Life By the Son
Author: Donald Grey Barnhouse
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Dr. Barnhouse leads us through the assurance, the foundation of our holiness. He insightfully says 'If the Word of God contained your name, you would always have the fear that the message was addressed to some one else of the same name.' 'But God has given His Word to us in such terms that every one who hears or reads may know that God is speaking directly to his own need, and I want that this should be in your consciousness as you follow the word that God has given me for you.' He reminds that 'The work of salvation has been done in our hearts and that it has been done for ever' And 'The Word of God is the guarantee of our salvation and the ground of our assurance.'
From assurance, Dr. Barnhouse reminds us where the knowledge of God comes from. First, he states the frighteningly obvious, 'No one can ever know Biblical holiness until they know that salvation is secure.' And this knowledge is 'The truth behind all this is that we have been counted righteous, just, and holy in Christ, and thus we are called saints, which is the equivalent of 'the righteous ones,' 'the justified ones,' 'the holy ones.'
All of this leads to our cleansing, 'for the cleansing of the believer from his daily sins of omission and commission is the gateway to the maintenance of an unbroken fellowship with God which will enable us to have less sins to confess to God, and more periods of unbroken fellowship and victory in Christ.' But it's not just some worldly sin he speaks of, but urges to go on to 'Consider the difference between sin and sins.' And provides continued assurance, knowledge in our cleansing by reminding us that 'Christ undertook to appease the wrath and to silence it forever. So wrath is now effectually stilled in virtue of Christ's blood sacrifice which has been offered.' Or 'put very simply, this means that the moment a person is born again, forgiveness has been provided for all the sins he ever has committed or for all the sins that he ever will commit and of course of his life. This is the true meaning of justification.'
Then Dr. Barnhouse reminds us of the joy and work involved in the walk, the walk of the Christian life. He points out 'unhappy the Christian life that does not have its chimes in it somewhere during the day, to stop the earthly activities while we listen to the heavenly peal, think upon the Savior a moment, talk directly to Him, listen to His voice in some verse that He will recall to mind, and then step on into the work and the activity of the moment.' 'We must have such relationship with Christ, such constant communication with Him, that no matter what difficulty may arise in the course of the preaching or the meetings of the day, we can turn to Him and know that we have met Him, and that our problems have been fully dealt with.'This is teaching that is often missing from many of today's pulpits. Here Dr. Barnhouse speaks of sin and our need for a savior. This is not teaching that can't be found today, but it is teaching that feels so removed from many a Sunday sermon on 3 steps to raising happy kids or 7 ways to have a good marriage. But Dr. Barnhouse was fighting it even then. He wished to recommend men 'forsake the ministry rather than stand in any pulpit of the land with some ethical message that raises from the naturally good elements in the old nature which is nevertheless, alien to the life of God as it is in Christ Jesus.'
We need to be encouraged by Dr. Barnhouse's word here. We need to be emboldened to stand for and on the Word of God as he did. And we need to be as equipped as he would have had us, so we can have the life by the Son he speaks of. May you have this life!
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