The Relations of Christ to the Believer


Finney


Charles G. Finney
1792-1875


A Voice from the Philadelphian Church Age

  Wisdom is Justified



by Charles Grandison Finney



BY THE
REV. CHARLES G. FINNEY,
PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN THE OBERLIN COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE, OHIO, AMERICA.
1851.

Scripture Additions by Tom Stewart

Reformatted by Katie Stewart
.

with
Understanding Charles G. Finney's Entire Sanctification
Or, An Introduction to Finney's "The Relations of Christ to the Believer"
by Tom Stewart

Table of Contents

Understanding Charles G. Finney's Entire Sanctification
Or, An Introduction to Finney's "The Relations of Christ to the Believer"
by Tom Stewart

THE RELATIONS OF CHRIST TO THE BELIEVER
LECTURE LXII. -- Sanctification.
Condition of its attainment

LECTURE LXIII. -- Sanctification.
Condition of its attainment--continued . . Relations of Christ to the believer

LECTURE LXIV. -- Sanctification.
Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXV. -- Sanctification.
Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXVI. -- Sanctification.
Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

LECTURE LXVII. -- Sanctification.
Relations of Christ to the believer--continued

Back to Top

Understanding Charles G. Finney's Entire Sanctification
Or, An Introduction to Finney's
"The Relations of Christ to the Believer"

"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace"
(Romans 6:14).

by Tom Stewart

Preface

The Apostle Paul's affirmation to the Romans that "sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace" (Romans 6:14) is both a fact of New Testament Gospel liberty, as well as a Promise of present and Entire Sanctification. What more could this mean but that the Saints no longer must live their lives in continual defeat by sin as witnessed by the demands of the Law? "1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (6:1-2). But, does this mean that the way to walk without sinning, is to abolish the Law? God forbid! "Wherefore the Law is holy, and the Commandment holy, and just, and good" (Romans 7:12). "How should we then live?" (Ezekiel 33:10).

"A state of entire sanctification can never be attained by an indifferent waiting God's time. Nor by any works of law, or works of any kind performed in your own strength, irrespective of the grace of God. By this I do not mean that were you disposed to exert your natural powers aright, you could not at once attain to this state in the exercise of your natural strength. But I do mean, that as you are wholly indisposed to use your natural powers aright without the grace of God, no efforts that you will actually make in your own strength or independent of his grace, will ever result in your entire sanctification... This state is to be attained by faith alone" (from Charles G. Finney's "SANCTIFICATION- No. 8" ---New Window [April 8, 1840] in "The Oberlin Evangelist" ---New Window).

"This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:2).

Finney's Contribution to the Understanding of Entire Sanctification

Charles G. Finney signed his correspondence with the converts of the earlier revivals, "C. G. FINNEY, A Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ", because he realized that the explanations he gave in "The Oberlin Evangelist" were not to vindicate himself, but to serve the LORD Jesus Christ and to build up the faith of the Saints "for whom Christ died" (Romans 14:15). Consequently, the 19th Century Finney would be delighted that a 21st Century reader would attempt to comprehend the meaning of his commonly used expression, Entire Sanctification, for to "reason together" (Isaiah 1:18) with the Holy Spirit is to carefully compare man's thoughts to God's Inspired Word to see what ought to be believed. "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing Spiritual things with spiritual" (1Corinthians 2:13).

"You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought. The Bible itself is written in a style so condensed as to require much intense study. Many know nothing of the Bible or of religion, because they will not think and study. I do not pretend to so explain theology as to dispense with the labour of thinking. I have no ability and no wish to do so... The question is not, whether this volume accords with the past or present views of the church, but does it accord with the word of God" (from Charles G. Finney's Preface to his "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]").


The Relations of Christ to the Believer are the essence of the Entire Sanctification propounded by Finney and supported by the Scriptures. "But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption" (1Corinthians 1:30). Many, of course, are unaware that Scripture makes any reference to such a thing as Entire Sanctification. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 5:23). However, the difficulty faced by modern readers, who desire to understand Charles G. Finney's meaning, is that Finney expected his readers to comprehend the primary concepts of Moral Law and the Foundation of Moral Obligation.

"What I have said on 'Moral Law' and on the 'Foundation of Moral Obligation' is the key to the whole subject. Whoever masters and understands these can readily understand all the rest. But he who will not possess himself of my meaning upon these subjects, will not understand the rest" (from Charles G. Finney's Preface to his "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]").

Significance of the Moral Law

The Moral Law, which is the Law of Love, is as ancient as Jehovah the Law Giver, for the God of Love has always required of angels and man to love Him supremely, and to love each other as they do themselves. "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5). "For this is the Message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (1John 3:11). Moses was given a brief summary of the Moral Law on Mount Sinai in the form of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). The LORD God is fit to be the Moral Governor of the Universe because He alone has always chosen to exercise love, and as He is the "same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8), He will love everlastingly. "The LORD hath appeared of old [Hebrew, from afar] unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting [Hebrew, ancient, always, perpetual] love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3). The Law of Love was subsequently confirmed to New Testament Believers by the Son of God. "36 Master, which is the great Commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the First and Great Commandment. 39 And the Second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:36-40).

Confusion often arises for the Believer concerning the Law, since the Moral Law is not necessarily the same as the Mosaic Law (Civil and Ceremonial) of the Old Testament.

Meaning of the Foundation of Moral Obligation

What did Finney mean by the Foundation of Moral Obligation? Professor Finney of Oberlin began this lecture with the proposition, "State what is intended by the foundation, or ground of obligation," which he then documented with the statement,

"The ground of obligation [or, the Foundation of Moral Obligation], then, is that reason, or consideration, intrinsic in, or belonging to, the nature of an object, which necessitates the rational affirmation, that it ought to be chosen for its own sake. It is that reason, intrinsic in the object, which thus creates obligation by necessitating this affirmation. For example, such is the nature of the good of being, that it necessitates the affirmation, that benevolence [love] is a universal duty" (from Lecture V "Foundation of Moral Obligation" ---New Window of Charles G. Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]).

Therefore, the Foundation of Moral Obligation is the ground reason why we should do as we ought; and, that reason is Love, namely, the supreme love of God and an equal love of our neighbour as ourselves. "28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, Which is the first Commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the Commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God is one LORD: 30 and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the First Commandment. 31 And the Second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other Commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto Him, Well, Master, Thou hast said the Truth: for there is One God; and there is none other but He: 33 and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask Him any question" (Mark 12:28-34).

Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology" meticulously answered much deeper questions than often conceived by our 21st Century minds, but he always submitted his thinking to the Highest Court of God, i.e., "what saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3).

"Lastly, I come to the consideration of the practical bearings of what I regard as the true theory of the foundation of moral obligation, namely, that the intrinsic nature and value of the highest well-being of God and of the universe is the sole foundation of moral obligation" (from Lecture XIII "Foundation of Moral Obligation" ---New Window of Charles G. Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]).

To seek the "highest well-being of God" is to "love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Additionally, to seek the "highest well-being... of the universe" is to "love thy neighbour as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18). Thus, "Love is the fulfilling of the Law" (Romans 13:10), because it is the foundational demand of the Moral Law for every Moral Agent towards God and the Universe. "But the greatest of these is charity [love]" (1Corinthians 13:13).

Why did Finney attempt to explain so much to his 19th Century readers?

"I would remark, that any system of moral philosophy that does not correctly define a moral action, and the real ground of obligation, must be fundamentally defective. Nay, if consistent, it must be highly pernicious and dangerous. But let moral action be clearly and correctly defined, let the true ground of obligation be clearly and correctly stated; and let both these be kept constantly in view, and such a system would be of incalculable value. It would be throughout intelligible, and force conviction upon every intelligent reader. But I am not aware that any such system exists. So far as I know, they are all faulty, either in their definition of a moral action, and do not fasten the eye upon the ultimate intention, and keep it there as being the seat of moral character, and that from which the character of all our actions is derived; or they soon forget this, and treat mere executive acts as right or wrong, without reference to the ultimate intention" (from Lecture XIII "Foundation of Moral Obligation" ---New Window of Charles G. Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]).

"47 Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the Earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great" (Luke 6:47-49).

Concerning Relations of Christ to the Believer


The Law of Love is the foundation to understanding Finney's explanation of Entire Sanctification; and, based upon that understanding, the relations of Christ to the Believer are the application of all that Christ is to the Believer to cause us to walk in the Perfect Love of Entire Sanctification. "Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).

"We need the light of the Holy Spirit to teach us the character of God, the nature of his government, the purity of his law, the necessity and fact of atonement... To teach us our need of Christ in all his offices and relations, governmental, spiritual, and mixed... We need the revelation of Christ to our souls in all these relations, and in such power as to induce in us that appropriating faith, without which Christ is not, and cannot be, our salvation" (from Lecture LXIII "Sanctification" ---New Window of Charles G. Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology" ---New Window [1851]).

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no Life in you" (6:53).

To illustrate this concept that the relations of Christ to the Believer are intended to cause the Saints to walk in a state of Entire Sanctification, when understood, believed, and applied by the individual Saint, Finney enumerated sixty-one such relationships in his "Lectures on Systematic Theology". "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we IN this world" (1John 4:17).

Finney's thirty-third Relation of Christ to the Believer is reproduced as follows:

"Another precious and most influential relation of Christ in the affair of our sanctification, is that of the Bridegroom or Husband of the soul. The individual soul needs to be espoused to Christ, to enter into this relation personally by its own consent.

"Mere earthly and outward marriages are nothing but sin, unless the hearts are married. True marriage is of the heart, and the outward ceremony is only a public manifestation or profession of the union or marriage of the souls or hearts. All marriage may be regarded as typical of that union into which the spiritual soul enters with Christ.

"This relation of Christ to the soul is frequently recognized, both in the Old and the New Testament. It is treated of by Paul as a great mystery. The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans present a striking illustration of the results of the soul's remaining under the law, on the one hand, and of its being married to Christ on the other.

"The seventh chapter begins thus, 'Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth. For the woman who hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress though she be married to another man. Therefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ: that ye should be married to another, even to Christ who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.'
[Romans 7:1-4]
.

"The apostle then proceeds to show the results of these two marriages, or relations of the soul. When married to the law, he says of it, 'For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.'
[7:5]. But when married to Christ, he proceeds to say, 'we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.' [7:6]
.

"The remaining part of this chapter is occupied with an account of the soul's bondage while married to the law, of its efforts to please its husband, with its continual failures, its deep convictions, its selfish efforts, its consciousness of failures, and its consequent self-condemnation and despondency.

"It is perfectly obvious, when the allegory with which the apostle commences this chapter is considered, that he is portraying a legal experience, for the purpose of contrasting it with the experience of one who has attained to the true liberty of perfect love.


"The eighth chapter represents the results of the marriage of the soul to Christ. It is delivered from its bondage to the law, and from the power of the law of sin in the members. It brings forth fruit unto God. Christ has succeeded in gaining the affections of the soul. What the law could not do Christ has done, and the righteousness of the law is now fulfilled in the soul.

"The representation is as follows: The soul is married to the law, and acknowledges its obligation to obey its husband. The husband requires perfect love to God and man. This love is wanting, the soul is selfish. This displeases the husband, and he denounces death against her, if she does not love.

"She recognizes the reasonableness of both the requisition and the threatening, and resolves upon full obedience. But being selfish, the command and threatening but increase the difficulty. All her efforts at obedience are for selfish reasons.

"The husband is justly firm and imperative in his demands. The wife trembles, and promises, and resolves upon obedience. But all in vain. Her obedience is only feigned, outward, and not love. She becomes disheartened and gives up in despair.

"As sentence is about to be executed, Christ appears. He witnesses the dilemma. He reveres, and honours, and loves the husband. He entirely approves his requisition and the course he has taken. He condemns, in most unqualified terms, the wife. Still he pities and loves her with deep benevolence. He will consent to nothing which shall have the appearance of disapproving the claims or the course of her husband. His rectitude must be openly acknowledged. Her husband must not be dishonoured. But, on the contrary, he must be 'magnified and made honourable.' Still Christ so much pities the wife, as to be willing to die as her substitute. This he does, and the wife is regarded as dying in and by him her substitute.

"Now, since the death of either of the parties is a dissolution of the marriage covenant, and since the wife in the person of her substitute has died under and to the law her husband, she is now at liberty to marry again.

"Christ rises from the dead. This striking and overpowering manifestation of disinterested benevolence, on the part of Christ, in dying for her, subdues her selfishness and wins her whole heart. He proposes marriage, and she consents with her whole soul. Now she finds the law of selfishness, or of self-gratification, broken, and the righteousness of the law of love fulfilled in her heart.

"The last husband requires just what the first required, but having won her whole heart, she no longer needs to resolve to love, for love is as natural and spontaneous as her breath. Before the seventh of Romans was the language of her complaint. Now the eighth is the language of her triumph. Before she found herself unable to meet the demands of her husband, and equally unable to satisfy her own conscience. Now she finds it easy to obey her husband, and that his commandments are not grievous, although they are identical with those of the first husband.

"Now this allegory of the apostle is not a mere rhetorical flourish. It represents a reality, and one of the most important and glorious realities in existence, namely, the real spiritual union of the soul to Christ, and the blessed results of this union, the bringing forth of fruit unto God. This union is, as the apostle says, a great mystery; nevertheless, it is a glorious reality. 'He that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.' 1 Cor. vi. 17.


"Now until the soul knows what it is to be married to the law, and is able to adopt the language of the seventh of Romans, it is not prepared to see, and appreciate, and be properly affected by, the death and the love of Christ.

"Great multitudes rest in this first marriage, and do not consent to die and rise again in Christ. They are not married to Christ, and do not know that there is such a thing, and expect to live and die in this bondage, crying out, 'O wretched man that I am?'
[Romans 7:24]
. They need to die and rise again in Christ to a new life, founded in and growing out of a new relation to Christ. Christ becomes the living head or husband of the soul, its surety, its life. He gains and retains the deepest affection of the soul, thus writing his law in the heart, and engraving it in the inward parts.

"But not only must the soul know what it is to be married to the law, with its consequent thraldom and death, but it must also for itself enter into the marriage relation with a risen, living Christ.

"This must not be a theory, an opinion, a tenet; nor must it be an imagination, a mysticism, a notion, a dream. It must be a living, personal, real entering into a personal and living union with Christ, a most entire and universal giving of self to him, and receiving of him in the relation of spiritual husband and head. The spirit of Christ and our spirit must embrace each other, and enter into an everlasting covenant with each other. There must be a mutual giving of self, and receiving of each other, a blending of spirits, in such a sense as is intended by Paul in the passage already quoted: 'He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.'
[1Corinthians 6:17]
.

"My brother, my sister, do you understand this? Do you know what both these marriages are, with their diverse results? If you do not, make no longer pretence to being sanctified, for you are still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. 'Escape for thy life.'
[Genesis 19:17]."

Day-to-Day Practicality of Entire Sanctification

True, the immediate result of Entire Sanctification is walking in Perfect Love, conquering every sin through Christ Our High Priest by the continual application of the Grace of God. "15 For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16). But, though overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil is laudable in itself, Entire Sanctification is eminently practical in aiding the Saints to "stand perfect and complete in all the Will of God" (Colossians 4:12) and to overcome every day-to-day obstacle, down to the provision of our daily bread. Since one of the relations that Christ sustains to the Believer is that He is Our Gracious Supply, i.e., "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19), an Entirely Sanctified Saint need not physically starve. "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Psalm 37:25).

To be Entirely Sanctified cannot mean a life of continual struggle and failure to obey the just and holy demands of God in exercising Perfect Love, for that would be only the experience of a Convicted Sinner or of a Double Minded Backslider, as depicted in the seventh of Romans. "19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do... 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:19, 24). Instead, the Saints can see their Entire Sanctification demonstrated in themselves by their overcoming the world, as did their Conquering Saviour. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). What practical peace could there be, if we do not possess the certainty that we shall be delivered from every evil device of man? "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our Faith" (1John 5:4). Christ Our Deliverance is primarily our rescue from the dangers of sin and sinning, i.e., "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world" (Galatians 1:4), but He is also our deliverance from the uncertainties of finding food, clothing, and shelter. "30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the Kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, Little Flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:30-32).

Conclusion


To actually believe the plain statement of the Word of God that "sin shall not have dominion over you" (Romans 6:14) is sufficient to cause any Blood Bought Saint to abide in a present state of Entire Sanctification. "2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1John 3:2-3). Since our respective circumstances are unique, it demands that we appropriate Christ by faith continuously as our situation changes. "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Remember, we are Entirely Sanctified through the simple exercise of faith, for we are Entirely Sanctified as we exercise faith in Christ, in all of His relations to us. "But without Faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). And, our certainty is that Christ is sufficient to meet our every need in life. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God" (2Corinthians 3:5).

Though the purpose of this article is to better understand Charles G. Finney's Entire Sanctification, it is only that we would be taught by the Spirit of God through "C. G. FINNEY, A Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ", the "liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" (Galatians 5:1). Every truly willing heart possesses the capacity to know with certainty the veracity of any doctrine. "If any man will do His Will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:17). We need not fear that we cannot understand the Truth of the Word of God or that we will not be able to defend ourselves from the deception of the Wicked One. "26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the Anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as It hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John 2:26-27). May the LORD Jesus Christ reveal Himself to us as our Saviour From Sinning. "And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

Let us close with Charles G. Finney's own words upon this subject of Entire Sanctification:

"Now I would by no means contend about the use of words; but still, it does appear to me, to be of great importance, that we use scripture language and insist upon men being 'perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect,' [Matthew 5:48] and being 'sanctified wholly body, soul, and spirit.' [Or, 'sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless' (1Thessalonians 5:23).] This appears to me to be of the most importance for this reason, that if we use the language to which the Church has been accustomed upon this subject, she will as she has done, misunderstand us, and will not get before her mind that which we really mean. That this is so is manifest from the fact that the great mass of the Church will express alarm at the use of the terms perfection and entire sanctification, who will neither express or feel any such alarm if we speak of entire consecration. This demonstrates, that they do not, by any means, understand these terms as meaning the same thing. And although I understand them as meaning precisely the same thing, yet I find myself obliged to use the terms perfection and entire sanctification, to possess their minds of my real meaning. This is Bible language. It is unobjectionable language. And inasmuch as the Church understand entire consecration to mean something less than entire sanctification or Christian perfection, it does seem to me of great importance, that ministers should use a phraseology which will call the attention of the Church to the real doctrine of the Bible upon this subject. And I would submit the question with great humility to my beloved brethren in the ministry, whether they are not aware, that Christians have entirely too low an idea of what is implied in entire consecration, and whether it is not useful and best to adopt a phraseology in addressing them that shall call their attention to the real meaning of the words which they use?...

"I have been, within the last two or three years, deeply impressed with the fact, that so many professors of religion are coming to the ripe conviction that they never knew Christ. There have been in this place almost continual developments of this fact, and I doubt whether there is a minister in the land who will present Christ as the gospel presents Him, in all the fulness of His official relations to mankind, who will not be struck and agonized with developments that will assure him that the great mass of professors of religion do not know the Savior. It has been to my own mind a painful and a serious question, what I ought to think of the spiritual state of those who know so little of the blessed Jesus. That none of them have been converted, I dare not say. And yet, that they have been converted, I am afraid to say. I would not for the world 'quench the smoking flax or break the bruised reed,' [Matthew 12:20], or say any thing to stumble or weaken the feeblest lamb of Christ; and yet my heart is sore pained, my soul is sick; my bowels of compassion yearn over the Church of the blessed God. O, the dear Church of Christ! What does she know in her present state of gospel rest, of that 'great and perfect peace they have whose minds are stayed on God'? [Or, "Great Peace have they which love Thy Law: and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:165). And, "Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3)]" (from Charles G. Finney's "
SANCTIFICATION- No. 9" ---New Window [April 22, 1840] in "The Oberlin Evangelist" ---New Window).

(Finney's "The Relations of Christ to the Believer" is a reproduction of Lectures 62 through 67 of his "Lectures on Systematic Theology" [1851], to which we have annotated Scripture. Since this article was intended as an introduction to those lectures, we invite you to read them and explore further how the LORD Jesus Christ makes possible your present and Entire Sanctification.

Also, for those who desire to escape sin and sinning, but are troubled that there is no way to escape a sinful nature, read our article, "
Must We Then Sin?" ---New Window.)

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Back to Top
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THE RELATIONS OF CHRIST TO THE BELIEVER

BY THE
REV. CHARLES G. FINNEY


Text taken from

"
LECTURES ON SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY" ---New Window

LECTURES 62-67


The text was typed in by John , Terri, and Aaron Clark, and the many friends of this Systematic. Thank you!
The only source for these lectures came from the printed 1851 English edition of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY by Charles Finney.

