A WORD OF ADVICE
A Word of Advice to a poor, helpless, heavy laden sinner, who has been long looking for some holiness in the flesh, and some fitness for Christ in himself; but who, under the teachings of the Lord the Spirit, finds he possesses an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from God; and that his heart, which he wants to feel better, he finds to be deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, is now brought to the feet of Jesus, with a “Lord, save, or I perish!”
May the Lord the Spirit graciously direct the attention of a poor sinner to His own holy words, sent by Paul to the church where he saith, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians, 5, 20. As if the Holy Ghost had said, look out of self to Jesus, and be satisfied to be saved as a sinner; a poor, miserable beggar, to be reconciled to God’s salvation, which is without money, and without man’s doing or deserving; a free salvation, a full salvation, a complete salvation, a finished salvation; all arising from God’s everlasting love, to all those He has chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world;
who were given in Christ and redeemed by His precious blood. Then Paul goes on to prove all this in the last verse. Read it, my poor fellow sinner, and rejoice. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Glorious news for a poor guilty sinner, who feels the depravity of his nature, and the plague of his own heart.
The He who has made Him to be sin for us, is no other than JEHOVAH, GOD THE FATHER, the HIM on whom our sins
were laid, can be no other than JEHOVAH, GOD the Son, IMMANUEL, in our nature. The us, who are sharers in this blessing, of having our sins thus imputed to Christ, must be the elect of God, who were sanctified by God the Father, being united to God the Son, and called by special grace, by the power of GOD the HOLY GHOST, to realize these blessings by the faith of God’s elect. Well might David say, “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered; blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” Ps. 32, 1, 2. Paul also declares that “blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Rom. 4. 8; and this is the blessedness of every poor, guilty, helpless, emptied sinner who has been led by the Spirit to fly for refuge to the hope set before us in the gospel, of a full and complete salvation through the atonement. And though all the us mentioned in the text have gone astray like lost sheep, the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all; and with His stripes we are healed.
Now, my poor dear fellow sinner, whoever thou art, if the Lord Jehovah has revealed to your mind the glorious plan of redemption, and has made you feel the blessed efficacy of Christ’s
atoning blood to heal thy death plague-sore, then I congratulate you, as a fellow sharer in the eternal and everlasting love of Jehovah the Father, the Self-existent, Independent, Great I AM, who, in His own eternal mind, set apart a people for Himself before the birth of time; and, viewing these. His chosen, as fallen in the Adam-nature head. He gave them to His co-equal Son, the appointed and elect head and representative of the whole elect body, the Church, the spouse of ChristÂ—who was from everlasting set up to be their SuretyÂ—who came forward in the counsels of old to guarantee the redemption of His fallen spouse, and that by the price of His own blood. For this purpose, the Child was born, the Son was given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
This is the glorious HIM to whom the gathering of the people shall be; who was made sin for us, and became the sin-bearer; who in our room and stead bore the rod and stripes due to us as fallen, guilty creatures, who had all gone astray; concerning whom the Eternal Father saith, “Deliver him from going down into the pit, I have found a ransom.”
If you would wish to know the immense price of your redemption, you must be led by the Holy Ghost up Calvary’s hill, and there you may behold the Lamb of God bleeding and dying, and paying your debt with His own precious blood, according to the eternal compact between the Father and Himself before the foundation of the world. Well might Paul exultingly say, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Who shall bring forward a second account? Who shall condemn us, since it is God that justifies us? What said our dear Lord in the days of His flesh? “If ye seek me, let these go their way.” And, oh, precious declaration which fell from the lips of our law-fulfilling Surety when He had paid the debt upon the crossÂ—”It is finished!” Oh, transporting words to a poor, self-emptied, ruined, helpless, and self-condemned sinner, who is led to see the debt paid, the law honoured, justice satisfied, and God well pleased.
Now, if you consult Paul’s epistles, this is his language, “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. By grace ye are saved.” Eph. 2. 4, 5.
Then it must be evident, that our salvation originates from the eternal love and purposes of grace towards His chosen people; for, as Paul says, “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father;”Â—this was not to make them sons, but because they were so. “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” and none else: therefore, being eternally united to Christ, as our living head, our wretched and miserable fall could never break the eternal union. Oh, the riches of His love, and His unbounded grace towards such poor guilty creatures! Oh, sweet subject to those who are the objects of such discriminating grace! And if my reader be one so highly
blessed, then I can address him as Paul did his son Timothy, “who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” And Paul grounds his assertion upon his calling, which he knew to be a holy calling, because accomplished by the power of God the Holy Ghost; and not according to our works, but “according to his own purpose and grace, which he purposed in himself.” Observe, according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus (as our Surety and head) before the world began.
And how sweetly does Paul write to the Ephesians upon the same subject: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us (not who may bless us, but hath already blessed us) with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” the pardon of our sins, and the justification of our persons;
blessed us with every thing that appertaineth to our everlasting salvation. Not upon such and such condition on the creature’s part, but of His own free, rich, unmerited, and everlasting love; as it is written, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (as united to Christ our holy head) and without blame before him in love,” Eph. i. 4. He having made Him to be our sin-bearer, and curse-remover, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
And if you have ever felt the blessedness of these gospel truths brought home to your soul by the sweet influences of God the Holy Ghost, then I may congratulate you as one reconciled to be saved in a way so suitable to the situation and circumstances of a poor beggar, who is lost, ruined, and undone, to any help in himself, but is ready to exclaim with Paul to the praise and glory of such matchless, free, and unmerited grace, that has made such a poor worthless, black, polluted sinner accepted in the beloved: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins.”
And oh, that you, having been brought to renounce all confidence in the flesh, may be living upon that ocean-fulness of never failing love and grace treasured up in Immanuel, our covenant head, from whom there is mercy to the most wretched, and miserable, a full and complete pardon for the most worthless and guilty;
solid peace and joy for the most distressed; and a blessed emancipation for the poor captive slave; eyes to the blind, righteousness to the unholy, and hope for the most despairing; strength for the weak and fainting; yea, even life for the dead, and salvation for the perishing; heaven for such as deserve hell, smiles instead of justly merited and expected frowns; the poor beggar made rich, and the mourner made to sing.
All this, and ten thousand times more, flows freely to every chosen vessel, who is brought to the feet of Jesus, the Rock of eternal ages, “who is of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness,
sanctification, and eternal redemption; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” Amen.