Welcome to Jesus!
James Smith, 1855
THERE IS A SAVIOR.
"He shall send them a Savior, and a great one, and he shall deliver them." Isaiah 19:20.
Reader, here is good news for you — good news from Heaven. There is a Savior. God has become man, that he may be the Savior of his sinful creatures. He came into our world. He took our place. He became a sacrifice for our sins. He wrought a work, he offered a sacrifice, on the ground of which YOU may be saved.
No matter who you are, or what you are — Jesus can save you. There are no limits to the merits of his blood; there are no exceptions in his invitations.
He has love enough to save you.
He has mercy enough to accept you.
He has merit enough to deliver you from all your sins, and to justify you completely and eternally in the sight of God.
He has power enough to subdue your iniquities, to conquer your foes, and to render you more than a conqueror.
Jesus is just suited to you — and you are just suited to Jesus. He can save you, and render you eternally happy; and you can glorify his grace and praise his most blessed name forever.
Jesus can get honor by saving you — and you can get an eternal salvation from Jesus. He sought the office of Savior, and he obtained it. He was named Jesus, because he came to save; and he has earned the name.
Remember, you need not perish, for there is a Savior. You will not perish either because Jesus was unable or unwilling to save you. He can save you without effort, he will save you with joy — if you will go to him.
He is God, and can save; he is God-man, and will save. He says, "Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else!" "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Savior."
"You shall call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.
YOU NEED A SAVIOR.
"The soul that sins, it shall surely die." Ezekiel 18:4.
"All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.
Our nature is corrupt, and it needs renewing. Your sins are many, and they need pardoning. You cannot cleanse your heart or renew your nature. You cannot atone for your sins, or satisfy the claims of Divine justice. And yet, there is no admission to Heaven without holiness; for God's Word declares that "without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."
There is no standing before the Judge of all, or being acquitted by the God of the whole earth — without perfect righteousness. Jesus can save you "by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." Jesus has wrought out and brought in a perfect and all sufficient righteousness, which is placed to the account of every one that believes on his name.
You need just such an one as Jesus, and without an interest in Jesus, you must perish forever. Sorrow for past sins is no atonement. Amendment of life entitles to no pardon for the past. Tears will never cleanse a guilty soul, nor will reformation justify a sinner before God.
Beloved fellow-sinner, you must be saved by Jesus, or perish forever. Your eternal destiny hangs on this: have you an interest in Christ, or have you not? You need him — but do you feel your need? You may be saved by him — but are you? He is willing to save you — but have you tried him? Eternal happiness or eternal misery depends on this.
May the Holy Spirit show you your need of Jesus, quicken you to desire an interest in him, and lead you to his feet to confess your sins and crave for pardon. Come to Jesus, for you deeply need him; come, and he will meet your case.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!" 1 Timothy 1:15.
JESUS INVITES YOU TO COME TO HIM
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
Jesus has all power in Heaven and in earth, and he employs his power to save sinners. Believe this, and you cannot doubt his ability to save you; yet you may question his willingness. "Will he save me? He invites you to come unto him. You are not at rest. You do not enjoy inward satisfaction. You are a stranger to the repose of the heart. To just such Jesus speaks: "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
You feel an inward thirst for something you have not, a restless desire to obtain what you do not enjoy. Jesus addresses you in this state, he invites you: "If any man thirsts, let him come unto me, and drink."
But if you feel nothing — if you are as hard as a stone, as cold as ice, as sinful as Manasseh, as near perishing as the dying thief — still, there is an invitation for you: "Whoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
You see you may come; you ought to come, for you are expressly invited to come. The invitation Jesus sends you is sincere; it is earnest, it is an expression of the tender pity and deep love of his heart.
Reader, Jesus is robed in robes of mercy; in him all fullness dwells; he possesses all you need to render you holy and happy for time and eternity; and he invites YOU to come, and receive freely. Can you refuse him? Will you put away his invitation from you? This is judging yourself unworthy of everlasting life. This is to choose death in the error of your way. This is loving darkness rather than light, because your deeds are evil. Still, at this moment, after all the past, Jesus says, "Come."
"Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool!" Isaiah 1:18.
COME THEN TO JESUS.
"All things are ready — come unto the marriage feast!" Matthew 22:4.
You have seen that Jesus invites you. Shall he invite
in vain? Right earnestly does he call to you . . .
wandering as you are in sin,
restless as you are in your soul,
sinful as has been your life,
and says, "come unto me."
It is in vain to go elsewhere. He alone has the true balm of Gilead, which will heal your hurt. He only has the glorious righteousness necessary to justify your soul. His blood, and his blood alone, will
cleanse you from all sin.
Come to Jesus . . .
let his bosom pillow your aching head,
let his arm support your sinking spirit,
let his sweet voice calm your troubled passions,
and let his love comfort your distressed soul.
Come to Jesus . . .
he waits to receive you,
he desires to bless you,
he will rejoice to place you among the lambs of his flock.
Come to Jesus; he wishes you to come, he continues to send messages to encourage you to come, and when he sees you come he will be glad in his heart.
Blessed Savior! how long he has waited for you, how
loudly he has called you, what patience he has with you! Come, come to
Jesus, that you may . . .
rest from legal toil,
drink of the fountain of his love,
and enjoy true peace with God.
You must come — or perish. You must accept his invitation now, while he calls you to COME — or you will be obliged to obey his mandate when he bids you DEPART. O the horrors of that hour! O the agony that will flow from that sentence!
Reader! shall it be pronounced on you? Will you provoke him until he pronounces it? Will you oblige him to say to you, before the assembled world, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!"
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 4:7.
COME, FOR JESUS JUST SUITS YOU.
"For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell" Colossians 1:19
Jesus is, in every sense, suited to the sinner, because he has all that the sinner needs, and has done all that is required for his justification. Not only so — but he has the heart to give what he has, and to make over what he has done to all who apply to him in faith.
Is your heart hard? He can soften it.
Is your conscience guilty? He can cleanse it from guilt.
Are your fears distressing? He can dissipate them.
Is your unbelief strong? He can conquer it.
Is your heart weak? He can give you strength.
He has . . .
a fountain, in which to cleanse you;
a robe, with which to adorn you;
wealth, with which to enrich you; and
a glorious Heaven, to which he will introduce you!
He can supply every need,
he can heal every disease,
he can rectify every mistake.
Come, then, to Jesus; he will give you both grace and glory.
We need not enter minutely into any one's case or circumstances: the one question is, Are you a sinner? If so, Jesus is exactly suited to your case. Are you desiring to be saved? He is able to save you. Are you willing to be saved by him? Then, he is willing to save you.
He has the mercy, the merit, and the power that are necessary to save sinners; and he delights to manifest his mercy, impart his merit, and exert his power. He needs no inducement — he has that in his own gracious nature.
He asks for no merits from you, for he gladly receives and perfectly saves the vilest of the vile.
None can be too vile for Jesus;
none can be too weak for Jesus;
none can be too empty for Jesus.
The viler, the weaker, the emptier the sinner — the more welcome to Jesus. The vile sinner is just suited to the loving Savior; and Jesus the Savior is just suited to the lost sinner.
"For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You!" Psalm 86:5
COME, JESUS WILL WELCOME YOU.
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost!" Luke 19:10
Never did a physician rejoice over a patient he had restored to health, as Jesus rejoices over the sinner who flies for refuge to his arms.
Never did a shepherd realize such pleasure when he had found his long-lost sheep, as Jesus realizes when the transgressor accepts his invitation.
Never did a father rejoice over his poor prodigal son who had returned to his arms and his home, as Jesus rejoices over the soul that seeks salvation in his name.
Reader, Jesus will joyfully welcome you. He longs to see you come to him. He will receive you to the glory of God. You cannot please him better than by coming to him. You cannot grieve him more than by refusing his loving invitation. He welcomed guilty Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons! He welcomed persecuting Saul of Tarsus! He has welcomed thousands of the most depraved of mankind — and he will welcome you. Only believe his word, come at his call, and he will rejoice to fold you in the arms of his love.
Can you doubt? That were to render him a liar, to treat him as not worthy of credit.
Can you delay? That were to try his patience, and postpone your own happiness.
Can you refuse? That were to secure your certain and everlasting damnation.
From the garden where he suffered,
from the cross where he died, and
from the throne where he reigns in glory,
he cries, "Come, and welcome!"
By his printed word,
by his preached gospel, and
by his Spirit's voice within —
he calls you, saying,
"Come, and welcome!
Welcome to my blood, to trust in it.
Welcome to my righteousness, to wear it.
Welcome to my promise, to claim it.
Welcome to Heaven, to enter and eternally enjoy it."
Welcome, thrice welcome to Jesus!
"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away!" John 6:37
COME, FOR JESUS DIED FOR SINNERS.
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Yes, Jesus died, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." Justice demanded the sinner's life; and Jesus took a human life like the sinner's, that he might lay it down in his stead. He was unwilling that sinners should die forever without a remedy. He could not endure to see sinners going to Hell without a way of escape.
He had the power to take the human nature into union with his divine, and he exercised that power. Man's nature became united with God's nature; and Jesus, as God and man, died for sinners — died in the stead of sinners — died, that sinners might never die.
Sinners still deserve to die; but they need not. They deserve to go to Hell; but if they come to Jesus, God will never send them there.
O the love of Jesus! to give his person for our persons, his life for our life, and to die on the accursed tree, that "Whoever believes in him should not perish — but have everlasting life!"
Reader, do you see that you are a sinner? Do you fed that you are a sinner? If so, Jesus died for sinners such as you — died that you may never die — died the most painful and shameful death, that you may live the most happy and glorious life. He is now inviting you to come to him and receive that life. It is impossible for him to refuse to receive and save you. Do you think he would die for you, call you to come to him — and then refuse to save you? It is impossible!
Come then to Jesus, because he bore the punishment of your sins "in his own body on the tree."
Come and live, because Jesus died.
Come and be happy, because Jesus suffered.
Come and receive a blessing, since Jesus was made a curse for you.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God!" 2 Corinthians 5:21
COME, FOR JESUS LIVES FOR SINNERS.
"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades!" Revelation 1:18
It is not more true that Jesus died for sinners, than it is true that he now lives for them. He lives in Heaven to save sinners upon earth. He is in the presence of God for us. The blood he shed for us here, he presents and pleads for us there. "Therefore he is able to save to the uttermost, all who come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them."
Jesus takes up your case the moment you come to him.
He undertakes for . . .
the pardon of all your sins,
the justification of your person,
the sanctification of your nature,
and the complete salvation of your soul.
Jesus . . .
lives for every coming sinner,
lives to hear his prayers,
lives to sympathize with his sorrows,
lives to subdue his iniquities,
lives to conquer his foes,
lives to secure his perseverance, and
lives to introduce him to everlasting glory.
Jesus did not think it enough to die for sinners as a sacrifice on earth — but he must live for them as a glorious intercessor in Heaven.
