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and the Life ; and no man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John iv. 6). There is no back door to heaven ; the only door is the front door, and that door is Christ. He is the all and only entrance. Thus Christ is the Way for a poor sinner like myself unto the Father. “ Christ is all” from me to the Father. And “ Christ is all” with the Father for
For a moment think of what He is with the Father. 66 Christ is all” with the Father as my Surety ; as my Representative ; as my righteousness; as my Brother and my Friend. He is my Counsellor, my Advocate, and my All with the Father. “ Christ is All at God's right hand. Jesus, my All, to heaven is gone ; He Whom I fix my hopes upon."
I shall now make a few remarks upon our SECOND HEAD. " Christ is in all.” In all what? What is the meaning of this expression ? Is it that He is in all places ? This is quite true that He is in all places. It is true of the Lord Jesus Christ what you read in the 15th chapter of Proverbs, and the 3rd verse
-“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” There is nothing hid from the eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do” (Heb. iv. 13). This Scripture is spoken of Christ, our High Priest and Advocate in Heaven, as you will see in reading the 4th chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. It is true then that He is in all places. But I hardly think that this is the meaning of the words, Christ is in all. Now He is in all the Churches. This is another most important fact. Turning to the book of Revelation we read that One like unto the Son of man, attired in His priestly robes, appeared in the midst of the seven candlesticks which signified the seven Churches (Rev. i. 13). And I venture to say, that what was true of Christ's presence in the seven Churches of St. John's time, is equally true of His spiritual presence in the Churches of God in all times. By Churches I mean congregations of believers gathered together for the worship of God. It is not the building, nor the place, that makes a Church. A true Church is thus described by our Lord :-“For wherever two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.”—Christ is in all the Churches. I think, however, you will allow that this sense is scarcely particular enough. But Christ is in all His saints. This comes to personality and also to practicality. Christ is in all His saints. “Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (II Corinthians xiii. 5). When Christ is said to be in His saints, it is expressive of that mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church. “I am in My Father, and
ye and I in you” (John xiv. 20). “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John xvii. 23). Christ is in all the Saints. They may have been Greeks, Jews, Barbarians, or Scythians before conversion, but now in Christ—He is all and in all of them. He is in them as their Life—“I'am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. ii. 20). Christ is in all the Saints as their hope. “Christ in you the hope of glory" (Colossians i. 27). Christ dwells in all the Saints by faith.
• That Christ may
dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph. iii. 17). In the last two verses of the 1st chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, Christ is spoken of as the Head of the body, the Church, and that the Church is filled with “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” Filled. What is a Saint filled with ? Just think for a moment. Filled. I will tell you what a Saint is filled with. He is filled with the Spirit. “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.” When a Saint is filled with the Spirit of Christ, he is glorious within. He is adorned with “ the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (I Peter iii. 4). This is the mind which was in Christ. Well, He fills His Saints with joy and peace. They have joy and peace in the Lord. The Saint has a joy which remains. 'My joy remaineth in you and your joy is full” (John xv. 11). “ A stranger doth not intermeddle with this joy” (Prov. xiv. 10). Christ fills His Saints with a peace which passes all understanding. In the world he has tribulation, but in Christ and Christ in him he has perfect peace. Christ fills his Saints with perfect love, which casts out fear. A Saint is an extraordinary person, for he is filled with Christ, he is filled with the Spirit, he is filled with the fulness of God, and he is filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. But some of you are saying—“Well
, this is not my experiI cannot say that I am filled after this sort." Let me askHave you ever enjoyed any one of the blessings which I have named ? If you be living children of God, I think you will have been wholly taken up with Christ as your Saviour, and if so, this is being filled with Christ, and with the Spirit. And if the Spirit dwell in us He produces His gracious fruits. What does St. Peter say in the first chapter of his second Epistle ?" That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature," which means a partaker of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works faith, and to faith are added virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. " For if these things be in you, and abound," what follows ? “ They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Now, you see how these work. And this is what I understand by experimental religion.
This is what comes of Christ dwelling in the Saints. What did St. Paul say about these things ? “When it pleased God, to reveal His Son in me” (Gal. i. 15, 16). The revelation of the Son of God in Paul drew Him entirely away from “conferring with flesh and blood” as to what He should do. Do you know anything about this ? I do not mean, have you seen the Shekinah glory like Paul, but has the Holy Ghost revealed Christ to your souls in all His blessed fulness? If so, and these things be in you, then read what follows the text. But some persons are afraid of what are called exhortations and directions in sermons. Now, I am not afraid of them, provided they are addressed to the right characters. The Apostle is speaking to life, and real Christians can readily understand him. The Apostle is speaking to those who knew the Lord experimentally, and he stirs them up to make manifest in Christian life that which they had received in the power of the Holy Ghost. Read his words “Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of
mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any : even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” My brethren, if you have these marks you are manifest Christians. But read on:-“ And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye
thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace
hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." What an exhibition of Christian life!
What a manifestation of being able to do all things through Christ who is All in all ! You will perceive the use of exhortations and counsels to spiritual exercises. You may command and exhort a dead sinner, if you like, but such commands and exhortations will never give life. Christ is in all His saints. Do not run away from this particular point. A Christian is a very wonderful man wherever he is. Whoever touches him, touches Christ. It is a blessed reality that Christ is in the saint. A Christian man is a sacred thing, the Holy Ghost has made him so. He is the abode of Christ; he is the temple of the Spirit; he is generally despised by the world, but a glorious eternity awaits him.
After a practical sort, allow me to ask one or two questions. What estimate have you formed of Christ ?and what estimate have you formed of these things connected with our text generally? Do you exclaim with Asaph as in the 73rd Psalm “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Is He your portion? Is He your only one in heaven and in earth? No wonder if He be so to
should be less taken up with earthly than with heavenly things. Again, St. Paul puts it in this way-when he was brought to see Christ in His exceeding fulness for himself—“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.” This was his estimate of Christ. " 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.” What a glorious estimate this was which the Apostle formed of the Lord Jesus Christ. Asaph and Paul agreed in their estimate of Jehovah Jesus. None like Christ. estimate of Him who is the choicest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely? Are your words those of the song? Is Christ altogether lovely to you in His person as the beloved Son of God? Is He altogether lovely to you in His offices as your Prophet to teach, as your High Priest in Heaven, and as your King to conquer all Do you see your completeness in Him who is All in all? If so, then consider this a foretaste of that eternal fulness which you shall enjoy in that kingdom which your heavenly Father prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I find it very difficult to stop, but I will
Is this your
conclude my subject by quoting a hymn. To some of you, it may sound rather quaint, I shall, however, quote it for the truth which it contains. It runs thus :
I've found the Pearl of greatest price,
Christ is a Prophet, Priest, and King ;
My Christ, He is the Lord of Lords,
My Christ, He is the Tree of Life,
Christ is my meat, Christ is my drink,
My Christ He is the heaven of heavens,
JOHN MASON, 1683.
Η Υ Μ Ν.
Compared with Christ, in all beside,
The sweetness of Thy dying love,
Less than Thyself will not suffice
Love of my God, for Him again
Whate'er consists not with Thy will,