A Blackboard Address
by Inglis Fleming
Printed in large, bold, block letters, across the plate-glass window of a London grocer’s shop, were to be seen the words: “It is a fact, we sell the best tea in London.” Whether that statement was a fact or not, is not for me to say; but I would seek to bring before you young folks some things of which there can be no doubt—which we may believe without hesitation; which are in truth and reality—facts. They are statements made by one who cannot lie.
It is a
that each one of my readers is a sinner—for we read: “There is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Mark the little word of but three letters—not many have sinned, nor most have sinned, but—“ALL have sinned.” That word takes in writer and reader—it takes in everyone.
I pass on to another FACT. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” How wondrous is this love which our gracious God desires we should know and believe.
Sent by His Father, the blessed Son of God visited this world on a mission of love: He came to save sinners. Blessed FACT! No mere theory this, but a truth—a verity. The Son of God present here to suffer for sins—the just for the unjust; and, by suffering, to save and bring to God those who are in danger and distance, in darkness and distress.
Yes; the sufferings of Christ were real, because the judgment of God is real against sin. But Christ’s work is finished. Yes; this is a FACT. Upon that cross of shame, where He bore the believers’ sins, He cried, ere He bowed His head, “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30).
Christ is risen—blessed FACT.
He lives no more to die,
Joy dwells upon His brow,
His agonies untold are o’er,
He triumphs now.
The heavens are opened now; Christ sits at God’s right hand, and salvation is proclaimed through Him.
It is a FACT that there is a heaven of brightness and glory. It is a FACT there is an eternal hell of darkness and gloom. In one of these eternity must be spent. Which shall it be?
Salvation from judgment is by
not by WORKS. Salvation through FAITH which is in Christ Jesus.
A child was once offered a gift by his father. He held out the left hand to take the gift.
“No, no, put out the other hand, then you shall have it,” the parent said.
How many anxious seekers after salvation stretch forth the wrong hand, on which is written, W-O-R-K-S, instead of the right hand, on which we may read, F-A-I-T-H.
The Word of God says, “By grace are ye saved through faith, . . . not of works, lest any man should boast.”
follows FAITH, and does not, as so many think, go before it. Directly FAITH rests on the work of the Lord Jesus, and trusts in His precious blood, cleansing and forgiveness, peace and joy are known.
The jailer at Philippi, who cried, “What must I do to be saved?” was told to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then the Word of the Lord was spoken to him. That Word proclaims the FACTS of which I have written. He believed the message. FAITH’S hand laid hold of them, and then he rejoiced thus FEELING followed.
Those who have heard and believed the Gospel message, who are justified and have eternal life, I would ask to notice well the next word on my blackboard—FOLLOWING.
Many of my readers have, I doubt not, often played that well known country game, “Follow the leader,” and will understand my meaning when I say that for us, who know the Lord, He is not only a Saviour, but a Leader. He has gone before, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps.
As in the game, those who follow need ever keep their eye upon the leader, in order that they may imitate his actions, leaping the ditches, vaulting the gates, wading the streams, or climbing the hills, so the Christian needs continually to be “looking off unto Jesus,” who has trodden the path, and is now seated at God’s right hand.
Yes, we are to imitate, to copy Him, who trod that perfect pathway here.
Let us, in everything in home or school life, among friends or strangers, amid sorrows or joys, seek His honour and glory, to do all in His name, then all around will see we are following, and it will bring praise to His name.
And let us always keep before us the
which is at the end of our journey, with its mansions prepared for us, the rest of God our rest throughout eternity.
Its joys and bliss all beckon us to press on. Remember the five F’s:
The Facts of God’s Word.
Faith in God’s Word.
Feeling by believing God’s Word.
Following according to God’s Word.
Father’s House, the home of those who rest in God’s Word.
Scattered Seed 1886, p. 166