You Cannot Save Yourself

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. -Hebrews 7:25

The sinner in his natural estate reminds me of a man who has a strong and well-nigh impenetrable castle into which he has fled. There is the outer moat; there is a second moat; there are the high walls; and then afterward there is the dungeon and keep, into which the sinner will retire. Now, the first moat that goes round the sinner’s trusting place is his good works. “Ah!” he says, “I am as good as my neighbor; twenty shillings in the pound down, ready money, I have always paid; I am no sinner; ‘I tithe mint and cummin;’ a good respectable gentleman I am indeed.” Well, when God comes to work with him, to save him, He sends His army across the first moat; and as they go through it, they cry, “Salvation is of the Lord;” and the moat is dried up, for if it be of the Lord, how can it be of good works? But when that is done, he has a second intrenchment-ceremonies. “Well,” he says, “I will not trust in my good works, but I have been baptized, I have been confirmed; do not I take the sacrament? That shall be my trust.” “Over the moat! Over the moat!” And the soldiers go over again, shouting, “Salvation is of the Lord.” The second moat is dried up; it is all over with that. Now they come to the next strong wall; the sinner, looking over it, says, “I can repent, I can believe, whenever I like; I will save myself by repenting and believing.” Up come the soldiers of God, His great army of conviction, and they batter this wall to the ground, crying, “‘Salvation is of the Lord.’ Your faith and your repentance must all be given you, or else you will neither believe nor repent of sin.” And now the castle is taken; the man’s hopes are all cut off; he feels that it is not of self; the castle of self is overcome, and the great banner upon which is written “Salvation is of the Lord” is displayed upon the battlements.

“Salvation is of the Lord;” though it is not of man, it is of God; “He is able to save, even to the uttermost,” though you can not save yourself. This sword, you see, cuts two ways; it cut pride down, and then it cleaves the skull of despair. If any man say he can save himself, it halveth his pride at once; and if another man say he cannot be saved, it dasheth his despair to the earth; for it affirms that he can be saved, seeing, “Salvation is of the Lord.” That is the effect this doctrine has upon the sinner, may it have that effect on you!~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0131.cfm

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