Scripture Additions by Tom Stewart
Reformatted by Katie Stewart


The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

LECTURE LXII. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

VI. POINT OUT THE CONDITIONS OF THIS ATTAINMENT.

["And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).]

["Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).]

By this I do not mean, that, were you disposed to exert your natural powers aright, you could not at once obey the law in the exercise of your natural strength, and continue to do so.

["For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous" (1John 5:3).]

But I do mean, that as you are wholly indisposed to use your natural powers aright,

["The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).]

without the grace of God, no efforts that you will actually make in your own strength, or independent of his grace, will ever result in your entire sanctification.

["Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).]

["We having the same Spirit of Faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak" (2Corinthians 4:13).]

They are the most easy and natural state of mind possible under such circumstances. So far from its requiring an effort to put them forth, it would rather require an effort to prevent them, when the mind is intensely considering those objects and considerations which have a natural tendency to produce them.

This is so true, that when persons are in the exercise of such affections, they feel no difficulty at all in their exercise, but wonder how any one can help feeling as they do. It seems to them so natural, so easy, and, I may say, so almost unavoidable, that they often feel and express astonishment, that any one should find it difficult to exercise the feelings of which they are conscious.

["Knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth" (Proverbs 14:6).]

The course that many persons take on the subject of religion, has often appeared wonderful to me. They make themselves, their own state and interests, the central point, around which their own minds are continually revolving. Their selfishness is so great, that their own interests, happiness, and salvation, fill their whole field of vision. And with their thoughts and anxieties, and whole souls, clustering around their own salvation, they complain of a hard heart, that they cannot love God, that they do not repent, and cannot believe.

["Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth" (1Corinthians 10:24).]

They manifestly regard love to God, repentance, faith, and all religion, as consisting in mere feelings. Being conscious that they do not feel right, as they express it, they are the more concerned about themselves, which concern but increases their embarrassment, and the difficulty of exercising what they call right affections. The less they feel, the more they try to feel--the greater efforts they make to feel right without success, the more are they confirmed in their selfishness, and the more are their thoughts glued to their own interests; and they are, of course, at a greater and greater distance from any right state of mind. And thus their selfish anxieties beget ineffectual efforts, and these efforts but deepen their anxieties. And if, in this state, death should appear in a visible form before them, or the last trumpet sound, and they should be summoned to the solemn judgment, it would but increase their distraction, confirm, and almost give omnipotence to their selfishness, and render their sanctification morally impossible.

["A fool hath no delight in Understanding, but that his heart may discover itself" (Proverbs 18:2).]

It should never be forgotten, that all true religion consists in voluntary states of mind, and that the true and only way to attain to true religion, is to look at and understand the exact thing to be done, and then to put forth at once the voluntary exercise required.

["And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever" (1Chronicles 28:9).]

(1.) Should the question be proposed to a Jew, "What shall I do that I may work the work of God?" he would answer, Keep the law, both moral and ceremonial, that is, keep the commandments.

["The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:20).]

(2.) To the same inquiry an Arminian would answer, Improve common grace, and you will obtain converting grace, that is, use the means of grace according to the best light you have, and you will obtain the grace of salvation. In this answer it is not supposed, that the inquirer already has faith; but that he is in a state of unbelief, and is inquiring after converting grace. The answer, therefore, amounts to this; you must get converting grace by your impenitent works; you must become holy by your hypocrisy; you must work out sanctification by sin.

["And if by Grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise Grace is no more Grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more Grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Romans 11:6).]

(3.) To this question, most professed Calvinists would make in substance the same reply. They would reject the language, while they retained the idea. Their direction would imply, either that the inquirer already has faith, or that he must perform some works to obtain it, that is, that he must obtain grace by works of law.

A late Calvinistic writer admits that entire and permanent sanctification is attainable, although he rejects the idea of the actual attainment of such a state in this life. He supposes the condition of attaining this state or the way to attain it, is by a diligent use of the means of grace, and that the saints are sanctified just so far as they make a diligent use of the means of sanctification. But as he denies, that any saints ever did or will use all the means with suitable diligence, he denies also, of course, that entire sanctification ever is attained in this life. The way of attaining it, according to his teaching, is by the diligent use of means.

If then this writer were asked, "what shall I do that I may work the works of God?"--

["28 Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent" (John 6:28-29).]

or, in other words, what shall I do to obtain entire and permanent sanctification? his answer, it seems, would be: "Use diligently all the means of grace," that is, you must get grace by works, or, with the Arminian, improve common grace, and you will secure sanctifying grace. Neither an Arminian, nor a Calvinist, would formally direct the inquirer to the law, as the ground of justification. But nearly the whole church would give directions that would amount to the same thing. Their answer would be a legal, and not a gospel answer. For whatever answer is given to this question, that does not distinctly recognize faith as the condition of abiding holiness in Christians, is legal.

["4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of Grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:4-5).]

Unless the inquirer is made to understand, that this is the first, grand, fundamental duty, without the performance of which all virtue, all giving up of sin, all acceptable obedience, is impossible, he is misdirected. He is led to believe, that it is possible to please God without faith, and to obtain grace by works of law.

["But without Faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).]

There are but two kinds of works--works of law, and works of faith. Now, if the inquirer has not the "faith that works by love," [Galatians 5:6] to set him upon any course of works to get it, is certainly to set him to get faith by works of law. Whatever is said to him that does not clearly convey the truth, that both justification and sanctification are by faith,

["Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by Faith without the deeds of the Law" (Romans 3:28).]

["To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by Faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18).]

without works of law, is law, and not gospel. Nothing before or without faith, can possibly be done by any one, but works of law.

["Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law: for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).]

His first duty, therefore, is faith; and every attempt to obtain faith by unbelieving works, is to lay works at the foundation, and make grace a result. It is the direct opposite of gospel truth.

Take facts as they arise in every day's experience, to show that what I have stated is true of almost all professors and non-professors. Whenever a sinner begins in good earnest to agitate the question, "What shall I do to be saved?"
[Acts 16:30] he resolves as a first duty, to break off from his sins, that is, in unbelief. Of course, his reformation is only outward. He determines to do better--to reform in this, that, and the other thing, and thus prepare himself to be converted. He does not expect to be saved without grace and faith, but he attempts to get grace by works of law.

["And they said, Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).]

The same is true of multitudes of anxious Christians, who are inquiring what they shall do to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. They overlook the fact, that "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith," [1John 5:4] that it is with "the shield of faith" [Ephesians 6:16] they are "to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." [6:16]. They ask, Why am I overcome by sin? Why can I not get above its power? Why am I thus the slave of my appetites and passions, and the sport of the devil? They cast about for the cause of all this spiritual wretchedness and death. At one time, they think they have discovered it in the neglect of one duty; and at another time in the neglect of another. Sometimes they imagine they have found the cause to lie in yielding to one temptation, and sometimes yielding to another. They put forth efforts in this direction, and in that direction, and patch up their righteousness on one side, while they make a rent in the other side.

["No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse" (Mark 2:21).]

Thus they spend years in running round in a circle, and making dams of sand across the current of their own habitudes and tendencies. Instead of at once purifying their hearts by faith, they are engaged in trying to arrest the overflowing of the bitter waters of their own propensities. Why do I sin? they inquire; and casting about for the cause, they come to the sage conclusion, It is because I neglect such a duty, that is, because I do sin. But how shall I get rid of sin? Answer: By doing my duty, that is, by ceasing from sin.

Now the real inquiry is, Why do they neglect their duty? Why do they commit sin at all? Where is the foundation of all this mischief? Will it be replied, the foundation of all this wickedness is in the force of temptation--in the weakness of our hearts--in the strength of our evil propensities and habits? But all this only brings us back to the real inquiry again, How are these things to be overcome? I answer, by faith alone. No works of law have the least tendency to overcome our sins; but rather to confirm the soul in self-righteousness and unbelief.

The great and fundamental sin, which is at the foundation of all other sin, is unbelief. The first thing is, to give up that--to believe the word of God. There is no breaking off from one sin without this. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
[Romans 14:23] "Without faith it is impossible to please God." [Hebrews 11:6].


Thus we see, that the backslider and convicted sinner, when agonizing to overcome sin, will almost always betake themselves to works of law to obtain faith. They will fast, and pray, and read, and struggle, and outwardly reform, and thus endeavour to obtain grace.

Now all this is in vain and wrong. Do you ask, shall we not fast, and pray, and read, and struggle? Shall we do nothing but sit down in antinomian security and inaction? I answer, you must do all that God commands you to do: but begin where he tells you to begin, and do it in the manner in which he commands you to do it; that is, in the exercise of that faith that works by love. Purify your hearts by faith. Believe in the Son of God. And say not in your heart, "Who shall ascend into heaven, that is to bring Christ down from above; or who shall descend into the deep, that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach."
[Romans 10:6-8].


Now these facts show, that even under the gospel, almost all professors of religion, while they reject the Jewish notion of justification by works of law, have after all adopted a ruinous substitute for it, and suppose, that in some way they are to obtain grace by their works.

["Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children" (Ephesians 5:1).]

Human experiences differ as human countenances differ. The whole history of a man's former state of mind, comes in of course to modify his present and future experience; so that the precise train of feelings which may be requisite in your case, and which will actually occur, if you are ever sanctified, will not in all its details coincide with the exercises of any other human being. It is of vast importance for you to understand, that you can be no copyist in any true religious experience; and that you are in great danger of being deceived by Satan, whenever you attempt to copy the experience of others. I beseech you therefore to cease from praying for, or trying to obtain, the precise experience of any person whatever.

["Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith" (Hebrews 12:2).]

All truly Christian experiences are, like human countenances, in their outline so much alike as to be readily known as the lineaments of the religion of Jesus Christ. But no further than this are they alike, any more than human countenances are alike.

But here let it be remembered, that sanctification does not consist in the various affections or emotions of which Christians speak, and which are often mistaken for, or confounded with, true religion; but that sanctification consists in entire consecration, and consequently it is all out of place for any one to attempt to copy the feelings of another, inasmuch as feelings do not constitute religion.

The feelings of which Christians speak do not constitute true religion, but often result from a right state of heart. These feelings may properly enough be spoken of as Christian experience, for although involuntary states of mind, they are experienced by true Christians. The only way to secure them is to set the will right, and the emotions will be a natural result.

["12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the Living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).]

It is common for persons, when inquiring upon this subject with earnestness, to think themselves hindered in their progress by a want of this, or that, or the other exercise or state of mind. They look everywhere else but at the real difficulty. They assign any other, and every other but the true reason, for their not being already in a state of sanctification. The true difficulty is voluntary selfishness, or voluntary consecration to self-interest and self-gratification. This is the difficulty, and the only difficulty, to be overcome.

["If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26).]

["21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, LORD, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me" (John 21:21-22).]

Now you should understand, that these views are the result and effect of faith in the promise of the Spirit, to take of the things of Christ and show them to you.

["But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (John 15:26).]

Lay hold of this class of promises, and the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to you, in the relations in which you need him from time to time. Take hold, then, on the simple promise of God. Take God at his word. Believe that he means just what he says; and this will at once bring you into the state of mind after which you inquire.

["I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25).]

Now, there probably never was a person who did not find himself disappointed in these respects. God says, "I will bring the blind by a way that they know not. I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." [Isaiah 42:16].

This suffering your imagination to mark out your path is a great hindrance to you, as it sets you upon making many fruitless, and worse than fruitless attempts to attain this imaginary state of mind, wastes much of your time, and greatly wearies the patience and grieves the Spirit of God. While he is trying to lead you right to the point, you are hauling off from the course, and insisting, that this which your imagination has marked out is the way, instead of that in which he is trying to lead you. And thus in your pride and ignorance you are causing much delay, and abusing the long-suffering of God. He says, "This is the way, walk ye in it." [Isaiah 30:21]. But you say, no--this is the way. And thus you stand and parley and banter, while you are every moment in danger of grieving the Spirit of God away from you, and of losing your soul.

["And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the Day of Redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).]

[Or, "For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My Thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).]

But,--

["And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the LORD Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1Corinthians 6:11).]

Faith is rather the instrument or condition, than the efficient agent that induces a state of present and permanent sanctification. Faith simply receives Christ, as king, to live and reign in the soul. It is Christ, in the exercise of his different offices, and appropriated in his different relations to the wants of the soul, by faith, who secures our sanctification. This he does by Divine discoveries to the soul of his Divine perfections and fulness.

["10 That I may know Him, and the Power of His Resurrection, and the Fellowship of His Sufferings, being made conformable unto His Death... 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you" (Philippians 3:10, 15).]

The condition of these discoveries is faith and obedience. He says, John xiv. 21-23: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." But I must call your attention to Christ as our sanctification more at large hereafter.


The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

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LECTURE LXIII. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

CONDITIONS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION.--Continued.

To ascertain the conditions of entire sanctification in this life, we must consider what the temptations are that overcome us. When first converted, we have seen, that the heart or will consecrates itself and the whole being to God.

["And being made perfect, He became the Author of Eternal Salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9).]

We have also seen, that this is a state of disinterested benevolence, or a committal of the whole being to the promotion of the highest good of being.

["30 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the First Commandment. 31 And the Second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other Commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31).]

We have also seen, that all sin is selfishness, or that all sin consists in the will's seeking the indulgence or gratification of self; that it consists in the will's yielding obedience to the propensities, instead of obeying God, as his law is revealed in the reason.

["Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Romans 6:12).]

Now, who cannot see what needs to be done to break the power of temptation, and let the soul go free? The fact is, that the department of our sensibility that is related to objects of time and sense, has received an enormous development, and is tremblingly alive to all its correlated objects, while, by reason of the blindness of the mind to spiritual objects, it is scarcely developed at all in its relations to them. Those objects are seldom thought of by the carnal mind, and when they are, they are only thought of. They are not clearly seen, and of course they are not felt.

["Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).]

The thought of God, of Christ, of sin, of holiness, of heaven, and hell, excites little or no emotion in the carnal mind. The carnal mind is alive and awake to earthly and sensible objects, but dead to spiritual realities. The spiritual world needs to be revealed to the soul. The soul needs to see and clearly apprehend its own spiritual condition, relations, wants. It needs to become acquainted with God and Christ, to have spiritual and eternal realities made plain, and present, and all-absorbing realities to the soul.

["9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1Corinthians 2:9-11).]

It needs such discoveries of the eternal world, of the nature and guilt of sin, and of Christ, the remedy of the soul, as to kill or greatly mortify lust, or the appetites and passions in their relations to objects of time and sense, and thoroughly to develop the sensibility, in its relations to sin and to God, and to the whole circle of spiritual realities.

This will greatly abate the frequency and power of temptation to self-gratification, and break up the voluntary slavery of the will. The developments of the sensibility need to be thoroughly corrected. This can only be done by the revelation to the inward man, by the Holy Spirit, of those great, and solemn, and overpowering realities of the "spirit land," that lie concealed from the eye of flesh.

["5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" (Isaiah 6:5-7).]

We often see those around us whose sensibility is so developed, in some one direction, that they are led captive by appetite and passion in that direction, in spite of reason and of God. The inebriate is an example of this. The glutton, the licentious, the avaricious man, &c., are examples of this kind.

We sometimes, on the other hand, see, by some striking providence, such a counter development of the sensibility produced, as to slay and put down those particular tendencies, and the whole direction of the man's life seems to be changed; and outwardly, at least, it is so. From being a perfect slave to his appetite for strong drink, he cannot, without the utmost loathing and disgust, so much as hear the name of his once loved beverage mentioned. From being a most avaricious man he becomes deeply disgusted with wealth, and spurns and despises it. Now, this has been effected by a counter development of the sensibility; for, in the case supposed, religion has nothing to do with it.

["24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first" (Luke 11:24-26).]

Religion does not consist in the states of the sensibility, nor in the will's being influenced by the sensibility; but sin consists in the will's being thus influenced. One great thing that needs to be done, to confirm and settle the will in the attitude of entire consecration to God, is to bring about a counter development of the sensibility, so that it will not draw the will away from God. It needs to be mortified or crucified to the world, to objects of time and sense, by so deep, and clear, and powerful a revelation of self to self, and of Christ to the soul, as to awaken and develop all its susceptibilities in their relations to him, and to spiritual and divine realities.

["I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).]

This can easily be done through and by the Holy Spirit, who takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us. He so reveals Christ, that the soul receives him to the throne of the heart, and to reign throughout the whole being. When the will, the intellect, and the sensibility are yielded to him, he develops the intelligence and the sensibility by clear revelations of himself, in all his offices and relations to the soul, confirms the will, mellows and chastens the sensibility, by these divine revelations to the intelligence.

["He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21).]

IT IS PLAIN, THAT MEN ARE NATURALLY ABLE TO BE ENTIRELY SANCTIFIED, IN THE SENSE OF RENDERING ENTIRE AND CONTINUAL OBEDIENCE TO GOD; FOR THE ABILITY IS THE CONDITION OF THE OBLIGATION TO DO SO. BUT WHAT IS IMPLIED IN ABILITY TO BE AS HOLY AS GOD REQUIRES US TO BE?

["Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1Peter 1:16).]

The ready and plain answer to this question is--

["So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27).]

["Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).]

["There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is Faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1Corinthians 10:13).]

The first we all possess. The second we also possess, for nothing strictly is or can be duty, that is not revealed or made known to us. The third is proffered to us upon condition that we receive the Holy Spirit, who offers himself as an indwelling light and guide, and who is received by simple faith.

["For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).]

The light and grace which we need, and which it is the office of the Holy Spirit to supply, respects mainly the following things:--

(1.) Knowledge of ourselves, our past sins, their nature, aggravation, guilt, and desert of dire damnation.

["And when <the Comforter> is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).]

(2.) Knowledge of our spiritual helplessness or weakness, in consequence of--

["Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).]

(i.) The physical depravity or morbid development of our natures. (See the distinction between moral and physical depravity, Lecture XXXVIII, II.)

["Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come" (Romans 5:14).]

(ii.) Of the strength of selfish habit.

["For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19).]

(iii.) Because of the power of temptation from the world, the flesh, and Satan.

["For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).]

(3.) We need the light of the Holy Spirit to teach us the character of God, the nature of his government, the purity of his law, the necessity and fact of atonement.

["And without controversy great is the Mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory" (1Timothy 3:16).]

(4.) To teach us our need of Christ in all his offices and relations, governmental, spiritual, and mixed.

["Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29).]

(5.) We need the revelation of Christ to our souls in all these relations, and in such power as to induce in us that appropriating faith, without which Christ is not, and cannot be, our salvation.

["Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).]

(6.) WE NEED TO KNOW CHRIST, FOR EXAMPLE, IN SUCH RELATIONS AS THE FOLLOWING:--

(i.)
[KING] As King, to set up his government and write his law in our hearts; to establish his kingdom within us; to sway his sceptre over our whole being. As King he must be spiritually revealed and received.

["13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, Who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 that thou keep this Commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our LORD Jesus Christ: 15 which in His times He shall shew, Who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords; 16 Who only hath Immortality, dwelling in the Light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be Honour and Power everlasting. Amen" (1Timothy 6:13-16).]

(ii.) [MEDIATOR] As our Mediator, to stand between the offended justice of God and our guilty souls, to bring about a reconciliation between our souls and God. As Mediator he must be known and received.

["For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1Timothy 2:5).]

(iii.) [ADVOCATE] As our Advocate or Paracletos, our next or best friend, to plead our cause with the Father, our righteous and all-prevailing advocate to secure the triumph of our cause at the bar of God. In this relation he must be apprehended and embraced.

["My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate <Greek, parakletos> with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" (1John 2:1).]

(iv.) [REDEEMER] As our Redeemer, to redeem us from the curse of the law, and from the power and dominion of sin; to pay the price demanded by public justice for our release, and to overcome and break up for ever our spiritual bondage. In this relation also we must know and appreciate him by faith.

["And they sung a New Song, saying, Thou art Worthy to take the Book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9).]

(v.) [JUSTIFICATION] As our Justification, to procure our pardon and acceptance with God. To know him and embrace him in this relation is indispensable to peace of mind and to release from the condemnation of the law.

["And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the Gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the Free Gift is of many offences unto justification" (Romans 5:16).]

(vi.) [JUDGE] As our Judge, to pronounce sentence of acceptance, and to award to us the victor's crown.

["For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22).]

(vii.) [REPAIRER OF THE BREACH] As the Repairer of the breach, or as the one who makes good to the government of God our default, or in other words, who, by his obedience unto death, rendered to the public justice of God a full governmental equivalent for the infliction of the penalty of the law upon us.

["And they that shall be of Thee shall build the old waste places: Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and Thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In" (Isaiah 58:12).]

