Religion in a Few Words
James Smith, 1856
A poor man in a country village, having been laid on a bed of affliction, the clergyman called upon him to read to him "the visitation of the sick," which he did and departed; in a few days he called again, and began to read to him another book, which set forth a way to Heaven different to that pointed out in the New Testament; the poor man heard him for some time — but at length interrupted him, saying, "I am sorry to disturb you, Sir — but you will oblige me if you will not read any more of that book to me." "But why?" said the clergyman. "Because," said the sick man, "I have now known the Lord for some years, and my religion differs from that book." "Indeed," said the clergyman, "in what does your religion consist?" "I sum it up," said the sick man, "in three words: Looking unto Jesus."
This, reader, is real religion. Looking to Jesus, for the pardon of sin by his blood; for peace with God through his death; for acceptance with God, both now and at death, only through his finished work. Jesus speaks to you when he says, "Look unto me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else." He points out the way of salvation to you by saying, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whoever believes in him should not perish — but have eternal life." You need just such a Savior as Jesus is, his Word assures you that he is both able and willing to save — but you must look away from everything else, and seek salvation in him and him alone.
Looking to Jesus removes guilt from the troubled conscience; fear from the dejected mind; and the dread of death from the dying sinner. Look therefore to Jesus as the only Savior, and believe in his precious name; look unto him as your bright example, and tread in his blessed footsteps; look unto him as the conqueror of death, and triumph over the grave.
Look unto him for all you need,
flee to him from all you fear,
trust him when you are cast down, and
wait upon him until you see him as he is.
Live, looking to Jesus — and you will be holy!
Die, looking to Jesus — and you are safe forever!
But if you look to anyone or anything else, for your acceptance with God — you are eternally undone — for there is salvation in no other, "for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father — but by him. If therefore you would obtain . . .
pardon for your sins,
relief from your fears,
victory over your spiritual foes,
comfort in life,
safety at death, and
glory at God's right hand,
"Look unto Jesus!"