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Updated March 3, 2023
"It Was Already Done"

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"It Was Already Done" (posted March 3, 2023)

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   For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
   - Romans 10:3

The one who is going about to establish his own righteousness is in exactly the same position as the young man who went once to a monastery. He was a young fellow of noble birth and splendid fortune. Like many in that position, he thought he would enjoy life, and soon found himself the prey of every harpy in a world like this. He very quickly ran through his money and through his friends.

It is a strange thing, but true, that when you have plenty of money you are the jolliest fellow alive; but when you get knocked about a bit, have run through all your coin, and lost your credit, and your coat gets shabby, and your hat worn, then, those who used to think you such a charming chap, do not know you. They pass you by blindly, or cross to the other side of the street, and turn their eyes away lest you should accost them. Why? You cannot give them anything, and they have nothing for you. That is the world, and this poor fellow found it out.

The result was he got exercised, and God spoke to him. He got to the end of his resources, and then God spoke to him, and he became deeply anxious about salvation. He was convicted of sin. He found out that he was a sinner. He had sinned against God. So have you and I. The sense of his sin rooted itself in his conscience, and he thought the only thing he could do was to enter a monastery, so he walked hundreds of miles in order to get his guilty soul saved.

To that monastery he walked, begging his food on his way, and on the road became the perfect picture of misery. Unkempt, and ill-fed, he at length reached the monastery. The porter came in reply to his knock, and asked him what he wanted.

"I want to see the Father Superior," he said. "Very well," said the porter, as he slammed the door in his face and locked it.

The Father Superior, a kindly old monk, went to the door. "Well, my son," he asked, "what do you want?"

"My father," replied the young man, "I want you to let me in. I want to become an inmate of this monastery." "Why?" asked the old man. "I have lived an evil life," and then he told the story of his wicked life, "and now," he said at the finish, "I hope it is not too late. I hope I may be able to atone for my sins, and escape from the just judgment of God."

The old man listened, and when he had come to the end of his story, he said, "My son, it is too late!"

"Oh, father!" cried the young man, "let me in. I will do the most menial tasks, and will perform any penance you may order, so that I may atone for my sins."

"My son, it is too late."

"Oh, tell me not, it is too late!" said he.

"My son, it is too late. All that you propose to do has been done already by Another before you."

The old man knew the gospel. He knew the love of Christ, and he told the young man the simple story of Christ, and of the cross, where the sinless Son of Man atoned for the sinner's sin. He told him of that which Paul brings out here, "the righteousness of God," how the sinless Substitute had died in the room and stead of the guilty sinner. He told him the story of the gospel, as I hope to tell it to you tonight.

Do not go about trying to establish your righteousness! You are too late. The work has been done by Another, who has been here on earth, and who on the cross finished the work by which God has been glorified, and sin been put away. Jesus, the sinner's friend, has died for us, and nothing but His precious blood can wash away your sins.

Walter T. P. Wolston

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