Lost sinner, come to Jesus. He will plead your cause with God. He will reply to all your accusers. He will silence all your enemies. He will introduce you to God, and secure your acceptance with God.
Oh, what encouragement is this! Jesus lives for you; and while he lives for you, he loves you; and while he loves you, he will rejoice over you to do you good. What have you to fear?
Why do you keep back? Jesus died for sinners — come to him, and you shall never die. Jesus lives for sinners — come to him, and you shall live for ever. He has made intercession for transgressors; he still makes intercession for believers. Come, at his bidding, and he will make intercession for you.
"Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us!" Romans 8:34
COME, FOR JESUS LOVES SINNERS.
"Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us!" 1 John 3:16
If Jesus had not loved sinners . . .
he would not have come into the world to save them,
he would not have fulfilled the law for them,
he would not have died for them,
he would not plead for them in Heaven,
he would not send his gospel to them,
he would not so lovingly invite them.
Think, reader, think of being loved by Jesus. What an honor! What a privilege! What a powerful inducement to incline you to go to him! How could he manifest his love in a more striking, stupendous, or glorious manner than he has done? "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." But Jesus laid down his life for his foes — for us who were enemies to him; for many who are still reluctant to come to him.
The heart of Jesus is full of love to sinners. The dealings of Jesus are all in love to sinners. There is love in every warning, love in every exhortation, love in every painful visitation.
Is it not pleasant to go to one who loves us, who has manifested his love to us in the most striking and most costly manner? It is; and has not Jesus done so? What could he do, that he has not done already? What could he promise, that he has not promised already? He has done everything to excite our affections, win our confidence, and bring us to his feet.
Come then, come to Jesus; for he loves you — loves you with an everlasting love — loves you with an unparalleled love — loves you so as to desire to make you holy, happy, and honorable as himself.
Come to Jesus; for he waits to shed his love abroad in your heart, and by that love constrain you to love him in return.
"God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.
COME, FOR JESUS HAS MADE PEACE.
"Having made peace through the blood of his cross." Colossians 1:20.
Man is God's enemy. He is in opposition to him. He .
has broken his law,
has despised his authority, and
deserves everlasting destruction!
Our hearts are enmity against God.
Our lives are contrary to the law of God.
We may be justly punished.
But God is gracious. He is full of compassion. He
desires not the death of the sinner. But if God and man are ever
reconciled and made friends, something must be done to meet the claims
of law and justice. Jesus undertook to do this; and he has done it. He
has done all that is necessary in order that the sinner may be . . .
reconciled to God, and
enjoy his eternal favor!
Consequently, if we wish to be friends of God, if we
wish to be happy in the enjoyment of the love of God, we have nothing to
do but . . .
come to Jesus,
submit to his righteousness,
rely alone on his sacrifice —
and God is at peace with us.
His law no longer condemns us.
His government has no longer any claims upon us for the past.
His threatenings are all turned away from us.
His face is enlightened with a smile.
His heart glows with love.
And all the blessings of the new covenant, all the promises of the everlasting gospel are ours.
No one can make our peace with God but Jesus. Nothing will satisfy the claims of his law and justice, but the blood of Jesus. Prayers, tears, and sufferings are all in vain. Jesus must be our peace. We must plead his name, rest on his blood, and trust in his promise. Then we have peace.
Come to Jesus, then, poor troubled soul — come to Jesus, and you shall enjoy peace with God. Come to Jesus, and the kingdom of God shall be set up in your heart; even that kingdom which is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."
"He is our peace." Ephesians 2:14
COME, FOR JESUS IS READY TO PARDON.
"Son, be of good cheer your sins are forgiven!" Matthew 9;2
"He said unto her: Your sins are forgiven." Luke 7:48
You may have been a great sinner. You may have lived in sin for many years. You may think that no one ever committed so many, or such great sins as you. It may be suggested to you that your sins cannot be pardoned.
But this is untrue. You may be pardoned. Come to Jesus, and you shall be pardoned. He has said, "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men."
There is sufficient merit in his blood, there is sufficient pity in his heart, to secure the pardon of every coming sinner. He still says, "Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool!"
Jesus never refused to pardon a coming sinner, and why should he refuse you? One of his titles is, "A God ready to pardon." The testimony of David, who sinned so fearfully, is, "You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy, unto all who call upon you." Call upon him, then. Confess your sins to him. Seek pardon from him. And as surely as he came into the world to save sinners, as surely as he shed his blood upon the cross, as surely as he ever lives at God's right hand — so sure is it that you shall be forgiven.
He needs nothing to induce him, for he is disposed to forgive; he needs nothing to prepare him, for he is ready to forgive. Come then to Jesus, because he is ready to pardon — and you need to be forgiven. He will blot out your sins as a cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud. He will cast all your sins behind his back. He will receive you graciously, and love you freely.
Come, O come to Jesus; he will wash you, and you shall be whiter than snow.
"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:10-11
COME, FOR JESUS DELIGHTS IN MERCY.
"I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Matthew 9:13
It was great encouragement which the Psalmist held out, when he said, "With the Lord there is mercy." But how much greater is the encouragement given us by the prophet, who assures us that "He delights in mercy." It is never said that he delights in wrath, or delights to punish. But he delights in mercy, as if it gave him joy to see the sinner come, hear the sinner plead, and to pardon the sinner's guilt.
Shall I feel reluctant to go to a person for that which he delights to give? Surely not. If I need it, if I desire it, if the Lord delights to confer it — then what can I desire more?
Mercy in God is just adapted to misery in man.
Mercy in God sympathizes with misery in man.
God's mercy glorifies itself in man's misery.
Come to Jesus, if you would glorify God, if you would please him, if you would obtain mercy for yourself. Come, for he will rejoice over you with joy. Come, for it will gratify his mercy to find you at his feet.
Satan may suggest many discouragements to your spirit — believe him not. Unbelief may throw many obstacles in your way — press through them all. Your own heart may misgive you — but yield not to fear. Let this silence all, "He delights in mercy!"
Does Satan say, "You are too great a sinner to be pardoned?" Answer, "He delights in mercy."
Does conscience say, "It is too late now?" Reply, "He delights in mercy."
Does the hardness of your heart rise up to discourage you? Still urge the testimony, "He delights in mercy."
Blessed, thrice blessed assurance this — Jesus delights to show mercy! Therefore he will show mercy to me, to you, to all who come. Come, then, come to Jesus.
"Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13.
COME, FOR JESUS STANDS KNOCKING.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me!" Revelation 3:20
This is the Savior's own representation. Often has
Jesus knocked at the door of your heart . . .
by many a solemn sermon,
by many a religious book,
by many a startling dispensation of his providence,
and perhaps by sickness, and nearness to death.
Have you repulsed him hitherto? Have you kept him outside? Have you admitted others — but refused him? Ah! have you? No doubt you have. Yet there is no one you need like Jesus. No one could do for you as Jesus can. No one can be to you what Jesus would. But he has not given you up yet. "He is slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" — or your repeated repulse would have driven him away long ago!
He is the God of patience, therefore he knocks still. With this little book he gives another knock. As you read it, he says, "Open to me; I will come in, and hold fellowship with you."
When Jesus comes, he never comes empty handed. He brings a full, free, and an everlasting salvation with him. He brings all that is "necessary for life and godliness."
Come then, open the door, and see Jesus. He says, "Look unto me, and be saved." "Ask what I shall give you." He is not willing that you should perish; he would rather you should "come to repentance." "Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may show mercy unto you; therefore will he be exalted, that he may be gracious unto you."
He has waited long.
He is waiting still.
He may not wait much longer.
There will be a last knock, and who can tell but this little book may be the last means that Jesus will use. It may be. Oh, if it should! Come, O come to Jesus, before he finally withdraws from you.
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." Luke 13:24, 25.
COME, FOR THE DAY OF GRACE IS NOT PAST.
"He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying: If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong unto your peace!" Luke 19:41, 42.
Jerusalem had its day; so have you. The Jews had the time of their visitation; so have you. The patience of God was wearied out by them in the wilderness, and he swore that they should not enter into his rest; so also in the days of our Lord, and their house was left unto them desolate.
Reader, you have your day also. It is now. But the night comes. The day flees away; and with many the shadows of evening are already stretched out. But if there is a desire in your heart to be saved by grace, if you are willing to come to Jesus for life and peace, your day of grace is not, cannot be past. There is mercy in store for you. The way of escape is open to you. The Savior still calls, and is willing to receive you.
Come to Jesus then, before the sun goes down, before the shades of night gather around your soul. There is time now; there will not be time long. The Master will soon rise up and shut to the door, and then you may stand outside, knocking, and crying in vain, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" But, like the foolish virgins, you will be rejected. Take heed, therefore, lest that day overtake you unawares.
"Hasten and escape; tarry not in all the plain!" If, like Lot, you are lingering, I would, like the angels, hasten you. If for a moment you hesitate, I would say, "Remember Lot's wife!"
Come to Jesus, before he lays aside the scepter of mercy and takes the sword of justice; before he leaves the throne of grace and ascends the judgment-seat. If you delay, if you trifle, if you put off until it is too late — then what will you do? How will you bear eternal torments? God himself asks you, ponder well the question, "Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the day that I shall deal with you?"
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation!" 2 Corinthians 6:2.
COME, FOR JESUS WILL NEVER CAST OUT.
"He who comes to me, I will never cast out!" John 6:37.
He who comes, whether he be youthful or aged, whether he be outwardly moral or immoral, whether he be a common or a peculiar character — none will ever be cast out from Jesus!
Anyone may come to Jesus, for he prohibits none; and every one that comes is sure of a kind reception. He may try our sincerity, faith, and fervor, as he did the Syrophenician woman in the days of his flesh; but he will not refuse to listen to our cry, not object to receive our petition. He never frowned away a petitioner yet, under any circumstances, nor will he frown away you.
If you are a great sinner — then he will get great glory in saving you. If you are an uncommon transgressor — then it will be an uncommon honor to him to save you. If you never had your equal for crimes, carnality, and wickedness — then he will save you, to prove the greatness of his mercy, merit, and love.
Nothing will induce him to turn away a coming sinner. Satan may accuse him, as he did Joshua the high priest; but Jesus will receive him notwithstanding. Men may prove him guilty of the most flagrant crimes, as they did the woman taken in adultery; but Jesus will refuse to condemn.
The sinner may apply even while in the very road to Hell, immediately after the basest conduct — as did Saul of Tarsus; and Jesus will stand to his word, refusing to cast out. If one had been guilty of all the crimes of Manasseh, of all the cruelty and blasphemy of Saul, and had stayed away as long as the thief on the cross — Jesus would not cast him out, if he came at last.
Come, reader, come to Jesus, whoever you are, whatever you are — he will receive you; his blood will cleanse you, and he will never cast you out.
"Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:11
COME, FOR IMMEDIATE PARDON.
