Devotional: February 5th
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. - 2 Timothy 1:12.
WE have seen the states of action generally expressed, but here is a particular reference with regard to it. There is often a bar in the heart to the work of God, and it does not always consist in a contempt of him. There are many who feel fear, who are yet very desirous of being saved by him; and they resemble the father of the lunatic that came to our Saviour, and said, “Lord, if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us and help us.” We must, therefore, bring our faith not only to the perception of the Saviour’s disposition, but to the apprehension of his all-sufficiency too. We must know that he is “the mighty God;” that he made and upholds all things by the word of his power; that he is all-wise to see the most concealed designs of his enemies against his people, and omnipotent to repel them. We must bring our faith to comprehend, not only his divine sufficiency, but his mediatorial sufficiency, and this peculiarly; that is, that “all power in heaven and in earth is given to him;” that “his blood cleanseth from all sin;” that, “his righteousness can justify the ungodly,” and give them a title to everlasting life; that nothing is “too hard for the Lord,” in the Way of renovation; that there is no want but he can supply; that there is no corruption but he can subdue; that there is no enemy but he can vanquish; so that, however trying our spiritual warfare may be, we may say nevertheless, “in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us;” so that, though errors abound, though apostasies multiply, “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal,-The Lord knoweth them that are his;” so that under a sense of my daily guilt, under the pressure of infirmities and imperfections, in the weaknesses of my grace, and in the variations of my frame, I may know still that he is “able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before his presence with exceeding joy.”
Now, the last thing that the believer has to trust in him for is the resurrection of his poor body. This will be a miracle, and the greatest of all miracles, and we know who is to be the performer. He whom we have trusted shall “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” A period is approaching, when he will “come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe,”-when he will give an account mediatorially of all the trusts which he undertook; and therefore it is called “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” Then will this almighty Guardian say, “Here am I, and the children which thou hast given me.” Then will he say, Here are all the pupils which thou hast given me to educate, and what scholars have I made them all! here are all the patients that were intrusted to me to cure, and I have flung off them every particle of disease, and I have restored them to immortal youth and endless life; here are all the sheep, my Father, that thou gavest me to feed and to keep; “while they were in the world I kept them in thy name, and none of them is lost,” not a lamb of them. And then, turning to believers, he will say, “You trusted me with your eternal all; and did you trust me in vain? I often tried your confidence: did I ever disappoint you? And was not the trial of it ‘ found unto praise, and glory, and honour’?”
And they will exclaim, “Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints,” “for thou hast done all things well.” “To whom be glory and dominion forever and ever.”
We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. - Ephesians 3:12.
HERE we see that while the Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our faith, he is also the, medium of our access unto God, and that, to enjoy this privilege, our faith is as necessary in one sense as Christ is in another. The one is meritorious, the other instrumental. Here is the way of access, but faith is necessary to approach God with boldness and confidence. Let us observe three things respecting this faith in Christ, and the freedom we enjoy through it in drawing near to God.
First, We have boldness and access with confidence through the faith of him as the gift of God. “God so loved the world as to give his only-begotten Son;” and the Apostle says, “How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” The conclusion is obvious, that if he should give us the greater he will not withhold the less. If he has given us the one without asking, he will not deny the other upon our asking.
Secondly, We have boldness and access by the faith of him as the sacrifice for sin. When a man is convinced of sin, nothing but this will satisfy him. Now he can come and plead with God through the atonement of the Lord Jesus.
Thirdly, We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him as our risen and exalted Saviour.
Thus God raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that our hope might be in God. As “he was delivered for our offences,” so “he was raised again for our justification;” and “he ever liveth to make intercession for us.” He is our “advocate with the Father.” He pleads on our behalf. Thus we have boldness and access with confidence through the faith of him. What is our worship? Is it having access unto God? Is it drawing nigh to God, and honouring him with the lip while the heart is far from him? or are we concerned to “worship God in the Spirit,” to “rejoice in Christ Jesus,” while we have “no confidence in the flesh?”
This is the happiness of a believer in Jesus, who is free and welcome to have access with confidence and boldness to God. Let us make use of this privilege both for ourselves and on behalf of others, being more enlarged in our desires, more emboldened in our hopes, and more importunate in our supplications.
“Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For his grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.”
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