(viii.) [PROPITIATION] As the Propitiation for our sins, to offer himself as a propitiatory or offering for our sins. The apprehension of Christ as making an atonement for our sins seems to be indispensable to the entertaining of a healthy hope of eternal life. It certainly is not healthy for the soul to apprehend the mercy of God, without regarding the conditions of its exercise. It does not sufficiently impress the soul with a sense of the justice and holiness of God, with the guilt and desert of sin. It does not sufficiently awe the soul and humble it in the deepest dust, to regard God as extending pardon, without regard to the sternness of his justice, as evinced in requiring that sin should be recognized in the universe, as worthy of the wrath and curse of God, as a condition of its forgiveness.

["And He is the Propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1John 2:2).]

It is remarkable, and well worthy of all consideration, that those who deny the atonement make sin a comparative trifle, and seem to regard God's benevolence or love as good nature, rather than, as it is, "a consuming fire" [Hebrews 12:29] to all the workers of iniquity. Nothing does or can produce that awe of God, that fear and holy dread of sin, that self-abasing, God-justifying spirit, that a thorough apprehension of the atonement of Christ will do. Nothing like this can beget that spirit of self-renunciation, of cleaving to Christ, of taking refuge in his blood. In these relations Christ must be revealed to us, and apprehended and embraced by us, as the condition of our entire sanctification.

["Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins" (1John 4:10).]

(ix.) [SURETY OF A BETTER COVENANT] As the Surety of a better than the first covenant, that is, as surety of a gracious covenant founded on better promises; as an underwriter or endorser of our obligation: as one who undertakes for us, and pledges himself as our security, to fulfil for and in us all the conditions of our salvation. To apprehend and appropriate Christ by faith in this relation, is no doubt, a condition of our entire sanctification.

["But now hath He obtained a more Excellent Ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a Better Covenant, which was established upon Better Promises" (Hebrews 8:6).]

I should greatly delight to enlarge, and write a whole course of lectures on the offices and relations of Christ, the necessity of knowing and appropriating him in these relations, as the condition of our entire, in the sense of continued sanctification. This would require a large volume. All that I can do is merely to suggest a skeleton outline of this subject in this place.

["And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25).]

(x.) [SUBSTITUTE] We need to apprehend and appropriate Christ as dying for our sins. It is the work of the Holy Spirit thus to reveal his death in its relations to our individual sins, and as related to our sins as individuals. The soul needs to apprehend Christ as crucified for us.

["And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an Offering and a Sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2).]

It is one thing for the soul to regard the death of Christ merely as the death of a martyr, and an infinitely different thing, as every one knows, who has had the experience, to apprehend his death as a real and veritable vicarious sacrifice for our sins, as being truly a substitute for our death. The soul needs to apprehend Christ as suffering on the cross for it, or as its substitute; so that it can say, That sacrifice is for me, that suffering and that death are for my sins; that blessed Lamb is slain for my sins. If thus fully to apprehend and to appropriate Christ cannot kill sin in us, what can?

["I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).]

(xi.) [RISEN FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION] We also need to know Christ as risen for our justification. He arose and lives to procure our certain acquittal, or our complete pardon and acceptance with God. That he lives, and is our justification we need to know, to break the bondage of legal motives, and to slay all selfish fear; to break and destroy the power of temptation from this source.

["Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25).]

The clearly convinced soul is often tempted to despondency and unbelief, to despair of its own acceptance with God, and it would surely fall into the bondage of fear, were it not for the faith of Christ as a risen, living, justifying Saviour. In this relation, the soul needs clearly to apprehend and fully to appropriate Christ in his completeness, as a condition of abiding in a state of disinterested consecration to God.

["Till we all come in the unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).]

(xii.) [MAN OF SORROWS] We need also to have Christ revealed to us as bearing our griefs and as carrying our sorrows. The clear apprehension of Christ, as being made sorrowful for us, and as bending under sorrows and griefs which in justice belonged to us, tends at once to render sin unspeakably odious, and Christ infinitely precious to our souls. The idea of Christ our substitute, needs to be thoroughly developed in our minds. And this relation of Christ needs to be so clearly revealed to us, as to become an everywhere present reality to us.

["Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4).]

We need to have Christ so revealed as to so completely ravish and engross our affections, that we would sooner die at once than sin against him. Is such a thing impossible? Indeed it is not. Is not the Holy Spirit able, and willing, and ready thus to reveal him, upon condition of our asking it in faith? Surely he is.

["Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?" (Hebrews 10:29).]

(xiii.) [HEALER] We also need to apprehend Christ as the one by whose stripes we are healed. We need to know him as relieving our pains and sufferings by his own, as preventing our death by his own, as sorrowing that we might eternally rejoice, as grieving that we might be unspeakably and eternally glad, as dying in unspeakable agony that we might die in deep peace and in unspeakable triumph.

["But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).]

["16 When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:16-17).]

(xiv.) [MADE SIN FOR US] "As being made sin for us." [2Corinthians 5:21]. We need to apprehend him as being treated as a sinner, and even as the chief of sinners on our account, or for us. This is the representation of scripture, that Christ on our account was treated as if he were a sinner. He was made sin for us, that is, he was treated as a sinner, or rather as being the representative, or as it were the embodiment of sin for us. O! this the soul needs to apprehend--the holy Jesus treated as a sinner, and as if all sin were concentrated in him, on our account!

["For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (5:21).]

We procured this treatment of him. He consented to take our place in such a sense as to endure the cross, and the curse of the law for us. When the soul apprehends this, it is ready to die with grief and love. O how infinitely it loathes self under such an apprehension as this! In this relation he must not only be apprehended, but appropriated by faith.

(xv.) [OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS] We also need to apprehend the fact that "he was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;" [2Corinthians 5:21] that Christ was treated as a sinner, that we might be treated as righteous; that we might also be made personally righteous by faith in him; that we might be made the "righteousness of God in him;" [5:21] that we might inherit and be made partakers of God's righteousness, as that righteousness exists and is revealed in Christ; that we might in and by him be made righteous as God is righteous. The soul needs to see, that his being made sin for us, was in order that we might be "made the righteousness of God in him." [5:21]. It needs to embrace and lay hold by faith upon that righteousness of God, which is brought home to saints in Christ, through the atonement and indwelling Spirit.

["In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:6).]

["And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith" (Philippians 3:9).]

(xvi.) [GOVERNOR] We also need him revealed to the soul, as one upon whose shoulders is the government of the world; who administers the government, moral and providential, of this world, for the protection, discipline, and benefit of believers. This revelation has a most sin-subduing tendency. That all events are directly or indirectly controlled by him who has so loved us as to die for us; that all things absolutely are designed for, and will surely result in our good. These and such like considerations, when revealed to the soul and made living realities by the Holy Spirit, tend to kill selfishness and confirm the love of God in the soul.

["For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder" (Isaiah 9:6).]

["He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).]

(xvii.) [HEAD OF THE CHURCH] We also need Christ revealed to the inward being, as "head over all things to the church." [Ephesians 1:22]. All these relations are of no avail to our sanctification, only in so far forth as they are directly, and inwardly, and personally revealed to the soul by the Holy Spirit. It is one thing to have thoughts, and ideas, and opinions concerning Christ, and an entirely different thing to know Christ, as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

All the relations of Christ imply corresponding necessities in us. When the Holy Spirit has revealed to us the necessity, and Christ as exactly suited to fully meet that necessity, and urged his acceptance in that relation, until we have appropriated him by faith, a great work is done. But until we are thus revealed to ourselves, and Christ is thus revealed to us and accepted by us, nothing is done more than to store our heads with notions or opinions and theories, while our hearts are becoming more and more, at every moment, like an adamant stone.

I have often feared, that many professed Christians knew Christ only after the flesh, that is, they have no other knowledge of Christ than what they obtain by reading and hearing about him, without any special revelation of him to the inward being by the Holy Spirit. I do not wonder, that such professors and ministers should be totally in the dark, upon the subject of entire sanctification in this life. They regard sanctification as brought about by the formation of holy habits, instead of resulting from the revelation of Christ to the soul in all his fulness and relations, and the soul's renunciation of self and appropriation of Christ in these relations.

["To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by Faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18).]

Christ is represented in the Bible as the head of the church. The church is represented as his body. He is to the church what the head is to the body. The head is the seat of the intellect, the will, and in short, of the living soul. Consider what the body would be without the head, and you may understand what the church would be without Christ. But as the church would be without Christ, so each believer would be without Christ. But we need to have our necessities in this respect clearly revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, and this relation of Christ made plain to our apprehension.

["But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1Corinthians 2:10).]

The utter darkness of the human mind in regard to its own spiritual state and wants, and in regard to the relations and fulness of Christ, is truly wonderful. His relations, as mentioned in the Bible, are overlooked almost entirely until our wants are discovered. When these are made known, and the soul begins in earnest to inquire after a remedy, it needs not inquire in vain. "Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend up to heaven? that is, to bring Christ down from above; or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart." [Romans 10:6-8].

(xviii.) [OMNIPOTENT GOD] Christ, as having all power or authority in heaven and earth, needs also to be revealed to the soul, and received by faith, to dwell in and rule over it. The corresponding want must of necessity be first known to the mind, before it can apprehend and appropriate Christ by faith, in this or any other relation. The soul needs to see and feel its weakness, its need of protection, of being defended, and watched over, and controlled. It needs to see this, and also the power of its spiritual enemies, its besetments, its dangers, and its certain ruin, unless the Almighty One interpose in its behalf. It needs thus truly and deeply to know itself; and then, to inspire it with confidence, it needs a revelation of Christ as God, as the Almighty God, to the soul, as one who possesses absolute and infinite power, and as presented to the soul to be accepted as its strength, and as all it needs of power.

["And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All Power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth" (Matthew 28:18).]

["The LORD God Omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6).]

["Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies" (Psalm 60:12).]

O how infinitely blind he is to the fulness and glory of Christ, who does not know himself and Christ as both are revealed by the Holy Spirit. When we are led by the Holy Spirit to look down into the abyss of our own emptiness--to behold the horrible pit and miry clay of our own habits, and fleshly, and worldly, and infernal entanglements; when we see in the light of God, that our emptiness and necessities are infinite; then, and not till then, are we prepared wholly to cast off self, and to put on Christ.

["He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).]

The glory and fulness of Christ are not discovered to the soul, until it discovers its need of him. But when self, in all its loathsomeness and helplessness, is fully revealed, until hope is utterly extinct, as it respects every kind and degree of help in ourselves; and when Christ, the all and in all,

["Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11).]

is revealed to the soul as its all-sufficient portion and salvation, then, and not until then, does the soul know its salvation.

["That I may know Him, and the Power of His Resurrection, and the Fellowship of His Sufferings, being made conformable unto His Death" (Philippians 3:10).]

This knowledge is the indispensable condition of appropriating faith, or of that act of receiving Christ, or that committal of all to him, that takes Christ home to dwell in the heart by faith, and to preside over all its states and actions. O, such a knowledge and such a reception and putting on of Christ is blessed. Happy is he who knows it by his own experience.

["I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee" (Job 42:5).]

It is indispensable to a steady and implicit faith, that the soul should have a spiritual apprehension of what is implied in the saying of Christ, that all power was delivered unto him. The ability of Christ to do all, and even exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, is what the soul needs clearly to apprehend in a spiritual sense, that is, to apprehend it, not merely as a theory or as a proposition, but to see the true spiritual import of this saying.

["I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).]

This is also equally true of all that is said in the Bible about Christ, of all his offices and relations. It is one thing to theorize, and speculate, and opine, about Christ, and an infinitely different thing to know him as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit. When Christ is fully revealed to the soul by the Comforter, it will never again doubt the attainability and reality of entire sanctification in this life.

["Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with Spiritual" (1Corinthians 2:13).]

(xix.) [PRINCE OF PEACE] Another necessity of the soul is to know Christ spiritually, as the Prince of Peace. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you," said Christ. [John 14:27]. What is this peace? And who is Christ, in the relation of the Prince of Peace? What is it to possess the peace of Christ--to have the peace of God rule in our hearts? Without the revelation of Christ to the soul by the Holy Spirit, it has no spiritual apprehension of the meaning of this language. Nor can it lay hold on and appropriate Christ as its peace, as the Prince of Peace.

["And His Name shall be called... The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).]

Whoever knows and has embraced Christ as his peace, and as the Prince of Peace, knows what it is to have the peace of God rule in his heart.

["And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15).]

But none else at all understand the true spiritual import of this language, nor can it be so explained to them as that they will apprehend it, unless it be explained by the Holy Spirit.

["For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the Glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees" (Isaiah 66:12).]

(xx.) [CAPTAIN OF SALVATION] The soul needs also to know Christ as the Captain of salvation, as the skilful conductor, guide, and captain of the soul in all its conflicts with its spiritual enemies, as one who is ever at hand to lead the soul on to victory, and make it more than a conqueror in all its conflicts with the world, the flesh, and Satan.

["For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto Glory, to make the Captain of Their Salvation perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10).]

How indispensable to a living and efficient faith it is and must be, for the soul clearly to apprehend by the Holy Spirit this relation of Captain of Salvation, and Captain of the Lord's Host.

["13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the Host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the Earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my LORD unto His servant?" (Joshua 5:13-14).]

Without confidence in the Leader and Captain, how shall the soul put itself under his guidance and protection in the hour of conflict? It cannot.

The fact is, that when the soul is ignorant of Christ as a Captain or Leader, it will surely fall in battle. If the church, as a body, but knew Christ as the Captain of the Lord's Host; if he were but truly and spiritually known to them in that relation, no more confusion would be seen in the ranks of God's elect.

["The LORD is a Man of War: the LORD is His Name" (Exodus 15:3).]

All would be order, and strength, and conquest. They would soon go up and take possession of the whole territory that has been promised to Christ. The heathen would soon be given to him for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the world for a possession.

["Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for Thy possession" (Psalm 2:8).]

Joshua knew Christ as the Captain of the Lord's host. Consequently he had more courage, and efficiency, and prowess, than all Israel besides. Even so it is now. When a soul can be found who thoroughly knows, and has embraced, and appropriated Christ, he is a host of himself. That is, he has appropriated the attributes of Christ to himself; and his influence is felt in heaven, and earth, and hell.

["For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall" (Psalm 18:29).]

(xxi.) [PASSOVER] Another affecting and important relation in which the soul needs to know Christ, is that of our Passover. It needs to understand, that the only reason why it has not been, or will not assuredly be, slain for sin is, that Christ has sprinkled, as our Paschal Lamb, the lintel and door-posts of our souls with his own blood, and that therefore the destroying angel passes us by.

["Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1Corinthians 5:7).]

There is a most deep and sin-subduing, or rather temptation-subduing spirituality in this relation of Christ to the soul, when revealed by the Holy Spirit. We must apprehend our sins as slaying the Lamb, and apply his blood to our souls by faith--his blood as being our protection and our only trust.

["In Whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace" (Ephesians 1:7).]

We need to know the security there is in this being sprinkled with his blood, and the certain and speedy destruction of all who have not taken refuge under it. We need to know also, that it will not do for a moment to venture out into the streets, and from under its protection, lest we be slain there.

["Thou art my Strong Refuge" (Psalm 71:7).]

(xxii.) [WISDOM] To know Christ as our Wisdom, in the true spiritual sense, is doubtless indispensable to our entire, in the sense of continued, sanctification. He is our wisdom, in the sense of being the whole of our religion. That is, when separated from him, we have no spiritual life whatever. He is at the bottom of, or the inducing cause of all our obedience. This we need clearly to apprehend. Until the soul clearly understands this, it has learned nothing to the purpose of its helplessness, and of Christ's spiritual relations to it.

["But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God" (1Corinthians 1:24).]

(xxiii.) [SANCTIFICATION] Very nearly allied to this is Christ's relation to the soul as its Sanctification. I have been amazed at the ignorance of the church and of the ministry, respecting Christ as its Sanctification. He is not its Sanctifier in the sense that he does something to the soul that enables it to stand and persevere in holiness in its own strength. He does not change the structure of the soul, but he watches over, and works in it to will and to do continually, and thus becomes its Sanctification. His influence is not exerted once for all, but constantly.

["But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption" (1Corinthians 1:30).]

When he is apprehended and embraced as the soul's Sanctification, he rules in, and reigns over the soul in so high a sense, that he, as it were, develops his own holiness in us. He, as it were, swallows us up, so enfolds, if I may so say, our wills and our souls in his, that we are willingly led captive by him. We will and do as he wills within us. He charms the will into a universal bending to his will. He so establishes his throne in, and his authority over us, that he subdues us to himself. He becomes our sanctification only in so far forth as we are revealed to ourselves, and he revealed to us, and as we receive him and put him on.

["Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them" (Psalm 68:18).]

What! has it come to this, that the church doubts and rejects the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life? Then, it must be that it has lost sight of Christ as its sanctification. Is not Christ perfect in all his relations? Is there not a completeness and fulness in him? When embraced by us, are we not complete in him? The secret of all this doubting about, and opposition to, the doctrine of entire sanctification, is to be found in the fact, that Christ is not apprehended and embraced as our sanctification. The Holy Spirit sanctifies only by revealing Christ to us as our sanctification. He does not speak of himself, but takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us.

["Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself... He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 16:13, 15).]

Two among the most prominent ministers in the presbyterian church have said to me within a few years, that they had never heard of Christ as the sanctification of the soul. O, how many of the ministry of the present day overlook the true spiritual gospel of Christ!

["My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3:1).]

(xxiv.) [REDEEMER OF THE SOUL] Another of Christ's spiritual relations is that of the Redemption of the soul; not merely as the Redeemer considered in his governmental relation, but as a present Redemption.

["I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 49:26).]

To apprehend and receive Christ in this relation, the soul needs to apprehend itself as sold under sin;

["For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin" (Romans 7:14).]

as being the voluntary but real slave of lust and appetite, except as Christ continually delivers us from its power, by strengthening and confirming our wills in resisting and overcoming the flesh.

["4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, 5 to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galatians 4:4-7).]

(xxv.) [PROPHET] Christ our Prophet is another important spiritual relation in which we need to apprehend Christ by the Holy Spirit, as a condition of entire sanctification. He must be received as the great teacher of our souls, so that every word of his will be received as God speaking to us. This will render the Bible precious, and all the words of life efficient to the sanctification of our souls.

["The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15).]

(xxvi.) [HIGH PRIEST] As our High Priest, we need also to know Christ. I say we need to know him in this relation, as really ever living and ever sustaining this relation to us, offering up, as it were, by a continual offering, his own blood, and himself as a propitiation for our sins; as being entered within the veil, and as ever living to make intercession for us.

["14 Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16).]

Much precious instruction is to be gathered from this relation of Christ. We need, perishingly need, to know Christ in this relation, as a condition of a right dependence upon him. I all the while feel embarrassed with the consideration that I am not able, in this course of instruction, to give a fuller account of Christ in these relations. We need a distinct revelation of him in each of these relations, in order to a thorough understanding and clear apprehension of that which is implied in each and all of the relations of Christ.

["For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an Example, that ye should follow His steps" (1Peter 2:21).]

When we sin, it is because of our ignorance of Christ.

["Whereby are given unto us Exceeding Great and Precious Promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:4).]

That is, whenever temptation overcomes us, it is because we do not know and avail ourselves of the relation of Christ that would meet our necessities. One great thing that needs to be done is, to correct the developments of our sensibility. The appetites and passions are enormously developed in their relations to earthly objects. In relation to things of time and sense, our propensities are greatly developed and are alive; but in relation to spiritual truths and objects, and eternal realities, we are naturally as dead as stones.

When first converted, if we knew enough of ourselves and of Christ thoroughly to develop and correct the action of the sensibility, and confirm our wills in a state of entire consecration, we should not fall. In proportion as the law-work preceding conversion has been thorough, and the revelation of Christ at, or immediately subsequent to, conversion, full and clear, just in that proportion do we witness stability in converts.

["But grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be Glory both now and for ever. Amen" (2Peter 3:18).]

In most, if not in all instances, however, the convert is too ignorant of himself, and of course knows too little about Christ, to be established in permanent obedience. He needs renewed conviction of sin, to be revealed to himself, and to have Christ revealed to him,

["For I say, through the Grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of Faith" (Romans 12:3).]

and be formed in him the hope of glory,

["Christ in you, the Hope of Glory" (Colossians 1:27).]

before he will be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

["Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the LORD" (1Corinthians 15:58).]

Before I close this lecture, I must remark, and shall have occasion to repeat the remark, that from what has been said, it must not be inferred, that the knowledge of Christ in all these relations is a condition of our coming into a state of entire consecration to God, or of present sanctification. The thing insisted on is, that the soul will abide in this state in the hour of temptation only so far forth as it betakes itself to Christ in such circumstances of trial, and apprehends and appropriates him by faith from time to time in those relations that meet the present and pressing necessities of the soul.

["According to your Faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29).]

