But shall we wait till we feel that we are cleansed?--No; Christ has promised that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." You are proved of God through is Word. You are not to wait for wonderful emotions before you believe that God has heard you; feeling is not to be your criterion, for emotions are as changeable as the clouds. You must have something solid for the foundation of your faith. The word of the Lord is a word of infinite power, upon which you may rely; and He has said, "Ask, and ye shall receive." Look to Calvary. Has not Jesus said that He is your Advocate? Has He not said that if you ask anything in His name, you shall receive?
You are to come to God as a repenting sinner, through the name of Jesus, the divine Advocate; to a merciful, forgiving Father, believing that He will do just as He has promised. Let those who desire the blessing of God knock, and wait at the throne of mercy with firm assurance, saying, "For Thou, O Lord, hast said, 'Every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.'" The Lord longs to have those who seek after God believe in Him who is able to do all things. He has sought to show us how ready He is to hear and answer our request by the use of a most familiar and common-place occurrence. He said, "What man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" Christ makes an appeal to us concerning the willingness of God to help, arguing from the natural love of the parent for his offspring. What father could turn from his son who asks bread? And should any one dishonour God by imagining that He will not respond to the call of His children? Would we think a parent capable of trifling with his child, and tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint them? Will the father promise to give good and nourishing food to his child, and then give him a stone? If ye then, being human and evil, give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
It is impossible for man to save himself. Christ's righteousness alone can avail for his salvation, and this is the gift of God. This is the wedding garment in which you may appear as a welcome guest at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Let faith take hold of Christ without delay, and you will be a new creature in Jesus, a light to the world. Christ is called "The Lord our righteousness." And through faith each one should say, "The Lord my righteousness." When faith lays hold upon this gift, the praise of God will be upon our lips, and we shall be able to say, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Have you a sense of want in your soul? Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Then this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon your heart, and created this sense of need, in order that He may be sought after to do those things for you through the endowment of His Holy Spirit which it is impossible for you to do for yourself. The Lord specifies no conditions except that you hunger for His mercy, desire His counsel, and long for His love. "Ask!" The asking makes it manifest that you realize your necessity, and if you ask in faith, you will receive. The Lord has pledged His word, and it cannot fail. That you feel and know you are a sinner is sufficient argument in asking for His mercy and compassion. The conditions upon which you may come to God are, not that you shall be holy, but that you shall ask Him to cleanse you from all sin, and purify you from all iniquity. Then why wait longer? Why not take God at His Word, and say,--
"Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee, 'Tis all that I can do."
Published in The Bible Echo, April 1, 1893.