Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleThe Cry of True Faith
Bible TextPsalm 35:1-3
Synopsis The cry of faith is for Christ to undertake to plead our cause before God and to be our salvation in our hearts. Listen.
Series Psalms 2011
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: The Cry of True Faith (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: The Cry of True Faith (128 kbps)
Length 45 min.

Series: Psalms

Title: The Cry of True Faith

Text: Psalm 35: 1-3

Date: April 12, 2018

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


Our subject: The Cry of True Faith


What is the cry of true faith? It is a two-fold cry. One, we cry for Christ to do something for us outwardly before God’s righteous law.  Two, we cry for Christ to do something for us inwardly due to our sin-nature. We see this in our text.


The cry of true faith is for Christ to plead our cause with our enemies—Psalms 35: 1: Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. 2: Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. 3: Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me:


The cry of true faith is for Chris to work effectual within us—Psalm 35: 3…say unto my soul, I am thy salvation—that is how he gave us faith to call on him in the first place and that is how he strengthens our faith in him throughout our life.


Proposition: The cry of faith is for Christ to undertake to plead our cause before God and to be our salvation in our hearts.




How are sinners brought to cry this cry of faith?  Well, sinners have many enemies from which we cannot save ourselves. But the first enemy God reveals to us is our greatest enemy, our sin.


Will you listen to God speak? Will you look into his word with me and together let’s see what God says?  This is God’s word to you and to me. If you can’t turn to these write them down. If you want the notes send me an email and I will send them to you:


What does God say about our sin before his holy and righteous law?


Romans 3: 10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:


Job 15:14: What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 15: Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. 16: How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?


Job 25:4: How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5  Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6  How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?


Does God say we can justify ourselves if we start keeping the law? No. The law is only to reveal our sin and declare us all guilty.


Romans 3: 19: Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


Galatians 3: 21: Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22: But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.


There are two scriptures that declare that when God gave the law, saying, “If you do this, then you shall live” it did not mean that man had the ability to do it: “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Ro 3:19-20); “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” ‘(Ga 3:21-22)


Well then if the promise of salvation is only by believing then we must be able to believe when we will?  No, we have a second problem with our sin, it is in our nature. What does God say about our sin in our nature? What has sin done to us? It has ruined us totally.  God says,


Romans 3: 11: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12:They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


Psalm 14:2: The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3: They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


Someone will say, “But I see lots of people doing good things?” But fellow sinners do not set the bar. No one is righteous and holy as God! And that is how righteous and holy we have to be.


But surely, by our will we can hear the gospel and believe on Christ when we get ready too!  Will you listen to God speak in his word? I pray God give you ears to hear right now.


1 Corinthians 2: 14: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


This is not just some isolated scripture—this is the message throughout the bible. We all come forth spiritually dead in our nature.


Ephesians 2: 1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.


By being born of Adam’s corrupt seed, we come forth with a will that is in bondage to our sin-nature so we only do what our sin nature dictates.


Romans 6:20…ye were the servants of sin…and ye were free from righteousness.


If man has a will capable of calling on Christ whenever he will or capable of resisting God when he will, why then did Christ himself declare that we must be born again and that the new birth is sovereign and irresistible as the wind?  Christ said,

John 3: 6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8: The wind bloweth where it listeth, [where it will] and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


Why is it a necessity that we be born again of the Holy Spirit? Christ said, John 3: 6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Now compare that with Romans 8.


Romans 8: 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.


Those born of flesh only have a will to reject the truth of the Holy Spirit but those born of the Spirit are given a will to only believe the things of the Spirit.


Romans 8: 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.


There is no greater peace and joy than to be born again of the Holy Spirit and made willing to submit to God’s word and believe on Christ.  But why is the carnal mind death?


Romans 8: 7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.


Hebrews 11: 1 says the only way to please God is by faith in Christ.  But by nature, the carnal mind hates the true and living God of the Bible, will not and cannot submit to God’s word. He loves only the idol god of his carnal imagination. But when born of the Spirit of Christ, listen to this good news.


Romans 8: 9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.


Our old nature is the same, dead; but the Spirit in the new nature is life because of Christ our Righteousness. So repeatedly God says in his word that life and faith in Christ is, not of ourselves, not of our works, but is the gift of God by his free and sovereign grace.