"To him all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 10:43
O not deceive your soul with the idea of being pardoned at some future time. You are guilty, and need a present pardon. You are in danger, and if not pardoned at once, may be lost forever. There is no reason to suppose that God will be more willing to pardon you at some future time, than he is now. The promise is, a certain pardon for every believer; an immediate pardon for every believer.
"Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justed from all things." "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Renounce self entirely. Reject works altogether. Come to Jesus, and trusting in his blood make a frank confession of your sins — and that moment you are pardoned! God is merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and your iniquities he will remember no more. Receive the testimony of God's word into your mind, and you are not only pardoned — but you will realize it, and enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Venturing on Jesus, confessing your sins before God, and receiving the divine testimony into your heart — the Holy Spirit will seal home a sense of pardon on your spirit, and you will enjoy rest.
It is not the nature or the number of your transgressions that causes you to groan under guilt, fear the wrath of God, and dread approaching judgment — it is only unbelief. Unbelief keeps you from Jesus, or prevents your relying on Jesus, or hinders your resting on the faithful word of Jesus.
Your pardon is ready — signed, sealed, and waiting; and all that is necessary is simple faith, to take it out of Christ's hand, and bless him for procuring and conferring it.
"I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me; and it shall be to me an honor before all the nations of the earth." Jeremiah 33:8, 9.
COME, AND JESUS WILL GIVE YOU REST.
"This is what the LORD says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls!" Jeremiah 6:16
Every sinner is restless; for the immortal soul can only find rest in God.
We labor to deserve at God's hands.
We labor to silence an accusing conscience.
We labor to satisfy the cravings of our immortal nature.
But all our labors fail. We are still restless. We try to rest in church rituals — but it will not do. We try to rest in duties — but it will not do. We try to rest in our promises for the future — but it will not do. We go to the law; it gives no rest. We try the world; it gives no rest. Everything is full of labor.
But who enjoys rest? The Christian, and the Christian only, enjoys soul-satisfying repose.
Where does he find it?
In the world? No.
In the church? No.
In his own works? No.
In his experience? No.
He finds it in Jesus, and in Jesus only. He alone gives rest — true, solid, soul-satisfying rest.
Hear him, my reader; his sweet voice is now saying, "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Mark the terms, "Come;" not, go work, go seek, go suffer.
"Come unto me;" I am great, good, glorious. All
things are delivered unto me by my Father. I have . . .
all you need,
all you can consistently desire,
all you can really enjoy.
"Come unto me" . . .
I am ready to receive you,
I am waiting to bless you,
I am willing to satisfy you.
"I will give you rest." I will . . .
take your cares,
meet all your claims,
supply all your needs,
soothe all your sorrows,
bear all your burdens, and
enrich you with unsearchable wealth!
Come, come then to Jesus, poor restless sinner.
He is the only Ark for you — a weary dove.
He is the only Refuge for you — a guilty criminal.
He is the only Home for you — a weary, way-worn, exhausted traveler.
It is in vain to go elsewhere; come to Jesus, and enter into rest.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15
COME, FOR HOLINESS.
"God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior, that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel!" Acts 5:31
You are not only guilty — but impure. As you cannot atone for your sins — so you cannot purify your polluted nature. David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see
God." They shall . . .
see him with joy,
stand accepted in his presence,
and be filled with his infinite love!
But no purity — then no pleasant sight of God. Heaven would afford no happiness to those who are not prepared for it. "Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
The Corinthians were filthy, guilty, and depraved; but when they heard the gospel, they came to Jesus, and the apostle testifies that they were washed, they were sanctified, they were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus; and by the Spirit of our God.
Reader, your heart must be purified, for it is foul.
Your nature must be renewed, for it is depraved.
No one can cleanse your heart, or renew your nature — but the Holy Spirit alone. Water is the common emblem of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God; and using this emblem, Jesus, at the well of Jacob, said to the guilty woman who refused him a drop of water, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink — you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water."
Yes, he gives to every one that asks him. Bring, then, your filthy heart to Jesus — he will cleanse it. Lay yourself, in all your vileness, at the footstool of Jesus — and he will make you fit to partake "of the inheritance of the saints in light."
"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws!" Ezekiel 36:25-27
COME, FOR HAPPINESS.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." John 14:1
All people desire happiness — but few really enjoy it.
Human nature cannot find it.
Effort cannot produce it.
Wealth cannot buy it.
Wisdom cannot discover it.
The thirst for happiness is in men's nature.
The gift of happiness is by Christ alone.
Jesus offers to make us happy.
He will take from us all that troubles us — and give
to us all that is needed by us. He offers to take . . .
our guilt — and pardon it;
our cares — and provide all for us;
our various concerns — and overrule all for our good.
He is ready to take us just as we are, and make us everything we ought to be — everything he wishes us to be.
If we have . . .
no guilt to torment us,
no cares to harass us,
no anxieties to pain us,
if the present is provided for, and
the future left entirely to his wisdom, his wealth, and his love —
should we not be happy?
This is just what Jesus wishes. He would not have us
trouble our hearts, or grieve our spirits, or perplex our minds about
anything that occurs. But he would have us . . .
cast every care on him,
leave the management of all our concerns to him,
and expect every necessary good thing from him.
Therefore he said, "So do not worry, saying: 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:31-33
This is happiness, to have . . .
One to love us,
One to care for us,
One to provide for us —
One who is at once wise, wealthy, kind, and powerful!
Do you wish to be happy? Come to Jesus, and ask him
to make you so, by removing all that . . .
disturbs your peace,
distracts your mind,
and agitates your spirit.
He will do it, and fill you with peace and joy.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own!" Matthew 6:34
COME, FOR A TITLE TO HEAVEN.
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.
Having heard of Heaven as a place of rest, happiness, and honor — we naturally desire to go there when we die. But for a sinner to desire to go to Heaven, is like desiring to enjoy another man's estate, for he has no title to it. A sinner has no right to Heaven at all. When a convicted rebel can prove he has a title to the privileges of citizenship, or a convicted traitor can prove he has a right to the king's palace — then may a sinner prove that he has a right to Heaven. All right to happiness on earth is forfeited by sin; and right to Heaven, there can be none.
Will imperfect obedience procure a title? It will not.
Will tears and sufferings purchase a title? They will not.
How, then, can a sinner obtain a title to Heaven? Only by coming to Jesus. No one can give a title but Jesus. Nothing will be admitted as a legal or proper title, but the Savior's perfect work. What Jesus did and suffered, merited Heaven; and it is only by a saving interest in Jesus, or by having his perfect work made over to us, that we can obtain a title to Heaven.
No matter who you are, what you have, what you have suffered, or what you have done — these form no title to Heaven. If you wish to go to Heaven when you die, you must come to Jesus while you live. And if you come to him by faith, with fervent prayer, he will receive you, pardon you, and give you a title to glory!
Come then, dear reader, come to Jesus. Cast yourself at his feet, plead at his throne — and he will receive you, and give you an unquestionable title to glory. No one is admitted to Heaven but in the name of Jesus. No one can pass through the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem, but the friends of Jesus; and those only are his friends who accept his invitation, and come at his call.
"He who has the Son has life; and he who has not the Son of God has not life." 1 John 5:12.
COME, JESUS WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT.
"Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear!" Acts 2:33
"If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my Spirit on you!" Proverbs 1:23
You not only need a title to Heaven — but a fitness for it. The religion of time — is education for eternity. Unless made fit for Heaven, you could not be happy, even if it were possible to gain admission there. That fitness commences in a new birth, and stands in true holiness. No one can fit you, but the Spirit of God.
You must be born of the Spirit.
You must be taught by the Spirit.
You must be led by the Spirit.
You must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
In order to this, you must receive and possess the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no likeness to Christ, no union to Christ, no saving interest in Christ; for "if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
Jesus gives the Spirit, in full measure, to all who believe in him. He told his disciples, "I will send you another Comforter," and on the day of Pentecost that Comforter came. Alluding to the effects of which, Peter said, speaking of Jesus, "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear!"
If you would enter Heaven, you must be holy; for without holiness no one can see the Lord. If you would be holy, you must receive the Holy Spirit to make you so. If you would receive the Holy Spirit — you must come to Jesus for him; for the fullness of the Spirit is with him. Come to Jesus, then, and plead with him to give you the Holy Spirit; whose gracious presence, power, and influence, will fit your heart to be the residence of God, and prepare you to dwell with God in glory everlasting. You are not so willing to receive, as Jesus is to give.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children — how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13
COME, AND JESUS WILL BE YOUR FRIEND.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
"There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
As a Friend, he now invites you to him, and he wishes to be on terms of intimacy and friendship with you. You will need a Friend — and Jesus has every qualification to constitute him the Friend you need.
His wisdom is infinite.
His love is constant.
His resources are inexhaustible.
His condescension is unparalleled.
He delights to do his friends good.
He opens his heart to them.
He opens his treasures for them.
He prepares mansions for them.
The friendship of Jesus is costly to him — and beneficial to them. His nature is loving, unselfish, and pure.
You may trust him with your secrets — he will never betray you.
You may consult him in your difficulties — he will at all times aid you.
You may repair to him in danger — he will receive and deliver you.
He will stand by you in persecution,
he will supply you in need,
he will strengthen you in weakness,
he will nurse you in sickness,
he will comfort you in death, and
he will receive you to glory after death!
You may . . .
trust him without fear,
walk with him and become wise,
imitate him and rise to honor.
He will . . .
answer for you before God,
plead for you against Satan, and
stand beside you in every trial and trouble.
His friends are the excellent of the earth, the favorites of God, and the heirs of everlasting glory. His friendship is firm, fast, and faithful.
If, therefore, you would . . .
never be lonely,
never be neglected,
never lack a Friend, on earth or in Heaven, in life or in death, during probation or at judgment, in time or eternity
— then come to Jesus.
He is your best Friend now, and therefore he warns, invites, and entreats you to come to him and be friends with him; and when you do come, he will prove himself worthy of your love, confidence, and friendship.
"No longer do I call you slaves — but I have called you friends!" John 15:15
COME, THOUGH UNWORTHY.
"A friend of publicans and sinners." Matthew 11:19.
"I am not worthy to come unto you," said the
centurion in the days of our Lord's flesh. And what he said, many feel.
But let no sense of unworthiness keep you back. Jesus looks for
nothing in you. He asks nothing of you. He simply invites
you to come unto him, that he may make you eternally blessed. His heart
is set upon making . . .
poor sinners rich,
miserable sinners happy,
polluted sinners holy, and
guilty sinners righteous!
Wait as long as you please, you will never find any worthiness in yourself. Come as soon as you will, you will never find Jesus refuse you because of your unworthiness. If you were the most unworthy creature God ever made, or that sin ever defiled, or that Satan ever led captive at his will — you would be most welcome to Jesus. Saving great sinners gets him great honor.
Speaking to some who thought themselves worthy, he
said, "Publicans and harlots enter into the kingdom of God before you!"
And when he sent forth his apostles, "repentance and remission of sins
must be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" — at
Jerusalem, where they . . .
spit in his face,
insulted and derided him,
crowned him with thorns,
and at last crucified him!