The temptation is the occasion of revealing the necessity, and the Holy Spirit is always ready to reveal Christ in the particular relation suited to the newly-developed necessity. The perception and appropriation of him in this relation, under these circumstances of trial, is the sine qu non of our remaining in the state of entire consecration.

["Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us" (2Corinthians 1:10).]



The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

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LECTURE LXIV. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

CONDITIONS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION.--Continued.

(xxvii.) [BREAD OF LIFE] We need also to know ourselves as starving souls, and Christ as the "bread of life," [John 6:35] as "the bread that came down from heaven." [6:41]. We need to know spiritually and experimentally what it is to "eat of his flesh, and to drink of his blood," [6:53] to receive him as the bread of life, to appropriate him to the nourishment of our souls as really as we appropriate bread, by digestion, to the nourishment of our bodies.

This I know is mysticism to the carnal professor. But to the truly spiritually-minded, "this is the bread of God that came down from heaven, of which if a man eat he shall never die."

[Or, "This is that Bread which came down from Heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this Bread shall live for ever" (John 6:58).]

To hear Christ talk of eating his flesh, and of drinking his blood, was a great stumbling-block to the carnal Jews, as it now is to carnal professors. Nevertheless, this is a glorious truth, that Christ is the constant sustenance of the spiritual life, as truly and as literally as food is the sustenance of the body.

But the soul will never eat this bread until it has ceased to attempt to fill itself with the husks of its own doings, or with any provision this world can furnish.

["15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the Will of God abideth for ever" (1John 2:15-17).]

Do you know, Christian, what it is to eat of this bread? If so, then you shall never die.

(xxviii.)
[FOUNTAIN OF THE WATER OF LIFE] Christ also needs to be revealed to the soul as the fountain of the water of life. "If any man thirst," says he, "let him come unto me and drink." [John 7:37]. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To him that is athirst, I will give unto him of the fountain of the water of life freely." [Revelation 21:6].


The soul needs to have such discoveries made to it, as to beget a thirst after God that cannot be allayed, except by a copious draught at the fountain of the water of life. It is indispensable to the establishing of the soul in perfect love, that its hungering after the bread, and its thirsting for the water of life, should be duly excited, and that the spirit should pant and struggle after God, and "cry out for the living God,"

["My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God" (Psalm 42:2).]

that it should be able to say with truth: "My soul panteth for God as the hart panteth for the water-brooks; My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God;"

[Or, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks... my heart and my flesh crieth out for the Living God" (Psalm 42:1; 84:2).]

"My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath after thee at all times."

[Or, "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy Judgments at all times" (Psalm 119:20).]

When this state of mind is induced by the Holy Spirit, so that the longing of the soul after perpetual holiness is irrepressible, it is prepared for a revelation of Christ, in all those offices and relations that are necessary to secure its establishment in love. Especially is it then prepared to apprehend, appreciate, and appropriate Christ, as the bread and water of life, to understand what it is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. It is then in a state to understand what Christ meant when he said, "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." [Matthew 5:6]. They not only understand what it is to hunger and thirst, but also what it is to be filled; to have the hunger and thirst allayed, and the largest desire fully satisfied. The soul then realizes in its own experience the truthfulness of the apostle's saying, that Christ "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." [Ephesians 3:20].

Many stop short even of anything like intense hunger and thirst; others hunger and thirst, but have not the idea of the perfect fulness and adaptedness of Christ to meet and satisfy the longing of their souls. They therefore do not plead and look for the soul-satisfying revelation of Christ. They expect no such divine fulness and satisfaction of soul. They are ignorant of the fulness and perfection of the provisions of the "glorious gospel of the blessed God;" [1Timothy 1:11], and consequently they are not encouraged to hope from the fact, that they hunger and thirst after righteousness, that they shall be filled; but they remain unfed, unfilled, unsatisfied, and after a season, through unbelief, fall into indifference, and remain in bondage to sin.

(xxix.)
[THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE] The soul needs also to know Christ as the true God, and the eternal life. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, save by the Holy Spirit." [1Corinthians 12:3]. The proper divinity of Christ is never, and never can be, held otherwise than as a mere opinion, a tenet, a speculation, an article of creed, until he is revealed to the inner man by the Holy Spirit. But nothing short of an apprehension of Christ, as the supreme and living God to the soul, can inspire that confidence in him that is essential to its established sanctification. The soul can have no apprehension of what is intended by his being the "eternal life," until it spiritually knows him as the true God.

["And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an Understanding, that we may know Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and Eternal Life" (1John 5:20).]

When he is spiritually revealed as the true and living God, the way is prepared for the spiritual apprehension of him as the eternal life. "As the living Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." [John 5:26]. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." [1:4]. "I give unto them eternal life." [10:28]. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." [14:6]. "I am the resurrection and the life." [11:25]. These and similar passages the soul needs spiritually to apprehend, to have a spiritual and personal revelation of them within.

Most professors seem to me to have no right idea of the condition upon which the Bible can be made of spiritual use to them. They seem not to understand, that in its letter it is only a history of things formerly revealed to men; that it is, in fact, a revelation to no man, except upon the condition of its being personally revealed, or revealed to us in particular by the Holy Spirit.

["Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth Life" (2Corinthians 3:6).]

The mere fact, that we have in the gospel the history of the birth, the life, the death of Christ, is no such revelation of Christ to any man as meets his necessities; and as will secure his salvation. Christ and his doctrine, his life, and death, and resurrection, need to be revealed personally by the Holy Spirit, to each and every soul of man, to effect his salvation. So it is with every spiritual truth; without an inward revelation of it to the soul, it is only a savour of death unto death.

["To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?" (2Corinthians 2:16).]

It is in vain to hold to the proper divinity of Christ, as a speculation, a doctrine, a theory, an opinion, without the revelation of his divine nature and character to the soul, by the Holy Spirit. But let the soul know him, and walk with him as the true God, and then it will no longer question whether, as our sanctification, he is all-sufficient and complete.

["In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, LORD of Heaven and Earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight" (Luke 10:21).]

Let no one object to this, that if this is true, men are under no obligation to believe in Christ, and to obey the gospel, without or until they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. To such an objection, should it be made, I would answer,--

(a.) Men are under an obligation to believe every truth so far as they can understand or apprehend it, but no further. So far as they can apprehend the spiritual truths of the gospel without the Holy Spirit, so far, without his aid, they are bound to believe it.

["Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).]

But Christ has himself taught us, that no man can come to him except the Father draw him.

["No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the Last Day" (John 6:44).]

That this drawing means teaching is evident, from what Christ proceeds to say. "For it is written," said he, "they shall all be taught of God. Every one therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me." [6:45].

That this learning of the Father is something different from the mere oral or written instructions of Christ and the apostles, is evident from the fact, that Christ assured those to whom he preached, with all the plainness with which he was able, that they still could not come to him except drawn, that is taught, of the Father. As the Father teaches by the Holy Spirit, Christ's plain teaching, in the passage under consideration is, that no man can come to him except he be specially enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

["The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the Saints" (Ephesians 1:18).]

Paul unequivocally teaches the same thing. "No man," says he, "can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit." [1Corinthians 12:3]. Notwithstanding all the teaching of the apostles, no man by merely listening to their instruction could so apprehend the true divinity of Christ, as honestly and with spiritual understanding to say, that Jesus is the Lord.

But what spiritual or true Christian does not know the radical difference between being taught of man and of God, between the opinions that we form from reading, hearing, and study, and the clear apprehensions of truths that are communicated by the direct and inward illuminations of the Holy Spirit?

["20 But ye have an Unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the Truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the Truth" (1John 2:20-21).}

(b.) I answer, that men under the gospel are entirely without excuse for not enjoying all the light they need from the Holy Spirit, since he is in the world, has been sent for the very purpose of giving to men all the knowledge of themselves and of Christ which they need. His aid is freely proffered to all, and Christ has assured us, that the Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than parents are to give good gifts to their children.

["If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13).]

["For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (12:48).]

All men under the gospel know this, and all men have light enough to ask in faith for the Holy Spirit, and of course all men may know of themselves and of Christ all that they need to know. They are therefore able to know and to embrace Christ as fully and as fast as it is their duty to embrace him. They are able to know Christ in his governmental and spiritual relations, just as fast as they come into circumstances to need to know him in these various relations.

["For the invisible things of Him from the Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).]

The Holy Spirit, if he is not quenched and resisted, will surely reveal Christ in all his relations in due time, so that, in every temptation a way of escape will be open, so that we shall be able to bear it. This is expressly promised, 1 Cor. x. 13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

Men are able to know what God offers to teach them, upon a condition within the compass of their ability. The Holy Spirit offers, upon condition of faith in the express promise of God, to lead every man into all truth. Every man is, therefore, under obligation to know and do the whole truth, so far and so fast as it is possible for him to do so, with the light of the Holy Spirit.

["Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (1Peter 1:22).]

(xxx.) [OUR LIFE] But be it remembered, that it is not enough for us to apprehend Christ as the true God and the eternal life, but we need also to lay hold upon him as our life. It cannot be too distinctly understood, that a particular and personal appropriation of Christ, in such relations, is indispensable to our being rooted and grounded, established and perfected in love.

["When Christ, Who is our Life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory" (Colossians 3:4).]

When our utter deficiency and emptiness in any one respect or direction, is deeply revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, with the corresponding remedy and perfect fulness in Christ, it then remains for the soul, in this respect and direction, to cast off self, and put on Christ. When this is done, when self in that respect and direction is dead, and Christ is risen, and lives and reigns in the heart in that relation, all is strong, and whole, and complete, in that department of our life and experience.

["9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 and have put on the new man, which is renewed in Knowledge after the image of Him that created Him" (Colossians 3:9-10).]

For example, suppose we find ourselves constitutionally, or by reason of our relations and circumstances, exposed to certain besetments and temptations that overcome us. Our weakness in this respect we observe in our experience. But upon observing our exposedness, and experiencing something of our weakness, we begin with piling resolution upon resolution. We bind ourselves with oaths and promises, and covenants, but all in vain. When we purpose to stand, we invariably, in the presence of the temptation, fall.

["But put ye on the LORD Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:14).]

This process of resolving and falling brings the soul into great discouragement and perplexity, until at last the Holy Spirit reveals to us fully, that we are attempting to stand and to build upon nothing. The utter emptiness and worse than uselessness of our resolutions and self-originated efforts, is so clearly seen by us, as to annihilate for ever self-dependence in this respect.

["For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to Salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2Corinthians 7:10).]

Now the soul is prepared for the revelation of Christ to meet this particular want. Christ is revealed and apprehended as the soul's substitute, surety, life, and salvation, in respect to the particular besetment and weakness of which it has had so full and so humiliating a revelation. Now, if the soul utterly and for ever casts off and renounces self, and puts on the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is seen to be needed to meet his necessity, then all is complete in him. Thus far Christ is reigning within us. Thus far we know what is the power of his resurrection, and are made conformable to his death.

["That I may know Him, and the Power of His Resurrection, and the Fellowship of His Sufferings, being made conformable unto His Death" (Philippians 3:10).]

["11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God... 16 For who hath known the mind of the LORD, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1Corinthians 2:11, 16).]

But I said, that we need to know and to lay hold upon Christ as our life. Too much stress cannot be laid upon our personal responsibility to Christ, our individual relation to him, our personal interest in him, and obligation to him.

To sanctify our own souls, we need to make every department of religion a personal matter between us and God, to regard every precept of the Bible, and every promise, saying, exhortation, threatening, and in short, we need to regard the whole Bible as given to us, and earnestly seek the personal revelation of every truth it contains to our own souls.

["Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).]

No one can too fully understand, or too deeply feel, the necessity of taking home the Bible with all it contains, as a message sent from Heaven to him; nor can too earnestly desire or seek the promised Spirit to teach him the true spiritual import of all its contents. He must have the Bible made a personal revelation of God to his own soul. It must become his own book. He must know Christ for himself. He must know him in his different relations. He must know him in his blessed and infinite fulness, or he cannot abide in him, and unless he abide in Christ, he can bring forth none of the fruits of holiness. "Except a man abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered." [John 15:6].

["Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth" (John 17:17).]

Apprehending and embracing Christ as our life implies the apprehension of the fact, that we of ourselves are dead in trespasses and in sins, that we have no life in ourselves, that death has reigned, and will eternally reign in and over us, unless Christ become our life.

["I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (15:5).]

Until man knows himself to be dead, and that he is wholly destitute of spiritual life in himself, he will never know Christ as his life. It is not enough to hold the opinion, that all men are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is not enough to hold the opinion, that we are, in common with all men, in this condition in and of ourselves. We must see it. We must know what such language means. It must be made a matter of personal revelation to us. We must be made fully to apprehend our own death, and Christ as our life; and we must fully recognize our death and him as our life, by personally renouncing self, in this respect, and laying hold on him as our own spiritual and eternal life.

["And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith" (Philippians 3:9).]

Many persons, and, strange to say, some eminent ministers, are so blinded as to suppose, that a soul entirely sanctified does not any longer need Christ, assuming that such a soul has spiritual life in and of himself; that there is in him some foundation or efficient occasion of continued holiness, as if the Holy Spirit had changed his nature, or infused physical holiness or an independent holy principle into him, in such a sense that they have an independent well-spring of holiness within, as a part of themselves.

Oh, when will such men cease to darken counsel by words without knowledge,

["Who is this that darkeneth Counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2).]

upon the infinitely important subject of sanctification! When will such men--when will the church, understand that Christ is our sanctification; that we have no life, no holiness, no sanctification, except as we abide in Christ, and he in us; that, separate from Christ, there never is any moral excellence in any man; that Christ does not change the constitution of man in sanctification, but that he only, by our own consent, gains and keeps the heart; that he enthrones himself, with our consent, in the heart, and through the heart extends his influence and his life to all our spiritual being; that he lives in us as really and truly as we live in our own bodies;

["Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23).]

that he as really reigns in our will, and consequently in our emotions, by our own free consent, as our wills reign in our bodies? Cannot our brethren understand, that this is sanctification, and that nothing else is? that there is no degree of sanctification that is not to be thus ascribed to Christ?

["By the which Will we are sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10).]

and that entire sanctification is nothing else than the reign of Jesus in the soul? nothing more nor less than Christ, the resurrection and the life, raising the soul from spiritual death, and reigning in it through righteousness unto eternal life? I must know and embrace Christ as my life; I must abide in him as a branch abides in the vine; I must not only hold this as an opinion; I must know and act on it in practice.

Oh, when the ministry of reconciliation all know and embrace a whole Christ for themselves; when they preach Jesus in all his fulness and present vital power to the church; when they testify what they have seen, and their hands have handled of the word of life--then, and not till then, will there be a general resurrection of the dry bones of the house of Israel.

["13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 and shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD" (Ezekiel 37:13-14).]

Amen. Lord, hasten the day!

["That which was from The Beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life" (1John 1:1).]

(xxxi.) [ALL IN ALL] We need especially to know Christ as the "All in all." Col. iii. 11: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all."

Before the soul will cease to be overcome by temptation, it must renounce self-dependence in all things. It must be as it were self-annihilated. It must cease to think of self, as having in it any ground of dependence in the hour of trial. It must wholly and in all things renounce self, and put on Christ. It must know self as nothing in the matter of spiritual life, and Christ as all.

["7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus my LORD: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith" (Philippians 3:7-9).]

The Psalmist could say, "All my springs are in thee." [Psalms 87:7]. He is the fountain of life. Whatever of life is in us flows directly from him, as the sap flows from the vine to the branch; or as a rivulet flows from its fountain.

["But whosoever drinketh of the Water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the Water that I shall give him shall be in him a Well of Water springing up into Everlasting Life" (John 4:14).]

["Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).]

The spiritual life that is in us is really Christ's life flowing through us. Our activity, though properly our own, is nevertheless stimulated and directed by his presence and agency within us. So that we can and must say with Paul, "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Gal. ii. 20.

It is a great thing for a self-conceited sinner to suffer even in his own view, self-annihilation, as it respects the origination of any spiritual obedience to God, or any spiritual good whatever. But this must be before he will learn, on all occasions and in all things, to stand in Christ, to abide in him as his "ALL."

["And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16).]

O, the infinite folly and madness of the carnal mind! It would seem, that it will always make trial of its own strength before it will depend on Christ. It will look first for resources and help within itself, before it will renounce self, and make Christ its "all in all." It will betake itself to its own wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In short, there is not an office or relation of Christ, that will be recognized and embraced, until the soul has first come into circumstances to have its wants, in relation to that office of Christ, developed by some trial, and often by some fall under temptation; then, and not until, in addition to this, Christ is clearly and prevailingly revealed by the Holy Spirit, insomuch that self is put down, and Christ is exalted in the heart.

["Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).]

Sin has so becrazed and befooled mankind, that when Christ tells them, "without me ye can do nothing," [John 15:5], "and if any man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered," [15:6], they neither apprehend what or how much he means, and how much is really implied in these and similar sayings, until one trial after another fully develops the appalling fact, that they are nothing, so far as spiritual good is concerned, and that Christ is "all and in all."

(xxxii.)
[THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE] Another relation in which the soul must know Christ, before it will steadily abide in him, is that of "the Resurrection and the Life." [John 11:25]. Through and by Christ the soul is raised from spiritual death. Christ as the resurrection and the life, is raised in the soul. He arises or revives the Divine image out of the spiritual death that reigns within us. He is begotten by the Holy Spirit, and born within us. He arises through the death that is within us, and develops his own life within our own being. Will any one say, "this is a hard saying, who can hear it?" [6:60]. Until we know by our own experience the power of this resurrection within us, we shall never understand "the fellowship of his sufferings and be made conformable to his death." [Philippians 3:10].


He raises our will from its fallen state of death in trespasses and sins, or from its state of committal and voluntary enslavement to lust and to self, to a state of conformity to the will of God. Through the intellect, he pours a stream of quickening truth upon the soul. He thus quickens the will into obedience. By making fresh discoveries to the soul, he strengthens and confirms the will in obedience.

["Consider how I love Thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to Thy lovingkindness" (Psalm 119:159).]

["Teach me to do Thy Will; for Thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness" (143:10).]

["For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).]

By thus raising, and sustaining, and quickening the will, he rectifies the sensibility, and quickens and raises the whole man from the dead, or rather builds up a new and spiritual man upon the death and ruins of the old and carnal man. He raises the same powers and faculties that were dead in trespasses and sins to a spiritual life. He overcomes their death, and inspires them with life. He lives in saints and works in them to will and to do; and they live in him, according to the saying of Christ in his address to his Father, John xvii. 21: "As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us;" and again, ver. 23: "I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one."

He does not raise the soul to spiritual life, in any such sense that it has life separate from him for one moment. The spiritual resurrection is a continual one. Christ is the resurrection in the sense that he is at the foundation of all our obedience at every moment. He, as it were, raises the soul or the will from the slavery of lust to a conformity to the will of God, in every instance and at every moment of its consecration to the will of God. But this he does only upon condition of our apprehending and embracing him in this relation.

["Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).]

["And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).]

In reading the Bible, I have often been struck with the fact, that the inspired writers were so far ahead of the great mass of professed believers. They write of the relations in which Christ had been spiritually revealed to them. All the names, and titles, and official relations of Christ, must have had great significancy with them. They spoke not from theory, or from what man had taught them, but from experience, from what the Holy Spirit taught them.

["And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power" (1Corinthians 2:4).]

As the risen Christ is risen and lives, and is developed in one relation after another, in the experience of believers, how striking the writings of inspiration appear! As the necessities of our being are developed in experience, and as Christ is revealed, as in all new circumstances and relations, just that and all that we need, who has not marvelled to find in the Bible, way-marks, and guide-boards, and milestones, and all the evidences that we could ask or desire, that inspired men have gone this way, and have had substantially the same experiences that we have.

["17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last: 18 I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am Alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hell and of Death" (Revelation 1:17-18).]

We are often also struck with the fact, that they are so far ahead of us. At every stage in our progress we seem to have, as it were, a new and improved edition of the Bible. We discover worlds of truth before unnoticed by us--come to know Christ in precious relations in which we had known nothing of him before. And ever, as our real wants are discovered, Christ is seen to be all that we need, just the thing that exactly and fully meets the necessities of our souls. This is indeed "the glorious gospel of the blessed God." [1Timothy 1:11].

(xxxiii.) [BRIDEGROOM] Another precious and most influential relation of Christ in the affair of our sanctification, is that of the Bridegroom or Husband of the soul. The individual soul needs to be espoused to Christ, to enter into this relation personally by its own consent.

["5 While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps... 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh" (Matthew 25:5-7, 13).]

Mere earthly and outward marriages are nothing but sin, unless the hearts are married. True marriage is of the heart, and the outward ceremony is only a public manifestation or profession of the union or marriage of the souls or hearts. All marriage may be regarded as typical of that union into which the spiritual soul enters with Christ.

["Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" (Romans 7:4).]

