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on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Enforcing the same thus—"for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God," that “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall
with Him in glory.” The second distinctive feature is the mortification of our corrupt desires and doings as expressed in the following few verses. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry : For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience : In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
But now ye also put off all these ; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye
have put off the old man with his deeds." Here is mortification, and this mortification is peculiar to Christians. There may be those who mortify the body after a sort, and who may practice mortifications, which after all are no spiritual mortifications at all. Christian mortification is a death-blow aimed at the corruptions of the human heart. It is the spiritual conflict. The spirit battling against the flesh.
This spiritual struggle is always going on in the blood-bought family, the children of God. In the 10th and 11th verses you have the Christian described as regards his character and standing in Christ Jesus. “ And ye have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free.”
What a levelling! “But Christ is all, and in all.” “ Christ is all” to Christians, " and in all Christians.” Then in the 12th, and following verses to the 18th, you have the apostle exhorting Christians to a manifestation of their spiritual graces.
We may have occasion to read these verses presently. When the graces of the spirit are in exercise they become evidences or signs to others of Christian life. Our Lord's words are fulfilled, “ Ye shall know them by their fruits.” I shall now proceed to consider the words of my text under two heads, and they shall be so very simple, perhaps so simple that you may not think them worth while naming.
Firstly, 66 CHRIST IS ALL." And Secondly, CHRIST IS IN ALL.” You cannot forget these two divisions, if you remember the text at all.
Firstly, then, “ CHRIST IS ALL.” This is what is said of Christ, that He is all. Notice of whom it is spoken; it is not spoken of God the Father, nor is it spoken of God the Holy Ghost, but it is spoken of Christ, of God's Messiah, of God's angel of the covenant, of God's appointed head of the Church. For “ Christ is the head of the Church : and He is the Saviour of the body” (Ephesians v. 23). There is a distinction in these two titles, Christ and Saviour, but I shall not dwell upon that distinction now. It is the Christ of God, of whom I am about to speak.
Christ is all as regards creation. He is described as the beginning of the Creation of God (Rev. iii. 14). Christ is spoken of in this Epistle as the Creator and Maker of all things, as the Preserver and Upholder of all things, and as the end of all things. “For of Him, and through
“ Him, and to Him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen "
(Romans ii. 36). Now read the 1st chapter, the 15th and 16th verses. “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature : For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things cousist." Here Christ is brought before us by the Apostle as the Creator, the Preserver, and the end of all things. And He who is all this is the Messiah that should come into the world. This divine person is “the Head of the body, the Church. Who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead ; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” Here you see that Christ is all. But let us just look at another scripture which bears especially upon this point, and which refers to Jesus Christ in His mediatorial character. Pray, do not let this thought slip, for if you do, it may cause a little confusion in your minds. In the 1st chapter and the 2nd and following verses of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews we
“God hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also he made the world; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Is not this spoken of Christ the Mediator, the Son of God, the Christ of God, the Head of the Church, and the Saviour of the body? All things were created by Him ; all things are upheld by
n Him, and all things are working together for Him and for His glory. Read another verse upon this point in the 8th chapter of St. Paul's 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, “But to us,” notice the 5 to us,” that is to us Christians. “ There is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.” My friends, it has been shown to you that Christ is the Creator, the Preserver, and the end of all things in Creation, that is, in the old Creation, so is He also in the new Creation. Christ is all in both.
