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mercies only on my merit. For all whose cry is simply this, 'O God, for thy dear Son's sake, forgive and save my soul !' for these I plead, and I obtain their pardon and acceptance, favour and life; their sins are all put away, for I bare those sins in my own body on the tree : their persons are justified, for all my righteousness is considered theirs, and they are accepted in me: their salvation is secured, for God, my Father, looks on then even as He looks on me; they shall never come into condemnation, they are passed from death unto life.'
See you not then, brethren, how it is that Jesus is the way unto God and to heaven ? True, if you had no sin you could come to God, and feel sure of heaven, and have no fear. Well, Jesus puts you just in that condition. Jesus places every believer exactly in that situation. God looks on him, looks on the believer, and sees in him no sin. Why? Because it was all laid on Christ: Christ has taken it away. God looks on the believer, and He sees all righteous
How? Because he looks on him in Christ his Intercessor, and beholds all Christ's righteousness as put on him. O, blessed truth ! Thus is our salvation all in Christ. Our way to God, our way of pardon, acceptance, and eternal life, it is entirely in Christ. Truly then did that adorable and merciful Redeemer declare, as He pointed heavenward to glory and to God, “I am the way. Awakened sinners, hear ye
this. Jesus is the way for you. You say your sins are great and
grievous. So they are.
But Jesus has atoned for all. You say you have no goodness of your own. True, you have none. But Jesus hath all righteousness, and He gives it all to you, if you are willing to have it, and stand in it before
O then, come to Jesus. hearts, by simple faith, come to Him as your Advocate and Intercessor. Draw near to God in Christ his Son, and all is well : heaven is yours: God is yours : and you are saved. So shall that be true of you which is said of all who are Christians indeed, “Ye who sometime were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Through Him we have access unto the Father.'
II. Saith Jesus, “I AM THE TRUTH.” There is a connection between this and what has gone before. It is, I think, as though Christ had said, other ways indeed there are, other ways which men love to take, and in which they hope to trace a path to heaven, but they are deceived ; there is but one true way; I am the way, and I am the truth, that is, the only true, the only authorised, the only safe and saving way in which to seek your everlasting peace.” '
There were many false ways among the Jews in our Lord's time. Men thought they were on the road to heaven, when in fact it was far otherwise.
Thus there were some who said, “We are Abraham's seed.” This was their way to heaven. Because they were of the stock of Israel, there
fore they thought themselves secure, they could not be lost.
The Baptist had to deal with such. "Think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father.” That was it which they really were doing : resting on their relationship to the patriarch Abraham, and flattering themselves that because they were of his family, they were sure of salvation.
Strange infatuation! And yet is it more strange than that of too many among ourselves ? Men belong outwardly to the family of the faithful, the church of God. They were born in it. They remain in it still. They were in infancy baptized, and now in riper years they are constant among the worshippers in God's house, and, it may be, regular communicants at the table of the Lord. In these and other things they exhibit the outward and visible signs of union to Christ. But there they rest. This is their ground of hope, just like those Jews who made it their confidence that they were children of Abraham. The error is in principle the same. People put the externals of church communion in the place of vital godliness. And so, while confident of being right, they are altogether in the wrong way. The one way, the only way which is “ the truth," this they know not.
Again, another false way we read of in the Saviour's time. There were those, we are told, who “ trusted in themselves that they were righteous.”
Their way to heaven was that of their own deservings. They trusted to their good deeds. These they thought would gain for them the favour of God, and make sure to them their salvation.
Our Lord specially addressed himself to such in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. And what was the object of that parable? It was to shew these, and all such self-righteous men, that so far from being in the right way to heaven, they were taking the very course to destruction. They were travelling altogether in a wrong direction. The only true way to God they were proudly neglecting.
And here again, how many of us are likeminded with them ! Men dream that it is by their own goodness they are to get to heaven. Thousands do so: thousands of nominal Christians. But it is a fearful delusion. Their hope is false. It is exactly opposed to the whole Gospel of God. “ Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us."
Then when Jesus spoke as in our text, and said of himself, “ I am the way, and the truth,' he would seem to have had his eye on many around him, whose way was not the truth." It was not God's way to heaven.
Brethren, let us be on our guard. Jesus is the way for us, and if we take any other way, we refuse the truth : we reject God's word: we strike out our own path instead of following that which He has prescribed, and whatever we may hope, if we continue to do this, it must be to the loss of our souls. Then, I beseech you, be sincere : seek seriously to know the right path : search the Scriptures to that end: pray earnestly to be kept from error : ask that the Holy Spirit may lead you into all truth. This is His work, and He will do it. Then will you come to Christ
-Christ the truth-Christ the only way to peace and glory.
III. Jesus saith, “I AM THE LIFE.” He seems to mean,
While I tell you that by me, and by me only, can you obtain salvation, I would have my people know that for them, and for all who do seek that salvation in my name, there is the fullest certainty and assurance of it. If, indeed, they believe my word, and receive me as their Redeemer, then already they are saved, their life is sure, their spiritual life is begun, yea, their eternal life ; for whoever, by faith, is joined to me, that man is already possessed of a principle within his breast, which is the germ and the earnest of everlasting life in glory. He has come to me, and I am even now his life.'
St. John in few words exhibits just what I conceive our Lord intended in this part of our text, when he writes in his first epistle, “ This is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son of God, hath life.
Eternal life dwells in Christ. • In Him was life.” Let a soul then be brought to Christ, be united to Christ, be possessed of Christ, and the eternal salvation of that soul is made sure ; for it hath its life in having Christ.