Could sinners be more vile than these?
Could any be more unworthy than such?
But, if my reader were the most unworthy wretch that ever blasphemed God's name, and had reviled God's Son — his unworthiness would be no barrier in his way, nor would he be rejected because of it. Come then, unworthy sinner, with all your deep and bitter sense of unworthiness — come to Jesus, and your soul shall live.
"I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: 'Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him!" Luke 15:18-20
COME, WITHOUT ANY PREPARATION.
"This man receives sinners, and eats with them." LUKE 15:2.
Though you need to be prepared for Heaven
before you can enter there — you need no preparation to come to
Jesus. If you come aright, you will come just as you are . . .
with all your guilt upon you — that he may pardon it,
with all your filth — that he may cleanse you from it,
with a heart as hard as adamant and as cold as winter — that he may remove it, and give you an heart of flesh,
full of disease — that he may restore you to health,
naked — that he may clothe you in his own glorious righteousness.
Make no preparation whatever; but do as the blind beggar at Jericho, when he heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Cry out unto him. In simple prayer approach him. Tell
him . . .
all you feel, and all you fear;
what you have been, and what you have done.
Tell out the whole simple truth, without trying to make anything better or worse.
Cast yourself upon his mercy.
Ask him to take you as you are, and make you what you ought to be. Tell him you come for a whole salvation, for you have nothing but sin, and without him you can do nothing but sin. Let not your feelings keep you back, whatever they may be. Let not your thoughts cause you to delay, whatever they may be.
Think not that tomorrow will be better than today. It will not be. It cannot be. Everything you need — Jesus has, and he invites you to come to him for it.
"Am I, then, to bring nothing to Jesus?" Nothing!
"Am I, then, to do nothing before I come to Jesus?" Absolutely nothing.
"Am I not to wait until my heart softens, my tears flow, and I feel sorry for my past sins?" Wait for nothing — but if your heart is as hard as steel, if it is leprous all over, if it is sinful beyond degree — come just as you are!
"Do not be afraid — only believe." Mark 5:36.
Coming to Jesus is believing. Feeling our need of him, and giving credit to his word — the heart moves toward him in desire and prayer. We do not believe in Christ if we do not come to him; and we do not come to him unless with the heart we believe on him.
But when we say, "Come believing," we mean come crediting his word, trusting his promise; consequently expecting him to receive, pardon, and save you. Or, come with confidence. Jesus has done everything to inspire you with confidence.
It was much for him to come into our world — but it was more to die for sinners on the cross. He has given you not only an invitation — but a promise; not only a promise — but his solemn oath; not only his solemn oath — but he has compassed you about with a great cloud of witnesses. He has given you a selection of examples in his blessed Word, and there are instances all around you of those whom he has received, and accepted, and made happy in his love. Now, why was all this? Just to inspire you with confidence.
Come then to Jesus, believing that he is a loving, faithful, willing Savior — that, according to the testimony of his own word, "he will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax."
You cannot be justified in excluding yourself from his invitation, or in supposing that he will reject your prayer. The stronger your confidence in him — the more you honor him. The steadier you believe — the sooner will he fill your heart with joy and peace. Unbelief gives the lie to his word — but faith says, "It is all true."
Believe, and all is easy.
Believe, and you will soon be happy.
Believe, and grace shall be brought unto you.
Believe, and all your darkness, doubts, and fears will depart.
"This is the will of him that sent me, that every one who believes in him, may have everlasting life." John 6:40.
COME NOW, IT IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2.
When anything of importance is confined to a day, it shows the necessity of paying immediate attention to it.
The day of salvation, with you, is the present day; tomorrow may be the day of condemnation. Hence our Lord says, ""Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.' Luke 13:24-25
In another place we read, "And the door was shut!" In your case, my reader, the door is not shut yet — but you don't know how soon it may be. Never was there such a convenient time as the present; and wait as long as you will, there never will be. The door of salvation is now open.
There is no obstacle but what is found in your own heart. There is nothing to discourage you, but what is suggested by Satan, or your carnal nature. Salvation is free — it is free for you. Jesus wrought it. Jesus gives it. Jesus offers it you. "Today, then, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart."
The Holy Spirit says, "Today;" do not you say Tomorrow. Today you will be in time, tomorrow may be too late. Today you
have every facility; it is emphatically "the day of salvation."
Thousands have received salvation, and are happy. Thousands are now receiving salvation — and will you loiter, and linger, until the door is shut, and it is too late? Come, come to Jesus today. Come and embrace his feet, and he will lay you in his bosom. Come and cry at his footstool — and he will raise you to praise him on his throne!
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!" Isaiah 55:1
COME, FOR IT WILL SOON BE TOO LATE.
"Son, go, work today in my vineyard.
He answered and said: I will not!" Matthew 21:28-29
Many are in Hell while you read these lines — many who were once invited to come to Jesus — but they would not. Whatever they may wish, it is too late for them now. The door of mercy is closed; they are shut out, and shut out forever. They now cry, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!"
Soon, it may be very soon, the door of hope will close on you.
Sickness may arrest you — and death will seize upon you!
You have the present moment — you are not sure of the next.
The last knock will soon be given at the door of your heart.
The last warning will soon be sounded in your ears.
The last invitation will soon be presented to your eye.
God may soon say, "Let him alone." Justice may soon call, "For these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue also to use up the ground?" Even Jesus may add, "They would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices!"
O fearful case!
O desperate condition!
Convinced of guilt, too late!
Alarmed at danger, too late!
Crying out for mercy, too late!
Regretting your procrastination, too late!
Ah, it will soon be too late!
Come, O come to Jesus now. You have space to repent. You have the opportunity of embracing the Savior's loving invitation. Tomorrow may be too late!
What would some, who once trifled as you do
now, give to be in your circumstances But . . .
the die is cast,
the gulf is fixed,
the sentence is passed
— and there is no hope!
What if you should go to Hell with the invitation of Jesus in your hand! What if you should perish forever because you will not come to Jesus that you might have life! To prevent the possibility of this, come to Jesus at once. This moment come — the next may be too late!
"Later the other virgins also came, saying: Lord, lord, open up for us.
But he answered: Truly I say to you, I do not know you!" Matthew 25:11-12
WHOEVER WILL, COME.
"The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17
Thus the Word of God closes. Reader, whoever you may be, whatever you may be, Come to Jesus.
Are you young? Come to Jesus while the bloom
of youth is on you. He loves to see young people come. Hear his own
sweet words: "I love those who love me; and those who seek me early
shall find me." Come, then . . .
before sin hardens you,
before the world captivates you,
before Satan deceives you.
Come, and let Jesus have the first and best of your days!
Are you in life's meridian? Come to Jesus, delay not, for a hardening process is going on. Your conscience will become seared. Your affections will be riveted to earth, and custom will render it almost impossible for you to come. Hence says the prophet, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." Jeremiah 13:23
Are you aged? What! an old sinner! The head white with age — and the heart black with sin? Awful sight! Yet, as old as you are, you may come to Jesus. He has not excluded even those who have given the devil and the world the best of their days.
Aged sinner, do you hear? You may yet come to Jesus. But you must come at once. Your sun is going down. Your opportunities are few. It is the eleventh hour, and every minute counts now. The hand on the clock will soon move around to midnight, and then all is over for you! As death finds you — it will leave you! Will it find you unpardoned, unsanctified, unsaved? Will it? O come, come to Jesus! Come this moment. Fall on your knees, cry for mercy, nor cease crying until Jesus says to you, "Your sins are forgiven — go in peace."
"But hurry! Escape!" Genesis 19:22
COME, FOR JESUS WARNS YOU.
"But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you!" Matthew 11:24
Ponder on these solemn words. There is a day of judgment; for God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man which he has ordained. That man is Jesus — Jesus who so lovingly invites you to come to him that you may have life. You must face Jesus. He will be on the throne of judgment, and you must stand immediately before him. Your eye must meet his eye. You must give an account of yourself to him. You must tell him why you refused to accept his invitation, why you treated him with such scorn and contempt.
You must account for the deeds done in the body. What account will you give? What can you say? Can you say that you never heard of him — that you never received his invitation? Will you tell him to his face that you did not believe his word? Or, that you preferred this poor, miserable world to him? Sodom and Gomorrah were never invited to Jesus; you are. Your light is tenfold clearer than theirs. You have more difficulty in forcing your way to Hell than they had.
O think of "the lowest Hell!" "The greater damnation!" What do such words embody? What ideas are they intended to convey? More tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, than for you? What can this mean?
Beloved reader, let me beseech you not to risk the
possibility of knowing. If the cup of wrath is once put into your
hand, it will never be taken out again. If the sentence is once passed,
it stands unrepealed forever. Come, O come to Jesus . . .
so shall you be safe in the day of God's fierce anger;
so shall you stand bold before the throne of judgment;
so shall you shine forth as the sun in glory forever!
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" Hebrews 2:3
COME, FOR ETERNITY URGES YOU.
"The things that are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:8.
There is an eternal Hell — a place of
never-ending punishment. There . . .
the light of God's countenance never shines;
the voice of mercy is never heard;
the throbbings of hope are never felt;
all is darkness, despair, and death!
The horrors of that place can never be described. The agonies of the lost are unutterable and inconceivable — especially of those who reject the gospel and perish in the light of truth.
"He who believes not shall be damned." He is condemned already, because he has not believed. There is no escaping Hell, but by coming to Jesus. He is the only refuge from the wrath to come.
There is an eternal Heaven — a place of everlasting happiness and joy. There God dwells in glory. There Jesus reigns in love. The joys of Heaven are unspeakable. The glory of Heaven is inconceivable. There the saints are at home with God. There every believer will be forever holy and happy. "He who believes shall be saved." "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved."
by the agonies of Hell,
by the terrors, torments,
by despair of the damned —
let me urge you to come to Jesus!
You must come to Jesus, or be lost forever; there is no alternative. You need not perish; but you must come to Jesus if you would escape.
By the glories of Heaven, by the happiness of the saved — let me exhort you to come to Jesus. You may be eternally happy — but you must come to Jesus if you would; for there is no admission to Heaven but through him.
Eternity! Eternity, with all its joys and with all its terrors — urges you to flee to Jesus! He is able, he is willing, to save you from an eternal Hell! He is able, he is willing, to raise and introduce you to a glorious Heaven!
COME, OR YOU MUST PERISH.
"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
No one can meet your case but Jesus. He who made, must save; and as all things were made by him, so all who are saved must be saved by him.
The watchmaker must repair the watch.
The sculptor must repair the statue.
The painter must restore the picture.
So Jesus must save the soul.
This is "the work "the Father has given him to do — to "bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."
His blood alone can cleanse.
His righteousness alone can justify.
His Spirit alone can sanctify.
His Word alone can direct.
Jesus can save anyone; but out of Jesus, there is salvation for no one. Reject his atonement, and there remains no more sacrifice for sin. Resist his Spirit, and there is no purification for your depraved nature. You are shut up to Jesus alone. He can save, and he alone.