This relation of Christ to the soul is frequently recognized, both in the Old and the New Testament. It is treated of by Paul as a great mystery. The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans present a striking illustration of the results of the soul's remaining under the law, on the one hand, and of its being married to Christ on the other.

The seventh chapter begins thus, "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth. For the woman who hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress though she be married to another man. Therefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ: that ye should be married to another, even to Christ who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
[Romans 7:1-4].


The apostle then proceeds to show the results of these two marriages, or relations of the soul. When married to the law, he says of it, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." [7:5]. But when married to Christ, he proceeds to say, "we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." [7:6].

The remaining part of this chapter is occupied with an account of the soul's bondage while married to the law, of its efforts to please its husband, with its continual failures, its deep convictions, its selfish efforts, its consciousness of failures, and its consequent self-condemnation and despondency.

It is perfectly obvious, when the allegory with which the apostle commences this chapter is considered, that he is portraying a legal experience, for the purpose of contrasting it with the experience of one who has attained to the true liberty of perfect love.

The eighth chapter represents the results of the marriage of the soul to Christ. It is delivered from its bondage to the law, and from the power of the law of sin in the members. It brings forth fruit unto God. Christ has succeeded in gaining the affections of the soul. What the law could not do Christ has done, and the righteousness of the law is now fulfilled in the soul.

The representation is as follows: The soul is married to the law, and acknowledges its obligation to obey its husband. The husband requires perfect love to God and man. This love is wanting, the soul is selfish. This displeases the husband, and he denounces death against her, if she does not love.

She recognizes the reasonableness of both the requisition and the threatening, and resolves upon full obedience. But being selfish, the command and threatening but increase the difficulty. All her efforts at obedience are for selfish reasons.

The husband is justly firm and imperative in his demands. The wife trembles, and promises, and resolves upon obedience. But all in vain. Her obedience is only feigned, outward, and not love. She becomes disheartened and gives up in despair.

As sentence is about to be executed, Christ appears. He witnesses the dilemma. He reveres, and honours, and loves the husband. He entirely approves his requisition and the course he has taken. He condemns, in most unqualified terms, the wife. Still he pities and loves her with deep benevolence. He will consent to nothing which shall have the appearance of disapproving the claims or the course of her husband. His rectitude must be openly acknowledged. Her husband must not be dishonoured. But, on the contrary, he must be "magnified and made honourable." Still Christ so much pities the wife, as to be willing to die as her substitute. This he does, and the wife is regarded as dying in and by him her substitute.

Now, since the death of either of the parties is a dissolution of the marriage covenant, and since the wife in the person of her substitute has died under and to the law her husband, she is now at liberty to marry again.

Christ rises from the dead. This striking and overpowering manifestation of disinterested benevolence, on the part of Christ, in dying for her, subdues her selfishness and wins her whole heart. He proposes marriage, and she consents with her whole soul. Now she finds the law of selfishness, or of self-gratification, broken, and the righteousness of the law of love fulfilled in her heart.

The last husband requires just what the first required, but having won her whole heart, she no longer needs to resolve to love, for love is as natural and spontaneous as her breath. Before the seventh of Romans was the language of her complaint. Now the eighth is the language of her triumph. Before she found herself unable to meet the demands of her husband, and equally unable to satisfy her own conscience. Now she finds it easy to obey her husband, and that his commandments are not grievous, although they are identical with those of the first husband.

Now this allegory of the apostle is not a mere rhetorical flourish. It represents a reality, and one of the most important and glorious realities in existence, namely, the real spiritual union of the soul to Christ, and the blessed results of this union, the bringing forth of fruit unto God. This union is, as the apostle says, a great mystery; nevertheless, it is a glorious reality. "He that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit." 1 Cor. vi. 17.

Now until the soul knows what it is to be married to the law, and is able to adopt the language of the seventh of Romans, it is not prepared to see, and appreciate, and be properly affected by, the death and the love of Christ.

Great multitudes rest in this first marriage, and do not consent to die and rise again in Christ. They are not married to Christ, and do not know that there is such a thing, and expect to live and die in this bondage, crying out, "O wretched man that I am?"
[Romans 7:24].
They need to die and rise again in Christ to a new life, founded in and growing out of a new relation to Christ. Christ becomes the living head or husband of the soul, its surety, its life. He gains and retains the deepest affection of the soul, thus writing his law in the heart, and engraving it in the inward parts.

But not only must the soul know what it is to be married to the law, with its consequent thraldom and death, but it must also for itself enter into the marriage relation with a risen, living Christ.

This must not be a theory, an opinion, a tenet; nor must it be an imagination, a mysticism, a notion, a dream. It must be a living, personal, real entering into a personal and living union with Christ, a most entire and universal giving of self to him, and receiving of him in the relation of spiritual husband and head. The spirit of Christ and our spirit must embrace each other, and enter into an everlasting covenant with each other. There must be a mutual giving of self, and receiving of each other, a blending of spirits, in such a sense as is intended by Paul in the passage already quoted: "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit."
[1Corinthians 6:17].


My brother, my sister, do you understand this? Do you know what both these marriages are, with their diverse results? If you do not, make no longer pretence to being sanctified, for you are still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.

["For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:23).]

"Escape for thy life." [Genesis 19:17].



The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

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LECTURE LXV. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

CONDITIONS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION.-- Continued.

(xxxiv.) [SHEPHERD] Another interesting and highly important relation which Christ sustains to his people is that of Shepherd. This relation presupposes the helpless and defenceless condition of Christians in this life, and the indispensable necessity of guardianship and protection.

["The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1).]

Christ was revealed to the psalmist in this relation, and when on earth he revealed himself to his disciples in this relation.

["11 I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep... 14 I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine" (John 10:11, 14).]

It is not enough, however, that he should be revealed merely in the letter, or in words as sustaining this relation. The real spiritual import of this relation, and what is implied in it, needs to be revealed by the Holy Spirit, to give it efficiency, and inspire that universal trust in the presence, care, and protection of Christ that is often essential to preventing a fall in the hour of temptation.

["Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the Hour of Temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the Earth" (Revelation 3:10).]

Christ meant all that he said, when he professed to be the Good Shepherd that cared for his sheep, that would not flee, but that would lay down his life for them.

In this relation, as in all others, there is infinite fulness and perfection. If the sheep do thoroughly know and confide in the shepherd, they will follow him, will flee to him for protection in every hour of danger, will at all times depend on him for all things.

["And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His Voice" (John 10:4).]

Now all this is received and professed in theory by all professors of religion. And yet how few, comparatively, seem to have had Christ so revealed to them, as to have secured the actual embracing of him in this relation, and a continual dependence on him for all that is implied in it.

Now, either this is a vain boast of Christ, or else he may be, and ought to be depended upon, and the soul has a right to throw itself upon him for all that is implied in the relation of Good Shepherd.

["15 As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My Life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My Voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd" (John 10:15-16).]

But this relation, with all the other relations of Christ, implies a corresponding necessity in us. This necessity we must see and feel, or this relation of Christ will have no impressive significancy. We need, then, in this case, as in all others, the revelation of the Holy Spirit, to make us thoroughly to apprehend our dependence, and to reveal Christ in the spirit and fulness of this relation, until our souls have thoroughly closed with him.

Some persons fall into the mistake of supposing, that when their necessities and the fulness of Christ have been revealed to their mind by the Spirit, the work is done. But unless they actually receive him, and commit themselves to him in this relation, they will soon find to their shame that nothing has been done to purpose, so far as their standing in the hour of temptation is concerned.

He may be clearly revealed in any of his relations, the soul may see both its necessities and his fulness, and yet forget or neglect actively and personally to receive him in these relations. It should never be forgotten, that this is in every case indispensable. The revelation is designed to secure our acceptance of him; if it does not do this, it has only greatly aggravated our guilt, without at all securing to us the benefits of these relations.

["And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the Word of God, and do it" (Luke 8:21).]

["22 But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves... 25 But whoso looketh into the Perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:22, 25).]

It is amazing to see how common it is, and has been, for ministers to overlook this truth, and, of course, neither to practise it themselves, nor urge it upon their hearers. Hence Christ is not known to multitudes, and is not in many cases received even when he is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

If I am not greatly mistaken, thorough inquiry would show that error upon this subject exists to a most appalling extent. The personal and individual acceptance of Christ in all his offices and relations, as the sine qu non of entire sanctification, seems to me to be seldom either understood or insisted on by ministers of the present day, and of course little thought of by the church. The idea of accepting for ourselves a whole Saviour, of appropriating to our own individual selves all the offices and relations of Jesus, seems to be a rare idea in this age of the church.

["When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find Faith on the Earth?" (Luke 18:8).]

But for what purpose does he sustain these relations? Is the bare apprehension of these truths, and of Christ in these relations enough, without our own activity being duly excited by the apprehension, to lay hold and avail ourselves of his fulness? What folly and madness for the church to expect to be saved by a neglected Saviour! To what purpose is it for the Spirit to make him known to us, unless we as individuals embrace him and make him our own?

Let the soul but truly and fully apprehend and embrace Christ in this relation of Shepherd, and it shall never perish, neither shall any pluck it out of his hand.

["And I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (John 10:28).]

The knowing of Christ in this relation secures the soul against following strangers. But thus knowing him is indispensable to securing this result. If we know him as Shepherd we shall follow him, but not else. Let this be well considered.

(xxxv.)
[THE DOOR] Christ is also the Door, by and through which the soul enters the fold, and finds security and protection among the sheep. This needs also to be spiritually apprehended, and the Door needs to be spiritually and personally entered, to secure the guardianship of the Good Shepherd.

["7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the Door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:7-9).]

Those who do not spiritually and truly apprehend Christ as the Door, and enter by and through him, and yet hope for salvation, are surely attempting to climb up some other way, and are therefore thieves and robbers.

This is a familiar and well-known truth, in the mouth, not only of every minister and Christian, but of every sabbath school child. Yet how few really apprehend and embrace its spiritual import. That there is no other means or way of access to the fold of God, is admitted by all the orthodox; but who really perceives and knows, through the personal revelation of the Holy Spirit, what, and all that Christ meant in the very significant words, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep;"
[John 10:7]; "I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture?" [10:9]. He who truly discovers this Door, and gains access by it, will surely realize in his own experience the faithfulness of the Good Shepherd, and will go in and out, and find pasture. That is, he will surely be fed, be led into green pastures, and beside the still waters.

["2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake" (Psalm 23:2-3).]

But it is well to inquire, what is implied in this relation of Christ.

(a.) It implies, that we are shut out from the protection and favour of God, except as we approach him through and by Christ.

["Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).]

(b.) It implies that we need to know, and clearly to apprehend and appreciate this fact.

(c.) That we need to discover the Door, and what is implied both in the Door, and in entering it.

(d.) That entering it implies the utter renunciation of self, of self-righteousness, self-protection and support, and a putting ourselves entirely under the control and protection of the Shepherd.

["I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My Judgment is Just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the Will of the Father which hath sent Me" (John 5:30).]

(e.) That we need the revelation of the Holy Spirit to make us clearly apprehend the true spiritual import of this relation, and what is implied in it.

["But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).]

(f.) That when Christ is revealed in this relation, we need to embrace him, and for ourselves to enter, by and through him, into the enclosure that everywhere surrounds the children of God.

["The Angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7).]

It is an inward, and not a mere outward revelation that we need. A heart-entering revelation, and not a mere notion, idea, theory, dream of the imagination. It is really an intelligent act of the mind; as real an entering into the fold or favour of God, by and through Christ, as to enter the house of God on the sabbath-day by the door.

When the soul enters by the door, it finds an infinitely different reception and treatment from that of those who climb up into the church upon a ladder of mere opinion, a scaling ladder of mere orthodoxy. This last class are not fed. They find no protection from the Good Shepherd. They do not know the Shepherd, or follow him, because they have climbed up another way. They have not confidence in him, cannot approach him with boldness, and claim his guardianship and protection. Their knowledge of Christ is but an opinion, a theory, a heartless and fruitless speculation.

["16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2Corinthians 5:16-17).]

How many give the saddest proof that they have never entered by the door, and consequently have no realization, in their own life and experience, of the blessed and efficient protection and support of the Good Shepherd.

["21 Not every one that saith unto Me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in Heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).]

Here I must not forget again to insist upon the necessity of a personal revelation of our relations to God, as being naturally excluded from all access to him and his favour, save through Christ the door; and also the necessity of the personal revelation to us, by the Holy Spirit, of Christ as the door, and of what is implied in this; and lastly and emphatically, upon the indispensable necessity of a personal, responsible, active, and full entering in at this door, and gaining access for ourselves to the enclosure of the love and favour of God.

Let this never for one moment be forgotten or overlooked. I must enter for and by myself. I must truly enter. I must be conscious that I enter. I must be sure that I do not misapprehend what is implied on entering; and at my peril I must not forget or neglect to enter.

["We shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10).]

And here it is important to inquire, Have you had this personal and spiritual revelation? Have you clearly seen yourself without the fold, exposed to all the unrelenting cruelty of your spiritual enemies, and shut out for ever by your sin from the favour and protection of God? When this has been revealed, have you clearly apprehended Christ as the door? Have you understood what is implied in his sustaining this relation? And last, but not least, have you entered this door by faith? Have you seen the door open, and have you entered for yourself, and have you daily this evidence, that you follow the Shepherd, and find all you need?

["23 For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (James 1:23-24).]

(xxxvi.) [THE WAY OF SALVATION] Christ is also the Way of salvation.

Observe, he is not a mere teacher of the way, as some vainly imagine and teach. Christ is truly "the way" itself, or he is himself "the way."

["Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way" (John 14:6).]

Works are not the way, whether these works are legal or gospel works, whether works of law or works of faith. Works of faith are a condition of salvation; but they are not "the way." Faith is not the way; faith is a condition of entering and abiding in this way, but it is not "the way." Christ is himself "the way." Faith receives him to reign in the soul, and to be its salvation; but it is Christ himself who is "the way."

["Now is our Salvation nearer than when we believed" (Romans 13:11).]

["So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto Salvation" (Hebrews 9:28).]

The soul is saved by Christ himself, not by doctrine, not by the Holy Spirit, not by works of any kind, not by faith, or love, or by anything whatever, but by Christ himself. The Holy Spirit reveals and introduces Christ to the soul, and the soul to Christ. He takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us. But he leaves it to Christ to save us. He urges and induces us to accept of Christ, to receive him by appropriating faith, as he reveals him to us. But Christ is the way. It is his being received by us, that saves the soul. But we must perceive the way; we must enter this way by our own act. We must proceed in this way. We must continue in this way to the end of life, and to all eternity, as the indispensable condition of our salvation.

["If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).]

"Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," said Christ [John 14:4]. "Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" [14:5]. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me ye should have known my Father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" [14:6-10].

Here Christ so identifies himself with the Father as to insist, that he who had seen one had seen the other. When therefore he says, no man cometh to the Father but by him, we are to understand, that no man need expect to find the true God elsewhere than in him. The visible Christ embodied the true Godhead. He is the way to God, for and because he is the true God, and the eternal life, and salvation of the soul.

["And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:14).]

["Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58).]

Many seem to understand Christ in this relation as nothing more than a teacher of a system of morality, by the observance of which we may be saved. Others regard this relation as only implying, that he is the way, in the sense of making an atonement, and thus rendering it possible for us to be forgiven. Others still understand this language as implying, not only that Christ made an atonement, and opened up a way of access, through his death and mediation, to God; but also that he teaches us the great truths essential to our salvation.

Now all this, in my apprehension, falls entirely, and I may say, infinitely short of the true spiritual meaning of Christ, and the true spiritual import of this relation. The above is implied and included in this relation, no doubt, but this is not all, nor the essential truth intended in Christ's declaration. He did not say, I came to open the way, nor to teach the way, nor to call you into the way, but "I am the way."

Suppose he had intended merely, that his instructions pointed out the way, or that his death was to open the way, and his teaching point it out, would he not have said,--What! have I so long taught you, and have you not understood my doctrine? Would he not have said, I have taught you the way, instead of saying, I am the way? The fact is, there is a meaning in these words, more profoundly spiritual than his disciples then perceived, and than many now seem capable of understanding.

He is himself the way of salvation, because he is the salvation of the soul. He is the way to the Father, because he is in the Father, and the Father in him. He is the way to eternal life, because he is himself the very essence and substance of eternal life. The soul that finds him needs not to look for eternal life, for it has found it already.

These questions of Thomas and Philip show how little they really knew of Christ, previous to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

["And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).]

Vast multitudes of the professed disciples of the present day seem not to know Christ as "the way." They seem not to have known Christ in this relation as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit. This revelation of Christ as "the way" by the Comforter is indispensable to our so knowing him as to retain our standing in the hour of temptation. We must know, and enter, and walk, and abide in this true and living way for ourselves. It is a living way, and not a mere speculation.

Do you, my brother, know Christ by the Holy Spirit as the "living way?" Do you know Christ for yourself, by a personal acquaintance? Or do you know him only by report, by hearsay, by preaching, by reading, and by study? Do you know him as in the Father, and the Father as in him? Philip seemed not to have had a spiritual and personal revelation of the proper deity of Christ to his own soul. Have you had this revelation? And when he has been revealed to you, as the true and living way, have you by faith personally entered this way? Do you abide steadfast in it? Do you know by experience what it is to live, and move, and have your very being in God?

["33 But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:33-34).]

Be ye not deceived; he that does not spiritually discern, and enter this way, and abide in it unto the end, cannot be saved. Do see to it, then, that you know the way to be sanctified, to be justified, to be saved. See to it that you do not mistake the way, and betake yourself to some other way. Remember, works are not the way. Faith is not the way. Doctrine is not the way. All these are conditions of salvation, but Christ in his own person, is "the way." His own life, living in and united to you, is the way, and the only way. You enter this way by faith; works of faith result from, and are a condition of, abiding in this way; but the way itself is the indwelling, living, personally embraced and appropriated Christ, the true God and the eternal life. Amen, Lord Jesus! the way is pleasant, and all its paths are peace.

["Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:17).]

(xxxvii.) [THE TRUTH] Christ is also "the Truth," and as such he must be apprehended and embraced, to secure the soul from falling in the hour of trial. In this relation many have known Christ merely as one who declared the truth, as one who revealed the true God and the way of salvation. This is all they understand by this assertion of Christ, that he is the truth.

["Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).]

["Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me?" (14:9).]

But if this is all, why may not the same with equal truth be said of Moses, and of Paul, and John? They taught the truth. They revealed the true God, so far as holy lives and true doctrine are concerned; and yet who ever heard of John, or Paul, or Moses, as being the way or the truth? They taught the way and the truth, but they were neither the way nor the truth, while Christ is truth.

What then, is truth? Why, Christ is the truth. Whoever knows Christ spiritually knows the truth. Words are not the truth. Ideas are not the truth. Both words and ideas may be signs or representatives of the truth. But the truth lives, and has a being and a home in Christ. He is the embodiment and the essence of truth. He is reality. He is substance, and not shadow. He is truth revealed. He is elementary, essential, eternal, immutable, necessary, absolute, self-existent, infinite truth. When the Holy Spirit reveals truth, he reveals Christ. When Christ reveals truth, he reveals himself.

["But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the Glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD" (2Corinthians 3:18).]

Philosophers have found it difficult to define truth. Pilate asked Christ, "What is truth?" [John 18:38] but did not wait for an answer. The term is doubtless used in a double sense. Sometimes the mere reflection or representation of things in signs, such as words, actions, writings, pictures, and diagrams, &c., is called truth; and this is the popular understanding of it. But all things that exist are only signs, reflections, symbols, representations, or types, of the Author of all things. That is, the universe is only the objective representation of the subjective truth, or is the reflection or reflector of God. It is the mirror that reflects the essential truth, or the true and living God.

But I am aware that none but the Holy Spirit can possess the mind of the import of this assertion of Christ. It is full of mystery and darkness, and is a mere figure of speech to one unenlightened by the Holy Spirit, in respect to its true spiritual import.

["No man can say that Jesus is the LORD, but by the Holy Ghost" (1Corinthians 12:3).]

["16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 16:16-17).]

The Holy Spirit does not reveal all the relations of Christ to the soul at once. Hence there are many to whom Christ has been revealed in some of his relations, while others are yet veiled from the view. Each distinct name, and office, and relation needs to be made the subject of a special and personal revelation to the soul, to meet its necessities, and to confirm it in obedience under all circumstances.

["Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1Peter 1:12).]

When Christ is revealed and apprehended as the essential, eternal, immutable truth, and the soul has embraced him as such, as he of whom all that is popularly called truth is only the reflection, as he of whom all truth in doctrine, whether of philosophy in any of its branches, or revelation in any of its departments; I say, when the mind apprehends him as that essential truth of which all that men call truth is only the reflection, it finds a rock, a resting-place, a foundation, a stability, a reality, a power in truth, of which before it had no conception. If this is unintelligible to you, I cannot help it. The Holy Spirit can explain and make you see it; I cannot.

["Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1).]

Christ is not truth in the sense of mere doctrine, nor in the sense of a teacher of true doctrine, but as the substance or essence of truth. He is that of which all truth in doctrine treats. True doctrine treats of him, but is not identical with him. Truth in doctrine is only the sign, or declaration, or representation of truth in essence, of living, absolute, self-existent truth in the Godhead.

["If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3).]

Truth in doctrine, or true doctrine, is a medium through which substantial or essential truth is revealed. But the doctrine or medium is no more identical with truth than light is identical with the objects which it reveals. Truth in doctrine is called light, and is to essential truth what light is to the objects that radiate or reflect it. Light coming from objects is at once the condition of their revelation, and the medium through which they are revealed. So true doctrine is the condition and the means of knowing Christ the essential truth. All truth in doctrine is only a reflection of Christ, or is a radiation upon the intelligence from Christ.

["And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7).]

When we learn this spiritually, we shall learn to distinguish between doctrine and Him whose radiance it is--to worship Christ as the essential truth, and not the doctrine that reveals him--to worship God instead of the Bible. We shall then find our way through the shadow to the substance.

["10 For this is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: 11 and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest" (Hebrews 8:10-11).]

Many, no doubt, mistake and fall down and worship the doctrine, the preacher, the Bible, the shadow, and do not look for the ineffably glorious substance, of which this bright and sparkling truth is only the sweet and mild reflection or radiation.

["And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children" (Isaiah 54:13).]

Dearly beloved, do not mistake the doctrine for the thing treated of by the doctrine. When you find your intellect enlightened, and your sensibility quickened by the contemplation of doctrine, do not confound this with Christ. Look steadily in the direction from which the light emanates, until the Holy Spirit enables you to apprehend the essential truth, and the true light that enlighteneth every man. Do not mistake a dim reflection of the sun for the sun himself. Do not fall down at a pool and worship the sun dimly reflected from its surface, but lift your eye and see where he stands glorious in essential, and eternal, and ineffable brightness.

["But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2).]

["And the City had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof" (Revelation 21:23).]

It is beyond question, that multitudes of professed Christians know nothing further than the doctrine of Christ; they never had Christ himself personally revealed or manifested to them.

["And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23).]

The doctrine of Christ, as taught in the gospel, is intended to direct and draw the mind to him. The soul must not rest in the doctrine, but receive the living, essential person and substance of Christ. The doctrine makes us acquainted with the facts concerning Christ, and presents him for acceptance. But do not rest in the story of Christ crucified, and risen, and standing at the door, but open the door, and receive the risen, living, and divine Saviour, as the essential and all-powerful truth to dwell within you for ever.

["Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).]

(xxxviii.) [TRUE LIGHT] Christ is "the TRUE LIGHT." John says of him, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." [John 1:4-9].

Jesus says, "I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." [8:12]. And again, "While ye have the light, believe in the light." [12:36]. "I am come a light into the world." [12:46].

Again, it is said of Saul on his way to Damascus, "And there shined around him a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun."

[Or, "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a Light from Heaven" (Acts 9:3). And, "at midday, O king, I saw in the way a Light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me" (26:13).]

It is said of Christ, in his transfiguration on the mount, "that his raiment became white as the light."

[Or, "And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on Earth can white them" (Mark 9:3). And, "was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the Light" (Matthew 17:2).]

Paul speaks of Christ as dwelling in light which no man can approach unto.

["Who only hath Immortality, dwelling in the Light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be Honour and Power everlasting. Amen" (1Timothy 6:16).]

Peter says of him, "who called you [out of darkness] into his marvellous light." [1Peter 2:9]. John says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." [1John 1:5]. Of the New Jerusalem it is said, that the inhabitants have no need of the sun, nor of the moon, "for the glory of God and the Lamb are the light thereof."

[Or, "And the City had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof" (Revelation 21:23).]

Light certainly appears to be of two kinds, as every spiritual mind knows, physical

["And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:5).]

and spiritual.

["Arise, shine; for thy Light is come, and the Glory of the LORD is risen upon thee" (Isaiah 60:1).]

Physical, or natural light, reveals or makes manifest physical objects, through the fleshly organ, the eye. Spiritual light is no less real light than physical. In the presence of spiritual light the mind directly sees spiritual truths and objects, as, in the presence of material or natural light, it distinctly sees material objects.

["I saw in the way a Light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me" (Acts 26:13).]

The mind has an eye, or seeing faculty, which uses the material eye and natural light, to discern material objects. It is not the eye that sees. It is always the mind that sees. It uses the eye merely as an instrument of vision, by which it discerns material objects. The eye and the light are conditions of seeing the material universe, but it is always the mind that sees. So the mind directly sees spiritual realities in the presence of spiritual light.

["After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in Heaven: and the First Voice which I heard was as it were of a Trumpet <Christ> talking with me; which said, Come Up Hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Revelation 4:1).]

But what is light? What is natural, and what is spiritual light? Are they really identical, or are they essentially different? It is not my purpose here to enter into any philosophical speculations upon this subject; but I must observe, that, whatever spiritual light is, the mind, under certain circumstances, cannot discern the difference, if difference there is, between them.

Was that spiritual or physical light which the disciples saw on the mount of transfiguration? Was that spiritual or physical light which Paul and his companions saw on their way to Damascus? What light is that which falls upon the mental eye of the believer when he draws so near to God, as not at all to distinguish at the moment the glory that surrounds him from material light? What was that light which made the face of Moses shine with such brightness, that the people were unable to look upon it? And what is that light which lights up the countenance of a believer, when he comes direct and fresh from the mount of communion with God? There is often a visible light in his countenance.

["And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of Testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him" (Exodus 34:29).]

What is that light which often shines upon the pages of the Bible, making its spiritual meaning as manifest to the mind, as the letters and words are?

["Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).]

In such seasons the obscurity is removed from the spirit of the Bible, just as really and as visibly, as the rising sun would remove the obscurity of midnight from the letter. In one case you perceive the letter clearly in the presence of natural light. You have no doubt, you can have no doubt, that you see the letters and words as they are. In the other, you apprehend the spirit of the Bible, just as clearly as you see the letter. You can no more doubt, at the time, that you see the true spiritual import of the words, than that you see the words themselves. Both the letter and the spirit seem to be set in so strong a light, that you know that you see both. Now what light is this in which the spirit of the Bible is seen? That it is light, every spiritual man knows. He calls it light. He can call it nothing else.

["I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25).]

At other times the letter is as distinctly visible as before, and yet there is no possibility of discerning the spirit of the Bible. It is then only known in the letter. We are then left to philologize, and philosophize, and theorize, and theologize, and are really all in the dark, as to the true spiritual import of the Bible. But when "the true light that lighteth every man" [John 1:9] shines upon the word, we get at once a deeper insight into the real spiritual import of the word, than we could have gotten in a life-time without it. Indeed, the true spiritual import of the Bible is hid from the learning of this world, and revealed to the babes who are in the light of Christ.

["O Father, LORD of Heaven and Earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Matthew 11:25).]

I have often been afflicted with the fact, that true spiritual light is rejected and condemned, and the very idea of its existence scouted by many men who are wise in the wisdom of this world. But the Bible everywhere abounds with evidence, that spiritual light exists, and that its presence is a condition of apprehending the reality and presence of spiritual objects.

["For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians 2:13).]

It has been generally supposed, that the natural sun is the source of natural light. Sure it is, that light is a condition of our beholding the objects of the material universe. But what is the source of spiritual light? The Bible says Christ is. But what does this mean? When it is said, that he is the true light, does it mean only, that he is the teacher of true doctrine? or does it mean, that he is the light in which true doctrine is apprehended, or its spiritual import understood, that he shines through and upon all spiritual doctrine, and causes its spiritual import to be apprehended, and that the presence of his light, or, in other words, his own presence, is a condition of any doctrine being spiritually understood?

["That was the True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9).]

He is no doubt the essential light. That is, light is an attribute of his divinity. Essential, uncreated light is one of the attributes of Christ as God. It is a spiritual attribute of course; but it is an essential and a natural attribute of Christ, and whoever knows Christ after the Spirit, or whoever has a true, spiritual, and personal acquaintance with Christ as God, knows that Christ is light, that his being called light is not a mere figure of speech; that his "covering himself with light as with a garment;" [Psalm 104:2], his enlightening the heavenly world with so ineffable a light, that no man can approach thereunto and live, that the strongest seraphim are unable to look with unveiled face upon his overpowering effulgence. I say, to a spiritual mind these are not mere figures of speech; they are understood by those who walk in the light, or who walk in the light of Christ, to mean what they say.

["Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live" (Exodus 33:20).]

I dwell upon this particular relation of Christ, because of the importance of its being understood, that Christ is the real and true light who alone can cause us to see spiritual things as they are. Without his light we walk in the midst of the most overpowering realities, without being at all aware of their presence. Like one surrounded with natural darkness, or as one deprived of sight gropes his way and knows not at what he stumbles, so one deprived of the presence and light of Christ, gropes his way and stumbles at he knows not what.

["I see men as trees, walking" (Mark 8:24).]

To attain to true spiritual illumination, and to continue and walk in this light, is indispensable to entire sanctification. O, that this were understood!

["The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an Everlasting Light, and thy God thy Glory" (Isaiah 60:19).]

Christ must be known as the true and only light of the soul. This must not be held merely as a tenet. It must be understood and spiritually experienced and known. That Christ is in some undeterminate sense the light of the soul and the true light, is generally admitted, just as multitudes of other things are admitted, without being at all spiritually and experimentally understood. But this relation or attribute of Christ must be spiritually known by experience, as a condition of abiding in him.

["While ye have Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be the Children of Light" (John 12:36).]

John says, "this then is the message which we have heard of him, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." [1John 1:5-7]. This light is come into the world, and if men do not love darkness rather than light, they will know Christ as the true light of the soul, and will so walk in the light as not to stumble.

I desire much to amplify upon this relation of Christ, but must forbear, or I shall too much enlarge this course of instruction. I would only endeavour to impress you deeply with the conviction that Christ is light, and that this is no figure of speech. Rest not, my brother, until you truly and experimentally know him as such. Bathe your soul daily in his light, so that when you come from your closet to your pulpit, your people shall behold your face shining as if it were the face of an angel.

["For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye Light in the LORD: walk as children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8).]



The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

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LECTURE LXVI. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

CONDITIONS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION-- Continued.

(xxxix.) [CHRIST WITHIN US] Another relation which Christ sustains to the believer, and which it is indispensable that he should recognize and spiritually apprehend, as a condition of entire sanctification, is that of "Christ within us."

"Know ye not," says the apostle, "that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates."--2 Cor. xiii. 5. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."--Rom. viii. 9, 10. "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."--Gal. iv. 19. "Yet not I but Christ liveth in me."--Gal. ii. 20.

Now it has often appeared to me, that many know Christ only as an outward Christ, as one who lived many hundred years ago, who died, and arose, and ascended on high, and who now lives in heaven. They read all this in the Bible, and in a certain sense they believe it. That is, they admit it to be true historically. But have they Christ risen within them? Living within the veil of their own flesh, and there ever making intercession for them and in them? This is quite another thing.

["19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Hebrews 10:19-20).]

Christ in heaven making intercession is one thing; this is a great and glorious truth. But Christ in the soul, there also living "to make intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered," [Romans 8:26], is another thing. The Spirit that dwells in the saints is frequently in the Bible represented as the Spirit of Christ, and as Christ himself. Thus in the passage just quoted from the eighth of Romans, the apostle represents the Spirit of God that dwells in the saints as the Spirit of Christ, and as Christ himself.--Rom. viii. 9, 10: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." This is common in the Bible.

["If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23).]

The Spirit of Christ then, or the real Deity of Christ, dwells in the truly spiritual believer. But this fact needs to be spiritually apprehended, and kept distinctly and continually in view. Christ not only in heaven, but Christ within us, as really and truly inhabiting our bodies as we do, as really in us as we are in ourselves, is the teaching of the Bible, and must be spiritually apprehended by a divine, personal, and inward revelation, to secure our abiding in him.

["But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).]

We not only need the real presence of Christ within us, but we need his manifested presence to sustain us in hours of conflict. Christ may be really present within us as he is without us, without our apprehending his presence. His manifesting himself to us as with and in us, is by himself conditionated upon our faith and obedience. His manifesting himself within us, and thus assuring us of his constant and real presence, confirms and establishes the confidence and obedience of the soul.

["1 That which was from The Beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life; 2 (for the Life was manifested, and we have seen It, and bear witness, and shew unto you that Eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1John 1:1-3).]

To know Christ after the flesh, or merely historically as an outward Saviour, is of no spiritual avail.

["Thou believest that there is One God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19).]

We must know him as an inward Saviour, as Jesus risen and reigning in us, as having arisen and established his throne in our hearts, and as having written and established the authority of his law there. The old man dethroned and crucified, Christ risen within us and united to us, in such a sense that we "twain are one spirit,"

[Or, "But he that is joined unto the LORD is one spirit" (1Corinthians 6:17).]

is the true and only condition and secret of entire sanctification.

O that this were understood! Why, many ministers talk and write about sanctification, just as if they supposed, that it consisted in, and resulted from, a mere self-originated formation of holy habits. What blindness is this in spiritual guides!

["And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" (Luke 6:39).]

True sanctification consists in entire consecration to God; but be it ever remembered, that this consecration is induced and perpetuated by the Spirit of Christ. The fact, that Christ is in us, needs to be so clearly apprehended by us as to annihilate the conception of Christ as only afar off, in heaven. The soul needs so to apprehend this truth, as to turn within, and not look without for Christ, so that it will naturally seek communion with him in the closet of the soul, or within, and not let the thoughts go in search of him without.

["6 But the righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of Faith, which we preach" (Romans 10:6-8).]

Christ promised to come and take up his abode with his people, to manifest himself unto them, &c., that the Spirit whom he would send, (which was his own Spirit, as abundantly appears from the Bible,) should abide with them for ever, that he should be with them and in them.

["I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18).]

Now all this language needs to be spiritually apprehended, and Christ needs to be recognized by his Spirit, as really present with us as we are with ourselves, and really as near to us as we are to ourselves, and as infinitely more interested in us than we are in ourselves. This spiritual recognition of Christ present with and in us, has an overpowering charm in it. The soul rests in him, and lives, and walks, and has its being in his light, and drinks at the fountain of his love. It drinks also of the river of his pleasures. It enjoys his peace, and leans upon his strength.

["These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11).]

Many professors have not Christ formed within them. The Galatian Christians had fallen from Christ. Hence the apostle says: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." [Galatians 4:19]. Have you a spiritual apprehension of what this means?

(xl.)
[OUR STRENGTH]
We must spiritually know Christ as "our strength," as a condition of entire sanctification. Says the Psalmist, Ps. xviii. 1: "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength;" and again, Ps. xix. 14: "O Lord my strength;" and again, Ps. xxxi. 4: "Pull me out of the net, for thou art my strength;" and again, Ps. xliii. 2: "Thou art the God of my strength:" and again, Ps. lix. 17: "To thee, O my strength, will I sing;" and again, Ps. cxliv. 1: "Blessed be the Lord my strength." In Is. xxvii. 5: "The Lord says, Let him take hold of my strength, and he shall make peace with me." Jeremiah says, ch. xvi. 19: "O Lord, my strength." Hab. iii. 9: "God is my strength." In 2 Cor. xii. 9, Christ says to Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness."

We are commanded to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might,

["Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the Power of His Might" (Ephesians 6:10).]

that is, to appropriate his strength by faith. We are exhorted to take hold of his strength, and doing this is made a condition of making peace with God.

["Or let him take hold of My Strength, that he may make Peace with Me; and he shall make Peace with Me" (Isaiah 27:5).]

That God is in some sense our strength, is generally admitted. But I fear it is rare to apprehend the true spiritual sense in which he is our strength. Many take refuge not in his strength by faith, but in the plea, that he is their strength, and that they have none of their own, while they continue in sin. But this class of persons neither truly understand nor believe, that God is their strength. It is with all who hold this language and yet live in sin, an opinion, a tenet, a say-so, but by no means a spiritually apprehended and embraced truth.

["As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God" (1Peter 2:16).]

If the real meaning of this language were spiritually apprehended and embraced with the heart, the soul would no more live in sin. It could no more be overcome with temptation, while appropriating Christ, than God could be overcome.

["Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not" (1John 3:6).]

The conditions of spiritually apprehending Christ as our strength are,--

(a.) The spiritual apprehension of our own weakness, its nature and degree.

["And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for My Strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the Power of Christ may rest upon me" (2Corinthians 12:9).]

(b.) The revelation of Christ to us as our strength by the Holy Spirit.

["For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole Earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2Chronicles 16:9).]

When these revelations are truly made, and self-dependence is, therefore, for ever annihilated, the soul comes to understand wherein its strength lies. It renounces for ever its own strength, and relies wholly on the strength of Christ.

["I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30).]

This it does not in the antinomian, do-nothing, sit-still sense of the term; but, on the contrary, it actively takes hold of Christ's strength, and uses it in doing all the will of God.

["My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).]

It does not sit down and do nothing, but, on the contrary, it takes hold of Christ's strength, and sets about every good word and work as one might lean upon the strength of another, and go about doing good. The soul that understands and does this, as really holds on to and leans upon Christ, as a helpless man would lean upon the arm or shoulder of a strong man, to be borne about in some benevolent enterprise.

["I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).]

It is not a state of quietism. It is not a mere opinion, a sentiment, a fancy. It is, with the sanctified soul, one of the clearest realities in existence, that he leans upon and uses the strength of Christ. He knows himself to be constantly and perseveringly active, in thus availing himself of the strength of Christ; and being perfectly weak in himself, or perfectly emptied of his own strength, Christ's strength is made perfect in his weakness.

["29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:29-31).]

This renunciation of his own strength is not a denial of his natural ability, in any such sense as virtually to charge God with requiring what he is unable to perform. It is a complete recognition of his ability, were he disposed to do all that God requires of him,

["He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 2:6).]

and implies a thorough and honest condemnation of himself for not using his powers as God requires.

["This is a Faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1Timothy 1:15).]

But while it recognizes its natural liberty or ability, and its consequent obligation, it at the same time clearly and spiritually sees, that it has been too long the slave of lust ever to assert or to maintain its spiritual supremacy, as the master instead of the slave of appetite. It sees so clearly and affectingly, that the will or heart is so weak in the presence of temptation, that there is no hope of its maintaining its integrity, unsupported by strength from Christ, that it renounces for ever its dependence on its own strength, and casts itself wholly and for ever on the strength of Christ.

["56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:56-57).]

Christ's strength is appropriated only upon condition of a full renunciation of one's own. And Christ's strength is made perfect in the soul of man only in its entire weakness; that is, only in the absence of all dependence on its own strength.

["5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD... 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose Hope the LORD is" (Jeremiah 17:5, 7).]

Self must be renounced in every respect in which we appropriate Christ. He will not share the throne of the heart with us, nor will he be put on by us, except in so far as we put off ourselves. Lay aside all dependence on yourself, in every respect in which you would have Christ. Many reject Christ by depending on self, and seem not to be aware of their error.

["23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 but let him that glorieth Glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise Lovingkindness, Judgment, and Righteousness, in the Earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 9:23-24).]

Now, let it be understood and constantly borne in mind, that this self-renunciation and taking hold on Christ as our strength, is not a mere speculation, an opinion, an article of faith, a profession, but must be one of the most practical realities in the world. It must become to the mind an omnipresent reality, insomuch that you shall no more attempt any thing in your own strength than a man who never could walk without crutches would attempt to arise and walk without thinking of them. To such a one his crutches become a part of himself. They are his legs. He as naturally uses them as we do the members of our body. He no more forgets them, or attempts to walk without them, than we attempt to walk without our feet.

["I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).]

Now just so it is with one who spiritually understands his dependence on Christ. He knows he can walk, and that he must walk, but he as naturally uses the strength of Christ in all his duties, as the lame man uses his crutches. It is as really an omnipresent reality to him, that he must lean upon Christ, as it is to the lame man that he must lean upon his crutch. He learns on all occasions to keep hold of the strength of Christ, and does not even think of doing any thing without him. He knows that he need not attempt any thing in his own strength; and that if he should, it will result in failure and disgrace, just as really and as well as the man without feet or legs knows that for him to attempt to walk without his crutch would ensure a fall.

["Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things" (John 8:28).]

This is a great, and, I fear, a rarely learned lesson with professed Christians, and yet how strange that it should be so, since, in every instance, attempts to walk without Christ have resulted in complete and instantaneous failure. All profess to know their own weakness and their remedy, and yet how few give evidence of knowing either.

["Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1Corinthians 1:25).]


(xli.) [KEEPER OF THE SOUL] Christ is also the Keeper of the soul; and in this relation he must be revealed to, and embraced by, each soul as the condition of its abiding in Christ, or, which is the same thing, as a condition of entire sanctification.

["The LORD is my Shepherd <Hebrew, raah, meaning keeper>; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1).]

Ps. cxxi. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth, and even for evermore."

["For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1Peter 2:25).]

This Psalm, with a great many other passages of scripture, represents God as exerting an efficient influence in preserving the soul from falling. This influence he exerts, of course not physically or by compulsion, but it is and must be a moral influence, that is, an influence entirely consistent with our own free agency. But it is efficient in the sense of being a prevailing influence.

["Who are kept by the Power of God through Faith unto Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1Peter 1:5).]

But in this relation, as in all others, Christ must be apprehended and embraced. The soul must see and well appreciate its dependence in this respect, and commit itself to Christ in this relation. It must cease from its own works, and from expecting to keep itself, and commit itself to Christ, and abide in this state of committal.

["Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22).]

Keeping the soul implies watching over it to guard it against being overcome with temptation. This is exactly what the Christian needs. His enemies are the world, the flesh, and Satan. By these he has been enslaved. To them he has been consecrated. In their presence he is all weakness in himself. He needs a keeper to accompany him, just as a reformed inebriate sometimes needs one to accompany and strengthen him in scenes of temptation. The long established habitudes of the drunkard render him weak in the presence of his enemy, the intoxicating bowl.

["Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).]

So the Christian's long-cherished habits of self-indulgence render him all weakness and irresolution, if left to himself in the presence of excited appetite or passion. As the inebriate needs a friend and brother to warn and expostulate, to suggest considerations to strengthen his purposes, so the sinner needs the Parakletos to warn and suggest considerations to sustain his fainting resolutions. This Christ has promised to do; but this, like all the promises, is conditionated upon our appropriating it to our own use by faith. Let it then be ever borne in mind, that as our keeper, the Lord must be spiritually apprehended and cordially embraced and depended upon, as a condition of entire sanctification. This must not be a mere opinion. It must be a thorough and honest closing in with Christ in this relation.

["He that cometh to God must believe that He is" (Hebrews 11:6).]

Brother, do you know what it is to depend on Christ in this relation, in such a sense, that you as naturally hold fast to him, as a child would cling to the hand or the neck of a father, when in the midst of perceived danger? Have you seen your need of a keeper? If so, have you fled to Christ in this relation? As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, that is, abide in him, and he will abide in you, and keep you from falling.

["Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4).]

The apostle certifies, or rather assumes, that he is able to keep you from falling. "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy--to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."--Jude 24, 25. Paul also says: "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day." [2Timothy 1:12].

(xlii.) [OUR FRIEND] The soul also needs to know Christ, not merely as a master, but as a Friend. John xv. 13-15: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

Christ took the utmost pains to inspire his disciples with the most implicit confidence in himself. He does the same still. Most Christians seem not to have apprehended the condescension of Christ sufficiently to appreciate fully, not to say at all, his most sincere regard for them. They seem afraid to regard him in the light of a friend, one whom they may approach on all occasions with the utmost confidence and holy familiarity, one who takes a lively interest in everything that concerns them, one who sympathizes with them in all their trials, and feels more tenderly for them than they do for their nearest earthly friends.

["Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).]

Observe, what emphasis he gives to this relation, or to the strength of his friendship. He lays down his life for his friends. Now, imagine yourself to have an earthly friend who loved you so much as to lay down his life for you; to die too for a crime which you had committed against himself. Were you assured of the strength of his friendship, and did you know withal his ability to help you in all circumstances to be absolutely unlimited, with what confidence would you unbosom yourself to him! How would you rest in his friendship and protection! How slow even Christians are to apprehend Christ in the relation of a friend. They stand in so much awe of him, that they fear to take home to their hearts the full import and reality of the relation when applied to Christ. Yet Christ takes the greatest pains to inspire them with the fullest confidence in his undying and most exalted friendship.

["7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth His Love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8).]

I have often thought that many professed Christians had never really and spiritually apprehended Christ in this relation. This accounts for their depending upon him so little in seasons of trial. They do not realize that he truly feels for and sympathizes with them, that is, his feeling for and sympathy with them, his deep interest in and pity for them, are not apprehended spiritually as a reality. Hence they stand aloof, or approach him only in words, or at most, with deep feeling and desire, but not in the unwavering confidence that they shall receive the things which they ask of him. But to prevail they must believe. "For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." [James 1:6-7].

The real, and deep, and abiding affection of Christ for us, and his undying interest in us personally, must come to be a living and an omnipresent reality to our souls, to secure our own abiding in faith and love in all circumstances. There is, perhaps, no relation of Christ in which we need more thoroughly to know him than this.

["Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3).]

This relation is admitted in words by almost everybody, yet duly realized and believed by almost nobody. Yet how infinitely strange, that Christ should have given so high evidence of his love to, and friendship for us, and that we should be so slow of heart to believe and realize it! But until this truth is really and spiritually apprehended and embraced, the soul will find it impossible to fly to him in seasons of trial, with implicit confidence in his favour and protection. But let Christ be really apprehended and embraced, as a friend who has laid down his life for us, and would not hesitate to do it again were it needful, and rely upon it, our confidence in him will secure our abiding in him.

["A Friend loveth at all times, and a Brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17).]

["A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).]

(xliii.) [ELDER BROTHER] Christ is also to be regarded and embraced in the relation of an Elder Brother. Heb. ii. 10-18: "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I, and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same: that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people: for in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."

Matt. xxviii. 10: "Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." John xx. 17: "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Rom. viii. 29: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren."

These and other passages present Christ in the relation of a brother. So he is not merely a friend, but a brother. He is a brother possessing the attributes of God. And is it not of great importance, that in this relation we should know and embrace him? It would seem as if all possible pains were taken by him to inspire us with the most implicit confidence in him. He is not ashamed to call us brethren; and shall we refuse or neglect to embrace him in this relation, and avail ourselves of all that is implied in it?

["For whosoever shall do the Will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother" (Matthew 12:50).]

I have often thought that many professed Christians really regard the relations of Christ as only existing in name, and not at all in reality and fact. Am I not a man and a brother? he says to the desponding and tempted soul. Himself hath said, A brother is made for adversity. He is the first-born among many brethren, and yet we are to be heirs with him, heirs of God, and joint heirs with him of all the infinite riches of the Godhead. "O fools and slow of heart," [Luke 24:25], not to believe and receive this brother to our most implicit and eternal confidence. He must be spiritually revealed, apprehended, and embraced in this relation, as a condition of our experiencing his fraternal truthfulness.

Do let me inquire whether many Christians do not regard such language as pathetic and touching, but after all as only a figure of speech, as a pretence, rather than as a serious and infinitely important fact. Is the Father really our Father? Then Christ is our Brother, not in a figurative sense merely, but literally and truly our brother. My brother? Ah truly, and a brother made for adversity. O Lord, reveal thyself fully to our souls in this relation!

["Thou wilt perform the Truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old" (Micah 7:20).]

(xliv.) [TRUE VINE] Christ is the true Vine, and we are the branches. And do we know him in this relation, as our parent stock, as the fountain from whom we receive our momentary nourishment and life? This union between Christ and our souls is formed by implicit faith in him. By faith the soul leans on him, feeds upon him, and receives a constantly sustaining influence from him.

["Many pastors have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness" (Jeremiah 12:10).]

John xv. 1-8: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

["So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:5).]

Now, it is important for us to understand what it is to be in Christ, in the sense of this passage. It certainly is to be so united to him, as to receive as real and as constant spiritual support and nourishment from him, as the branch does natural nourishment from the vine. "If a man abide not in me," he says, "he is cast forth as a branch and is withered." [John 15:6].

["Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Matthew 7:19).]

Now, to be in him, implies such a union as to keep us spiritually alive and fresh. There are many withered professors in the church. They abide not in Christ. Their religion is stale. They can speak of former experience. They can tell how they once knew Christ, but every spiritual mind can see, that they are branches fallen off. They have no fruit. Their leaves are withered, their bark is dried; and they are just fit to be gathered and cast into the fire. O, this stale, last year's religion! Why will not professors that live on an old experience, understand that they are cast off branches, and that their withered, fruitless, lifeless, loveless, faithless, powerless condition testifies to their faces, and before all men, that they are fit fuel for the flames?

["He that hath the Son hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life" (1John 5:12).]

It is also of infinite importance, that we should know and spiritually apprehend the conditions of abiding in Christ, in the relation of a branch to a vine. We must apprehend our various necessities and his infinite fulness, and lay hold upon, and appropriate the whole that is implied in these relations, to our own souls and wants, as fast as he is revealed. Thus we shall abide in him, and receive all the spiritual nourishment we need. But unless we are thus taught by the Spirit, and unless we thus believe, we shall not abide in him, nor he in us.

["Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on Eternal Life" (1Timothy 6:19).]

If we do thus abide in him, he says, we shall bear much fruit. Much fruit then is evidence that we do abide in him, and fruitlessness is positive evidence that we do not abide in him. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." [John 15:7]. Great prevalence in prayer, then, is an evidence that we abide in him. But a want of prevalence in prayer is conclusive evidence that we do not abide in him. No man sins while he properly abides in Christ. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new." [2Corinthians 5:17].

["And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1John 3:22).]

But let it not be forgotten that we have something to do to abide in Christ. "Abide in me," says Christ: this is required of us. [John 15:4]. We neither at first come to sustain the relation of a branch to Christ without our own activity, nor do or can we abide in him without a constant cleaving to him by faith. The will must of necessity be ever active. It must cleave to Christ or to something else. It is one thing to hold this relation in theory, and an infinitely different thing to understand it spiritually, and really cleave to Christ in the relation of the constant fountain of spiritual life.

["If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth" (2Timothy 2:25).]

(xlv.) [THE FOUNTAIN] Christ is also the "Fountain opened in the house of David for sin and uncleanness;"--Zec. xiii. 1. Christ, let it be ever remembered, and spiritually understood and embraced, is not only a justifying, but also a purifying Saviour. His name is Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins.

["25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A New Heart also will I give you, and a New Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:25-27).]

(xlvi.) [JESUS] As Jesus, therefore, he must be spiritually known and embraced. Jesus, Saviour! He is called Jesus, or Saviour, we are informed, because he saves his people, not only from hell, but also from their sins. He saves from hell only upon condition of his saving from sin. He has no Saviour, who is not in his own experience saved from sin.

["And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).]

Of what use is it to call Jesus, Lord and Saviour, unless he is really and practically acknowledged as our Lord and as our Saviour from sin? Shall we call him Lord, Lord, and do not the things which he says? Shall we call him Saviour, and refuse so to embrace him as to be saved from our sins?

["1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the Will of God" (1Peter 4:1-2).]

(xlvii.) [CLEANSER FROM ALL SIN] We must know him as one whose blood cleanses us from all sin. Heb. ix. 14.--"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!" 1 Peter i. 19.--"But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter i. 2.--"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." Rev. i. 5.--"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."

When the shedding of Christ's blood is rightly apprehended and embraced, when his atonement is properly understood and received by faith, it cleanses the soul from all sin;

["But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship <Greek, koinonia, meaning communion> one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1John 1:7).]

or rather, I should say, that when Christ is received as one to cleanse us from sin by his blood, we shall know what James B. Taylor meant when he said, "I have been into the fountain, and am clean;" and what Christ meant when he said, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." [John 15:3]. "Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." [Revelation 1:5]. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean, from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh." [Ezekiel 36:25-26].

It is of the last importance that language like this, relating to our being cleansed from sin by Christ, should be elucidated to our souls by the Holy Spirit, and embraced by faith, and Christ truly revealed in this relation. Nothing but this can save us from sin. But this will fully and effectually do the work. It will cleanse us from all sin. It will cleanse us from all our filthiness, and from all our idols. It will make us "clean."

["Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit" (John 13:10).]

["And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin" (1John 3:5).]

(xlviii.) [WONDERFUL] "His name shall be called Wonderful."

["For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful" (Isaiah 9:6).]

No inward or audible exclamation is more common to me of late years, than the term Wonderful. When contemplating the nature, the character, the offices, the relations, the salvation of Christ, I find myself often mentally, and frequently audibly exclaiming, WONDERFUL! My soul is filled with wonder, love, and praise, as I am led by the Holy Spirit to apprehend Christ, sometimes in one and sometimes in another relation, as circumstances and trials develop the need I have of him. I am more and more "astonished at the doctrine of the Lord," [Acts 13:12], and at the Lord himself from year to year.

I have come to the conclusion, that there is no end to this, either in time or in eternity. He will no doubt to all eternity continue to make discoveries of himself to his intelligent creatures, that shall cause them to exclaim "WONDERFUL!" I find my wonder more and more excited from one stage of Christian experience to another. Christ is indeed wonderful, contemplated in every point of view, as God, as man, as God-man, mediator. Indeed, I hardly know in which of his many relations he appears most wonderful, when in that relation he is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

["This also cometh forth from the LORD of Hosts, which is Wonderful in Counsel, and Excellent in working" (Isaiah 28:29).]

All, all is wonderful, when he stands revealed to the soul in any of his relations. The soul needs to be so acquainted with him as to excite and constantly keep awake its wonder and adoration. Contemplate Christ in any point of view, and the wonder of the soul is excited. Look at any feature of his character, at any department of the plan of salvation, at any part that he takes in the glorious work of man's redemption; look steadfastly at him as he is revealed through the gospel by the Holy Spirit, at any time and place, in any of his works or ways, and the soul will instantly exclaim--WONDERFUL! Yes, he shall be called Wonderful!

["Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like Thee, glorious in Holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" (Exodus 15:11).]

(xlix.) [COUNSELLOR] "Counsellor."

["For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called... Counsellor" (Isaiah 9:6).]

Who that has made Jesus his wisdom, does not and has not often recognized the fitness of calling him "Counsellor?" Until he is known and embraced in this relation, it is not natural or possible for the soul to go to him with implicit confidence in every case of doubt. Almost everybody holds in theory the propriety and necessity of consulting Christ, in respect to the affairs that concern ourselves and his church. But it is one thing to hold this opinion, and quite another to apprehend and embrace Christ so spiritually in the relation of counsellor, as naturally to call him counsellor when approaching him in secret, and as naturally to turn and consult him on all occasions and in respect to everything that concerns us; and to consult him too with implicit confidence in his ability and willingness to give us the direction we need.

["Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counsellor hath taught Him?" (Isaiah 40:13).]

Thoroughly and spiritually to know Christ in this relation is undoubtedly a condition of abiding steadfast in him. Unless the soul knows and duly appreciates its dependence upon him in this relation, and unless it renounces its own wisdom, and substitutes his in the place of it, by laying hold of Christ by faith as the counsellor of the soul, it will not continue to walk in his counsel, and consequently will not abide in his love.

["Thy Testimonies also are my Delight and my Counsellors" (Psalm 119:24).]

(l.) [THE MIGHTY GOD] The Mighty God.

["For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called... The Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6).]

"My Lord and my God," exclaimed Thomas [John 20:28], when Christ stood spiritually revealed to him. It was not merely what Christ said to Thomas on that occasion, that caused him to utter the exclamation just quoted. Thomas saw indeed that Christ was raised from the dead, but so had Lazarus been raised from the dead. The mere fact, therefore, that Christ stood before him as one raised from the dead, could not have been proof that he was God. No doubt the Holy Spirit discovered to Thomas at the moment the true Divinity of Christ, just as the saints in all ages have had him spiritually revealed to them as the Mighty God.

["For Thou art Great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone" (Psalm 86:10).]

I have long been convinced, that it is in vain, so far as any spiritual benefit is concerned, to attempt to convince Unitarians of the proper Divinity of Christ. The scriptures are as plain as they can be upon this subject, and yet it is true, that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Spirit.

["Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the LORD, but by the Holy Ghost" (1Corinthians 12:3).]

As I have said in substance often, the personal revelation of Christ to the inward man by the Holy Spirit, is a condition of his being known as the "Mighty God." What is Christ to any one who does not know him as God? To such a soul, he cannot be a Saviour.

["I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no saviour" (Isaiah 43:11).]

It is impossible that the soul should intelligently, and without idolatry, commit itself to him as a Saviour, unless it knows him to be the true God. It cannot innocently pray to him nor worship him, nor commit the soul to his keeping and protection, until it knows him as the Mighty God.

["Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am" (John 8:58).]

To be orthodox merely in theory, in opinion, is nothing to the purpose of salvation. The soul must know Christ as God--must believe in or receive him as such. To receive him as anything else is an infinitely different thing from coming and submitting to him as the true, and living, and mighty God.

["28 And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:28-29).]



The following lecture was given by Dennis Carroll.

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LECTURE LXVII. Back to Top

SANCTIFICATION.

CONDITIONS OF ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION.-- Continued.

(li.) [CHRIST OUR SHIELD] Christ is our Shield. By this name, or in this relation, he has always been known to the saints. God said to Abraham, "I am thy shield."--Gen. xv. 1. Ps. xxxiii. 20: "The Lord is my shield."

[Or, "Our soul waiteth for the LORD: He is our Help and our Shield" (Psalm 33:20).]

[And, "The God of my Rock; in Him will I trust: He is my Shield, and the Horn of my Salvation, my High Tower, and my Refuge, my Saviour; thou savest me from violence" (2Samuel 22:3).]

Prov. xxx. 5: "He is a shield to them that put their trust in him."

A shield is a piece of defensive armour used in war. It is a broad plate made of wood or metal, and borne upon the arm and hand, and in conflict presented between the body and the enemy to protect it against his arrows or his blows.

["Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the Shield of thy help, and Who is the Sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places" (Deuteronomy 33:29).]

God is the Christian's shield in the spiritual warfare. This is a most interesting and important relation. He who does not know Christ in this relation, and has not embraced and put him on, as one would buckle on a shield, is all exposed to the assaults of the enemy, and will surely be wounded if not slain by his fiery darts.

["For Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield" (Psalm 5:12).]

This is more than a figure of speech. No fact or reality is of more importance to the Christian, than to know how to hide himself behind and in Christ in the hour of conflict. Unless the Christian has on his shield, and knows how to use it, he will surely fall in battle. When Satan appears, the soul must present its shield, must take refuge behind and in Christ, or all will be defeat and disgrace.

["Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings" (Psalm 17:8).]

When faith presents Christ as the shield, Satan retires vanquished from the field in every instance. Christ always makes way for our escape; and never did a soul get wounded in conflict who made the proper use of this shield. But Christ needs to be known as our protection, as ready on all occasions to shield us from the curse of the law, and from the artillery of the enemy of our souls. Be sure to truly know him, and put him on in this relation, and then you may always sing of victory.

["Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).]

(lii.) [OUR PORTION] The Lord is "the Portion" of his people. "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward," said God to Abraham [Genesis 15:1]. As the reward or portion of the soul, we need to know and embrace Christ as the condition of abiding in him. We need to know him as "our exceeding great portion,"--a present, all-satisfying portion. Unless we so know Christ as to be satisfied with him, as all we can ask or desire, we shall not of course abstain from all forbidden sources of enjoyment.

["And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part <Hebrew, cheleq, meaning portion> among them: I am thy Part <Hebrew, cheleq, meaning portion> and thine Inheritance among the children of Israel" (Numbers 18:20).]

Nothing is more indispensable to our entire sanctification, than to apprehend the fulness there is in Christ in this relation. When the soul finds in him all its desires and all its wants fully met, when it sees in him all that it can conceive of as excellent and desirable, and that he is its portion, it remains at rest. It has little temptation to go after other lovers, or after other sources of enjoyment. It is full. It has enough. It has an infinitely rich and glorious inheritance. What more can it ask or think? The soul that understands what it is to have Christ as its portion, knows that he is an infinite portion; that eternity can never exhaust, or even diminish it in the least degree; that the mind shall to all eternity increase in the capacity of enjoying this portion; but that no increase of capacity and enjoyment can diminish ought of the infinite fulness of the Divine Portion of our souls.

["The Eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them" (Deuteronomy 33:27).]

(liii.) [OUR HOPE] Christ is our Hope. 1 Tim. i. 1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope." Col. i. 27: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory."

Our only rational expectation is from him. Christ in us is our hope of glory. Without Christ in us we have no good or well-grounded hope of glory. Christ in the gospel, Christ on the cross, Christ risen, Christ in heaven, is not our hope; but Christ in us, Christ actually present, living, and reigning in us, as really as he lives and reigns in glory, is our only well-grounded hope.

["Looking for that Blessed Hope, and the Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).]

