“You cannot have half a Christ!”

“What a strange salvation it is, if people who are saved do not care about holiness! In this case, people want to be saved, but they want to stay dead in sin, alien from the life of God, without the image of God, deformed by the image of satan, and in slavery to satan and to their own filthy lusts. They seem to prefer to stay totally unfit to enjoy God in glory. Christ never purchased such a salvation as this by His own blood. Those who think they have received a salvation such as this abuse the grace of God in Christ, and turn it into license for sin. They want to be saved by Christ, but apart from Christ, so to speak. They want to be saved, but they also want to remain in a fleshly state, with a fleshly lifestyle. This is simply not how salvation works! The only people Christ frees from condemnation are those who are ‘in Christ’ who do not walk according to the flesh but according the Spirit’ (Rom. 8:1-4). If this were not the case, people would divide Christ. They would take one part of his salvation, and leave out the rest. However, ‘Christ is not divided’ (1 Corinthians 1:13). You cannot have half a Christ!”

Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification (1692)

(HT: John Fonville)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

3 thoughts on ““You cannot have half a Christ!”

  1. “If so you have received Christ as Savior and Lord, walk in Him.” [Colossians 2: 6].

    This post you made brings me back to a time I was at work, talking to a friend about all of the problems that people are going through and that we all need to choose to change. I remember asking her what she was going to do about some of the things that she freely mentioned to me. I didn’t condemn her; I just asked her. She told me, “You know what, don’t talk to me anymore about God because I feel like we’re about to fight.” I asked her, “Are you serious?” She replied, “Yes.” I then said, “Ok.”

    She rejected herself from hearing God. Therefore, I left her. Jesus said that if someone does not accept the gospel you bring to them, remove your blessing from the house, kick the dust off of your feet at the door of the house and leave. Judgment will be worse upon them than Sodom and Gomorrah of the past. The only thing I could do then was pray for her.

    But nevertheless, the problem that we all seem to go through at times, even with Christians, is that we don’t “want” to change. And a lack of desire to change for Christ is the biggest sign that you’re already finished. The Lord can’t work effectively with a faithless generation, which explains today’s headlines. We receive Christ Jesus, dance Him off and worship Him to the heart – then we go home cursing, complaining, fighting and “sexing up” our “flirty” partners for a wild, erectile, lust-filled ride.

    Such a waste! But yet the Father loves us.

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