by Mike Ratliff
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. John 6:66-69 (KJV)
Even though those of us who are in Christ would prefer it not be so, we are as Luther said, “Simul Justus et Peccator.” which means, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Here is a link to R.C. Sproul’s explanation of it. It seems in my case that every time I find myself doing some very good Biblical research or exegetical work that I follow that up with, it seems to me as very sudden by-the-way, some sort of fleshly behavior that requires me to spend some time at the throne of grace confessing and repenting. It is at those times that I request God to take me home for I cannot stand myself behaving like I did before He had mercy on me. However, since I am still here it is obvious He is still working on me. I believe that apostates are those who’s faith was not genuine and when tests of their faith came upon them they could not take the pressure and so they walked away as John reported in John 6:66. Even though I don’t like it, I am positive that my failures are tests of my faith and God is using them to show me that I am not as mature as I thought I was, that is, He is keeping me humble. Those with genuine faith will remain as Peter told Jesus in John 6:68-69. Below is today’s devotional from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning for October 23, which is his take on this.
C. H. Spurgeon
“Will ye also go away?”—John 6:67.
Many have forsaken Christ, and have walked no more with Him; but what reason have YOU to make a change? Has there been any reason for it in the past? Has not Jesus proved Himself all-sufficient? He appeals to you this morning—”Have I been a wilderness unto you?” When your soul has simply trusted Jesus, have you ever been confounded? Have you not up till now found your Lord to be a compassionate and generous friend to you, and has not simple faith in Him given you all the peace your spirit could desire? Can you so much as dream of a better friend than He has been to you? Then change not the old and tried for new and false. As for the present, can that compel you to leave Christ? When we are hard beset with this world, or with the severer trials within the Church, we find it a most blessed thing to pillow our head upon the bosom of our Saviour. This is the joy we have to-day that we are saved in Him; and if this joy be satisfying, wherefore should we think of changing? Who barters gold for dross? We will not forswear the sun till we find a better light, nor leave our Lord until a brighter lover shall appear; and, since this can never be, we will hold Him with a grasp immortal, and bind His name as a seal upon our arm. As for the future, can you suggest anything which can arise that shall render it necessary for you to mutiny, or desert the old flag to serve under another captain? We think not. If life be long—He changes not. If we are poor, what better than to have Christ who can make us rich? When we are sick, what more do we want than Jesus to make our bed in our sickness? When we die, is it not written that “neither death, nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” We say with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
Soli Deo Gloria!