Summary: GOOD PERFORMANCES,GRAND PROFESSIONS,GROSS PRESUMPTION
Short Beds and Small Blankets
God has so made man, that there are two things essential for their comfort, if not for their very existence, namely, sleep and clothing.
Sleep is essential to the very existence of our bodies on earth. Clothing also is needful for our comfort, and, at least in some climates, absolutely necessary for our very existence. God has made the animal creation of such a kind, that they grow their clothing upon their own backs.
Just what the body needs materially, that the soul needs spiritually. The soul needs two things. It requires rest, which is pictured to us in sleep. The soul needs covering.
Our text tells us that men have sought for rest and for clothing where they are not to be found; that they have gone about to make a bed for themselves which is shorter than that they can stretch themselves upon it; and that they have also sought to make coverings for themselves which have turned out to be narrower than that they can wrap themselves in them.
We have a proverb today, “As a man makes his bed, so must he lie in it.” How true, and you have only yourself to blame for it.
Let us look at what man has done, and of his vain and futile attempts to find rest and clothing for his soul; and then, afterward, we shall briefly attempt to show how God has accomplished this, and has given to the believer a couch upon which he can stretch himself on and yet find that the bed is long enough, and how the Lord has given him a garment in which he may grow, but he will always find that, broad as he shall become in the magnitude of his experience or of his sin, yet shall this covering be always broad enough to cover him.
Many people select the short bed and narrow
I. GOOD PERFORMANCES
I am talking about good works. God works are a most empty, hollow, and miserable hope for eternity!
Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
No one will ever go to heaven because of his performance, that is, what he has done; or his position, who he is; or his pedigree, who his parents were. Those things are irrelevant. Salvation has nothing to do with either conduct or character. The only reason anyone goes to heaven is because of the grace of God.
Salvation is totally and completely without your performance. You cannot win it as a prize, you cannot earn it as a wage, you do not deserve it as a reward, but you can receive it as a gift.
God salvation is not a reward for those who are righteous, it is a gift for those who will admit they are guilty.
“I am doing the best I can” is a bed that is too short and blanket that is to narrow.
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
A. There are places associated with good performances
B. There are practices associated with good performances
"Two men went up to the temple to pray." I fear one of these men forgot his errand. I am at a loss as to what to call the Pharisee’s address; it certainly does not deserve the name of a prayer. It may rather be said that he came to the temple to boast, than to pray; for I do not find one word of confession of his original guilt; not one single petition for pardon for his sins, or a request for grace to help in time of need. He only brings to God a reckoning of his performances.
“I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." Fasting is a Christian practice, but it does not save.
"I give tithes of all that I possess" again a religious practice, but it does not save.
Those that do not build upon Christ as their foundation, but rest in a righteousness of their own, will prove in the end thus to have deceived themselves; for you can never find rest or warm in a bed or blanket or your own hands; it is only a bed too short and a blanket too small.