Christ is all as possessing all fulness. We shall try to explain our meaning. In the 2nd chapter and the 9th verse, it is said :-"In Him," —that is in Christ—" dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Who can grasp the idea ? All the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Christ. And little as some may think of our Christian religion, the Divinity of Christ is the very foundation of the whole. For if Christ be not God, His entire work would prove a failure. But because He is the Mighty God, and because in Him dwelleth all the fulness and the perfections of Deity, there is value, infinite value, in all that He has done, both in His life and in His death. Christ speaks of His Divine oneness with the Father when addressing Philip in the 14th chapter of St. John's Gospel : “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. My Father dwelleth in Me, and I in Him.” Do
you ask me to explain this union ? I simply say that it is beyond my ken,-beyond my power of explanation, but I receive it as an article of faith, because revealed in the word of God, that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead; all the perfections of Deity are in Him. Again, speaking of Christ as
possessing all fulness. All the fulness of the Spirit dwells in Him as He is the Christ of God. He received the Spirit not in measure, but without measure. Christians receive the Spirit in measure, suitable to their wants, to their needs, and to their necessities. Not so Christ. “God giveth not the Spirit by measure to Him ” (John iii. 34). All fulness of life is in Christ. Hence He says, “I am the Life.” He has life in Himself
, and because He lives, every child of God lives in Him. “With Thee," oh! Christ, “is the fountain of life.” Hence He could say :-“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” The believer lives in Christ, and Christ lives in the believer. I live, but it is Christ that liveth in me.
Wonderful life! Christ has come that the believer may have life, and that he may have it more abundantly. This is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. All fulness of light dwells in Him. All light—that is “the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” both naturally and spiritually (John i. 9). Christ says: “I am the Light of the world (John viii. 12). You cannot add to the light in Christ. He has all light about our thoughts, and He has always had light about them. He has light about our thoughts of to-morrow. All light dwells in Him in perfection. This is the Light of whom the Psalmist speaks when he says, “The Lord is my light” (Psalm xxvii. 1). And good old Simeon knew Him as the " light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel.” He is the perfection of light. And again, all fulness of wisdom and knowledge dwells in Him. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge. Then He does not need to be told about this or about that which is in man. He knows all. And though He does know all, yet He will have His children to make known their requests unto the Father in His Name. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you" (John xvi. 23). “When you approach the Father, mention My Name.” Why are we to mention Christ's Name ? Because the mention of His Name always prevails. “ Just mention My Name when you ask the Father for anything and you shall have it.” Why does He say this ? Because He knows the Father will grant your desires, for He knows what your wants and your needs are. Again, all fulness of wisdom dwells in Christ. You cannot surprise Christ. He has no need that any should testify of man : for He knows what is in man (John ii. 25). He knew all things beforehand. No one can surprise or disappoint Him. A great many may tell you that Christ will be disappointed if all persons be not saved. It is folly to speak after this manner. We do not worship a disappointed Christ. In Him dwell all fulness of wisdom and knowledge--knowledge of the past, of the present, and of the future, and He has all wisdom to guide all things to His own end, and for His own glory. All fulness of power is in Him. “ All power in heaven and in earth has been given to Christ.” There is no difficulty in the way which He cannot remove for the accomplishing of His own purpose. Moreover, all fulness of
dwells in Christ. " And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John i. 14). All this fulness of grace dwells in Christ. Hence it comes to pass that Christians receive out of His fulness,
grace for grace,--the abounding grace of Christ. All fulness of glory dwells in Christ. The church is all glorious within, but it is with the glory of Christ. The church is all glorious without, but it is with the king's glory. And in the resurrection morning it shall be said of the bride of Christ “ The glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Christ and His church shall be glorified together. What glorious fulness dwells in Christ. Fulness of the Godhead. Fulness of the Spirit. Fulness of life and of light. Fulness of wisdom and knowledge. Fulness of power, grace, and glory. Christ possesses all fulness.
