Something came up in discussion last night which reminded me of what Andrew Bonar says right at the end of his wee book, The Gospel Pointing to the Person of Christ (it was good to have that kind of conversation in a frantic week).
The sum of the matter is this. There is a vast difference between, on the one hand, believing day by day in a living Saviour, and on the other, resting satisfied with the salvation he brings, as if that were all.
Searching words, but this is the problem, that we would rather have comforts than Christ, rather feel safe than be sanctified, rather be at ease than be holy.
And this in spite of the fact that being close to Christ brings all these benefits and comforts in its train. All the benefits of salvation are there for the having, in Christ. You can be holy and happy: the best way to be happy is to be holy: the only way of being holy is by believing day by day in a living Saviour, himself.
Thomas Watson says the same thing – “we are apt to esteem comfort above grace … God would have his people serve him for himself, and not for comfort only. … Such as serve God only for comfort, do not so much serve God, as serve themselves of him.”
Satisfying the great idol Self, through making as if to serve God: who can his errors understand? Nobody would lose out by serving God for his own sake – surely he deserves it, and the kind of comfort that is given as a by-product of doing so, so to speak, must surely more than compensate for the shallower, less substantial, relatively emptier comforts that we seem to snatch at from places where they aren’t really to be found.
Fine in theory.