Christ Is All!
James Smith, 1855
What the sun is to the world — that Christ is to the Church. What the soul is to the body — that Christ is to the soul. It has pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell — and emptiness is written upon everything out of Christ. The Apostles testified that Jesus was all in all, and primitive believers lived upon him as such. Let us look at this testimony.
First,In reference to the SINNER. Christ is all he needs, or can need.
Does he need pardon? Jesus is exalted to give the remission of sins.
Does he need righteousness? Christ is made of God unto us righteousness. He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one who believes.
Does he need acceptance with God? We are made accepted in the Beloved.
Does he need wisdom? In Jesus dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and he is made unto us wisdom.
Does he need holiness? Jesus is the root of all true sanctification; and he is made of God sanctification unto us.
Does he need redemption? We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our pins, according to the riches of his grace; he is of God made unto us redemption.
There is no one thing that is necessary to make him holy or happy — but it is in Jesus; and whatever is in Jesus — is free for all who come unto him by faith.
Therefore it is that we direct every sinner to Christ. To Christ alone. To go to Jesus immediately. To go for all that he needs. To go expecting to receive. To go just as he is — for a full and free salvation, and thus glorify the riches of his grace.
Secondly,Let us view the testimony in reference to the SAINT. Christ is not only all that he needs — but all that he can consistently desire.
Is he in darkness? Christ is the Sun of righteousness, with healing in his beams.
Is he in danger? Jesus is his shield.
Is he diseased? Christ is the great Physician.
Is he hungry and thirsty? Jesus is the true bread that came down from Heaven; and the water that he gives, becomes a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.
Does he feel dead and lifeless? Christ is his life, and will quicken him again.
Is he imperfect? In Jesus is completeness, and we are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Christ is all, therefore we say to the believer: Look to Jesus for all you need. Live upon Christ. Make him what God has made him to you — a full and complete Savior. Go to no one else. Expect from no other quarter.
Remember, the two principal lessons you have to learn are, first, to receive Christ; and then, daily to make use of Christ. Cleave to him with full purpose of heart. Follow on to know him. Seek great things from him, and use all you receive from him for the advancement of his kingdom and glory. Having Christ, all things are yours; for all things are in Christ, or under his direction and control.
Thirdly,Let us view the testimony in reference to the PREACHER. The truly enlightened and spiritual preacher, exhibits Christ as all in all . . .
Doctrines apart from Christ, are dry and unsavory.
Promises apart from Christ, are lifeless words.
Precepts apart from Christ, are irksome and grievous.
Experience without Christ, is enthusiasm or delusion.
Every gospel doctrine centers in the Cross of Christ.
Every new covenant promise is in the hand of Christ.
Every scriptural precept leads us to Christ.
Every experience which is produced by the Holy Spirit, is an experience of the grace, power, presence, or faithfulness of Christ.
Christ is all in our ministry. Take away Christ, and we lay down our commission, give up our work, and retire from our post.
We preach Christ in every place — Christ in every sermon — Christ for every purpose.
Do we aim to convert the sinner? We preach Christ, who is the wisdom of God, and the power of God.
Do we wish to relieve the distressed? We preach Christ, whose blood cleanses us from all sin — whose righteousness justifies from all charges — and whose grace is sufficient for every case.
Do we endeavor to comfort the mourner? We preach Christ
who is the consolation of Israel, and who has said, "As one whom his mother
comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted." It is by . . .
unfolding his fullness,
exhibiting his grace,
setting forth his perfect work, and
showing the tenderness of his heart —
that we comfort those who are cast down.
Do we try to strengthen the weak? It is by preaching Christ, who is the strength of the poor, and the strength of the needy in his distress.
Jesus meets every case, suits every person, and is our one grand subject.
We preach Christ Jesus the Lord, and we preach him as all and in all. All that the sinner needs — all that the saint desires — and all that the preacher requires.
By faith in him — the sinner is saved;
living upon him — the believer is happy; and
preaching him fully, freely, and constantly — the preacher is successful.
This subject is a touchstone to try us — Is Christ our all? Our All in the closet, before God? our All in the Church, before the saints? our All in the world, before his foes? If Christ is not our all — we differ from apostolic Christians, and our state is suspicious.
This subject is like a friendly sign-post: it directs all
to Christ — and it directs us to Christ always, and for everything. He is .
the Fountain which supplies us,
the strong Refuge which protects us,
the Friend who sympathizes with us,
the Prophet who teaches us,
the Priest who atones for us,
the King who rules over us, and
the Savior who delivers from all evil, and introduces us to all good!
May we live upon Christ as our all!
May we labor to set forth Christ as all!
May we die bearing testimony that Christ is all!