Christ is all as regards the types in the Old Testament. You know that there are some who talk as if they would separate the Old Testament from the New. They will have nothing to do with the Old. Now I think that we have to do with the Old. I think that the Old and New must go together. The Old and the New are but one Revelation of God's mind at different times. The types preached Christ in figure and in shadow to the Saints of old. I will mention a few which exbibit Christ in them. You know the story of the smitten rock, as recorded in Exodus, 17th chapter. What does St. Paul say of that rock, which was smitten ? They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (I Cor. x. 4). Christ was all in the smitten Rock of Horeb figuratively and spiritually. Again, you read of the Paschal Lamb in the 12th chapter of Exodus. Now, what is St. Paul's comment upon the Paschal Lamb. In the 5th chapter of his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, he says :-“Christ our Passover,our Paschal Lamb—is sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep the feast” (verses 7 and 8). Is it not clear then, that Christ was set forth in the type ? Again, manna fell in the wilderness. And our Lord tells us that it was not Moses that gave them that bread from heaven, but His Father
gave them that bread. And then says :-“I am the true Bread," that manna was only a figure of Me, a type of Me. “I am the true Bread. I am the Bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger ” (John vi. 35). Whosoever is living upon Christ as the true bread from heaven, and drinking the pure waters of God's grace as they flow from the smitten rock-Christ, he shall neither hunger any more, nor thirst any more. Take another type and consider it, for I am only throwing out a few things by the way. The type of the brazen serpent. You know that when those poor creatures were bitten by the fiery flying serpents, God commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass, and to set it on a pole, and promised that whosoever looked upon it should live. A very insignificant thing indeed was this brazen serpent! But its insignificance disappears when Jesus Christ explains it. He tells us how that brazen serpent represented Himself. - For as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John iii. 14, 15). Christ is the brazen serpent spiritually, and figuratively. This type of the brazen serpent affords us most important spiritual instruction. Here I might give you type after type, and all pointing to Christ. The Altar of burnt offering connected with the Tabernacle and the Temple figured forth the Lord Jesus Christ. The Altar, the Priests, and the Sacrifices, have their all in all in Christ.
What does St. Paul say about the Altar ? “We have an Altar” (Heb. xiii. 10). Not the cross on which Christ was crucified, not the Lord's Table, nor any other table, but Christ Himself is our Altar, who sanctifies the gift which is offered upon it. And what is the Sacrifice ? Christ is our Sacrifice. His whole human nature-Body, Soul, and Spirit—as offered upon the Altar of His divinity. Who is the Priest? Christ is our Priest. And thus in reading Old Testament history in type, and comparing it with New Testament history in fact, we find that Christ is all. Some of you may not see these things at present. Well, wait a little, the Lord may be pleased to show you that Christ is all as regards the types. Christ is the true and spiritual Rock, the true and spiritual Manna, the true Paschal Lamb, the true and only one exalted for the salvation of sinners, the Altar, the Sacrifice, and the Priest, Christ is all.
Let us now pass from the types, and let us try to show you that “Christ is all," as regards the promises.
The Word of God abounds with great and precious promises to God's children which are sure in Christ. Look at St. Paul's words in his 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, the 1st chapter and the 20th verse. “ For all the promises of God in Him." In whom ? In Christ Jesus. “ For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him, amen, unto the glory of God.” If we were to review the Old Testament we should find numerous promises concerning Christ. He was to be the seed of the woman. The promises made to Abraham and his seed were accomplished in Christ (Gal. ii. 16). Christ runs through the Psalms and the Prophets, for they all speak of Him. He is the end of the promises. All the promises of God are complete in Christ Jesus. They are all summed up in Him. The promises made to the children of God are all complete in Christ, and may be classified under two or three heads. I cannot go through all of them, but I will mention a few of them. There are promises concerning temporal things. What does our Lord say
“ Take no thought, saying, what shall we eat ? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek ;) for your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of all these things” (Matt. vi. 31, 32). Your Father will take care to supply your temporal wants. He acts the part of the good shepherd, He looks after His sheep, and they shall not lack for any good thing. The Lord will be to them in temporal things a “sun and shield, and no good thing will He withhold from them.” Then there are also promises of a spiritual nature. When our Lord was here upon earth, He comforted His disciples with exceeding great and precious promises when they were in trouble. “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will send the Comforter unto you.” Oh! the joy of having the Comforter with them. “When I am gone away I will send the Comforter unto you.” Did He do so? Did He fulfil His promise? “And when the Comforter is come, He will remind you, He will bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” They should not lack spiritual instruction and spiritual knowledge. Christ was to be unfolded to them by the Holy Ghost. “He shall teach you and shall guide you into all truth : for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear,
Wall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify