The Profession

James Smith, 1860

 

"Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing." Psalm 16:1-2

The Lord Jesus is his people's pattern; and much that is written of him, is applicable to them. This is especially the case in the book of Psalms, which contains alike the experience of the believer and the Savior. In the sixteenth Psalm, we have the experience of Jesus, but much of it is equally applicable to his people. David sets forth his own faith, hope, joy, and prospects; while at the same time, he sets forth those of his son, the Messiah. It is therefore a family psalm; let us look at one clause of it. You are my Lord."

THE PROFESSION. "You are my Lord." That is, the object of my worship.

I bow down to no idol.

I adore no saint, angel, or other creature.

I worship you, and you alone.

To you I present my prayers.

To you I offer praise.

To you I confess my sins.

On you I cast my cares.

I reverence your majesty.

I adore your sublime and infinite perfections.

I make you my God.

"You an my Lord," that is, the source of my strength. I lean on you. I trust in you. I look for power, courage, and confidence from you. I expect you to shelter me, guard me, and defend me.

"You are my Lord," that is, the ruler of my life.

Your will is my law.

Your precepts are my directory.

Your commandments are my guide.

I renounce all other objects of worship.

I look to you alone for strength in every time of need.

I walk by your word, with a view to please you.

"O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor!" Isaiah 26:13

This is the profession, now let us ask,

WHEN WAS IT MADE? When I first received Christ. I had long felt my need of Christ. I saw the suitability of Christ. I perceived that he was presented to me as God's unspeakable gift. Then you enabled me to open my heart, and to receive him in all . . .
the glory of his person,
the fullness of his offices,
the merit of his blood,
the perfection of his righteousness,
and the abundance of his grace.

Receiving Christ into my heart . . .
filled it,
satisfied it,
and delighted it.

Then I said, "You are my Lord!"

So also I professed Christ when I testified to his Church, that I had taken him to be my Alpha and Omega, my first and last, my all in all. When I dedicated myself to Christ, being buried with him in baptism, then I declared to all, that henceforth to me, there was but one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. Then I said distinctly, "You are my Lord!"

So also, when I sat down at the Lord's table, to remember Christ, to commune with Christ, and to feed on Christ. Nor only at first but every time I have attended to that holy institution every time I have enjoyed that divine privilege, I have said, "You are my Lord!"

"You are my Lord!" therefore I expect You to keep me, provide for me, shelter me, guard me, and defend me . . .
in every time of trouble,
in every season of affliction,
in every circumstances of danger,
when in pain and suffering,
when in want and woe!

I have turned from others, and turned to the Lord, crying, "You are my Lord!"

WHY WAS THE PROFESSION MADE? Because . . .
the Lord required it,
the work of the Holy Spirit within prompted me to it,
my heart felt a relief in doing it.

It was an act of choice of deliberate and solemn choice. A choice never repented of. It was my choice as overruled by the choice of God. Never did I act more freely, yet never was I more necessitated to act, than when I said, "You are my Lord!" I could not restrain myself. I would not have restrained myself if I could. My will was sweetly swayed,
my affections were delightfully engaged,
all the powers of my soul were in harmony;
and with all the strength I had, I said, "You are my Lord!"

It was of grace. Of free, sovereign, omnipotent, all-conquering grace.

Is Christ your Lord? Is he deliberately chosen to be so?

Is Christ your Lord? Then own him everywhere. In every place. In all companies. Go no where, join no society, where you cannot own, and acknowledge God to be your Lord.

Is Christ your Lord? Then believe in him at all times. His word is always true. His promises are always faithful. He may be trusted on all occasions. His word should be taken before the word of any man, and he should be believed notwithstanding . . .
all that is felt within,
all that may occur without, and
all that Satan may suggest to the mind.

Is Christ your Lord? Then obey all he bids you. Ask for no reason, listen to no excuse but whatever he says to you, do it! His commands test your love. His ordinances try your sincerity. Will you receive the kingdom of God as a little child? Will you act, denying the flesh, going contrary to general custom, simply because the Lord bids you? You should.

Is Christ your Lord? Then expect all he has promised you. He intends to do as he has said. He means every word he has spoken. He wishes you to take him at his word. He is prepared to fulfill every promise. If therefore he is your Lord, however unworthy you may feel, however imperfect your obedience, however many your discouragements you should expect all he has promised to give.

Is Christ your Lord? Then always act as in his presence.

You are ever with him.

His eye is always upon you.

He bids you walk before him.

He wishes you . . .
to think, as if you realized that he reads your thoughts;
to speak, realizing that he hears your words; and
to act, feeling that he observes all that you do.

Is Christ your Lord? Then cleave to him, with full purpose of heart. Let nothing tempt you to forget, much less to forsake him. Having chosen him to be your Lord, and having professed that he is so, treat him as such, cleave to him as such.

Is Christ your Lord? Then consecrate your person, time, and talents to His service. Do this practically. Do it constantly. Do it sincerely. Do it so that everyone who lives with you, or carefully observes you, can sincerely say, "He is the Lord's!"

But have you thus professed to take the Lord to be your God to take God to be your Lord? Have you? Have you done it seriously, openly, repeatedly? If not, are you now prepared, renouncing the world, resisting Satan, putting off the old man, and receiving Christ, to say unto the Lord, "You are my Lord!" If so, you will never repent of it.

But if you refuse to receive him, if you are ashamed or afraid to confess him, then he will be ashamed of you, he will refuse your claim, he will renounce you, when he shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him.