WHAT IT MEANS TO ACCEPT CHRIST --
"HERE WE MUST BE RIGHT, OR BE FINALLY LOST"
By A.W. Tozer
A few things, fortunately only a few, are matters of life and death,
such as a compass for a sea voyage or a guide for a journey across the
desert. To ignore these vital things is not to gamble or take a chance;
it is suicide. Here it is either be right or dead.
Our relation to Christ is such a matter of life or death, and on a much
higher plane. The Bible instructed man knows that Jesus Christ came
into the world to save sinners and that men are saved by Christ alone
altogether apart from any works of merit.
That much is true and known, but obviously the death and resurrection
of Christ do not automatically save everyone... How does that which Christ
did FOR me become operative WITHIN me? To fail here is not to gamble
with our souls: it is to guarantee eternal banishment from the face of God.
Here we must be right or be finally lost.
Being spiritually lazy we naturally tend to gravitate toward the easiest way
of settling our religious questions for our selves and others; hence the formula
(most often heard) is "Accept Christ". It has become a panacea of universal
application, and I believe it is fatal to many. Though undoubtedly an occasional
serious minded penitent may find in it all the instruction he needs to bring him
into living contact with Christ, I fear too many seekers use it as a short cut to
the Promised Land.
The trouble is that the whole "Accept Christ" attitude is likely to be wrong.
It shows Christ applying to us rather than us to Him. It makes Him stand
hat-in-hand awaiting our verdict on Him, instead of our kneeling with troubled
hearts awaiting His verdict on us. It may even permit us to "accept Christ"
by an impulse of mind or emotions, painlessly, at no loss to our ego and
no inconvenience to our usual way of life.
To accept Christ is to form an attachment to the Person of our Lord Jesus
altogether unique in human experience. The attachment is intellectual,
volitional (action of the will) and emotional. The believer is intellectually
convinced that Jesus is both Lord and Christ; he has set his will to follow Him
at any cost and soon his heart is enjoying the sweetness of His fellowship.
This attachment is all-inclusive in that it joyfully accepts Christ for all that
He is. There is no division of offices whereby we may acknowledge
His Saviourhood today and withhold decision on His Lordship until tomorrow...
Further, his attachment to Christ is all-exclusive. The Lord becomes to him
not ONE of several rival interests, but one exclusive attraction forever.
That we accept Christ in this all-inclusive, all-exclusive way is a divine
imperative. Here faith makes its leap into God through the Person and work
of Christ, but it never divides the work from the Person. It never tries to
believe on the blood apart from Christ Himself, or the cross or "finished work."
It believes on the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the whole Christ without modification
or reservation, and thus it receives and enjoys all that He did in His work of
redemption, all that He is now doing in heaven for His own and all that He does
in and through them.
Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.