Jesus Only part 1 From God’s Way of Peace by Horatius Bonar Updated to modern usage by Ricky Jones
Bonar goes through every objection that keeps a person from receiving peace from Christ, and graciously dismisses them. I will set these apart as headings for easier contemplation.
My motives are not pure enough.
You say, "I am not satisfied with the motives that have led me to seek Christ; they are selfish." Of Course. The feelings of a newly awakened sinner are not selfless, and they never will be.
You have come to Jesus because you are afraid of where your life is going, or you fear of the wrath of God, or you want to enter heaven. These desires motivate you.
What else would you expect? God made you with these fears and hopes; and he appeals to them in his word. When he says, "Turn, turn, why will you die?" he is appealing to your fears. When he sets eternal life before you, and the joys of an endless kingdom, he is appealing to your hopes. And when he presents these motives, he expects you to be moved by them. To act upon such motives, then, cannot be wrong. In fact, to refuse to act upon them would be to harden yourself against God's most solemn appeals. "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men," says Paul. It cannot be wrong to be influenced by this terror. "The remnant were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven." This surely was not wrong. The whole Bible is full of such motives, addressed to our hopes and fears.
When was it otherwise? Among all the millions who have found life in Christ, who began in any other way, or from any higher motive? What motivated the jailor in acts, when the earthquake came and terrified hem? Was it not a sense of danger and a dread of wrath that made him ask, "What shall I do to be saved?" And did the apostle rebuke him for this? Did he refuse to answer his anxious question, because his motive was so selfish? No. He answered at once, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
There is nothing wrong in these motives. When my body hurts, it is not wrong to wish for relief. When overtaken by sickness, it is not wrong to send for the physician. You may call this selfishness, but our creator gave us these instincts and he expects us to act this way, so we expect his blessing not his rebuke. It is not wrong to dread hell, to desire heaven, to flee from torments, to long for blessedness, to shun condemnation, and to desire pardon. Let not Satan then ensnare you with such foolish thoughts, they will just prevent you from seriously seeking Jesus because you are not yet perfect.
You think that, if you were seeking salvation from a regard to the glory of God, you would be satisfied. But what does that mean, but that, at the very first, even before you have come to Christ, you are to be moved by the highest of all motives? He who has learned to seek God's glory is one who has already come to Christ; and he who has learned to do this entirely, is no sinner at all, and, therefore, does not need Christ. To seek God's glory is a high attainment of faith; yet you want to be conscious of possessing it before you have got faith, - more than that, in order to your getting it! Is it possible that you can be deluding yourself with the idea that if you could only secure this qualification, you might confidently expect God to give you faith. This would be substituting your own zeal for his glory, in the room of the cross of Christ.
Do not keep back from Christ under the idea that you must come to him from an unselfish motive. If you were right in this thing, who could be saved? You are to come as you are; with all your bad motives, whatever these may be. Take all your bad motives, add them to the number of your sins, and bring them all to the altar where the great sacrifice is lying. Go to the mercy seat. Tell the High Priest there, not what you desire to be, nor what you ought to be, but what you are. Tell him the honest truth as to your condition at this moment. Confess the impurity of your motives; all the evil that you feel or that you don't feel; your hard-heartedness, your blindness, your unteachableness. Confess everything without reserve. He wants you to come to Him exactly as you are, and not to cherish the vain thought that, by a little waiting, or working, or praying, you can make yourself fit, or persuade Him to make you fit.