By H.A. Ironside*
In a hospital ward a lady missionary found an undersized and undeveloped little Irish boy, whose white, wizened face and emaciated form excited her deepest sympathy. Perhaps of about fifteen years of age, he scarcely looked to be twelve. Winning the lad’s confidence by gifts of flowers and fruit, she soon found him very willing, even eager, to listen to the story of the sinner’s Savior.
At first his interest seemed of an impersonal character, but gradually he began to be immediately concerned. His own soul’s need was put before him, and he was awakened to some sense of his lost condition, insomuch that he commenced seriously to consider how he might he saved. Brought up a Romanist, he thought and spoke of penance and confessional, of sacraments and church, yet never wholly leaving out Christ Jesus and His atoning work.
One morning when the lady called again upon him, she found his face aglow with a new-found joy. Inquiring the reason, he replied with assurance born of faith in the revealed Word of God, “I always knew that Jesus was necessary, but I never knew till yesterday that He was enough!”
It was a blessed discovery, and I would that every reader of these pages had made it. Mark it well; Jesus is enough! “He, of God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” “Ye are complete in Him.” “God hath made us accepted in the beloved.” These are only a few of the precious declarations of Scripture which show clearly that Jesus is indeed not only necessary, but enough.
You see, it is not Christ and good works, nor Christ and the church, that save. It is not through Christ and baptism, or Christ and the confessional, that we may obtain the forgiveness of our sins. It is not Christ and doing our best, or Christ and the Lord’s Supper, that will give us new life. It is Christ alone.
Christ and . . . is a perverted gospel which is not the Gospel. Christ without the “and” is the sinner’s hope and the saint’s confidence. Trusting Him, eternal life and forgiveness are yours. Then, and not till then, good works and obedience to all that is written in the Word for the guidance of Christians, fall into place. The saved soul is exhorted to maintain good works, and thus to manifest his love for Christ. But for salvation itself, Jesus is not only necessary, but He is enough.
*This account, as current and powerful today as when Dr. Ironside wrote it many years ago, recently was reprinted in The Sword of the Lord (Feb. 3, 1989). Used by permission.