October 20: Author Of Eternal Salvation

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey him.” Hebrews 5:8, 9

The basis or cause of the completeness of Christ’s atonement arises from the infinite dignity of His person: His Godhead forms the basis of His perfect work. It was this that gave perfection to His obedience, and virtue to His atonement: it was this that made the blood He shed efficacious in the pardon of sin, and the righteousness He wrought out complete in the justification of the soul. His entire work would have been wanting but for His Godhead.

No created Savior could have given full satisfaction to an infinite law, broken by man, and calling aloud for vengeance. An obedience was required, in every respect equal in glory and dignity to the law that was violated. The rights of the Divine government must be maintained, the purity of the Divine nature must be guarded, and the honor of the Divine law must be vindicated. To accomplish this, God Himself must become flesh; and to carry this fully out, the incarnate God must die! Oh, depth of wisdom and of grace! Oh, love infinite, love rich, love free! Love

“Not to be thought on, but with tides of joy;
Not to be mentioned, but with shouts of praise.”

The pardon of a believer’s sins is an entire pardon. It is the full pardon of all his sins. It were no pardon to him, if it were not an entire pardon. If it were but a partial blotting out of the thick cloud—if it were but a partial canceling of the bond—if it were but a forgiveness of some sins only, then the gospel were no glad tidings to his soul.

The law of God had brought him in guilty of an entire violation. The justice of God demands a satisfaction equal to the enormity of the sins committed, and of the guilt incurred. The Holy Spirit has convinced him of his utter helplessness, his entire bankruptcy. What rapture would kindle in his bosom at the announcement of a partial atonement—of a half Savior—of a part payment of the debt? Not one throb of joyous sensation would it produce.

On the contrary, this very mockery of his woe would but deepen the anguish of his spirit. But go to the soul, weary and heavy-laden with sin, mourning over its vileness, its helplessness, and proclaim the Gospel. Tell him that the atonement which Jesus offered on Calvary was a full satisfaction for his sins;—that all his sins were borne and blotted out in that awful moment;—that the bond which Divine justice held against the sinner was fully cancelled by the obedience and sufferings of Christ, and that, appeased and satisfied, God was “ready to pardon.” How beautiful will be the feet that convey to him tidings so transporting as this!

And are not these statements perfectly accordant with the declarations of God’s own word? Let us ascertain. What was the ark symbolical of, alluded to by the apostle, in the ninth chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews, which contained the manna, Aaron’s rod, and the tables of the covenant, over which stood the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat? What, but the entire covering of sin? For, as the covering of the ark did hide the law and testimony, so did the Lord Jesus Christ hide the sins of His chosen, covenant people—not from the eye of God’s omniscience, but from the eye of the law. They stand legally acquitted.

So entire was the work of Jesus, so infinite and satisfactory His obedience, the law of God pronounces them acquitted, and can never bring them into condemnation. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

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June 5: Look Up, My Soul

“Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:2

By sealing a sense of pardon upon the conscience, God comforts the disconsolate. There is no comfort equal to this. As our deepest sorrow flows from a sense of sin, so our deepest joy springs from a sense of its forgiveness.

What comfort can there be where this is lacking? what sorrow where this is felt? “When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble?” This was the comfort which God commanded the prophet to speak to His spiritual Jerusalem: “Say unto her, that her sins are forgiven.” And this is the message which the Lord sends to His whole Church. This comfort have all His saints.

Your sins, O believer, are forgiven. “I have blotted out your sins as a cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud,” says God. You are not called upon to believe that God will pardon, but that He has pardoned you. Forgiveness is a past act; the sense of it written upon the conscience is a present one. “By one offering Jesus has perfected forever those who are sanctified,” has forever put away their sins.

Faith in the blood of Jesus brings the soul into the possession of a present forgiveness. And when God the Holy Spirit thus imprints a sense of pardoned sin upon the troubled conscience, all other sorrows in comparison dwindle into insignificance. “Strike, Lord,” says Luther, “I bear anything willingly, because my sins are forgiven.”

Thus, beloved, God comforts his conscience-troubled people. He loves to speak comfortably to their hearts. Is it any delight to Him to see you carrying your burden of conscious sin day after day and week after week? Ah no! He has procured the means of your pardon at a great price- nothing less than the sacrifice of His beloved Son; and will not the same love which procured your forgiveness, speak it to your heart?

Oh yes; the sun in the heavens pours not forth its light more freely, light itself speeds not more rapidly, the mountain stream rushes on not more gladsome and unfettered, than the pardon of sin flows from the heart of God to the humble and the contrite mourner.

Is sin your trouble? Does conscious guilt cast you down? Look up, disconsolate soul! there is forgiveness with God. It is in His heart to pardon you. Repair to His feet, go you to God’s confessional, and over the head of the atoning sacrifice acknowledge your transgression, and He will forgive the iniquity of your sin. And, oh, what will be the joy of your heart, the music of your lips, the grateful surrender of your person, when Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven; go in peace”!

February 26: Sin No More

“Go, and sin no more.” John 8:11.

See how Christ manifests His abhorrence of the sin, while He throws His shield of mercy around the sinner. The Lord does not justify the sinner’s transgression, though He justifies the sinner’s person. In the great matter of salvation, justification and sanctification, pardon and holiness, are essentially and inseparably united.

When the Lord Jesus dismisses a sinner with a sense of acquittal in his conscience, it is ever accompanied with that most affecting of all exhortations, “Sin no more.” And as he passes out from the presence of Jesus, pardoned, justified, saved, the Savior’s tender, soul-subduing words from that moment seem to vibrate upon his ear every step of his onward way.

“Go, admire, and publish abroad the glory of that grace that has done such great things for you. Go, and spread His fame, and with your latest breath dwell upon His name, who, when sin and Satan and conscience accused you, and would have consigned you to eternal woe- then appeared your Friend, your Advocate, and your Savior. Go, and when tempted to wound afresh the bosom that sheltered you, remember Me; from Gethsemane, from Calvary, and from the hallowed spot where I spoke to you, I condemn you not. Go, and sin no more.”