Jul 12, 2010

I am cast out - J.C. Philpot

"Others of the Lord's people are in their feelings "ready to
perish," because they have not received those manifestations
of God's pardoning love which others are indulged with. Having,
therefore, no clear testimonies nor bright evidences, they feel as
if they had no real standing in the things of God, and therefore
are often "ready to perish." 

Many of the Lord's people hide these
feelings deeply in their hearts. Were they free to confess all they
felt and feared, many would acknowledge they were indeed
"ready to perish;" but amidst the confidence of others they are
afraid or ashamed to declare their fears. But besides these, we
read also of "outcasts;" and as there are those who are "ready
to perish in the land of Assyria," so there are those who are
"outcasts" in the land of Egypt. What is it to be an outcast? Jonah
well expressed its meaning when he said, "I am cast out of thy
sight" To be cast out of God's sight then is to be an outcast. A
sinner, in his feelings, is cast out of God's sight when he sees
himself too loathsome, too filthy, too base, too vile to dwell with
God; and, therefore, like filth or offal he is fit only to be cast out,
swept away out of the presence of God, for into his presence
nothing can come that is defiled. It is only as sin is opened up in
the heart and conscience as exceedingly sinful, that we begin to
loathe ourselves in our sight because of our manifold
abominations. Here was Isaiah in the temple (Isa. 6:5); Job in
the ditch (Job 9:31); Daniel by the river (Dan. 10:8); Peter in the
boat (Luke 5:8); and Jonah in the whale s belly; all saw light in
God's sight, and felt sin to be exceedingly sinful. Sin, sin, horrid
sin makes us feel outcasts. When there is no feeling access into
God's presence, when our prayers seem to be shut out, when
there is no answer to our petitions, when the heavens above are
as brass and iron, when there is no dropping down of the dew of
his favour, and no gracious smile upon his face, then is this
feeling in the soul, "I am cast out." So is God's church described
(Ezek. 16); under the figure of a new-born babe "cast out in the
open field
;" so felt David, when he said, "Cast me not away from
thy presence
;" so felt Heman when he cried, "Lord, why castest
thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
" so felt

Jeremiah when he exclaimed, "Waters flowed over mine head;
then I said, I am cut off.

The most eminent saints, when sin came between them and God,
felt they were, or deserved to be, outcasts. But where this
experience is in the soul towards God, it makes a man, in a
measure, an outcast also, in his feelings, from the church and
people of God. His language is, 'I feel too base, too vile, too
loathsome, too corrupt to have anything to do with them, or for
them to have anything to do with me.' To be an outcast from God
is to be an outcast from his saints. Many are kept by these
feelings from joining churches, or associating with the people of
God; and some have even been driven away from attending the
worship of God, reading the Scriptures, or using private prayer,
as viewing themselves outcasts from God and man, Cast out by
the world as a gloomy enthusiast, and casting himself out from
the people of God, such a one may well use Hart's words—

Lord, pity outcasts, vile and base,
The poor dependants on thy grace,
Whom men disturbers call:
By sinners and by saints withstood;
For these too bad, for those too good:
Condemn'd or shunn'd by all.

These, then, are the characters,—"ready to perish," and
"outcasts," for whom the great trumpet is to be blown. These hail
a free grace gospel, for it opens to them their only door of hope.
A duty faith gospel will never suit these. They are too deeply
sunk, too far gone, and in their feelings too utterly lost for
anything but mercy to reach, for anything but grace to save. It is
not a little salvation, nor a little gospel, nor a little Saviour that
can suit such; it must be free, sovereign, distinguishing, superabounding,
or to them it is nothing. Thus, those things that seem
at first sight to set the soul farthest from God, are the very things
which in their issue are calculated to bring it nearest unto God;
whereas, on the contrary, those things that in men's eyes bring
them near to God, are the very thing's which in God's eyes set
them farthest from him. Look at the two characters in the temple.
See the proud Pharisee buoyed up with his own righteousness!
Was that man, as he thought, near to God? But what set him so
far from the Lord? His self-righteousness; it was that which set
him far from God; the pride which he took in his doings and

Now, look at the Publican, who in his own feelings was indeed far
from God, for "he dare not lift up so much as his eyes unto
heaven." But which was nearer to God, the broken hearted
Publican, or the self-righteous Pharisee? So when a man may
think himself nearest to God by his doings and duties, by his
obedience, and consistency, by this very self-righteousness he
thrusts himself from God; for he secretly despises the gospel of
Christ, makes himself his own saviour, and, therefore, pours
contempt on the blood and obedience of the Son of God. Thus, a
poor guilty sinner, who in his own feelings is ready to perish, and
but a miserable outcast, is brought near to God by the
righteousness of the gospel; while the Pharisee is kept far from
God by the wall of self-righteousness, which his own hands have
built and plastered. It is to the perishing then and the outcast
that the gospel makes such sweet melody.
And why? Because it

tells them the work of Christ is a finished work; that the blood of
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin; because it assures them that
his righteousness is "unto all and upon all them that believe;"
because it proclaims mercy for the miserable, pardon for the
guilty, salvation for the lost, and that where sin hath abounded
there grace doth much more abound." - J.C. Philpot

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions