Saved By Faith

Luke 7:36-50

"Triumphant Faith!
Hers is a conquering path to Heaven,
With feet fire-shod, because her hand is placed
Immovably in God's; her eye doth rest
Unchangeably on His."
-Miss Tatham.

This Pharisee desired Jesus that He would eat with him, but he did not desire this woman, branded with the name "sinner," to come into his house. Her faith in the pity and compassion of Christ must have been strong when it constrained her to follow Him into such a house and at such a time. Such sorrowful sinners are never found weeping at a Pharisee's feet. There is a holy, winsome magnetism in the love of God, as manifested in the Person of Jesus Christ; the vilest may draw nigh and find the blessing of "eternal redemption."

I. The Character of this Woman. "She was a sinner" (Luke 7:37). Evidently a great sinner, for the Lord speaks of "her sins which are many" (Luke 7:47). The Pharisee called her a sinner with emphasis (Luke 7:39). Such a sinner as should not be touched; but Christ had to designate the Pharisees themselves as hypocrites (chap. Luke 11:44). She was a sinner, so was Simon, but she had this advantage, that she knew it, while he was proudly unconscious of it. The one owed five hundred pence, the other fifty, but in their relation to God they were both alike, "having nothing to pay." "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one."

II. The Workings of Her Faith. "Even in a spark there is fire." Little faith may cling to an almighty Saviour. Faith is an operative energy of the soul that will not rest till the object desired has been grasped and enjoyed. Observe how it wrought in this woman. It constrained her to-

1. Come to Jesus (Luke 7:37). Perhaps the sneer of the self-righteous Pharisees had awakened hope in her heart. "Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" (Luke 7:34). Her faith constrained her to draw near to Him without any personal invitation. Does such an act not put to shame the many who are still refusing the call of God? (Joh 5:40).

2. Repent of Her Sins. "She stood at His feet behind Him weeping" (Luke 7:38). When one stands at His feet and contrasts his own life with His the bitter tears of contrition are sure to fall. Seeing ourselves in His light is always a humbling revelation. Such tears are precious jewels in the sight of God; they tell of mountains of guilt flowing down at His presence (Isa 64:1). What effect has your faith had in this direction?

3. Show the Tokens of Her Love. "She kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment" (Luke 7:38). Hers was the faith that worked by love. The kiss spoke of the affection of her heart, while the precious ointment poured out told of a willingness to consecrate her all to Him. The faith that does not work in this fashion is a dead faith (Jam 2:26). The lips of love must come into contact with Christ as well as the hands of faith. With the heart man believeth unto salvation.

III. The Blessed Results. She was-

1. Approved. "Seest thou this woman?" (Luke 7:44-46). These words spoken to Simon would fall on the poor, sin-smitten soul of the woman as the music of Heaven. Jesus Himself knew the joy of being "a man approved of God" (Act 2:22). Study to show thyself approved unto God (2Ti 2:15). Her manner of approach had His most gracious welcome, although she had no promise to plead. But what a solace to her heart that He commended her!

2. Forgiven. "Thy sins are forgiven" (Luke 7:48). She was forgiven much, for she loved much. There was a great difference between the cold, calculating belief of Simon and the simple, loving, heartful faith of the woman. She came, and with her tears and kisses she reasoned together with her Lord, and her sins, which were as scarlet, were made white as snow (Isa 1:18). What encouragement for the wicked to forsake their ways is found in His abundant pardon! (Isa 55:7).

3. Assured. "Thy faith hath saved thee" (Luke 7:50). Faith in Christ not only saved her from the guilt of sin, but also from the tyranny of its power. She was now freed from the very love of sin. His grace saved her, His Word assured her. It was not the tears of her eyes nor the kisses of her lips that saved her, but the faith of her heart. By grace are ye saved through faith, and by the record given are we assured (1Jn 5:11-13).

4. Commissioned. "Go in peace" (Luke 7:50). Go in peace with God, because justified by faith (Rom 5:1). Go in the peace of God, because now a child of God and an heir to the kingdom. Go and publish the Gospel of peace, as an ambassador for Him, who is the Prince of Peace, and who has made peace by the blood of His Cross. Go in peace back to your home and to your associates in sin as a messenger of mercy, telling them what great things He hath done for thy soul. Thy faith hath saved thee, go!

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