DO or DONE?
By C. H. Mackintosh
"There is a wide difference between your religion and mine," said a Christian lady to one in whose spiritual condition she had long been interested. "Indeed," said he, "how is that?" "Your religion," she replied, "has only two letters in it, and mine has four."
It seems that this gentleman was one of that numerous class seeking to get to heaven by their doings, by attention to ordinances and ceremonies, by what the apostle, in the ninth of Hebrews, terms "dead works." But he did not understand about the "two letters" or the "four." His friend had often spoken to him, and on the occasion to which our anecdote refers she had called to take her leave of him for some time, as she was about to go from home.
"What do you mean," said he, "by two letters and four?"
"Why, your religion," said the lady, "is d-o DO; whereas mine is D-O-N-E." This was all that passed. The lady took her leave; but her words remained and did their work in the soul of her friend--a revolutionary work, verily. The entire current of his thoughts was changed. Do is one thing; done is quite another. The former is legalism; the latter is Christianity. It was a novel and very original mode of putting the gospel; but it was just the mode for a legalist, and the Spirit of God used it in the conversion of this gentleman. When he next met his friend, he said to her, "Well, I can now say with you that my religion is d-o-n-e, DONE.." He had learned to fling aside the deadly doings, and rest in the finished work of Christ. He was led to see that it was no longer what he could do for God, but what God had done for him.
This settled everything. The four golden letters shone under the gaze of his emancipated soul, "d-o-n-e." Precious letters! Precious word! Who can tell the relief to a burdened heart when it discovers that all is done? What joy to know that what I have been toiling for, it may be many a long year, was all done nearly 2000 years ago, on the cross! Christ has done all. He has put away sin; magnified the claims of divine justice; vanquished Satan; taken the sting from death and the victory from the grave; glorified God in the very scene in which He had been dishonored; brought in everlasting righteousness. All this is wrapped up in these four golden letters, "d-o-n-e." Oh, who would not give up the two for the four? Who would not exchange "do" for "done"?
Reader, what say you to this? What of your religion? Does it consist of two letters or four? Is it still "do" with you? or have you found your happy portion and rest in "done"? Do you think of it, dear friend--think deeply--think seriously--and may God's Spirit lead you, this moment, to cease from your own "do," and to rest in Christ's eternal "done." (by C.H.Mackintosh, 1820-1896)
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When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross He cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The work of our salvation was FINISHED, DONE, ACCOMPLISHED and COMPLETED. We simply need to trust and rest in what the Saviour has accomplished.
Salvation is not working; it is RESTING on the WORK of Another, even the Lord Jesus Christ: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5).
Religion is man trying to bring himself to God by human effort, by good works, by ritualism, by traditionalism, by sacraments, etc. Salvation is Christ bringing us to God on the basis of what He did for us on the cross: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
God's holiness utterly condemns the best man ("As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"--Romans 3:10) and God's grace freely justifies the worst ("For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"--Romans 3:23-24).
The gospel message brings to man not a work to do, but a word to believe about a work done: "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:25).
We are saved, not because of what we have done, but because of the MERCY OF GOD based upon what Christ has done on the cross: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
A person can never be saved by his own good works: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Good works done by sinful man can never please a holy God. The greatest good work is GOD'S WORK accomplished by Jesus Christ who offered Himself on the cross as the sinner's Substitute. Thus we are not saved by good works but we are saved unto good works: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
Are you resting fully in the finished work of Christ? Are you trusting in Jesus Christ, WHO HE IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR YOU and WHAT HE HAS SAID IN HIS WORD? "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22).