‘For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed.’ Joel 3:21
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51–58
If it be promised to us that the old nature shall thus be removed, and we shall be purged, what then? Why, then, let us struggle against our corruption, because we shall get the victory. Nothing makes a man fight like the hope of getting the victory. When poor soldiers feel that it is of no use, then they are only too glad to hear the trumpet sound a retreat; but when they are confident of victory, how they draw their swords, how they haste to the struggle, how they weary not of the fight. Even now, today, my soul takes hold upon her sword. Sin, death, and hell I defy you, for I shall bear the palm as surely as I bear the sword. I shall wear the crown as certainly as I agonised unto death. Struggle with yourselves, strive daily to get the mastery of your passions. The victory is sure. Let no discouragement weaken you. ‘Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ He is able to give you the victory through Jesus Christ your Lord. And what next? Why, today, pray against your corruptions more than ever you have done. You have got a promise to plead. Take it, salt it with your tears. Lay it upon the altar; put your hands upon the horns of the altar, and say, ‘Great God, I will not rise, I will not let thee go until I know by divine assurance that this promise shall be fulfilled to me.’ So shall you go forth to your daily struggle with temptation, wearing a smile upon your face, and smoothing those wrinkles on your brow. Sorrow does not become the man who has so rich a promise. Be glad. The joy of the Lord shall be your strength. You shall at last win the victory. Sinner! he that believes in Christ may claim this text for himself. Believe, and this text is yours as well as mine.
For meditation: As a young man David knew that the battle was the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47); as an old man he knew that the victory also was the Lord’s (1 Chronicles 29:11). By faith the Christian shares in the victory over the world now (1 John 5:4) and over death in the time to come (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Sermon no. 379
7 April (1861)