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Believing in Christ 

 

From Robert Traill's sermon on John 17:24

 

 

Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

 

1. Believers in Christ, what do you do when you believe? O that all believers did but know what they do when they believe! Do ye not, in every distinct act of faith, betrust your guilty perishing soul to the saving arm of Jesus Christ, upon the warrant of all that grace, mercy, and power, that belongs to Christ in his office of a Saviour? And is not this his willing of eternal glory, a great and glorious beam of that grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which ye believe to be saved? Acts 15:11.

 

2. And how came you by this faith? Is it not his gift? He is the author of it, Heb. 12:2. It is given on Christ's behalf, Phil. 1:29. Whenever you have an evidence in your heart, (and it is your own fault if you have it not daily), that you have true faith in Jesus Christ; if it be but weak, and cannot mount so high as it ought, raise it by this consideration, Whence came this spark of faith to be kindled in my heart? Did it naturally grow in my heart? No. Time was when I was without it, Eph. 2:12, and loved to be without it. Did Satan plant it? No. I find him to be the great enemy of it; and I never felt his enmity, till I began to trust Jesus Christ; and it is that in me he mainly assaults. Did ministers, and the means of grace, plant faith in me? No. I enjoyed them when no faith was wrought in me; and when it is wrought, all their power, without Christ's grace and Spirit concurring, cannot raise this faith to act and exercise. Therefore, surely, this faith came from Jesus Christ himself. Was it not from the work, and will, and love of Christ? How easy and native is the inference? If faith in Christ be the work of his love, how warrantably may I look, by that faith, for all the good that this love purposeth, promiseth, and prayeth for to me?

 

3. Can you call him to witness with a good conscience, that your great desire and will is to be with Christ in heaven? If the Lord should try you with this question, "Name that one thing that you would have above all?" every believer hath his answer ready; it is, "Lord, that I may be ever with thee, where thou art;" as David said, Psalm 27:4, of God's house on earth. This I infer, If thy love be set on being with Christ where he is, be assured that Christ's love is set on the same blessing for thee; yea, thy desire after it, flows from his desire of it for thee.

 

4. Are you willing, yea pleased and delighted, to hold your title to eternal glory, by the will and testament of Jesus Christ? Are you willing to have and hold the crown by this tenure only, that it was bought by his blood, and willed to you by his testament? Every believer would be in heaven, because Christ is there; and is pleased to get and keep his place there, as willed to him by Jesus Christ. Heaven is a lovely name, and a more lovely thing; but not at all known by many, and but little by the best; but yet believers look for it, and expect it, as the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6:23. They plead for it as such; at last they receive it as grace, and eternally wear the crown as a crown of grace, as well as a crown of glory. The glorified saint, as soon as he receives this crown, casts it at Christ's feet, Rev. 4:10, or sets it on Christ's head, as if ashamed to wear a crown, where Christ the only Worthy is. Upon Christ's head are many crowns, Rev. 19:12. His Father puts a crown on him, Heb. 2:9, crowned him with glory and honour: his mother, the church, crowns him, Cant. 3:11, with a crown of salvation; and every saved person puts on Christ's head the crown of the glory of their particular salvation. To conclude: They that are not willing to give the glory of all salvation to Jesus Christ, shall never receive any salvation from him. But for you that are willing to receive all from him, his heart is towards you; his best wishes are for your good; and he will give you what he hath prepared for you, which is exceedingly above all that can be told you.

 

Reference 

'Sermons on the Lord's Prayer' , The Works of Robert Traill (Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), vol. 2, pp21-22.

 

 

Scottish preacher Robert Traill (1642-1716) was a Christ-centred scholar who lived through times of serious persecution. A friend of William Guthrie (author of The Christian's Great Interest), Traill, a Presbyterian, was also an attendant of Covenanting martyr James Guthrie on the scaffold. On his return from exile in Holland he pastored congregations in London and Kent.