« PreviousContinue »
Come to Him : his blood is your atonement; his obedience is your righteousness. Look upon Him in all that He is as your Lord and Redeemer, and say, 'this is my rest, my hope, my confidence : Jesus is the Saviour for sinners, the Saviour for me. The promise then is yours : it is “given to them that believe. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath everlasting life.”
Brethren, ye who have taken this promise, I bid you rejoice in your Salvation. Remember how it is you stand before your God, even“ in Christ, not having your own righteousness which is of the Law,'
poor, imperfect, and sinful, “ but the righteousness which is by faith of Christ,” the righteousness which in truth is Christ's, but now is also yours, for you are in Christ, and so are “ accepted in the Beloved.”
Keep this truth distinctly in view. In it lies the secret of your peace, and I will add the secret of your holiness too. For just as you know that you are saved by grace through faith, and not of your own works, so is it that all good works, well pleasing to God, will be in you and abound. Yes, let a man know that he is free from the Law as the ground of his hope, and that is the man who will come to the Law as the guide of his life; and gladly will he confess himself, as did St. Paul, to be" under the law to Christ.”
EPHESIANS 1. 6.
ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED.
How much cause, my brethren, have we to thank and praise Almighty God, that in his holy word all which is needful to our peace, our sanctity, and our salvation, is made so plain.
The words of our text are few, but they contain a truth of unspeakable importance to the Church of God; and they express that truth so simply, so distinctly, that I know of no words in the whole volume of inspiration more precious to believing souls.
Accepted in the Beloved.” Christian, it is the description of your standing before God. It is the ground of all your hope, the secret of all your confidence, the source of all your comfort, and the motive to all your obedience and submission.
I pray that our present meditations may be directed and blessed of God the Holy Ghost to the edification of all his people.
“The Beloved." I need not say whom the Apostle intends under this designation. We recognize under it at once our adorable Redeemer,
the Lord Jesus Christ. What then is it that our text exhibits before us? It exhibits, I would answer,
I. WHAT JESUS is: He is “the Beloved," the Beloved One of God: and then,
II. WHAT HIS PEOPLE ARE, they are accepted,” accepted of God, “in the Beloved."
I. We say the Apostle sets before us the Lord Jesus, and declares WHAT HE is in the sight of God. He is the Beloved."
Let us refer to one or two passages of holy writ which will guide us in forming a right conception on this sacred and interesting subject.
There we shall learn that Jesus was the object of his Father's love from everlasting. Before the worlds were made the Eternal Father looked upon his Son, and especially delighted in Him. Thus you remember the words of the blessed Redeemer Himself: “Father,” said He, “ Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." And wherefore did He so love Him ?
We are taught elsewhere that whatever the Son of God was to do for his people's salvation, was all settled and ordained before the worlds were made, and that the Father regarded his Son even then as the representative of his Church, in whom he viewed his chosen, in whom He blessed them, and in whom He made his covenant engagements with them.
Thus you read, “ He hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world : " again, “He hath saved us, according to his own purpose and
grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” And if, as St. Paul declares, “ eternal life was promised by God, who cannot lie, before the world began,” to whom was it promised? Who was there to receive the promise ? O, my brethren, these are words in the contemplation of which we get some glimpses of the amazing mysteries of our redemption. Thus much we learn with certainty, that, even ere this universe was framed, the Father, God Almighty, looked upon his equal Son, regarding Him then as the Mediator of his Church, and covenanting with Him as their head and representative.
And so, in this, his Mediatorial character, it was, that Jesus stood, the Beloved of God from everlasting. The Father beholding Him thus, deliberated in Him, and gave Him glory, as preeminently his Beloved.
2. Further, as Jesus was the Beloved of God from eternity, so when at the time ordained He came into the world to accomplish his people's salvation, the Father looked on Him again, and again owned Him for his Beloved.
At his Baptism, and at his Transfiguration, what was it which was testified by the voice that came from the excellent glory?
. beloved Son."
The Father, from his heavenly throne, looked down upon his Son then clothed in human flesh, and occupied in the work by which the purposes planned in common between them should be fulfilled. The Father saw the Son carrying forward
the salvation of the Church. He rested on the sight in infinite complacency, and He loved his Son for the work He was accomplishing. Jesus was the Beloved then for what the Father then beheld. We say this with God's word to warrant it.
For consider what was the work which the Son of God was executing ? What was it which the eye of his Father contemplated as He viewed Him in this earthly state ?
In the first place, the Father beheld in his Son all righteousness. From the fall of Adam, down through ages and generations succeeding for four thousand years, the God of heaven had looked on earth, and what had He seen? Alas, what but sin? in every direction sin : in every individual sin: even in his own, his loved and loving children, whatever their holy affections, whatever their devotedness of conduct, still even in them, renewed as they were and sanctified by his own Spirit, the corruption of nature remained, the lust of the flesh that would not be subject to the Law of God: the rest of men meanwhile were but one mass of depravity, so that as his own word testified," there was none righteous, no not one.” But now the Son of God had come. Human nature till then had never worn in the sight of heaven any other aspect but that of a fallen race. That human nature the Son of God assumes. And for the first time human nature stands in Him complete in holiness.
The Father looked then on this. He saw in