Beyond the Horizon

Wairau Valley - Marlborough

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”- Hebrews 7:25

Let your soul be set upon the highest mount that ever any creature was ever set upon, and that is enlarged to take in and view the most spacious prospect both of sin and misery, and difficulties of being saved, that ever yet any poor humbled soul did cast within itself: yea, join to these all the objections and hindrances of your salvation that the heart of man can suppose or invent against itself: lift up your eyes and look to the utmost you canst see, and Christ by his intercession is able to save you beyond the horizon and furthest compass of your thoughts, even ‘to the utmost’ and worst case the heart of man can suppose. It is not having lain long in sin, long under terrors and despairs, or having sinned often after many enlightening, that can hinder you from being saved by Christ. Do but remember this same word, ‘to the utmost,’ and then put in what exceptions you wilt or canst, lay all the bars in your way that are imaginable; yet know you that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against thee.’“- Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth, 162.

Goodwin encourages me to do something i rarely do. He asks me to attempt to ponder a sin Christ cannot and will not deliver me from. So he asks me to go up on a high mountain and there fill up the valley, as far as i can see, with sins, darkness, doubts, and miseries. He asks me to contemplate innumerable road blocks to salvation and Christ. And here i have to come face to face with the darkest thoughts and sins within me. For it is these that i see as the ultimate roadblocks, the darkest stains, and the unconquerable sins. These are the sins that plague me daily. These are the sins that i am often discouraged over. The ones i am overwhelmed by. He asks me to fill up the valley, to the uttermost horizon. And surely this is utterly despairing. And then he gives me the words of Hebrews 7, ‘to the uttermost’. Not only will Christ save me from those sins, he will save me from the ones past the horizon, those that i cannot see, those that i cannot fathom, those that have not been revealed to me. For on the cross, Christ “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame,” (Colossians 2:15). By his death He took the penalty of death away from me. No longer can i be judged for my sins. The only weapon sin and Satan have against a sinner is condemnation and guilt. But for the Christian, for the one whose condemnation and guilt was taken on by Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Christ begs me to look upward to Him today, to realize that He has won and will win. He will purify me to the uttermost, for the work He began He will finish (Phil. 1:6). Though i stand at this mountain and think on the sins that reach to the horizon and beyond, Christ extends all the further. For “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace,” (John 1:16).

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