Out of Christ, all is danger.
He is the one ark amidst the deluge.
He is the only city of refuge where the man-slayer is safe.
He is the only house where the weary soul will find rest.
All out of the ark of Noah, perished in the waters of the flood; so all out of Christ, will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Come, O come then, to Jesus! He will receive and shelter you. He will protect and preserve you. He "will save and lift you up forever."
Receive Christ, and you are made forever. Reject Christ, and you are ruined to all eternity!
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him." The wrath of God! The wrath of God abiding on the soul! What, O what can that be?
"Whoever does not believe stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son!" John 3:18
COME, OR JESUS WILL SOON SAY, 'DEPART'
"Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!" Matthew 25:41
"See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks." Hebrews 12:25
Jesus speaks to you in love, in pity, in tender mercy. His object is your good, your eternal good. He aims at your highest welfare, therefore he calls you to him. Will you refuse him? What! refuse to come to him who alone can save you from certain, from interminable damnation! What! refuse him who wishes to save you — him who waits to save you — him who will not only preserve you from sinking into Hell — but will raise you to the highest honor, the sweetest happiness, the fullness of joy in his own blessed presence!
If you refuse to come to Jesus, your conduct is interpreted as saying to him, "Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of your ways!" And the result will be, that when he comes to glorify his people with himself, and to reward every one according to his works, he will pronounce this fearful sentence upon you, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!"
Nor can you complain of this; for if you bid him depart whenever he comes near to you in your lifetime, though he comes in mercy and love — then what can you expect but that, when he comes to judge the world in righteousness, he should treat you as you have so long and so often treated him?
Oh, if he should say to you: "Depart from me, you who
are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels!" Where will you go? Where can you go? There is but one place
that will receive you, and that is Hell — that dreadful Hell! You will
then have . . .
no companions but the devil and his angels, and the most wretched and depraved of mankind;
no cessation from pain and suffering;
no employment but bitter reflection and endless self-accusation.
Come then, O come to Jesus now, or you will compel him to say to you, "Depart from Me. Forever!"
"But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you — when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes!" Proverbs 1:24-31
"You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever!" Psalm 45:2
Reader, I wish to commend One to your attention, who is worthy of your love and suited to your circumstances.
As an immortal being, you have many needs, and many inward aspirations. Those needs, no creature can supply; those aspirations, no creature can satisfy. But Jesus can. He has all you need. He is all you can desire. Christ alone is enough. I can speak from experience. I had those needs — I had those aspirations. I sought satisfaction from many quarters and in many ways — but only to meet with disappointment. At length my attention was directed to Jesus. I heard him spoken of; I read his Word, I applied to him, and I found that he was just what I needed; and, of a spiritual nature, all I needed. I looked to him; I believed in him; I received from him. I had peace. Peace! I had more — I was filled with joy; I was happy. I had found the priceless pearl. I was made for eternity.
Many years have passed since then — but every year deepens my sense of the excellency of Jesus, and heightens my views of his adaptation to the needs of man. To know him — is to love him; to believe in him — is to be saved. No one can tell — but he who has tasted it, the unutterable joy that flows from fellowship with him. This glorious Savior, I wish to commend to you; and my object will be to point out some of his excellencies, to show his exact adaptation to you, in order to induce you to believe on his name, and seek a saving interest in his glorious person and finished work.
"Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens!" Psalm 148:13
JESUS IS ABLE TO SAVE.
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." Hebrews 7:25
Great sinners need a great Savior! Indeed, when the soul is soundly convinced of sin by the Holy Spirit, it will not build — but on a sure foundation; it will not rest — but in a place of safety. And in proportion to the depth of our convictions will be our concern to make sure work for eternity. Many things may be tried — but all will fail to give peace. Often, very often, will the suggestion be thrown into the mind, that the case is desperate, that deliverance is not to be obtained, that there is no salvation. This comes from Satan, and is intended to dishonor Jesus and distress the soul.
No one can save but Jesus. It must be Christ alone. There is no salvation but in his perfect work. Our tears, prayers, efforts, will not save us. They sometimes stand in the way of our enjoying salvation — but they cannot save. There is no merit in them. They cannot procure our pardon or bring us peace. But Jesus can save. There is no creature under Heaven that he is not able to save. His ability stands in his divinity; he is God, therefore to him all things are possible: and in the merit of his sacrifice, which is infinite, and therefore can expiate all sin. The atonement that Jesus made is sufficient to blot out all the sins of all men. It must be so, for it was the offering up of himself as a sacrifice for our sins. As an infinite being, offering up himself, he could make an infinite atonement; and an infinite atonement must be sufficient for any number of sinners, and for any sinner, however great his crimes.
Reader, Jesus can save you. He can save you at this moment; he can save you with perfect ease. He can get glory by saving you. Doubt not, he is the Almighty; fear not, for his blood cleanses from all sin.
JESUS IS WILLING TO SAVE.
"A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, 'If you are willing, you can make me clean.' Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured!" Mark 1:40-42
Many profess to believe that Christ is able to save them — but question if he is willing; whereas they have no more reason to believe in his ability, than they have in his willingness. How do
I know that Christ can save me — but by his word? But the same word that tells me he is able — informs me with equal clearness that he is willing.
The poor leper might doubt it he would cleanse him, because he came to him uninvited; nor had he a single promise on which to rest. Impelled by his distressing circumstances, he came at a perhaps; but he no sooner professed his faith in our Lord's power, than he received the assurance that he was willing, and instantly enjoyed the proof of both. The heart of Christ has been set upon saving sinners from all eternity, and as soon as ever the divine arrangement would permit, he came into our world in order to do and suffer all that was requisite to save our souls from death.
While upon earth, he showed his sympathy with human suffering, his ability to deliver from all kinds of evil, and his readiness to receive and bless every applicant. His heart was full of compassion and mercy; his hand was ready to help every one that applied to him. This was for our instruction. Surely he is not less willing to hear us for spiritual blessings — than he was those who applied to him for temporal blessings? He cannot be backward to save from Hell — when he was so ready to deliver from disease and pain. But we need not reason, for we have his word. He says, "Whoever will, let him come;" and, "Him that comes to me, I will never cast out."
Reader, are you willing to be saved by Jesus? If so, Jesus is willing to save you, and your willingness is a proof of his.
"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Mark 4:40.
JESUS IS WAITING TO SAVE.
"Yet the LORD waits to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion!" Isaiah 30:18
If the Lord had made us wait for him, we would not have wondered; but for him to wait for us! Yet, the Lord Jesus does
wait for the sinner. He is on his throne of grace; he has sent out his invitation; he employs his ministers and friends to send sinners to him; he waits for them to come, that he may pardon their sins, give them peace with God, and bestow on them everlasting life. What wondrous grace! what marvelous condescension! Jesus is waiting this day!
Reader, it may be that Jesus is waiting for you. He
is waiting until . . .
you see your folly,
give up your evil courses,
are stripped of your self-righteousness, and
are made willing to be saved by his merit and mercy alone.
If anything will commend you to him — it will be your spiritual poverty, your misery, and your sinfulness. He waits to see you stripped of every false hope, driven out of every refuge of lies, and led to flee to him for a full and free salvation.
He is quite ready to bless you — if you are ready to be blessed. He is ready to receive you — if you are ready to receive him. He has called you often; he is calling you still.
Every solemn providence,
every impressive sermon,
every alarm in your conscience,
every holy book that is put into your hand
— is a fresh call from Jesus. It tells you that he is willing, and waiting to bless you; that there is nothing between you and everlasting life but your own ignorance, obstinacy, and unbelief.
The love of Christ is astonishing, surpassing the love of women. No fond mother was ever so ready to receive to her home and to her heart, her long-lost, wandering son — as Jesus is ready to receive you. No one can love thus but Christ alone. Then do not doubt his word; do not fear rejection.
"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him!" Luke 15:20
GOD IS IN CHRIST.
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." 2 Corinthians 5:19
If we would have clear, correct, and comfortable views of God, we must view him in Jesus. God was manifested in the flesh of Christ. In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Christ alone fully reveals the Father.
What Jesus was — God is;
what Jesus spoke — God dictated;
what Jesus did — God wrought.
So full and so clear was the representation of God made by Jesus, that he could say, "He who has seen me, has seen the Father."
This is a point that is full of comfort. I am not to look into creation to find God; I am not to go to Mount Sinai, or to the law, to learn what God is; but I am to go to Jesus.
In seeing him work — I see God work;
in hearing him speak — I hear God speak.
From him I learn what God is, what God will do, and what God will give. Here are no terrors to make me afraid; here is nothing to repel, or keep me at a distance. But here is God saying,
"Come, weary one — I will give you rest!
Come, thirsty one — I will give you to drink!
Come, guilty one — I will pardon your sins!
Come, wandering one — I will receive you graciously!
Come, lost one, I will save you with an everlasting salvation!"
Sweet view of God this! How encouraging to the timid and the guilty.
Precious view of Jesus this! How calculated to endear him to the heart.
Yes, God was in Jesus, and God is in Jesus still. He is our God in Christ, the object of our love and confidence.
Precious Lord Jesus! I bless you that you have revealed your Father to us thus. My soul, if you are ever tempted to indulge harsh or hard thoughts of God, if you are ever prompted slavishly to fear him — go direct to Jesus, and see him as he is revealed there, and you will behold that "God is love."
"No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known!" John 1:18
GRACE IS IN CHRIST.
"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:54.
Grace in God, is unmerited love.
Grace manifested by God, is free and undeserved favor.
Grace given unto us of God, comprises all the blessings of the gospel.
Every gift is of grace; every blessing is from grace.
All grace is in Christ. It was given to us in him before the foundation of the world; it was kept for us by him through all past ages; it is conferred upon us by him, as will be most for our good and his glory.
It was grace that quickened us when dead in sin.
It was grace that justified us, when we were ungodly.
It is grace that sanctifies and fits us for Heaven.
It is grace that qualifies us for duty, and assists us in it.
It is grace that guards and guides us; and grace will land us safe in Heaven.
"By grace we are saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God."
Grace comes to us through Christ alone, as the channel in which it flows. Grace comes to us from Christ alone, as the fountain in which it rises. Grace is kept for us by Christ alone, as the fullness in which it dwells. All grace may be had from Jesus — but grace can be had from no one but Jesus. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in time of need.
Reader, have you received saving grace from Christ?
If so, it has . . .
led you to Christ,
made you dissatisfied with everything but Christ,
and in some degree conformed you to Christ.
If you have ever received any grace . . .
you feel you need more,
you heartily desire more,
you come to Christ that you may obtain more.
if Satan tempts you,
if inbred corruption distresses you,
if the world frowns upon you,
if the dread of death comes over you —
remember there is a fullness of grace in Jesus, and that grace is for you.
"It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." John 1:19.
BELIEVERS ARE IN CHRIST.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Union to Christ is one of the peculiar doctrines
of revelation. It is . . .
plentifully illustrated, and
frequently placed before us.
