Isaiah 55:3
We have now to dwell for a few moments upon another of those precious gospel monosyllables, so full of the rich grace, mercy, and love of our God.
" Hear, and your soul shall live." (Isa. 4) There is no more lovely attitude for the soul of a sinner than that of a hearer. "1 will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.' (Psalm 85) " Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10) The sinner is simply called to hear. " The salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it." Acts 28
Now, nothing can possibly be simpler than this. We are not asked to do, or to feel, or be, or realize, or give anything. God speaks, and His word conveys life and salvation. There is eternal life and full and free salvation contained in the word which God sends to the ear of faith. " He shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."
The glad tidings which God sends to the sinner—to every sinner under heaven—contain a message of pardon and peace—a message based upon the finished work of Christ on the cross. This message is full, clear, and distinct. It tells of a finished work, an accomplished atonement—a righteousness complete, and brought so nigh, that it is " to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly." The sinner is not asked to add aught to this message in order to make it true. It does not depend for its truth upon his belief of it; but his salvation depends upon his belief of its truth. " He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
It is impossible to conceive anything more expressive of pure, free, and absolute grace than the little word, " Hear." It proves, beyond all question, that salvation is a divinely-finished thing—an accomplished reality: and all we have to do is to pause and listen, in order that the message may fall, in its own heavenly clearness, upon the ear and upon the heart. The soul that will but listen to God is saved.
But this is precisely what the sinner is not disposed to do. He will listen to anyone and everyone but God. He will hearken to anything and everything but what God the Lord has to say to him. Satan's lies, man's nonsense and folly—all will find a wide and ever open entrance through man's ear into his heart; but when God speaks, man's ear is closed and turned away. He will not hear the voice of the divine charmer, charming ever so wisely.
The sinner will not hear. God speaks; His message is clear and distinct. It tells of eternal life; per-feet remission of sins; divine righteousness; perfect acceptance with God; sonship; eternal glory in the heavens—all these things it tells of, and presents to every soul that will only hearken and hear. It is clear as a sunbeam, free as the air, full as the ocean's tide flowing from the bosom of God, based on the finished work of Christ, and set forth on the stable authority to the Holy Ghost; but man mill not hear, though solemnly responsible so to do, and exposed to righteous judgment for refusing.
" Hear, and your soul shall live." Precious word! It has precisely the same stamp, the same moral tone, the same lovely evangelic ring, as those other little words, " come," and " look" They are all the same, and all set forth the proper attitude of the soul. If the ear is open, the glad tidings of salvation pour themselves in upon the heart. If the eye is open, the rays of divine light pour themselves upon the soul. And in the expressive little word, "come," is involved the bending of the whole moral being toward that blessed One who speaks in such tender, loving, winning accents to the heart.
And this is life—life eternal; it is full salvation; it is liberty, peace, strength, victory, progress—all; yes, all for time and eternity. There is nothing, from first to last, that is not wrapped up in any one of the three little words, "come!" "look!" "hear!" In each, in all, we learn the same priceless lesson, that all we want as guilty sinners, all we want as needy children, all we want as helpless servants—all is found in the One to whom we come, to whom we look, to whom we listen. All our springs are in Him. We have, as sinners, nothing but our sins; as children nothing but our need; as servants, nothing but our feebleness and ignorance; but in Him we have all, and can get all, by simply coming, looking, and listening.
In short, it is all by faith, from first to last. We come, we look, we listen, in simple faith, and thus we are saved, pardoned, justified; and thus we live, from day to day. It is the obedience of faith. The just shall live by faith, and faith is the free gift of God -free to each—free to all. Not one is excluded. All are freely invited to come—to look—to hear; and all who obey are saved and blessed; all who refuse shall be eternally damned—damned by their own deliberate act and choice.
Oh! beloved reader, let us entreat thee, now, even this very moment, to come—to look—to hear. " Come': and find rest—" look," and be saved—" hear," and thy soul shall live.