What Does God Require?
James Smith, 1856
Are you an UNCONVERTED SINNER? This is a solemn question, do not pass it over lightly, or put it away from you, as if there was no doubt about your eternal state. But think over it seriously, pray over it earnestly, and may the Holy Spirit decide it for you.
God requires of you unqualified submission to his way of salvation. He has provided an atonement for sin — and he requires you to trust in it. He has provided a righteousness for your justification — and he requires you to receive it as presented to you in the gospel. He has promised to save sinners freely by his grace — and he requires you to be willing to be so saved. He promises eternal life to every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ — and he requires you to believe. He commands you to renounce self, call upon God, plead for life and salvation in the name of Jesus, and receive his truth as a little child — and he requires you to do so.
If you are trifling with sin, neglecting salvation, or trying to recommend yourself to God by your tears, prayers, or services — then you are not doing what God requires — but just the opposite; for you are rejecting Christ, slighting his atonement, despising free grace, and trying to bring in God as your debtor; that so you may be saved by your works and not by grace, which is impossible.
Are you a BELIEVER? God requires unqualified submission to his Word. You must . . .
receive the doctrines he has revealed,
believe the promises he has made, and
perform the precepts he has given.
He bids you be baptized, as a believer in his Son, if you have not been — then you ought to be at once. He bids you love and unite with his people; if you are not a member of a Christian church, you ought to propose yourself at once. He bids you hold forth the Word of life to warn sinners of their danger, and endeavor to bring all around you to Jesus for salvation; and this should be your daily aim and prayer. In a word, God requires you to be baptized; to unite with his people; to sit down with his saints at his table; to tell poor sinners of his love; to let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good works, may glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
His doctrines are to enlighten you,
his promises are to comfort you,
his precepts are to direct you, and
his providence are to supply you.
God requires you to look upon himself as your Father; and to walk before him as such in faith, love, and holy obedience. He has provided grace to enable you to perform all that he requires, and he bids you to ask and receive.