It is a real blessing. Noah was not more really in the ark, nor Lot in Zoar, nor the manslayer in the city of refuge — than the believer is in Christ. The branch is not more one with the vine, the building with the foundation, or the member with the head — than the believer is one with Christ.
Union with Christ is the source of great, varied, and
invaluable blessings! There is no condemnation to those who are in
Christ Jesus. Spiritual beauty and fruitfulness flow from union to
Christ. Peace and purity are the effects of union to Christ. But
if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Created anew in Christ
Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk
in them. There is a new nature, from which flows new thoughts, new
desires, new hopes, new fears, new joys, new sorrows, new motives, and a
new course of life. If we are one with Christ, we are . . .
dead to the law,
dead to the world, and
dead to our former course of life.
Christ and his people are one . . .
one in the eye of the law,
one in the eye of justice,
one in the eye of the Father.
Jesus is the Head, they are the members.
Jesus is the Vine, they are the branches.
Jesus is the Bridegroom, and they are the bride.
This union originates with Christ alone. Man never thought of it, desired it, or sought it. It is one of the proofs of his love, one of the peculiar manifestations of his grace.
The home of Jesus is the Christian's heart. There he lives, there he rules, there he holds his sweetest communion, there he imparts his choicest blessings. O Jesus, dwell in me!
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me!" Galatians 2:20
JESUS THE WORD OF GOD.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
Words are the representatives of thoughts. God had a great and a glorious thought in his infinite heart, which no mere words could embody or represent; and he gave Jesus to represent that thought. If I would get at God's heart — it must be through Jesus. If I would know God's thoughts — I must study Jesus. He tells us, in one sweet passage, what God's thought was, and what he came to be and to do "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish — but have everlasting life."
God's thought was our salvation — our salvation by mere grace, our salvation to be realized and enjoyed by simple faith in Jesus. He sent Jesus to express this thought, to give utterance to his infinite love. Jesus, therefore, in his life, in his works, in his discourses, in his sufferings, and especially in his death — represents the deep thoughts that had been working in the mighty heart of God.
My soul, would you know what God has thought, is now thinking, will ever think? Study Jesus; for Christ alone is the Word that embodies and makes known the glorious thoughts of God! Through Jesus I learn to know God's mind, and God's nature. I see that God is love, pure love, to all who embrace his Word, and are reconciled to him by the death of his Son.
O Jesus, I will look upon you as the living, working, speaking Word of the Father, by whom I may not only come to know him — but to rejoice in him!
O Spirit of the Lord, reveal Jesus to my mind more clearly, more fully! Unfold Jesus to me, that so I may know, love, and give glory to the Father! I would henceforth study Christ more — Christ, who leads to the Father.
"He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God." Revelation 19:13
JESUS OUR FRIEND.
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13-14
Friendship is the sweetener of human life. But how
difficult to find a friend . . .
whom we can trust,
with whom we can be familiar, and
to whom we can commit our all!
Indeed, such a friend is not to be found among fallen men. But Jesus is that Friend. He lived, he suffered, he died — to secure our friendship and to prove himself our Friend. Yes, he laid down his life for us; but he rose from the dead, and is now the Friend of all who put their trust in him. To him we should look for all we need; for he is able and willing to supply us. To him we should go with everything that troubles us; for he is ready to listen, relieve, or counsel us. Nothing should be kept back from Jesus. He considers nothing beneath his notice which affects the peace, or prosperity, or happiness of his people.
Whatever troubles us, interests him. Our little everyday troubles and annoyances should be carried to his throne of grace, and whispered in his ear. For lack of this, very frequently our little trials affect us most, just because we try to bear them ourselves, and do not think it worth while to trouble him with them. Trouble him! Indeed it never troubles him when we carry our concerns to him. If anything troubles him, it is when we try to do without him, and to bear our trials without his aid.
We cannot be too intimate with Jesus. Indeed, it would sometimes be well for us if we were very intimate with Christ alone. If we trust the creature — he will most probably deceive us; but Jesus never will. If we lean on the creature — we lean on a bruised reed; but Jesus is the Rock of Ages. My soul, make Jesus your Friend; and show yourself friendly by frequent visits, free communications, and steady confidence.
"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15
THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge!" Ephesians 3:17-19
The love of Jesus is a most wonderful subject; and it
is as sweet as it is wonderful, when we think . . .
of whom He loved — rebellious sinners;
of when He loved them — when they were dead in their sins;
of how He loved them — so as to lay down His life for them.
The love of Jesus flows naturally out of His loving heart. It is not drawn forth by anything in us, or by anything done by us. He loves us, just because He will love us, or because he is pleased to love us. Other reason, he never gives; therefore other reason we shall never find. Having once loved His redeemed people, He loves forever; for He loves with all the strength of His divine nature. As His nature cannot change, no more can His love. How sweet are His own words: "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you!"
We may greatly enjoy His love, but we can never fully know it, for it surpasses knowledge. Jesus loves us more than we know — more than we can imagine. No angel can tell how much Jesus loves us.
Christ alone could love us so; for His love is vast and powerful as the nature of God, and it is also tender and gentle as the love of sinless man. Christ's divine love manifested itself through the His human passions. Everything Jesus did when on earth, He did out of love; and in all that Jesus does now, He is influenced by his unchanging love.
If He strips us — it is in love;
if He lays some heavy cross on us — it is in love;
if He hides His face from us — it is in love.
Hence he says, "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent."
Precious Lord Jesus, may your love sweetly flow into my heart, so as to stimulate me to every good word and work!
"Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God!" Ephesians 5:2
THE GRACE OF JESUS.
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich!" 2 Corinthians 8:9
Jesus possessed all the wealth and glory of Deity. But such was his love to us, and such the grace he displayed in saving us, that he became poor — so poor that none could be poorer. He parted with all for our sakes; he gave up everything in order to save us. Hence he once said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests — but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
Oh, the grace, the unparalleled grace of Jesus! How
sinful it must be, after such a display of grace, to doubt him.
Could he do more? Could he stoop lower? Could he show his love in a more
costly way? Impossible! But he has not only shown grace thus — but he
now gives grace out of his own fullness to us . . .
grace to help in time of need,
grace sufficient to enable us to bear the heaviest trials,
grace to conquer the most powerful foes,
grace to endure the pains inflicted by the sharpest thorns!
Therefore when Paul was buffeted by the messenger of Satan, and besought the Lord most earnestly that it might be removed, the answer he received was, "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Reader, Christ alone could show such grace to you;
Christ alone can give the needed grace to you. He is full of grace; and
out of that fullness we may receive grace upon grace . . .
grace to conquer our corruptions;
grace to overcome the world;
grace to tread Satan under our feet;
grace to enjoy our privileges;
grace to perform our duties;
grace to meet death with fortitude, and depart in peace, to be with Christ forever.
Day by day let us seek grace from Jesus, that we may glorify his most gracious and ever blessed name.
"We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved. " Acts 15:11.
THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST.
"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:25
The blood of Jesus should be the constant object of our faith. The blood was kept constantly before the eye of the Israelite in the days of old. Morning by morning, and evening by evening, besides all the other sacrifices that were brought to the priests, blood was shed. They could never enter their tabernacle or temple, but they saw blood. Just so, the blood of Jesus should be kept constantly before our eye.
That blood is our atonement. By that blood our peace with God was made; by that blood our peace with God is preserved. We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; and in our daily walk with God, it is the blood of Jesus alone that cleanses us from all sin.
We can only maintain peace of conscience,
we can only approach God with boldness,
we can only conquer Satan —
as we keep the eye steadily fixed on the blood.
We are constantly committing sin, we are constantly
contracting fresh guilt, we are constantly putting fresh weapons into
the hands of Satan with which to conquer us; and it is only by looking
away from self, sin, and Satan, to the blood of Jesus — that we can . .
realize our acceptance with God, or
place our foot on the head of the old serpent.
If we lose sight of the blood but one hour, we either fall into sin, or enter into temptation, or become entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Faith in the blood of Jesus can alone preserve us. Christ alone, as having died for our sins, as risen again for our justification, and as now pleading for us in Heaven — must be the daily, hourly object of our faith. Precious blood of Jesus! may my eye be fixed on it, when assaulted by Satan, when reduced by sickness, and when sinking into the arms of Death!
"We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Ephesians 1:7.
JESUS OUR HIGH PRIEST.
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17
As sinners, we need a priest; one that can . . .
make an atonement for our sins,
reconcile us to God,
present our prayers and praises,
and so make and preserve peace.
Jesus is all we need. He offered up himself a sacrifice for our sins, and thus made a glorious atonement. He reconciled us to God by his death, satisfying all the claims of law and justice, and opening a way for us to come back to God, with honor to him, and comfort to ourselves. God is now justified in forgiving our sins — in pardoning the foulest transgressor that comes to him in the name of Jesus.
Jesus is before the throne — he has our names on his breastplate, and the censer of sweet incense in his hand. Into that censer our poor prayers, praises, and other services are put; and being purified and perfumed, are then presented to God. He made our peace by the blood of his cross, and he preserves peace between us and our God by his constant intercession.
He is merciful, and therefore feels for us, and sympathizes with us, under all our failings, infirmities, temptations, and sorrows.
He is faithful, and therefore fulfills his engagements, does honor to his office, performs his word, and secures the present acceptance and eternal salvation of all who rely on his blood.
God requires no more blood, he inflicts no penal sufferings, he is never influenced by wrath — but his nature and dealings are all love toward those who believe in Jesus.
My soul, I charge you to renounce every other priest and sacrifice — but Jesus and his perfect work; for by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. Christ alone is your priest.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15
JESUS IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
"This is his name whereby he shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6.
By nature, there is none righteous; no, not one. Of ourselves we never can produce a righteousness to justify us in the sight of God. Yet we must have a righteousness that will meet all the requirements of the law — or God never will, never can, pronounce us just. How, then, can we obtain such a righteousness?
Jesus produced it by his obedience unto death.
The gospel reveals it for our acceptance.
Faith embraces it, and God pronounces it ours.
It is imputed to our persons.
It is placed to our account.
Thus we are made righteous.
Then we are pronounced righteous.
Then we are treated as righteous.
Our righteousness is in Jesus; and, being united to his person, we are made the righteousness of God in him. We must never look for the cause of our justification in ourselves — but in Jesus. If conscience accuses us — we must plead against its accusations what Jesus did and suffered. If Satan tempts and harasses us — we must still look to Jesus. If we think of death, or the judgment — we must still rest on the finished work of Jesus, and expect to be justified for his sake.
By the disobedience of the first Adam we were made sinners, and by the obedience of the second Adam we are made righteous. Christ is now the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. And by him all that believe are justified from all things. To such, God will not impute sin. To such, God imputes Christ's perfect righteousness without works. In the matter of our justification, it is Christ alone.
Not Christ and our works;
not Christ and our experience;
not Christ and our sufferings;
but Christ alone.
