Potiphar’s Wife and the spirit of Free-Will
We cannot enter upon all the particulars which might be named concerning Joseph; but there is one that I have often thought of, as typical of a false “church”. When Joseph was sold into the hands of Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife professed great attachment to him, a great liking for him, and laid herself in his way in order to manifest her great liking and attachment; but when his purity, under the teaching of God, forbade the connection, she became his betrayer,—brought false accusations against him, and was the means of putting him in prison. And this is just the spirit of free-will at the present moment. O! How prettily she will talk about Christ! What a bustle and stir she will make about her love to Christ! But if Christ will not commit fornication with her, and let it be, “Christ doing his part and she doing her part,” she will turn accuser, and call Him a tyrant, and worse than a devil, and a cruel monster. If He acts purely, and will keep His bosom sacred and His heart sacred, communicating blessings only to His spouse and setting at naught all the poor empty parade of free will, then she turns His enemy, sets Him at naught, scorns and betrays Him, and despises Him in His own Person, in His ministers, and in all the members of His mystical body. I have often thought of one portion of God’s word: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Mind how that text reads. It does not say, “All that will live a godly life.” Men may live what they call a godly life, and be very “pious,” what the world calls “decidedly pious,” have a very pretty name into the bargain, and all things go on very nicely and meet with no persecution; but if any man is brought, by the power of discriminating grace, to trace all his godliness up to Christ, to “live godly in Christ,” to have no foundation or spring for godliness except what centers in Christ, comes from Christ, and leads to Christ, ”he shall suffer persecution.” They will act as Potiphar’s wife did; they will turn accusers; they will belie the truth, charge him with everything that is ungodly and licentious, and set at naught the sacred name of Christ in the hearts of His people, in the ministry of the word, and in the power of His grace, and say, “These men do evil that good may come.” And thus they demonstrate the same unhallowed spirit that Potiphar’s wife demonstrated concerning Joseph. But it comes to nothing, brethren. Our Jesus will keep His bosom sacred; He never will let the harlot of free-will lodge there. No, no. Honours crown His brow, He opens His ear and His bosom to empty, weak, polluted, lost sinners; “Sinners can say, and only they, How precious is a Saviour.” And He will have all the glory. He brings them by the power of His love to the blessed enjoyment of Himself; and He will have all the glory.