From PRIMARY TRUTHS OF THE FAITH
THE whole Word of God proclaims the truth of atonement
made and reconciliation secured by the blood of Christ. The simpler our faith
is in this great truth, the happier we shall be. Reconciliation implies a
change of our condition towards God. No longer at a distance, but brought nigh;
no longer in a state of enmity, but at peace with Him. This is the believing
sinner's condition. And this condition of peace rests on the fact, that God has
found His satisfaction in what Christ has done by His death on the Cross. But
for this, that God's just demand has been met and His righteous claims
answered, there could have been no reconciliation and no peace. Therefore God
has published His satisfaction in the Cross of Christ in the fullest manner, by
the mouth of many witnesses, that all His demands have been fully met in the
work of Christ. The rent vail declares it. The empty sepulchre declares it. The
ascension of Christ and the presence of the Holy Ghost, sent from the glorified
Lord, declare that all God's demands have been met in and by the Cross. And it
is the blood of the Lamb alone, that is presented by God to a sinner's faith,
and which alone he apprehends and trusts, as the means of his reconciliation
and the cause of his peace. This the whole Word of God proclaims from first to
No sooner had sin entered Eden, than the sacrifice which had been prepared in the eternal counsels, was revealed. The Seed of the woman was to bruise the serpent's head, and this through the bruising of His heel. Thus the first promise published the death of Christ, as the only hope of fallen man, and Adam came forth from his covert, trusting himself to its virtue.
When the full time had come for the public display of redemption, and of Israel's deliverance from death and judgment, again it was the blood on the doorposts of the Hebrew houses in Egypt (Exod. xii. 13), that was their shelter.
And the witness of the New Testament is according to the same principle. In the Lord's discourse in the sixth of John, He speaks of Himself as the True Bread from heaven, but declares that only by eating His flesh and drinking His blood - that is receiving Him as crucified - was life possessed. And in the night of the institution of the Supper (Luke xxii.), He presents Himself to the disciples as the Victim, whose body is symbolised in the bread and whose shed blood is set forth in the cup. Although then the living Christ in their midst, He presents Himself to them crucified and slain, as the Object of their faith and the title of all blessing.
The Epistles tell the same truth. The tenth of Hebrews is full of it. The offering up of the body of Christ is that through which atonement is made, sins purged, and the believing sinner sanctified.
And if God thus proclaims His satisfaction in the work of the Cross, faith so apprehends and receives it. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah bears witness to this. There, the faith of the awakened Israel finds in the Cross, the ground of their pardon and their peace. They discover that their healing is by His stripes, their peace in His chastisement there. The faith of apostles and saints, finds its resting place in that same death. Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, confesses his own and his brethren's faith, in the words, "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (I Pet. ii. 24). And Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, finds the spring of his life of faith in the Son of God, of whom he says-" Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. ii. 20), while John testifies "the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin" (I John i. 7). Thus through all Scripture, patriarchial Mosaic, prophetic, evangelic, apostolic, the Lamb provided by God, sacrificed on the Cross, accepted in heaven, and received by faith through the drawing of the Holy Ghost, is the sinner's rest and peace. And what has thus been given in grace and accepted by faith, is to be celebrated for ever in glory. The saints who are there, while yet on earth, had sung, unto "Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Rev. i. 5), and after their translation to the home of glory in heaven they still sing -"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" (Rev. v. 9). Thus, whether it be as sinners saved by grace, yet in mortal bodies, and in pilgrim militant conditions, or as saints glorified in the heavens, "the blood of the Lamb" in the common spring of their joy and confessed title to all blessing.
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