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On Falling From the Grace of Baptism

On Falling From the Grace of Baptism

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Published by glennpease
BY HENRY EDWARD MANNING, M.A,


ST. LUKE xvii. 32.
" Remember Lot s wife."
BY HENRY EDWARD MANNING, M.A,


ST. LUKE xvii. 32.
" Remember Lot s wife."

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 21, 2013
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O FALLIG FROM THE GRACE OF BAPTISMBY HERY EDWARD MAIG, M.A,ST. LUKE xvii. 32." Remember Lot s wife."THIS warning, taken from the familiar history of the Jews, is a part of our Lord s answer to thosethat asked when the kingdom of God should come.He warned them that it should come with no outward and visible tokens with few forerunningsigns; and even those such as the faithful aloneshould read. " As it was in the days of oe, soshall it be also in the days of the Son of man.They did eat, they drank, they married wives, theywere given in marriage, until the day that oeentered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, also, as it was in thedays of Lot ; they did eat, they drank, they bought,they sold, they planted, they builded ; but the sameday that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire andbrimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of III.] FALLIG FROM THE GRACE OF BAPTISM. 35man is revealed. In that day, he which shall beupon the house-top, and his stuff in the house, lethim not come down to take it away ; and he thatis in the field, let him likewise not return back.Remember Lot s wife." 1 ow, in thus calling upto their recollection the judgments of God in oldtime, our Lord teaches us to recognise the mysterious movements of His providential order, andto learn the broad analogies by which they arecontrolled. The flood of waters, and the overthrow of Sodom, were forerunning types of judgments yet to come. In the spirit of propheticwarning He thus foreshewed the overthrow of Jerusalem, and the hair-breadth escape which was thenawaiting them. But all these, including this also,were no more than types foreshortened, as it were,
 
one behind the other, of His last coming at theend of the world. As they were in suddenness andseverity, so, beyond all, shall the last coming be.As the escape of Lot, and of the remnant whowere faithful in Jerusalem, even so also shall bethe saving of the righteous ; for the righteous shall" scarcely be saved." As the judgment on Lot swife, so likewise shall be the doom of apostateChristians.And this is the only point we will now dwellupon. We have in this a warning of a peculiar1 St. Luke xvii. 26-32.36 FALLIG FROM THE GRACE OF BAPTISM. [SERM.character ; we see in it an example of the just wrathof God against those who, having been once mercifully delivered, shall afterwards fall back. She was,by a distinguishing election of God, and by thehands of angels, saved from the overthrow of thewicked. We, by the same deep counsel of God,have been translated from death to life. She perished in the very way of safety. Let him that think-eth he standeth take heed lest he fall. Lot s wife isan example of those who fall from baptismal grace.As, for instance, of those who, having beenmade partakers of salvation by baptism into theChurch of Christ, fall away from it through theovermastering power of sin. That a man may fallfinally, and without hope, from grace given, isbroadly written in holy Scripture. Men wouldfain have it otherwise ; and some beguile themselves by the dream, that they magnify the merciesof God in contending that the gifts of grace areindefectible. Let them beware how they offerstrange fire upon God s altar. God will be servedonly of that which His Spirit hath consecrated toHimself. " When the righteous turneth awayfrom his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,and doeth according to all the abominations thatthe wicked man doeth, shall he live ? All hisrighteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned : in his trespass that he hath trespassed,
 
III.] FALLIG FROM THE GRACE OF BAPTISM. 37and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shallhe die." 1 Again: " If we sin wilfully after wehave received the knowledge of the truth, thereremaineth no more sacrifice for sins ; but a certainfearful looking for of fiery indignation, which shalldevour the adversaries. He that despised Moseslaw died without mercy under two or three witnesses ; of how much sorer punishment, supposeye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath troddenunder foot the Son of God, and hath counted theblood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified,an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto theSpirit of grace ?" 2 And once more : " It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, andhave tasted of the heavenly gift, and were madepartakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted thegood word of God, and the powers of the world tocome, if they shall fall away, to renew them againunto repentance; seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to anopen shame. For the earth which drinketh in therain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forthherbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiv-eth blessing from God ; but that which beareththorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh untocursing, whose end is to be burned." 3 Such is the1 Ezek. xviii. 24. 2 Heb. x. 26.3 Heb. vi. 4.38 FALLIG FROM THE GRACE OF BAPTISM. [SERM.gift of a new birth, held in unrighteousness ; andsuch the end to which every baptised man, wholives in wilful and conscious sin, is perpetuallytending. The sins of the flesh and of the spiritwound his inmost soul with a keen and poisonededge; and the wounds rankle inwardly where noeye but God s can reach. There are very many

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