A Great Savior!
James Smith, 1842
"He shall send them a Savior, and a great one, and He shall deliver them!" Isaiah 19:20
SIN is a dreadful evil! It is in our nature — we are
all the subjects of it. It has brought us into a wretched, ruined, lost
condition. Sin is the procuring cause of all the afflictions, miseries, and
woes, that people are called to pass through. Sin . . .
brings us under the curse of God,
exposes us to His fierce wrath,
and fits us for everlasting pains!
The Lord prohibits, threatens, and will punish sin. He is just, and will vindicate His right, condemn the guilty, and punish the condemned sinner. The law requires obedience, justice condemns us for the lack of it, and death will usher us into the solemn presence of a sin-avenging God.
My dear reader, have you ever seriously considered that you are a sinner? The consequences of living and dying in such a state? The end of the race you are running? It leads to darkness, horror, and endless despair!
What are you taken up with? What are you pursuing? What are you aiming at? Is it pleasure? The worldling is a stranger to it. Is it satisfaction? In your present state, you will never find it. Is it riches? Oh, remember the language of Jesus, "What shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses His own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for His soul?
Do you answer, "But I intend to repent, reform, and make my peace with God." Be assured that reformation will not recommend you to Him, repentance is His gift. Acts 5:31. Salvation is of God, it is Christ, it is by grace alone. Ephesians 2:8.
You must be savingly interested in Christ, united to Christ, and possess the Spirit of Christ — or you cannot be saved. All other foundations are false, all other refuges are vain — and all who live and die trusting in them, will be everlastingly undone. He is the Savior, He came to save, and He does save to the very uttermost — all who come unto God by Him — but only those. Do you feel your need of Him? Have you a desire to know Him? Are you seeking a saving interest in Him? If so, I rejoice to point you to Him as a Savior — and a great one.
He is great in His PERSON, being God-man — essentially divine and truly human. He took up our nature into Godhead and filled it with divinity, that He might be an able and suitable Savior. He is the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God — and yet flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone. His person is truly wonderful, and is the foundation of His great salvation.
He is great in His LOVE, which surpasses knowledge, and is most gloriously displayed in the reception of all sorts of sinners, who fly for salvation to Him. Never, never was it known that He rejected one, or refused to save any who sought salvation by Him. All that the Father gives Him, come to Him; and whoever comes, whether young or old, moral or immoral, doubting or confident — He never casts out. Are you willing to come to Jesus, now, as a sinner, with "Lord, save me — or I perish?"
He is great in His CONDESCENSION. He stoops to the beggar, to the unworthy, yes, to His very enemies! He despises none who cry to Him, fall before Him, or wait upon Him.
He is great in His FORBEARANCE. He bears with our infirmities, our rebellion, and our sins. In this, His conduct is wonderful, and calls for endless praise.
He is great in His POWER, which is put forth for the relief, help, and deliverance of the vilest of the vile.
He is great in His SALVATION, which is full, free, and complete.
So full, that none need despond, though their sins be as innumerable as the stars of Heaven, as the drops in the ocean, or the sands on the sea-shore. So full, that there is no real ground for doubting, though your sins be like scarlet, or even of a crimson hue.
So free, that poverty can be no obstacle, unworthiness no bar; and though evil and Hell-deserving, there is no reason to keep back. So free, that the basest are welcome, the vilest may come, and the most fearful shall surely receive.
So complete, that the weakest may rejoice, the foolish triumph, and the unholy be glad. These cannot work for life — and no working for life is needed; these cannot bring anything to recommend them — and nothing to recommend them is required.
The salvation of Jesus, my fellow-sinner, is just, exactly suited to you, it meets you in your present state, it provides for all you need, and secures all you can consistently wish. It is set before you in the Bible, preached to you in the everlasting gospel, and is to be received by faith. It saves from sin's dominion, Jehovah's curse, and everlasting woe! It saves NOW from gloomy fears, miserable forebodings, and ten thousand evils! It saves at DEATH from the love of the world, the terrors of the grave, and the worm that never dies! It saves forever, from sin, from Satan, and from Hell.
Jesus is great in His MERCY, by which He takes our misery to heart, pities our souls, and answers our heartfelt prayers. His mercy extends to all who, under a sense of misery, seek Him; who, to be delivered from misery, cry to Him; and who look for a remedy for their miseries in Him. His mercy is great unto the heavens, and His truth unto the clouds.
Think, if you are really coming to Jesus, that He is
touched with the feelings of your infirmities. He knows . . .
your weakness — and will strengthen you;
your vileness — and will pardon you;
your fears and sorrows — and will comfort you.
Oh, do not be afraid, if you are seeking Jesus; for He will withhold no good thing from you — but will give you grace and glory: grace suitable and sufficient for the present — and glory to crown you when you die. He has everything you need — and will freely bestow it. Jesus is all this, and ten thousand times more. He is all this to all and every one who sighs and cries for an interest in His love and blood. He was given by the Father, He laid down His life on the cross, and He is preached in the everlasting gospel, that whoever believes in Him might not perish — but have everlasting life. For this is the Father's will, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on Him, might have everlasting life. And the language of the Savior to the fearful, doubting, seeking sinner, is, "Look unto me and be saved, for I am God, and there is none else!" "Ho, every one that thirsts, come to the waters! And he who has no money, come — buy, and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price! Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me, hearken and your soul shall live.
God the Father has sent His Son to be a great Savior of great sinners — and God the Holy Spirit causes Him to be proclaimed in a variety of ways for the encouragement of seeking souls. Oh, seek Him while He may he found, call upon Him while He is near; let nothing satisfy you but an interest in, and union to, this great, this precious Savior!
Are you, my fearful brother, or sister — one of the vilest, weakest, and most unworthy, that ever Jesus saved? Do not be afraid, His blood is inconceivably efficacious, His righteousness justifies from all things, and His promises shall all be fulfilled, and all be fulfilled to you and in you. He says to you, "I will be very gracious unto you, at the voice of your cry. When I hear — I will answer."
Here sinners black as Hell, obtain relief;
A filthy Mary, and a dying thief;
And guilty I, though vile as they could be,
Have found His mercy — sovereign, rich, and free!
But the time is coming, when this great Savior will be great in His vengeance, in dealing with Christ-rejecting, grace-despising, and judgment-provoking sinners! The great day of His wrath will come, and who shall be able to stand? He will come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God, and obey not His holy gospel.