living water freely that is given on the last page of Scripture Revelation 22:17.
    What people need is life, even though everyone’s sins have been paid for in full they still go to hell unforgiven because their name is not found written in the book of life.
    They don’t go to hell because they are unforgiven they go to hell because they do not have life!
    This is why the gift of eternal life is so important to KNOW you have BECAUSE when you have believed Jesus for His gift your name is written in the Book of Life!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 22, 2008 1:27:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I'm open to your correction brother! Here is the last part, one more crunchie should do it:
    Many of the Israelites went on to believe in the One who was to come after John, and entered into Harmony with God through the forgiveness of sins.
    Mark 1:4,5 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of remission of sin.
    Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
    But many of them did not go on to faith in the Christ, national Israel rejected their Messiah. Repentance should lead to harmony with God. But forgiveness is not received until they believed in the One who was to come for eternal life. Just as the ones in Acts 2 who Peter told had crucified their Christ, before they would enter into harmony with God they needed to repent and be baptized then God would forgive them and give them the gift of the Holy Spirit. But remember they already had the gift of eternal life the moment they believed Jesus was the Christ (1 John 5:1) when they said "what shall we do" showed that they had believed they had crucified their Christ.
    Cornelius entered into HARMONY with God through new birth just as we do. He had repented long before turning from the pagan gods. He didn't need to be told to repent because there was not anything blocking him from believing like the ones at Anthens who were worshiping other gods (Acts 17:22-31). Cornelius simply needed to believe in Jesus for eternal life to enter into HARMONY with God and the family of God. Luke said in Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." Luke stressed here the remission of sins because Peter would later have to give an account for going into the home of an uncircumcised person and having fellowship with him. By stressing forgiveness of sins the Jews would now know that the Gentiles were in fellowship with God. Cornelius believed in Jesus for eternal life which brought him into harmony with God and he was now part of the family of God by new birth.
    Remember these are two different things: Repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance toward God has to do with our sins and can bring HARMONY with God. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brings NEW BIRTH and can be taken freely by faith alone in Christ alone. Repentance should lead to HARMONY with God which is received only when one believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life.


    Everyone have a Merry Christmas enjoying the Son of God and His Gift of eternal life!!!!

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 22, 2008 1:50:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    You have a very happy Christmas time yourlsef!!!! God bless you brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, December 22, 2008 2:06:00 PM  

  • If only I could remember to proof my comments BEFORE I press publish.

    "yourself"

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, December 22, 2008 2:06:00 PM  

  • And Alvin,
    Your story about that young man is so very encouraging!! Praise the Lord.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, December 22, 2008 2:07:00 PM  

  • Thank you Rose!!!!

    My wife makes Christmas goodies each year for the nighbors. So I've been passing out treats. And the best of ALL is the Christmas message of the free Gift of eternal life that Diane sent to me. I printed out on a scroll and tied it with a ribbon. It's the BEST Gift ever, to know you have eternal life and that you will be spending it with Jesus!

    Rose I'll send it to your e-mail address!

    Have a Wonderful Christmas!

    alvin . . . i even feel like singing a chipmunk song . . .ha!ha!

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, December 22, 2008 2:58:00 PM  

  • Alvin, you were a little flat on that last note, watch it, OK? Alvin........Alvin........ALVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, December 22, 2008 6:37:00 PM  

  • Hi David

    I'd probably do better if I was in a tree!

    Hey maybe in Rose's tree, that looks like a good place for a chipmunk!

    I'm a sofisticated chipmunk . . .alvin
    Now if I could only spell?

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:12:00 AM  

  • Guys, I had to laugh at the Alvin and the chipmunk thing because I have a son named Simon :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:17:00 AM  

  • BTW, thanks for those emails. I still haven't had a chance to really read them well yet - trying to get a week's worth of work done for my job in just 2 days... AND all the mom stuff.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, December 23, 2008 7:18:00 AM  

  • Will be praying for yah Rose, and your friend!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:36:00 PM  

  • Sorry I hijacked this excellent thread! Bro. Alvin, you're a mess! (A mighty good mess, however!!)

    Seriously, do pray for a friend's daughter, who is seeking assurance of her salvation. She is a very sweet young lady who I believe is saved, but going through a tough time. Thanks so much y'all!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Tuesday, December 23, 2008 6:49:00 PM  

  • Well David, I was in a BIG mess last night when I got my four-wheel drive Tahoe patrol rig stuck in the snow . . .and boy was I stuck! I had some time for some praying of my own . . .Ha!Ha! Good thing I got a very understanding Lieutenant! And Steve if your reading this don't laugh to hard!!! No more short-cuts for me to grandma’s house or the PTA. Anyway all that shoveling really burned allot of calories so now I can eat more cookies and those peanut butter chocolate balls . . .WOW are they good! I guess that's ONE good thing about getting stuck...Ha!Ha!
    David will be lifting up your friend. I'm going to use spell check just for you all or you probably won't break my code...ha!ha!

    Evevrybody Have a GREAT Christmas . . .and a Happy New Year!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, December 24, 2008 4:50:00 PM  

  • Thanks bro. Alvin!

    Glad you made it through all that global warming influence!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Wednesday, December 24, 2008 8:04:00 PM  

  • By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, December 25, 2008 8:52:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Kevl, at Wednesday, January 07, 2009 8:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home