by Mike Ratliff
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)
All genuine Christians are involved in some form of spiritual conflict. They are tempted to doubt their salvation because their assurance is under attack or they are being tempted to turn aside for some fleshly “diversion” or they are tempted to compromise in some fashion in a way that would be an act against conscience, et cetera. Some reading this have contacted me for prayer because of family or health issues. We are all in desperate need of our hearts being strengthened in the resignation of ourselves unto the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We need our affections as the Bride of Christ to be stirred up and made more apparent to our regenerate hearts. How do we do this? What can we do that will endear our hearts unto Christ?
Let us consider one of our Lord’s names. He is “The Lord our Righteousness.” This tells us that our standing before God is because of Christ’s Righteousness, not ours. His Righteousness is imputed to the account of all who believe.
“He is exceeding excellent and desirable in his Deity, and the glory thereof. He is “Jehovah our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). In the rejoicing of Zion at his coming to her, this is the bottom: “Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9). “We have seen his glory,” says the apostle. What glory is that? “The glory of the only-begotten Son of God” (John 1:14). The choicest saints have been afraid and amazed at the beauty of an angel; and the stoutest sinners have trembled at the glory of one of those creatures in a low appearance, representing but the back parts of their glory, who yet themselves, their highest advancement, do cover their faces at the presence of our Beloved, as conscious to themselves of their utter disability to bear the rays of his glory (Isaiah 6:2); John 12:39-41). He is “the fellow of the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 13:7). And though he once appeared in the form of a servant, yet then “he thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). In the glory of this majesty he dwells in light inaccessible [1 Timothy 6:16]. We “cannot by searching find out the Almighty unto perfection: it is as high as heaven; what can we do? Deeper than hell; what can we know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9). We may all say one to another of this, “Surely we are more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. We neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if you can tell?” (Proverbs 30:2-4). “ – John Owen from Communion With The Triune God pp159-160
Because our Lord Jesus Christ is God, those who are His have received endless, bottomless, boundless grace and compassion. This grace is not the grace people can create and express. No, this grace is of our Lord’s divine nature. There was a fullness of this grace in Christ’s human nature (John 3:34). This fullness was as the light of the sun, or of water in the sea. This fullness was above all creation. The grace in our Lord Jesus Christ is that of Deity. This grace is sufficient to fill all who come and drink. Christ was both Man and God. His humanity is inseparably united to the infinite, inexhaustible fountain of the Deity. Therefore, through Christ, believers are saved and sustained and preserved in grace enough because it is from our all-sufficient God.
Those who refuse to accept that Christ is Deity have some severe theological problems, to be sure, however, we must wonder in what or whom they place their faith. Those who believe that justification is by grace through faith plus works (or anything else) have not learned of God’s grace aright. Those who edit the gospel like this have placed themselves in a situation and process that will only produce doubt and create even deeper unbelief. However, Christians who have come to terms with grace and necessity of the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness to their account will also come to Love their Lord with more and more as they learn to mediate on Him. How wonderful, how awesome, how inexpressible is our Lord! Glory, Glory, Glory unto Him!
16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit.” (Isaiah 48:16 NASB)
Christ’s love is eternal my brethren because He is eternal. He is “yesterday, today, and forever!” ( Hebrews 13:8 ) He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, which is, which was, and which is to come. (Revelation 1:11)
Christ’s love is unchangeable. His love is not like ours for we are flawed and are bound to our flesh. However, Christ’s love is like himself. We are like water, but He is unchangeable. He is the same always and so is His love.
10 And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; 11 THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, 12 AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.” (Hebrews 1:10-12 NASB)
Christ is the Lord, and He never changes. We must rejoice in this my brethren because if our Lord’s love for us changed as we change then we would be consumed. However, we have our Lord’s promises and can trust that when we are declared righteous by God the Father in Him then we are sealed eternally. Whom our Lord loves, He loves unto the end. (Malachi 3:6; John 13:1) Our Lord’s love is such as never had beginning, and never shall have ending.
Christ’s love is fruitful. Our Lord’s love is both effectual and fruitful in producing all the good things which He wills unto His beloved. What treasure we have who are in Christ! We have good things from our Saviour who wills them unto us. These would be eternal life, grace, and holiness. He loves us into covenant with the Father. He loves us into Heaven. Love in Him is properly to will good to His people. Whatever good Christ by His love wills to us, that willing is operative of that good. Think of the millions of sins in Christ’s elect. Even just one per person is enough to condemn them all to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. However, Christ’s love have overcome them all! Think of the unbelief in each of those hearts prior to our Lord’s effectual call. Because of Christ’s love for them, that huge mountain of unbelief is removed. Look inward my brethren. What spots and stains, defilements and infirmities, exist in our hearts! Does not our defilements in this also stain and contaminate our Lord? Ah, but what magnificent love our Lord has for us in His bearing this all. It should shame us and lead us to repentance in that we take His love for us for granted like this.
Our Lord is not our bro, the Big guy, our buddy, or our pal. No, He is God who bore our sins upon Himself. Why? He did this in order to redeem His bride. The Father gave us to Him and He did the work that only He could do to purchase us. All who believe are washed clean through regeneration, given a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. This new nature has faith that is alive. It believes God and can obey Him. It is Christ who is both God and Man who loved us even before we loved Him.
Look at your salvation my brethren. Who accomplished that? Was it you by being religious or was it His work from beginning to end? Have you been taking for granted His love and sacrifice on your behalf? Let us all mediate on our Lord as Deity and why this is essential to our salvation. Give Him the glory due Him. Worship Him in Spirit and Truth. He is our most excellent Saviour whom we will meet face to face soon. Oh, to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!” He loves us beyond our understanding my brethren. Let us devote our entire lives to serving and obeying Him.
Soli Deo Gloria!