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Where There Is Life (1)

American cultural Christianity produced a nation of people who believed they were saved simply by having some connection, no matter how distant, to something called “church.” Though cultural Christianity is—we should be thankful—dying, the church itself has, through the preaching of decisional regeneration, produced countless numbers who believe they are saved, but have never been born again. Their lives may show little fruit, indeed, they may give little or no thought to the faith they once professed in a moment of religious passion. This is not the evidence of spiritual life. Just as “where there is natural life there is breath, motion, sense, so where there is spiritual life there is spiritual breathings, motions, sensibleness.”


Where there is life there is breath. Death is expressed by want of breath: Ps. civ. 29, ‘Thou takest away their breath, they die;’ and life is expressed by breath, as that which is inseparable from it, Ezek. xxxvii. 5, 6, 8, 10. Where there is spiritual life there is breathings after God; so Lam. iii. 56. The quickened soul breathes after God, the sense of his favour, communion with him; breathes after Christ’s righteousness, the power of his death, the virtue of his resurrection; after growth in grace, and increase of holiness, victory over sin; after the enjoyment of God, Christ in his ordinances, nothing else will satisfy; so David, Ps. xlii. 1, 2, Ps. xxvii. 4, Ps. lxiii. 1, 2. Think not we go too high in making David’s example our rule; our gospel enjoyments require more, though few answer them. Where spiritual life is, there will be in some degree such breathings after Christ, such ardent desires, in some degree, more or less, according to the degrees of spiritual life: where no such breath, no life; that soul is not yet quickened, not yet come to Christ.

—David Clarkson, Men by Nature Unwilling to Come to Christ, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:363.

Posted 2017·11·28 by David Kjos
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