I have found only one ground of confidence before God and in my conscience. I have only one hope, only one reason to come to God. It is this: God has commanded me to repent and has made Christ everything. I find Him to be all-sufficient.
I used to think if God looked at my heart, He would see that I truly wanted Him. I don't think that anymore (Jeremiah 17:9). I used to think I needed to produce a certain level of sorrow for sin. But I can't make myself sorry. I used to think I needed to reform my life to a point that I could validly claim to be a Christian. I used to think I would have no confidence before God until I experienced sorrow like others reported in their experience. I used to think I could only trust Christ if I was sincere...and so many other "used to thinks".
But I have come, and continue to come, to exasperation with all of the things I look for in myself. I am left with nothing but what the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He has done to save my soul by His own obedience unto death in fulfillment of God’s eternal and entire will. He either saved me at the cross, or I cannot be saved.
He either saved me by Himself, by His sufferings and death, or I am not saved.
So I call on Him. I come to Him. I trust Him. I hope in Him. I find nothing in myself in which I can take confidence. And, ironically enough, this is my repentance! Christ has, in love to my soul, delivered me from the guilt and condemnation and eternal punishment of my sins! And knowing He has answered all for me, makes me ashamed of all that I am and have done against His goodness.
My sins scare me. They remind me what I am in myself. They reveal how I hated the One who has only done me good. They remind me that I am nothing and can never be anything in myself. They remind me that all I am before God is what I am in Christ. This, I am sure, is God’s gift to me. This is faith and repentance rolled into one gift of grace that makes Christ precious, that makes my sin odious, and makes me cry daily for deliverance from my unbelief to be given eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to believe that Christ is all.
One thing I have learned is this: I will not trust Christ until I am unable to trust myself. Until I am hopeless in myself I will never believe Christ. If I think I can repent; if I think that someday I can do the right and stop the wrong; if I think I can convince myself, persuade myself, decide myself or will myself to believe Christ; if I think that when all of the circumstances are just right I can do what God requires of me, then I will never trust the Lord Jesus Christ! To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, I must find nothing and expect nothing from myself and must abandon all other confidences and lean the entire weight of my eternal soul on the accomplishments of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by His death, does now bring me to God and fully answers for my soul!
This love of Christ constrains me to serve Him all the days of my life. I cry, “LORD, I beseech Thee! Deliver my soul!” (Psalm 116:1-13). And I find, with the prodigal, that God, even the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, is my Father and has commanded to clothe me in the best robe -- the righteousness of His Son -- and to put the ring of His sonship on my hand, and to enable me to walk by faith in the Gospel of His grace (Luke 15)!