In our justification, Christ is all. He performs the work, and we enjoy the benefit.
"Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, sanctification and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:30
JESUS IS OUR SANCTIFICATION.
"Christ Jesus, who has become . . . our sanctification" 1 Corinthians 1:30
To be sanctified, is to be . . .
separated from the world,
set apart for God, and
conformed to the image of God.
Jesus is the root or source of our sanctification. As we were chosen in him, are redeemed by him, and justified through him — so our sanctification flows from him.
The agent that sanctifies is the Spirit of Christ.
The means that sanctifies is the truth of Christ.
The model after which we are fashioned is the image of Christ.
The end for which we are sanctified is the glory of Christ.
All our holiness flows from Christ; nor can there be any true holiness without union to Christ. It is by union, that the branch receives its sap and nourishment from the parent stem. It is by union, that the member receives from the head. So it is by union that we receive life, peace, holiness, and every blessing from Jesus. Therefore he said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."
There is no expiation for our sins — but by his blood.
There is no acceptance before God — but in his righteousness.
So there is no true holiness — but by union to his person.
In our sanctification, it is Christ alone. He represented us, he ransomed us, he quickened us; he gives the Holy Spirit to us, and he makes us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
If we would be holy, we must . . .
look to Jesus,
live on Jesus,
walk with Jesus,
copy the example of Jesus, and
in everything aim at the glory of Jesus.
"We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.
JESUS IS OUR WISDOM.
"Christ Jesus, who has become . . . our wisdom" 1 Corinthians 1:30
Whatever we needed — God provided for us in Christ. He has made Jesus to be all we can want or lawfully desire.
He is our wisdom. In him dwells all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and all his wisdom is employed for
us. By his wisdom he wins our hearts to love him, and keeps our
feet in the way that leads to him. By his wisdom he provided for
our reconciliation to God, and our acceptance with him. By his wisdom he
confounds all our foes, and carries our cause in the court of Heaven. By
his wisdom he teaches us to know the truth, and makes us wise unto
salvation. By his wisdom he rules the world, and overrules all things
for our good. But he not only employs his wisdom for us, he
imparts a measure of that wisdom to us. In consequence of this, we .
flee from the wrath to come,
hasten to the refuge set before us in the gospel,
seek union with himself, and
learn to make use of him for all the purposes of justification, sanctification, and victory over our foes.
The wisdom of the Church is in its Head. Our wisdom is in Christ, and must come from Christ. It is superior to the wisdom of Adam, yes, to the wisdom of all the holy angels. My soul, remember, under all the discoveries you have of your ignorance, and of the necessity of wisdom, in order honorably to do and suffer the will of God below — that Christ alone is your wisdom. To him we must repair for it; from him we must seek it; and before him we should plead the promise, "If you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5
JESUS IS OUR REDEMPTION.
"Christ Jesus, who has become . . . our redemption" 1 Corinthians 1:30 redemption."
We were all the slaves of Satan and of sin.
The devil led us captive at his will.
Sin, in its various forms, like so many fetters, bound us fast.
Having yielded to Satan, we were rebels against God,
and traitors to his throne and government. Justice demanded a ransom for
our liberation, and power was requisite to free us from Satan's grasp.
Jesus, our most glorious Redeemer, undertook our cause. He came, and
paid down his blood, his precious life, as the price of our
redemption. He went back to Heaven to procure and send the Holy Spirit,
in order that we might be set free. He commanded the everlasting gospel
to be preached to all nations, which proclaims . . .
the greatness of his love,
the price he paid as our ransom,
the power he exerts for our redemption, and
the glory to which he will raise all who believe on his name.
Christ alone is our redemption. He undertook our
cause in the covenant. He came to pay the ransom righteously demanded.
He claimed and called us from the kingdom of darkness by his Spirit's
power. He will . . .
raise us from the grave,
introduce us to his glorious kingdom, and
present us to our heavenly Father without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing!
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?" Hosea 13:14
JESUS IS OUR MEDIATOR.
"If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together." Job 9:33
Poor Job felt the need of an umpire, or mediator — one that could stand between himself and God. So does every convinced soul.
Being divine, Jesus can deal with God on equal terms. Being human, he can seasonably sympathize with and plead for us. He comes between us. With one hand he presents an infinite atonement to God for our offences; with the other hand he presents a free and full pardon of all sin to us. He makes up the breach. He reconciles the parties. He removes out of the way all cause of disagreement. In him there is no terror to make us afraid, nor will his hand be heavy upon us.
Reader, are you afraid to approach God? does his greatness terrify, or his wrath alarm you? Fear not; there is one in your nature before the throne of God. Jesus is there as the Mediator. Put your cause into his hand; he will carry it. Plead with him, if you are afraid to plead with the Father, and he will plead for you. He will ask for no compromise — but will present a full satisfaction to divine justice for all your sins. He will unveil his Father's loving, smiling countenance to you. He will show you that "God is love." He will give you access into the favor of the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity.
Let Christ alone be your Mediator and Intercessor. He is enough; all others are insufficient. Tempted and tried one, lift up your head; Jesus is before the throne; he stands between a just and holy God — and you. You have nothing to fear. He has done the work required of you, he has paid the penalty demanded of you, and now he pleads your cause.
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" 1 Timothy 2:5
JESUS OUR ADVOCATE.
"If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1
Intercession is daily necessary, and therefore Jesus daily intercedes for his redeemed people. But an advocate is only required on special occasions, when we are dragged
into the law court, and then Jesus appears for us. He replies to, and confounds Satan, the accuser of the brethren. He pleads his own obedience and blood-shedding on our behalf, and so secures our acquittal and freedom from condemnation.
In case of anyone falling into temptation, or into the snare of the devil, the ever-blessed Jesus has undertaken to fill the office of an advocate in the court of Heaven. This is for the comfort of his people, and for the confusion of Satan.
My soul, rejoice in this, that your God has provided for all contingencies. He has made provision for your restoration, consolation, and complete salvation. Jesus is all you can need. Your cause is in his hands, and he will carry it honorably through the court of justice. He will meet and silence your accuser. He will obtain pardon for all your sins. He will secure your eternal justification before God. Therefore look to Christ alone. In all seasons of darkness, in all times of temptation, and even when you have fallen into sin — look to Jesus, and apply to him as your Advocate. He will listen to your cry, he will receive your confession, he will undertake your cause, and he will bring you out of darkness and the shadow of death.
Precious Lord Jesus, gracious Advocate of your people, as you have ever pleaded the causes of your erring ones, plead my cause, and so undertake for me as to bring me through my difficulties and dangers to enjoy your Father's presence forever!
Holy Spirit, unfold this glorious office of Jesus to my soul!
"For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered Heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence!" Hebrews 9:24
JESUS THE PHYSICIAN.
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Matthew 9:12
Jesus is the only physician that can heal a sin-sick
soul. There is no balm but his blood; and no healing but by his
Spirit. Jesus as a physician is proclaimed unto the world, that sinners
of every class, climate, and color may come to him and be healed. But he
is in an especial sense our family physician. He is engaged to
attend to the whole household of believers. The children may apply to
him at all times, and for all they need. It is not necessary to wait
until seized with a fever or paralysis, or some dangerous disorder — but
we may go to him with all our headaches and heartaches, with all our
cuts and bruises. He always . . .
receives us kindly,
attends to us promptly,
and prescribes for us wisely.
We never ought to attempt to doctor ourselves — but
always, in all things, and for all we want, go to Jesus. He never lost a
patient, nor ever will. He never pronounced an applicant's case
desperate, or said to one that made application to him, "I can do
nothing for you." He never talks of letting nature work its own cure —
but with incomparable skill he . . .
takes every case in hand,
restores every patient to perfect health,
and does all gratis.
Christ alone is qualified to be our physician; Christ alone is appointed to that office; Christ alone has healed every saint in glory. Let us then apply to him when we are sin-sick. Let us go to him with our slight cases as well as our serious attacks. Let us take our diseased hearts to him, he will heal them, and restore them to perfect health. He can cure the deadness, the coldness, the giddiness, and the nervousness of the soul. Let us not then imagine that there is no help or healing for us, for there is.
"Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth." Jeremiah 33:6
JESUS OUR SHEPHERD.
"I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them. He shall feed them and be their shepherd." Ezekiel 34:23
As a flock needs constant attention and constant care, so does the believer in Jesus. With a natural proneness to wander, liable to many diseases, exposed to watchful and cruel foes — the care of a shepherd is constantly necessary. Jesus has been appointed to that office by his Father. He has assumed it, and has become the "great Shepherd of the sheep." He fills it, and brings honor to it. He knows the exact number of his flock; he knows the name, nature, and situation of every one committed to his care. He has promised to . . .
watch over them,
protect them, and
present them sound and whole before the presence of his Father!
He is always at his post. He delights in his work. He loves his sheep. He feeds his flock. He gathers the lambs with his arm, carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are burdened. His watchfulness, vigilance, and care are such, that though thousands have wandered, he has never lost a lamb from his flock; and what is better, if better can be, he never will.
He selects for them the best pasture, and leads them to it. He conducts them to the clear, still waters, that so they may feed, fatten, and rest. He rejoices over them to do them good with his whole heart and with his whole soul.
Reader, are you one of the flock of Jesus? Do you
know the great Shepherd's voice? Do you come at his call, and follow in
his footsteps? Do you look to Christ alone as your Shepherd, expecting
him to . . .
guard you, and
place you in the glorious presence of his Father forever?
If so, great are your privileges, happy is your lot, glorious are your prospects. Keep close to your Shepherd's side, and listen daily to your Shepherd's voice.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep!" John 10:11
JESUS OUR EXAMPLE.
"Leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps." 1 Peter 2:21
Christianity is constantly suffering from the conduct of its professors. They do not put off the old man with his deeds, neither do they put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. They profess to look to Christ as a Savior — but they do not take Christ for their example. But these things must not be divided. He who died for our sins — set us also an example that we should follow in his steps. Christ alone should be our standard, and likeness to him should be our aim. We are only so far christianized as we are like Christ.
Jesus says, "Learn of me." Not only learn by my teaching — but learn by my life. Do as you see me do; act as you see me act. The life of Jesus is the model after which the Holy Spirit works. As the Spirit of Christ, his work is to conform us to Christ. And under his teaching and assistance, it should be our daily aim to resemble Christ in our temper, disposition, and general deportment.
Am I called to suffer? Let me ask, "How did Christ suffer?" and then seek grace to suffer just as he did. Am I called to work for God? Let me ask, "How did Christ work?" and then pray for grace that I may work just as Jesus did. And so of all the rest, that my life should be somewhat a reflection of the life of Christ. In my conduct, I may in some degree reproduce the conduct of the Lord Jesus. No one can tell how nearly he may be conformed to the life of Jesus if he makes this his constant prayer and habitual aim. Grace can do wonders, and God gives more grace. We are not now what we were once, and we may become very much more like to Jesus than we are now. Holy Spirit, make us just like our beloved Lord!
