‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ That is the gospel—‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned;’ so that those who are bidden to believe are evidently those who deserve to be damned. Need alone quickens the physician’s footsteps, bringing Jesus from the throne of glory to the cross, and in his spiritual power, bringing him every day from the throne of his Father down to broken-hearted heavy-laden souls. Now, this is very plain talking, but still the most of people do not understand it. A minister, when he had done preaching in a country village, said to a farm-labourer who had been listening to him, ‘Do you think Jesus Christ died to save good people, or bad people?’ ‘Well, sir,’ said the man, ‘I should say he died to save good people.’ ‘But did he die to save bad people?’ ‘No sir; no, certainly not, sir.’ ‘Well, then, what will become of you and me?’ ‘Well, sir, I do not know. I dare say you be pretty good, sir; and I try to be as good as I can.’ That is just the common doctrine; and after all, though we think it has died out among us, that is the religion of ninety-nine English people out of every hundred who know nothing of divine grace—we are to be as good as we can; we are to go to church or to chapel, and do all that we can, and then Jesus Christ died for us, and we shall be saved. Whereas the gospel is, that he did not do anything at all for people who think they can rely on themselves, but gave himself for lost and ruined ones. He did not come into the world to save self-righteous people; on their own showing, they do not want to be saved.
For meditation: Respectability and being religious are among Satan’s most effective weapons to blind men and women to their true sinful condition and to their need of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only one who can save them (2 Corinthians 4:4). Is Satan successfully pulling the wool over your eyes?