“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22
“First, to whom does God tell us to look for salvation? O, does it not lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?’ It is not, ‘Look to your priest, and be ye saved:’ if you did, there would be another god, and beside him there would be some one else. It is not, ‘Look to yourself;’ if so, then there would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But it is ‘Look unto me.’ How frequently you who are coming to Christ look to yourselves. ‘O!’ you say, ‘I do not repent enough.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘I do not believe enough.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘I am too unworthy.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘ I cannot discover,’ says another, ‘that I have any righteousness.’ It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any. It is, ‘Look unto me.’ God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside, and look at himself; whereas God says, ‘Look unto me.'”
Charles Spurgeon in his sermon, Sovereignty and Salvation.
“The man that met thee is one Worldly-Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly, because he favoureth only the doctrine of this world (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him from the Cross; and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to prevent my ways, though right.
Now there are three things in this man’s counsel that thou must utterly abhor:
- His turning thee out of the way.
- His labouring to render the Cross odious to thee.
- And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.
First, thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto: because this is to reject the counsel of God, for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly-Wiseman…
Secondly, thou must abhor his labouring to render the Cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures in Egypt…
Thirdly, thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and how unable that person was to deliver thee…He to whom thou was sent for ease, being by name Legality…this Legality therefore is not able to set thee free from thy burden…there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of this sottish man, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee.”
I knew that Morality and Legality make bad saviors, but what I had never thought of was the fact that pursuing them means I am simultaneously leaving the path which leads to/through the Cross. In pursuing these things, I am attempting to bypass the Cross and render it unnecessary to my salvation! This is the hideous truth of idolatry. Pursuing anything rather than Christ for redemption is the practice of denying the Cross and buying a lie.