We cannot be too certain of this, for unless we despair of salvation in ourselves or in any other, we do not truly make Christ our hope. The soul that does not know, and spiritually know Christ in this relation has no well-grounded hope. He may hope that he is a Christian. He may hope that his sins are forgiven, that he shall be saved. But he can have no good hope of glory. It cannot be too fully understood, or too deeply realized, that absolute despair of help and salvation in any other possible way, except by Christ in us, is an unalterable condition of our knowing and embracing Christ as our hope.

["Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the Power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13).]

Many seem to have conceived of Christ as their hope, only in his outward relation, that is, as an atoning Saviour, as a risen and ascended Saviour. But the indispensable necessity of having Christ within them, ruling in their hearts, and establishing his government over their whole being, is a condition of salvation of which they have not thought. Christ cannot be truly and savingly our hope, any farther than he is received into and reigns in our souls. To hope in merely an outward Christ is to hope in vain. To hope in Christ with the true Christian hope, implies:--

(a.) The ripe and spiritual apprehension of our hopeless condition without him. It implies such an apprehension of our sins and governmental relations, as to annihilate all hope of salvation upon legal grounds.

["That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of Promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).]

(b.) Such a perception of our spiritual bondage to sin, as to annihilate all hope of salvation without his constant influence and strength to keep us from sin.

["Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my Praise" (Jeremiah 17:14).]

(c.) Such a knowledge of our circumstances of temptation, as to empty us of all expectation of fighting our own battles, or of, in the least degree, making headway against our spiritual foes, in our own wisdom and strength.

["Behold, thou art but a dead man" (Genesis 20:3).]

(d.) A complete annihilation of all hope from any other source.

["Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee" (Zechariah 9:12).]

(e.) The revelation of Christ to our souls as our hope by the Holy Spirit.

["For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12).]

(f.) The apprehension of him as one to dwell in us, and to be received by faith to the supreme control of our souls.

["That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us" (2Timothy 1:14).]

(g.) The hearty and joyful reception of him in this relation. The dethroning of self, or the utter denial or rejection of self, and the enthroning and crowning of Christ in the inner man. When Christ is clearly seen to be the only hope of the soul, and when he is spiritually received in this relation, the soul learns habitually and constantly to lean upon him, to rest in him, and make no efforts without him.

["Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16).]

(liv.) [OUR SALVATION] Christ is also our Salvation. Ex. xv. 2: "The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation, he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him." Ps. xxvii. 1: "The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps. xxxviii. 22: "Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation." Ps. lxii. 7: "In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." Ps. cxiv. "The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Isa. xii. 2: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."

Isa. xlix. 6: "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth." Luke ii. 30: "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

These and multitudes of similar passages present Christ, not only as our Saviour, but as our salvation. That is, he saves us by becoming himself our salvation. Becoming our salvation includes and implies the following things:--

(a.) Atonement for our sins.

["And not only so, but we also joy in God through our LORD Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the Atonement" (Romans 5:11).]

(b.) Convincing us of and converting us from our sins.

["46 Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the Truth, why do ye not believe Me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's Words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8:46-47).]

(c.) Sanctifying our souls.

["Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth" (John 17:17).]

(d.) Justifying, or pardoning and accepting, or receiving us to favour.

["And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them" (Luke 15:2).]

(e.) Giving us eternal life and happiness.

["11 And this is the Record, that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath Life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life" (1John 5:11-12).]

(f.) The bestowment of himself upon us as the portion of our souls.

["The LORD is my Portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him" (Lamentations 3:24).]

(g.) The everlasting union of our souls with God.

["But he that is joined unto the LORD is one spirit" (1Corinthians 6:17).]

All this Christ is to us, and well he may be regarded not only as our Saviour, but as our salvation. Nothing is or can be more important, than for us to apprehend Christ in the fulness of his relations to us.

["Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).]

Many seem to have but extremely superficial apprehensions of Christ. They seem in a great measure blind to the length, and breadth, and height, and depth of their infinite necessities. Hence they have never sought for such a remedy as is found in Christ. The great mass of Christian professors seem to conceive of the salvation of Christ, as consisting in a state of mind resulting not from a real union of the soul with Christ, but resulting merely from understanding and believing the doctrines of Christ.

["Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with Spiritual" (1Corinthians 2:13).]

The doctrine of Christ, as taught in the Bible, was designed to gain for Christ a personal reception to dwell within, and to rule over us. He that truly believes the gospel, will receive Christ as he is presented in the gospel, that is, for what he is there asserted to be to his people, in all the relations he sustains to our souls, as fast as these relations are revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.

["As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the LORD, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).]

The newly converted soul knows Christ in but few relations. He needs trials and experience to develop his weakness, and to reveal to him his multiplied necessities, and thus lead him to a fuller knowledge of Christ. The new convert embraces Christ, so far as he knows him; but at first he knows but little of his need of him, except in his governmental relations.

["But grow in grace, and in the Knowledge of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2Peter 3:18).]

Subsequent experience is a condition of his knowing Christ in all his fulness. Nor can he be effectually taught the fulness there is in Christ, any faster than his trials develop his real necessities. If he embraces all he understands of Christ, this is the whole of present duty in respect to him; but, as trials are in his way, he will learn more of his own necessities, and must learn more of Christ, and appropriate him in new relations, or he will surely fall.

["In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).]

(lv.) [ROCK OF OUR SALVATION] Christ is also the Rock of our Salvation:--

Ps. xix. 14. "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, [margin Rock] and my Redeemer. xxviii. 1. Unto, thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me; lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. xxxi. 2. Bow down thine ear to me, deliver me speedily, be thou my strong rock, for a house of defence to save me. 3. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy name's sake, lead me and guide me."

["For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges" (Deuteronomy 32:31).]

It is deeply interesting and affecting to contemplate the relations in which Christ revealed himself to the Old Testament saints. He is a rock of salvation, a strong-hold or place of refuge. In this relation the soul must know him, and must take hold of him, or take shelter in him.

["The LORD liveth; and blessed be my Rock; and exalted be the God of the Rock of My Salvation" (2Samuel 22:47).]

(lvi.) [SPIRITUAL ROCK] He is also a Rock cleft from which the waters of life flow. 1 Cor. x. 14. "And did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." As such the soul must know and embrace him.

["10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the Gift of God, and Who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee Living Water... 14 But whosoever drinketh of the Water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the Water that I shall give him shall be in him a Well of Water springing up into Everlasting Life... 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink" (John 4:10,14; 7:37).]

(lvii.) [GREAT ROCK] He is a Great Rock that is higher than we, rising amid the burning sands of our pilgrimage, under the cooling shadow of which the soul can find repose and comfort. He is like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

["From the end of the Earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2).]

To apprehend Christ in this relation, the soul needs to be brought into sharp and protracted trials, until it is faint and ready to sink in discouragement. When the struggle is too severe for longer endurance, and the soul is on the point of giving up in despair, then when Christ is revealed as a great rock standing for its defence against the heat of its trials, and throwing over it the cooling, soothing influence of his protection, it finds itself refreshed and at rest, and readily adopts the language of a numerous class of passages of scripture, and finds itself to have apprehended Christ, as inspired men apprehended and embraced him.

["And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a Great Rock in a weary land" (Isaiah 32:2).]

It is truly remarkable, that in all our experiences, we can find that inspired writers have had the like; and in every trial,

["Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the Earth by the space of three years and six months" (James 5:17).]

and in every deliverance, in every new discovery of our emptiness, and of Christ's fulness, we find the language of our hearts most fully and aptly expressed in the language of the living oracles. We readily discover, that inspired men had fallen into like trials, had Christ revealed to them in the same relations, and had similar exercises of mind; insomuch, that no language of our own can so readily express all that we think, and feel, and see.

["And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the Living God, which made Heaven, and Earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein" (Acts 14:15).]

(lviii.) [SATISFYING ROCK] He is the Rock from which the soul is satisfied with honey. Ps. lxxxi. 16. "He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat; and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee." The spiritual mind apprehends this language spiritually, as it is doubtless really intended to be understood. It knows what it is to be satisfied with honey from the Rock, Christ. The divine sweetness that often refreshes the spiritual mind, when it betakes itself to the Rock Christ, reminds it of the words of this passage of scripture.

["9 For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. 13 He made him ride on the high places of the Earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and He made him to suck honey out of the Rock, and oil out of the Flinty Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:9, 13).]

(lix.) [OUR FOUNDATION] He is the Rock or Foundation upon which the church, as the temple of the living God, is built.

Matt. xvi. 18: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Rom. ix. 33: "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone and a rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." 1 Peter ii. 8. "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed."

["And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone" (Ephesians 2:20).]

He is a sure foundation. He is an eternal rock, or the rock of ages--the corner-stone of the whole spiritual edifice. But we must build for ourselves upon this rock. It is not enough to understand as a tenet, a theory, an opinion, an article of our creed, that Christ is the rock in this sense. We must see that we do not build upon the sand. Matt. vii. 26, 27: "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; And the rain descended, and the floods came, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

["Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a Chief Corner Stone, Elect, Precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded" (1Peter 2:6).]

(lx.) [STRENGTH OF OUR HEART] He is the "Strength of our heart."

["Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD" (Psalm 27:14).]

He is not only our refuge and strength in our conflicts with outward temptations and trials, in the sense expressed in Psalm xlvi. 1: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble;" but he is also the strength of our heart and our portion for ever, in the sense of Psalm lxxiii. 26: "My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

["Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a Refuge for us. Selah" (Psalm 62:8).]

He braces up and confirms the whole inner-man in the way of holiness. What Christian has not at times found himself ready to halt, and faint by the way. Temptation seems to steal upon him like a charm. He finds his spiritual strength very low, his resolution weak, and he feels as if he should give way to the slightest temptation. He is afraid to expose himself out of his closet, or even to remain within it lest he should sin. He says with David, "I shall fall by the hand of Saul."

["And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul" (1Samuel 27:1).]

He finds himself empty, all weakness and trembling. Were it not that the strength of his heart interposes in time, he would doubtless realize in his experience his worst fears.

["Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction" (Proverbs 31:8).]

But who that knows Christ, has not often experienced his faithfulness under such circumstances, and felt an immortal awaking, reviving, and strength, taking possession of his whole being? What spiritual minister has not often dragged himself into the pulpit, so discouraged and faint as to be hardly able to stand, or to hold up his head? He is so weak that his spiritual knees smite one against the other. He is truly empty, and feels as if he could not open his mouth. He sees himself to be an empty vine, an empty vessel, a poor helpless, strengthless infant, lying in the dust before the Lord, unable to stand, or go, or preach, or pray, or do the least thing for Christ.

["He giveth Power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth Strength" (Isaiah 40:29).]

But lo! at this juncture his spiritual strength is renewed. Christ the strength of his heart develops his own almightiness within him. His mouth is open. He is strong in faith, giving glory to God. He is made at once a sharp threshing instrument, to beat down the mountains of opposition to Christ and his gospel. His bow is renewed in his hand and abides in strength. His mouth is opened, and Christ fills it with arguments. Christ has girded him to the battle, and made strong the arms of his hands, with the strength of the mighty God of Jacob.

["29 He giveth Power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth Strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:29-31).]

["I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).]

The same in substance is true of every Christian. He has his seasons of being empty, that he may feel his dependence; and anon he is girded with strength from on high, and an immortal and superhuman strength takes possession of his soul. The enemy gives way before him. In Christ he can run through a troop, and in his strength he can leap over a wall.

["For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall" (Psalm 18:29).]

Every difficulty gives way before him, and he is conscious that Christ has strengthened him with strength in his soul. The will seems to have the utmost decision, so that temptation gets an emphatic no! without a moment's parley.

["Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (1John 3:9).]

(lxi.) [DEAD UNTO SIN] It is through Christ that we may reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God.

["Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our LORD" (Romans 6:11).]

This we are exhorted and commanded to do. That is, we may and ought to account or reckon ourselves, through him, as dead unto sin and alive unto God. But what is implied in this liberty to reckon ourselves dead unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Why certainly:--

(a.) That through and in him we have all the provision we need, to keep us from sin.

["3 According as His Divine Power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto Life and Godliness, through the Knowledge of Him that hath called us to Glory and Virtue: 4 whereby are given unto us Exceeding Great and Precious Promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:3-4).]

(b.) That we may expect, and ought to expect, to live without sin.

["5 And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him" (1John 3:5-6).]

(c.) That we ought to account ourselves as having nothing more to do with sin, than a dead man has with the affairs of this world.

["But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).]

(d.) That we may and ought to lay hold of Christ for this full and present death unto sin and life unto God.

["For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).]

(e.) That if we do thus reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God, in the true spiritual sense of this text, we shall find Christ unto our souls all we expect of him in this relation. If Christ cannot or will not save us from sin, upon condition of our laying hold of him, and reckoning ourselves dead unto sin, and alive unto God through him, what right had the apostle to say, "Reckon yourselves indeed dead unto sin, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord?" [Romans 6:11]. What! does the apostle tell us to account or reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, and shall ministers tell us that such reckoning or expectation is a dangerous delusion?

["I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25).]

Now, certainly nothing less can be meant, by reckoning ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ, than that, through Christ we should expect to live without sin. And not to expect to live without sin through Christ is unbelief. It is a rejection of Christ in this relation. Through Christ we ought to expect to live to God, as much as we expect to live at all. He that does not expect this, rejects Christ as his sanctification, and as Jesus who saves his people from their sins.

["And He said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given" (Mark 4:24).]


THE FOREGOING ARE SOME OF THE RELATIONS WHICH CHRIST SUSTAINS TO US AS TO OUR SALVATION. I could have enlarged greatly, as you perceive, upon each of these, and easily have swelled this part of our course of study to a large volume. I have only touched upon these sixty-one relations, as specimens of the manner in which he is presented for our acceptance in the Bible, and by the Holy Spirit.

["And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25).]

Do not understand me as teaching, that we must first know Christ in all these relations, before we can be sanctified.

["But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).]

The thing intended is that coming to know Christ in these relations is a condition, or is the indispensable means, of our steadfastness or perseverance in holiness under temptation--that, when we are tempted, from time to time nothing can secure us against a fall, but the revelation of Christ to the soul in these relations one after another, and our appropriation of him to ourselves by faith.

["That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by Faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18).]

The gospel has directly promised, in every temptation to open a way of escape, so that we shall be able to bear it.

["There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is Faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1Corinthians 10:13).]

The spirit of this promise pledges to us such a revelation of Christ, as to secure our standing, if we will lay hold upon him by faith, as revealed. Our circumstances of temptation render it necessary, that at one time we should apprehend Christ in one relation, and at another time in another. For example, at one time we are tempted to despair by Satan's accusing us of sin, and suggesting that our sins are too great to be forgiven. In this case we need a revelation and an appropriation of Christ, as having been made sin for us; that is, as having atoned for our sins--as being our justification or righteousness. This will sustain the soul's confidence and preserve its peace.

["For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2Corinthians 5:21).]

At another time we are tempted to despair of ever overcoming our tendencies to sin, and to give up our sanctification as a hopeless thing. Now we need a revelation of Christ as our sanctification, &c.

["29 That no flesh should Glory in His presence. 30 But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption: 31 that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the LORD" (1Corinthians 1:29-31).]

At another time the soul is harassed with the view of the great subtlety and sagacity of its spiritual enemies, and greatly tempted to despair on that account. Now it needs to know Christ as its wisdom.

["24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1Corinthians 1:24-25).]

Again, it is tempted to discouragement on account of the great number and strength of its adversaries. On such occasions it needs Christ revealed as the Mighty God, as its strong tower, its hiding place, its munition of rocks.

["Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings" (Psalm 17:8).]

["The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).]

["Thou art my Hiding Place and my Shield: I hope in Thy Word" (Psalm 119:114).]

Again, the soul is oppressed with a sense of the infinite holiness of God, and the infinite distance there is between us and God, on account of our sinfulness and his infinite holiness, and on account of his infinite abhorrence of sin and sinners. Now the soul needs to know Christ as its righteousness, and as a mediator between God and man.

["For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1Timothy 2:5).]

["And to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the Blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24).]

Again, the Christian's mouth is closed with a sense of guilt, so that he cannot look up, nor speak to God of pardon and acceptance. He trembles and is confounded before God. He lies along on his face, and despairing thoughts roll a tide of agony through his soul. He is speechless, and can only groan out his self-accusations before the Lord. Now as a condition of rising above this temptation to despair, he needs a revelation of Christ as his advocate, as his high priest, as ever living to make intercession for him. This view of Christ will enable the soul to commit all to him in this relation, and maintain its peace and hold on to its steadfastness.

["Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).]

Again, the soul is led to tremble in view of its constant exposedness to besetments on every side, oppressed with such a sense of its own utter helplessness in the presence of its enemies, as almost to despair. Now it needs to know Christ as the Good Shepherd, who keeps a constant watch over the sheep, and carries the lambs in his bosom. He needs to know him as a watchman and a keeper.

["The LORD is thy Keeper: the LORD is thy Shade upon thy right hand" (Psalm 121:5).]

Again, it is oppressed with a sense of its own utter emptiness, and is forced to exclaim, I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.

["For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).]

It sees that it has no life, or unction, or power, or spirituality in itself. Now it needs to know Christ as the true vine, from which it may receive constant and abundant spiritual nourishment.

["I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman" (John 15:1).]

It needs to know him as the fountain of the water of life,

["And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give unto him that is athirst of the Fountain of the Water of Life freely" (Revelation 21:6).]

and in those relations that will meet its necessities in this direction. Let these suffice, as specimens to illustrate what is intended by entire or permanent sanctification being conditioned on the revelation and appropriation of Christ in all the fulness of his official relations.

["Christ is All, and in all" (Colossians 3:11).]

It is not intended, as has been said, that Christ must previously be known in all these relations before a soul can be sanctified at all; but that, when tried from time to time, a new revelation of Christ to the soul, corresponding to the temptation, or as the help of the soul in such circumstances, is a condition of its remaining steadfast.

["But grow in grace, and in the Knowledge of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2Peter 3:18).]

This gracious aid or revelation is abundantly promised in the Bible, and will be made in time, so that by laying hold on Christ in the present revealed relation, the soul may be preserved blameless, though the furnace of temptation be heated seven times hotter than it is wont to be.

["And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians 5:23).]

In my estimation, the church, as a body--I mean the nominal church--have entirely mistaken the nature and means or conditions of sanctification. They have not regarded it as consisting in a state of entire consecration, nor understood that continual entire consecration was entire sanctification.

["I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).]

They have regarded sanctification as consisting in the annihilation of the constitutional propensities, instead of the controlling of them.

["But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1Corinthians 9:27).]

They have erred equally in regard to the means or conditions of entire sanctification. They seem to have regarded sanctification as brought about by a physical cleansing in which man was passive; or to have gone over to the opposite extreme, and regarded sanctification as consisting in the formation of habits of obedience.

["For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19).]

The old school have seemed to be waiting for a physical sanctification, in which they are to be, in a great measure, passive, and which they have not expected to take place in this life.

["According to your Faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29).]

Holding, as they do, that the constitution of both soul and body is defiled or sinful in every power and faculty,

["They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out" (John 9:34).]

they of course cannot hold to entire sanctification in this life. If the constitutional appetites, passions, and propensities are in fact, as they hold, sinful in themselves, why then the question is settled, that entire sanctification cannot take place in this world, nor in the next, except as the constitution is radically changed, and that of course by the creative power of God.

["Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (John 3:4).]

The new school, rejecting the doctrine of constitutional moral depravity, and physical regeneration and sanctification, and losing sight of Christ as our sanctification, have fallen into a self-righteous view of sanctification, and have held that sanctification is effected by works, or by forming holy habits, &c. Both the old and the new school have fallen into egregious errors upon this fundamentally important subject.

["Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).]

["That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:16).]

The truth is, beyond all question, that sanctification is by faith as opposed to works.

["Them which are sanctified by Faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18).]

["By grace are ye saved through Faith" (Ephesians 2:8).]

["And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Romans 11:6).]

That is, faith receives Christ

["But without Faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).]

in all his offices, and in all the fulness of his relations to the soul; and Christ, when received, works in the soul to will and to do of all his good pleasure, not by a physical, but by a moral or persuasive working.

["For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).]

Observe, he influences the will. This must be by a moral influence, if its actings are intelligent and free,

["If any man will do His Will, he shall know of the Doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:17).]

as they must be to be holy. That is, if he influences the will to obey God, it must be by a divine moral suasion. The soul never in any instance obeys in a spiritual and true sense, except it be thus influenced by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. But whenever Christ is apprehended and received in any relation, in that relation he is full and perfect; so that we are complete in him.

["3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons. I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. 4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was Love" (Song of Solomon 2:3-4).]

For it hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

["For it pleased the Father that in Him <Jesus> should all fulness dwell" (Colossians 1:19).]

and that we might all receive of his fulness until we have grown up into him in all things, "Until we all come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." [Ephesians 4:13].

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END OF LECTURES 62-67.