Fifth Day – Royal Bounty – by Francis R. Havergal

From Death Unto Life

‘Is passed from death unto life.’—John V. 24.
TWO distinct states with nothing between. No broad space between the two where we may stand, leading to the one or to the other; only a boundary line too fine to balance upon. Not many steps—not even two or three from one to the other, but one step from death unto life;1 the foot lifted from the hollow crust over the volcanic fire, and set upon the Rock of salvation.2
How tremendously important to know whether this step is taken; but how clear and simple the test: ‘He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life.’ Are you trembling and down-hearted, wanting some very strong consolation for your very weak faith?3 Lay hold of this.4 See how the rope is let down low* enough to meet the hand which you can scarcely lift.5

» Acts xxvi. 18. 3 Ps. xl. 2. • Heb. vi. 18.
• » Tim. vi. 13. 6 Heb. xii. la.

‘He that heareth My word.’ Can you say you have not heard? You have heard His word as His word, recognizing it as such, receiving it ‘not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.’1 It ‘is come unto you,’ because it ‘ is sent’ unto you.’ The word of Jesus is heard by your innermost self, and you would not be hearing and recognizing it if you were still dead. A marble statue hears not.

‘And believeth on Him that sent Me.’ ‘But that is the very question,’ you say; ‘if I were sure I believed, 1 should know I had everlasting life.” Why should you know? Because He says so, and you could not but believe what He says. Then listen now to what He says: ‘The father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.’* Do you not believe this? Did the Father not send the Son? Did He not so love the world ?s Let the very recoil from such plain English of unbelief show you the sin and folly of doubting any more. You do hear His word, you do believe on the Father who sent the Son to be your Saviour,6 will you not now believe that Jesus means what He says in threefold assurance: ‘Hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto
Not ‘is passing,’ but ‘is passed;’ a fact whose full blessedness cannot be fully realized here, while we only ‘know in part ‘8 God’s great gift of eternal life,3 but not affected by varying degrees of realization.

» Acts xxvi. 18. 3 Ps. xl. 2. • Heb. vi. 18.
• » Tim. vi. 13. 6 Heb. xii. la.

See your position,—or rather, take His word about it,—and give Him thanks—oh, give Him thanks— for having lifted you in your blindness and helplessness over that solemn boundary line when you could not even step over it. ‘Sing . . . for the Lord hath done itand when you begin to sing and to praise,2 the Lord’s own ambushments of promises will start up before your eyes {there all the time, only you did not see them), and the shadowy hosts of fears and doubts shall flee away, and you shall ‘know’1 that you have passed from death unto life.5
From death—cold, dark, hopeless, useless, loveless; the death in trespasses and sins ;* the death that lives (strange paradox) forever in the lake of fire’—unto life with its ever-increasing abundance ;• life crowned with light and love ; life upon which only a shadow of death can ever pass, and that only the shadow of the portal of eternal glory life in Jesus, life for Jesus, life with Jesus.
This is your position now—made nigh instead of far off ;8 reconciled to God instead of ‘enemies in your mind;” found instead of lost ;10 fellow-citizens with the saints instead of strangers and foreigners;11 sometimes darkness, but now light in the Lord ;l2 passed from death unto life. And all because Jesus passed from life unto death, even the death of the cross, for you ;13 because it was the Father’s will that He should come as the only required ‘sacrifice for sin ;’1 and He, our Lord Jesus Christ, was ‘content to do it.”

1 Isa. xlivw 23. 2 2 Chron. xx. 22. ^ j John iii. 14.

*Eph. ii. I. 6Rev. XX. 14. 6John x. 10.

7Ps. xxiii. 4. 8Eph. ii. 13. 9 Col. i. 21.

10 Luke XV. 32. 11 Eph. ii. 19. ^ Eph. v. 8. isphil. ii. 8.

There is life for a look at the Crucified One;
There is life at this moment for thee;
Then look, sinner—look unto Him, and be saved—

Unto Him who was nailed to the tree.
Oh, doubt not thy welcome, since God has declared
There remaineth no more to be done;
That once in the end of the world he appeared,

And completed the work He begun.
But take, with rejoicing, from Jesus at once,
The life everlasting He gives:
And know with assurance, thou never canst die,

Since Jesus, thy righteousness, lives.
A. M. Hull.

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