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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAPTER XV THE SERPENT LIFTED UP

Three Friends Of God by Frances Bevan

CHAPTER XV THE SERPENT LIFTED UP

MASTER TAULER was preaching on a Friday. His text was from John v. verses 1-11. And he read these verses all through in the German tongue, and he said, |The pool I have been reading about is the blessed and glorious Person of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, and the water that was stirred in this pool, is the precious priceless Blood of the Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God, who is truly God, and truly man.

|He has washed us in His holy Blood, making us pure and clean, and in His free and tender love He will wash all those who come to Him, repenting of their sins.

|Dear children, the men and women of old time are the sick people who lay around the pool, waiting for the stirring of the water. For so did men of old wait for the grace that was to come to them, through the solemn bitter death of the Son of God. Then did the precious Blood flow forth, and the stream is flowing still. For these last days are the days of salvation -- and know, dear children, that no man is made whole, nor can be made whole, in any other way, than by the blessed precious Blood of our Lord Jesus.

|Dear children, there are many crosses that we are called to bear in following the Lord. We are called to bear about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, and to take up our cross daily. But there is only One Cross upon which the work of our Salvation was wrought and finished, the cross of Christ, of Him who is God and man. There is no other way to be delivered from the burden of our sins, no other way to grace and holiness and blessedness, no other way to come to God, than by the cross of Jesus.

|By this way, and by this way alone, have all the saints drawn near to God. How much might I not say of this the Cross of Christ, and yet never could any man say enough! For it is far beyond the mind of the high angels to understand how the eternal God in His great love became a man, and suffered the deepest shame, and the bitterest sorrow for us.

|See Him, dear children, hanging between two thieves, that the sin might be laid on Him, for He in His love desired to bear it, in the place of His enemies. What greater and more perfect love could He have shown us, than to take upon Himself the mighty burden and bear it, not for His friends, but for those who hated Him?

|He who knew no sin bore Himself thy sin, O sinner -- bore it as if it were His own. And thus thy sin was as it were His sin, and the work He did for thee is the only work thou canst bring to God. Thy sin His sin -- His work thy work -- for He suffered for thy sin as if He Himself had been the sinner.

|Oh how light to us should be any suffering for Him, as a good knight would give no thought to his wounds and his weariness, if he saw his king wounded for his sake!

|Dear children, the Lord gives us a cup of suffering, but it is the cup He drank before. He suffered for us, before He called us to suffer any grief for Him.

|And see, dear children, how the chains were broken which bound us in our sins, when He was bound on the cross for us -- how the curse and the wrath of God that lay upon us was borne away, for He made peace between God and sinners by the Blood of His cross -- peace -- perfect peace. And the sign that the peace is made, is the blessed gift of the Holy Ghost come down from Heaven.

|Therefore bear in mind, no works of ours, no merit of ours, have any value in the eyes of God -- for all is of grace, and all the merit is that of the Lord Jesus -- flowing not from us to God, but from God to us.

|See also how by the Lord's death of shame and suffering, the devil was overcome, and thus was the wisdom of God made known in all its fulness. For it would seem as though the devil had gained the day when of all men upon earth the Lord Jesus seemed to be the accursed and forsaken one. When He cried My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' He was forsaken as no saint has ever been forsaken by God. It was to this forsaking He looked forward, when He sweat great drops of Blood upon the Mount of Olives -- and yet all the while He never ceased to be that which He is now in Heaven, God over all.

|Therefore, dear children, if sorrow and suffering come upon you, and it seems to you as though you were forsaken, remember the cross of Jesus.|

I have put together in copying these words different parts of different sermons, for it is well to bring together, as far as possible, all that the Master taught concerning the precious Blood of his Lord. That blessed truth, denied and despised in our days by many who call themselves Christians and Protestants, sounded forth in the great Cathedral, and in the old churches of Strasburg, in the midst of the darkness.

Many now are to be found amongst us, who believe that they have light to see a nobler way to be saved. Many who regard the Lord Jesus as a martyr for the truth, but not as the One who took the sinner's place, and upon whom the Lord, not man, laid the iniquity of us all.

That His sword was unsheathed against His Shepherd, and against the Man that was His fellow, for our sins, is that foundation truth of the great work of atonement, which Satan will resist, as he has resisted it, to the last.

It was this which stirred up the wrath of self-righteous Roman Catholics against Master Tauler, it is this truth which English Protestants who have never known themselves as lost sinners, will turn from with contempt in these |enlightened days.| |Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.|

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