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tise holiness, in all manner of conversation. You know that in the natural body, if the head be in danger, the hands will interpose for its defence. You are laid under the highest obligations, in the faith of his love to you, to love your living Redeemer with all your heart, and to serve, to please, and to glorify Him, in your body and in your spirit, which are his. O be tenderly concerned for the honour of the great Redeemer, and never account that glory lost to you that redounds to Him !
7. Hence learn why the Lord Jesus sympathises tenderly with his people in all their afflictions; and why they sympathise with him in whatever dishonour is reflected on him. It is because he and they are intimately united together. Mutual sympathy springs from union. Though Christ as to his person is infinitely far above the reach of all affliction, yet Christ mystical is exposed to calamities of every kind, and needs to be relieved. “ In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them,” Isa. lxiii. 9.
8. Hence infer ground of praise and thanksgiving. How thankful, O believer, should you be, when you contemplate the amazing love of your dear Redeemer to you, in taking such dust and ashes, such a vile, unworthy, and rebellious sinner as you acknowledge yourself to be, into intimate union and communion with himself !
9. From the subject before us, we may be supplied with marks for trial.- Are you vitally united to Christ, or not?
This is a question of the very highest import
If you be united to him, your heart is, by the sanctification of the Spirit, habitually turned against all manner of sin : you are separated from sin by means of contrition, and from self by humiliation. The union between your heart and allowed sin is dissolved. Again, if this be so, you have come willingly to the Lord Jesus, and your hearts trust in him for all his great salvation. When the bridegroom has the bride's heart, it is a right marriage. If you, then, bestow yourselves cheerfully upon the Lord Jesus, and say, “ This is my Beloved,
and this is my Friend,” it is a good evidence that he hath bestowed himself upon you, and that he will never leave you nor forsake
you sometimes afraid that you are yet destitute of union with Jesus Christ? Upon the warrant of the gospel-offer, come anew to him, and humbly trust that he will unite you to himself, and admit you to communion with him in his righteousness and salvation. Do you love and pursue holiness, both of heart and life, and long for the perfection of it? In a word, can you take no pleasure in any other connexion or comfort, whilst you apprehend that Christ is not united to you ? and is it your habitual desire and endeavour to cleave to Him in affliction and persecution, as well as in prosperity? If so, it is a sign that you are united to him, and are true believers.
10. Be exhorted, 1. To rejoice in Christ Jesus. Observe what the root is to the tree; what a friend is to a friend; what a husband is to his spouse ; and what a father is to his beloved child : so Jesus, believers, to you. 2. Believe daily with fiducial confidence in Him. You are united to him as the branch is to the root. The branch depends on, and derives all its nourishment from the stock. 3. Aspire after much heavenly mindedness. You are united to Christ, who is exalted far above all heavens, and are risen with him ; seek then the things which are above, &c. 4. Be very careful that you do not yield to any sinful inclination. You are so united to the Lord Jesus as to be one spirit with him. Do not lodge in your heart an unclean spirit together with the Spirit of Christ. 5. Be clothed with humility. You are indeed highly favoured and advanced ; but remember you
bear not the root, but the root you. 6. Study to be more and more united among yourselves; “ endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
« There is one body and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling." Be as the first Christians were, of one heart and one way. 7. Advance in brotherly love, “ for ye are members one
bond of peace.”
of another ;" and one cannot love the head and hate the members.
Finally, be persuaded, you who are not united to the Lord Jesus, that while you continue estranged from him, you can have no spiritual life, no true holiness; and without holiness no man shall see the Lord. “ He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” How can you have spiritual comfort while separated from the consolation of Israel ; or spiritual light, while you are not united to the Light of the world? How can you have peace with God, when you are strangers to the Prince of peace; or life, while estranged from the Resurrection and the Life? O believe the declarations and offers of the glorious gospel, with application of them to yourselves, and trust cordially in the Lord Jesus for complete salvation. Here is a suit. able Saviour, a well-ordered covenant, and a sure portion for you. Here are precious promises to embrace, and an infinitely meritorious righteousness to receive. These are all offered, or addressed in offer, to every one of you ; that it might be warrantable for each of you, so to trust in Jesus and on his righteousness, and so to rely on his promises, as to bave union and communion with him, in all his riches of grace and glory.
“ In the Lord shall all the sced of Israel be justified, and shall
glory.”—ISAIAH XLV. 25.
HAVING already considered the doctrine of the believer's union with Jesus Christ, and of that spiritual communion with him which is founded on it; the next thing which presents itself to our view is, communion with him in his righteousness for the justification of life. His surety-righteousness is in order the first thing, in which his spiritual seed have fellowship with him. After he had tenderly invited all the ends of the earth, to look unto him and be saved, he promises, in the verse immediately preceding our text, that the salvation of those who sincerely look unto him, shall be effectually secured.
Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength;" righteousness to entitle me to the enjoyment of God, and strength to sustain me under every pressure, and enable me to perform every good work, until I be exalted to the consummation of endless bliss. In union with the Lord Jesus, the believer has righteousness to justify, and strength to sanctify him; he has, as it is on the margin, all righteousness and strength; an entire sufficiency, so that he has no need to apply to himself for any. As it is here promised by Him who cannot lie, that one, every one who believeth, shall
for him. self, and say from the heart, “Surely in the Lord have I righteousness ;" so, in the text it is matter of promise that in the same Lord “ all the seed of Israel shall be justified and shall glory." It is Jehovah the Son who is here called the Lord, as is evident from Paul's quot
ing a part of the 23d verse, and applying it to Christ in Romans xiv. 10, 11. In the Lord Jesus Christ, then, all the seed of Israel shall be justified. The seed of Israel here does not mean the natural posterity of Jacob, for many of them were never justified; but the spiritual seed of Christ. These were typified by the natural seed of Jacob, and they resemble him by prevailing as princes with God for the blessing. As Christ, who descended from Jacob according to the flesh, is in the Old Testament denominated Israel, Isa. xlix. 3. ; so his spiritual seed is styled the seed of Israel, the generation of them who seek God. They are all justified in union with him as the Lord their righteousness, and in him do they glory.
In treating this subject, it is proposed, through Divine aid, 1. To discourse of justification in general ; II.
To consider the causes of it; III. The parts ; IV. The manner of it; and V. That particular effect of it which is mentioned in the text.
I. Then, I am first to discourse a little of justification in general. And here,
În the 1st place, to justify is not to make one righteous or just.—It does not consist in a real, but only in a relative change ; in a change of state, but not in a change of nature. Justification is in the Scriptures opposed to condemnation. “ It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth ?” Rom. viii. 33, 34. “ Then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked,” Deut. xxv. 1. Now, to condemn in law is not to make a man guilty, but judicially to pronounce him guilty, and liable to punishment for his crime. Accordingly, to justify, is not to make one righteous in law, or to infuse righteousness into him.
“ He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just,” are said both of them to be“ abomination to the Lord,” Prov. xvii. 15. But if justification consisted in making a wicked man righteous, instead of being abomination, it would be a work highly pleasing to the Lord.
To justify, then, is not to make, but to account or pronounce one righteous in law.