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July 11

Psalms 119:1-88; Acts 15:1-21

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.”—Psalm cxix. 6

Any attempt to keep the law of God with the view of being saved thereby is sure to end in failure. So contrary is it to the express warnings of the divine Lawgiver, and so much does it run counter to the whole gospel, that he who ventures to seek justification by his own merits ought to be ashamed of his presumption. When God tells us that salvation is not by the works of the law, art thou not ashamed of trying to procure it by thy obedience to its precepts? When He declares that by the works of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, art thou not ashamed to go and seek after justification where He tells thee it never can be found? When He over and over again declares that salvation is by faith, and that it is a matter of grace to be received, dost thou not blush for thyself that thou shouldst give the lie to God, and propound a righteousness of thine own conceit, in which thou hast vainly tried to keep up a respectable appearance, screening the palpable delinquencies of thy life under a thin veil of piety toward God and charity toward men? Eternal life is not to be earned by any trade you can carry on in words of the flesh; because, however estimable in the opinion of men, they are simply execrable in the sight of God. If a man seeks to keep the commandments of God in order that he may attain eternal life thereby, he will be ashamed and confounded. He had better at once renounce the folly of attempting so insane, so futile, so impossible a task as that of defending his own cause and justifying his own soul. But when a man is converted, when he has believed in Christ Jesus to salvation of his soul, when he is justified by faith and his sin is blotted out, when he has obtained mercy, found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and entered in to the rest of faith, because he knows that he is a saved man, then in keeping the precepts of the law he will gratify a strong inclination.

(C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), pp. 33-34)

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