Titus 3: 3  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


Ephesians 2: 4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)…8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Faith in Christ is one of those good works. God ordained before the foundation of the world that all his people shall walk in faith. So at the predestinated time, the Holy Spirit of God quickens us in regeneration and gives us faith in Christ—Gal 4: 6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. By God’s own workmanship we are given a new will to walk by faith in Christ—Psalm 110: 3: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The sure result is this: the sinner ceases boasting in his will and starts boasting in Christ who gave him a new will. And for his people to give God in Christ all the glory is the reason God saves this way.


1 Corinthians 1: 29: That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


You would think all men who claim to be Christians would want the triune God to have all the glory and sinners to have no room to glory in self. But sadly, it is not so. Many worship and boast in their will and works rather than Christ’s. The entire world is made up of the religion of Abel and Cain. Abel’s glory in God’s will and God’s works by which we are saved by grace; the Cains worship man’s will and man’s works

The religion of Isaac and Ishmael: Isaacs are sons born of God; Ishmaels are born by the will and works of men.


Galatians 4: 29: But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.


This, along with our old man of sin, is why believers never cease needing Christ to preserve us in faith. This is why in our text, at the end of verse 3, the Psalmist cries, “say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” (Ps 35:3) This is how we were given faith in Christ in the first hour and this is how the believer’s faith is preserved and strengthened, by Christ continually speaking into our soul, saying, “I am thy salvation.”


Christ said to some, John 10: 26: But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. He did not say ye are not my sheep because ye believe not. If he said that it would mean a man could become one of Christ’s sheep by his own will by believing whenever he got ready. But Christ said, ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep. And he explains what he meant. “My sheep hear my voice” when he says, “I am thy salvation.”and I know them” he knows us when he speaks this into our soul. And the irresistible result is “and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (Jo 10: 27-29)  He said “but ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep” because if ye were my sheep I would have made you hear my voice in your inner man and you would have believed on me and followed me.


So those who were not his sheep picked up rocks to stone him and so it is for the believer, today. We are persecuted sometimes by even our own loved ones simply because we believe the word of God.  Yet, opposition is used of God to keep his child crying to Christ alone to plead our cause with them that strive against us. It is to keep us believing on Christ alone who is our Salvation. So the cry of true faith is, Ps 119:154: Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.




So true faith continues calling upon Christ asking him to—Psalm 35: 1: Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me:…3:…say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.


True, God-given faith believes Christ’s word that he is the great I AM—I AM THY SALVATION! Believer cry out to Christ to plead your cause with them that strive against you and to speak into your heart. He is the great I AM. Christ promises:


John 6: 35: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst….

John 8: 12: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


John 10: 7: I am the door of the sheep. 8:…by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.


John 10: 14: I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15: As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.


John 15: 5: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.


John 11: 25: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.


John 14: 6: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


When he says “I am the way, the truth and the life’ it means we cannot look to Christ to plead our cause and at the same time look to self. We either trust Christ as the way, the truth, and the life by casting all our cause into his hands or we call him a liar and look to our will and our works to save us. We see an example of this faith in David.


Saul came with three thousand men to kill David. They entered a cave and slept while David and his men were in that cave against the walls. His men said this is what God promised to deliver Saul to your will.  But what is the new will that God puts in his regenerated child? David would not kill Saul because he was God’s anointed. Instead, David trusted his cause into the hands of Christ:


1 Samuel 24: 12: The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee….14: After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. 15: The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.


When we truly own ourselves to be as helpless as a dead dog and a flea then we will submit all into Christ’s hand to plead our cause.


And this faith is by having Christ the Faithful formed in us. Our Psalm is first and foremost Christ in perfect faith casting all his cause into the hands of the LORD his Father when he was surrounded by his enemies on the cross.


1 Peter 2: 23: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto Righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.


The righteousness of God is manifest by the faith of Christ. He conquered the devil and fulfilled the righteousness and love of the law—not by force of power—but by committing all into God the Father’s hand as he suffered and bled in place of his people. And he committed all his cause—not part—all his cause entirely unto God that judgeth righteously while he bore our sins and our stripes on the cross.


Isaiah 50: 6: I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7: For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.


Do you know this believer?  When Christ took the form of the servant of God, unlike those who worship their will and their works, Christ did not defend his will or even claim his will was free.


John 5:30: I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.


John 6: 38: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39: And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


So brethren, having faith by Christ being formed in us, by Christ speaking “I am thy salvation”, let us cease boasting in our will, cease trying to plead our own cause, cease defending our selves. We could not believe and neither can those who persecute. Let us commit all into Christ’s hand in true faith.


Micah 7: 5: Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. 6: For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. 7: Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 8: Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. 9: I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. 10: Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.


Psalm 37:5: Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.