Drawing Near to God – Ebenezer Erskine

beautiesofebenzer-350x416This morning I was reading the “Beauties of Christ” by old Presbyterian Scottish pastor Ebeneezer Erskine who writes, “God, in his infinite wisdom, has devised a way how his banished people may be brought home again to his presence; and that is, through the blood and satisfaction of Christ… This (invitation) is to draw near to the throne of grace to which he has invited us to come with boldness, that we may obtain mercy, and find help in time of need…

What does it mean then to ‘draw near to God?’  I answer, it is an act of the heart and mind, whereby the soul, under the influence of the Spirit, sweetly and irresistibly returns to a God in Christ as its only center of rest. That poor soul, having tried Adam’s way of access, and finding that door bolted by God’s law, justice, and holiness, despairs of ever entering.  At length, when a man has wearied himself in the pride of his own way, he finds the door of the holiest place opened by the blood of Jesus.  And in view of this new and living way, he cries out, ‘Oh! This is the gate of God! By this door will I enter into his presence! This is where I find my rest! Here is where l will dwell!’ 

And so we go quite out of self-dependency when we draw near to God’s holy presence by the blood of Jesus; we overlook our own duties, graces, frames, and attainments; instead we ground our hope of access and success only upon the merit and means of our Great High Priest Jesus; God having made us accepted in the Beloved. And in this view of things, the soul will readily express itself, as did David in the like case, saying, ‘I will go unto the altar of God. I will go to Christ who is my exceeding joy.”

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