"For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." John 13:15
JESUS THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION.
"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." Hebrews 2:10
Believers, as born of God, are bound for glory. We are on the way; we are in conflict — but we are headed by "the Prince of life;" we are commanded by "the Captain of salvation." Jesus was qualified, and every way prepared to conduct us safely home, by his sufferings. He suffered from all causes and from all quarters. He knows our nature, our frame, our circumstances, our foes, our feelings, and our difficulties. He has undertaken the command of us. He conquered for us once; he will conquer in us and by us again. His army is immortal. He never lost a soldier. When the great muster-roll after the battle comes, it will be seen that not one who enlisted under his banner, who wore his regimentals, who was inspired by his Spirit, is missing. All will rally round him; all will ascribe their victory to him; all will seek to honor him.
Reader, if Jesus is your Captain, he will lead you against Satan, and you must conquer him. He will lead you against the world, and you must overcome it. He will lead you against sin, and you must mortify it.
He has prepared your armor; he has summoned you to the battle; he has given the word of command. He has made the promise, "To him that overcomes will I give to sit with me on my throne; even as I have overcome, and sat down with my Father on his throne."
If Joshua leads, then Canaan shall be possessed; and if Jesus leads us, then Heaven with all its glories shall be ours. He commenced the conflict, and he will complete it. He was the author or prime leader in the cause, and he will finish it.
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25
JESUS THE COVENANT.
"I will give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles." Isaiah 42:6.
Many people are puzzled and perplexed with the doctrine of the covenants. I avoid all this when I look at Jesus as God's covenant. He says, "I have made a covenant with my chosen;" and then, "Hear him." If I would understand God's covenant, I must study Jesus; I must listen to him. He says, "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
The covenant appears to be this: The Father agrees to accept the obedience, sufferings, and death of Jesus, instead of the obedience, sufferings, and death of the sinner. The Father then promises to give eternal life to every one that trusts in the perfect work of Jesus, and pleads it before him for pardon and acceptance. All that the Lawgiver requires is exacted of Jesus. All that the sinner needs is given on the ground of what Jesus did and suffered. If I agree to take Christ for my Lord and Savior, and trust in his blood and obedience for my pardon and justification — God agrees to accept me, and pardon and justify me, for Jesus' sake.
Thus, God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and Jesus becomes sin for us, who knew no sin, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. So that, in Christ, God appears just, and yet the justifier of him that believes in Jesus.
In Christ alone I see all the conditions of the covenant fulfilled, all the promises of the covenant treasured up, and all the blessings of the covenant presented to sinners. O Jesus, I will look to you as God's covenant, and expect the fulfillment of all its precious promises through you, and through you alone!
"Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." Isaiah 4:3.
JESUS THE FORERUNNER.
"Where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:20
Jesus, who came from Heaven to earth out of pure love to us, in order to die for our sins and procure our salvation, has gone back to Heaven as our forerunner. He not only points out the way — but he travels every step of it himself. He has removed every insurmountable difficulty out of the way, and left his own holy footprints to be our guide.
Can we complain, if we only travel the path which Jesus has trodden before us? He has entered into Heaven for us; and when he entered, he left the door wide open, that we might follow him in. He points us to the path he has trodden, and says, "See, the way is open." He calls our attention to his present glorious residence, and says, "Where I am, there shall you be also."
Precious Savior! glorious Forerunner! O give us grace to follow you! And whenever tempted to relax our efforts, or loiter on our journey, or complain of the way — may we remember that you have traveled every step of the way before us, and are now waiting to welcome us into your presence and glory.
Jesus is gone before to announce our arrival. He speaks of us as on the road. He obtains for us the blessings we need. He sends us all the supplies necessary. Christ alone could show such love, manifest such kindness, or exhibit such care.
My soul, keep your eye fixed on your glorious Forerunner, and run the race set before you, looking unto Jesus. Amidst all your toils, think of the eternal rest; under all your conflicts, think of the glorious triumph; and when tempted to turn aside, look for the footprints of Jesus — they may be seen all along the road.
Holy Spirit, help us to think more of Jesus, to confide more in Jesus, and to expect more from Jesus!
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession." Hebrews 4:14
JESUS IS THE RESURRECTION.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life." John 11:25.
Man sinned, and therefore man died. Jesus died, and therefore man shall rise again. The doctrine of the resurrection is a precious doctrine. Martha believed it — but she looked upon it as tied to a particular time: "I know that he shall rise again, at the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said, I am the resurrection."
He has power over death. He keeps the key of the
grave. Resurrection is in his power. He will raise us up from the
dust of death. By virtue of our union to him, by the putting forth of
his power upon us, he will raise us up exactly like himself. Our bodies
will be spiritual . . .
no more the seat of pain;
no more diseased or deformed;
no more a clog and hindrance to the soul.
They will be beautiful, healthful, helps to the soul — glorious.
Because Jesus arose, we shall; for he arose as the first-fruits of those who slept; and as the first-fruits are presented to, and accepted of God, the whole harvest shall be gathered in.
Parent, your believing child, which died in Jesus, shall arise again. Child, your deceased parent, who fell asleep in Jesus, shall arise again. Weeping widow, your sainted husband shall arise again. They died in the Lord. They retain their connection with the
Lord. They will be raised to glorify the Lord. For Jesus will "come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all those who believe."
The grain of wheat which fell into the ground and died, will appear a beautiful plant. Then this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality; and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory."
"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
JESUS HEAD OVER ALL THINGS.
"Holy Spirit has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church." Ephesians 1:22.
The Church, comprehending all true believers, is the object of the Savior's highest love. He loved the Church, and gave himself for it. It must therefore gladden his heart to be made the Head over all things, for its good. Everything is under the feet of Jesus. He has all things at his disposal. Without him, a dog cannot move its tongue. He is supreme, and he rules everything in Heaven, earth, and Hell, so as to secure the best interests of his people. Sweet view of Jesus this!
He is the Head of his Church; which Church is his body. Every member is vitally united to him, dependent upon him, and is daily supplied by him. As its Head, he sees for it, he hears for it, he speaks for it, he feels for it, he represents it, he takes the greatest care of it.
But while he is thus the Head of his Church, in the sense of Ruler, Governor, and Disposer — he is the Head of all things. Everything lies open before his eye, everything is sustained by his power, and everything is disposed of by his wisdom. Not a sparrow can fall to the ground without his notice and permission.
O to see Jesus in all things! O to see everything at
the disposal of Jesus! O to see that all things are directed,
controlled, and overruled, by Christ alone! May this . . .
calm my mind,
compose my spirit, and
produce holy resignation in my soul.
If Jesus arranges all, sends all, directs all, overrules all, then "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" O to see that all things are working out God's will! O to love the will of God, and consequently prefer it to all besides! May my will be swallowed up in your will, O Jesus!
"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything." Colossians 1:17-18
THE SYMPATHY OF JESUS.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Jesus suffered. He suffered that he might experimentally and personally know what his people have to endure and pass through. He wished to know all about us — to be as nearly like us as he could. He now knows not only what we feel — but how we feel. No angel in Heaven knows this; no angel can, for an angel never suffered. The tenderness of Jesus , therefore, is far beyond the tenderness of an angel; yes, of all the angels in Heaven.
Jesus knows what bodily pains are; and he knows what mental agitation, dejection, and agony mean. His nerves were shaken. His soul was troubled. His body suffered from hunger, thirst, cold, weariness, and wounds. He suffered in every part, and from every possible cause. He knows, therefore, the strength necessary to bear, and the comfort needful to sustain. He feels for us. More, he feels with us. He is our Head, and we are his members. The sympathy of the head with the members is quick, constant, tender, perfect. Such is the sympathy of Jesus.
Suffering one, Christ alone can suitably sympathize with you; because he alone can so sympathize as to sustain and sanctify your sufferings; and certainly and honorably deliver you.
Jesus always has his eye upon you; nor does he look on unaffected, for his eye affects his heart. He is touched, tenderly affected, with the feeling of your infirmities. He will not lay on you more than you can bear, nor will he allow anyone else to do so. His mercy is exquisitely tender, and his compassions fail not. Look to Jesus under all your sorrows, sufferings, and pains; and draw comfort from this — Jesus feels for me, Jesus feels with me.
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36
BELIEVERS ARE COMPLETE IN CHRIST.
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 2:9-10
The glories of Christ are incomparable. His exaltation is without a parallel. He is exalted above all blessing and praise. His people share with him in all his glories. In themselves, they are all imperfect: every grace is imperfect; sin is mixed with all they do; they daily groan, being burdened; they sigh and cry for perfection. But in Jesus, they are complete. United to his person, they are entitled to his wealth, and will share in all his glory.
There is completeness nowhere but in Christ. The law made nothing perfect. But believers are made complete in Christ:
1. By the obedience he rendered to God's holy law. That obedience was the work of his life. It was for his people. It is placed to their account. On the ground of it, they are freed from all condemnation, and are entitled to eternal life.
2. By the sacrifice he offered — a sacrifice to make atonement for all their sins. "By one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified." Glorious words these. The one offering of Jesus was sufficient. It was sufficient for all who were set apart to receive its benefits; it was sufficient to perfect them forever. If they are perfected forever, they must be complete.
3. By the fullness he possesses. "It has pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." All that is in Christ — is for his people; and if all fullness dwells in Jesus, and they are entitled to all that is in him — they must be complete.
4. By the supplies he imparts. He gives . . .
strength equal to the day,
wisdom as our circumstances may require,
and holiness to fit us for Heaven!
In Christ alone, then, we are complete, nor should we look to any other quarter for anything we need.
"Christ is all!" Colossians 3:11
"In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:2-3
The ordinances of Christ are precious, the word of Christ is precious — but nothing will suffice as a substitute for Christ himself. It is Christ himself, Christ personal, that is the object of our love; and the longer we live, the more we find our hearts set on the person of Christ. Heaven would be no Heaven to us, if Christ were not there; and the chief thing we desire on earth is the personal presence of Christ.
We do not like to think of death — but we love to think of being with Christ. The object of our hope is the coming of Jesus. He came once in humiliation; he then displayed his love in suffering and dying for us. He will come again in his glory; and then he will display his love in conforming us to himself, and delighting us with his presence and love forever. He now appears in the presence of God for us, and he will soon come and receive us to himself.
He has not left our world forever — but only for a time; and we are now waiting for him as God's Son from Heaven, even our Deliverer from the wrath to come. Christ alone, and his presence with us, will satisfy the inward cravings of our immortal souls. We are therefore watching and waiting for his appearing, seeing he has said, "Surely I come quickly;" and our hearts reply, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
That will be a glorious day for creation, for its groaning will end, and its sufferings will cease forever. But what will it be for the Church, which is his body, and which will then appear as the fullness of him that fills all in all? Brethren, let us gird up the loins of our minds, and soberly hope to the end, for the grace that shall be brought unto us at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming!" 1 John 2:28