The Love of Christ in Coming into the World to Save Sinners
CHRIST IS THE WORLD'S REDEEMER
Christ is the world's Redeemer,
The lover of the pure,
The Fount of heavenly wisdom,
Our trust and hope secure;
The Armor of His soldiers,
The Lord of earth and sky;
Our Health while we are living,
Our Life when we shall die.
Christ hath our host surrounded
With clouds of martyrs bright,
Who wave their palms in triumph,
And fire us for the fight.
Christ the red cross ascended,
To save a world undone,
And, suffering for the sinful,
Our full redemption won.
All glory to the Father,
The unbegotten One;
All honor be to Jesus,
His sole begotten Son;
And to the Holy Spirit-
The perfect Trinity.
Let all the worlds give answer,
"Amen-so let it be."
"This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the worst of them all." 1 Tim. 1:15
The gospel, as the name signifies, denotes glad tidings. This blessed gospel is sent to us: to you, reader, are these glad tidings conveyed. "That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," is the best news that ever fell on the ears of a dying world. Life and immortality are brought to light through this gospel of the grace of God. Let us now contemplate the glorious character of our blessed Redeemer, and the love which he has manifested in coming into the world to save sinners.
1. In the person of Christ, the human and divine natures are united. His DIVINITY is clearly asserted in the Scriptures. The Redeemer of lost sinners is the eternal Son of God -equal with the Father, the Creator of the universe, the upholder of all things. Endued with supreme power, he reigns universal Lord. All power is given to him, in heaven and earth. All worlds are his. All kingdoms are his domain. He made all things. At his command, worlds sprung into being. By his power all created matter is upheld in existence. He has caused the sun to shine with undiminished splendor on our globe for nearly six thousand years. "Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. If he commands it, the sun won't rise and the stars won't shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars—the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky. His great works are too marvelous to understand. He performs miracles without number."
Open the blessed volume, and read the fundamental doctrine of Christianity, that Christ, the redeemer of sinners, is God. "In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make." It is a matter of great consolation for the believer who has entrusted his immortal concerns in the hands of his blessed Redeemer, to know that he is God over all, blessed forever. Let him ever bear in mind that the Savior, who loves him is the only begotten Son of God, and bears his very image. He is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person. He is clothed with divine majesty, and possesses all divine perfections, and infinite excellences. He is equal with God in all his glorious perfections.
He is called "the Lord of Glory," the "King of glory," "the mighty God," "Jehovah;" and in the Revelation he is described as having on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, "King of kings, and Lord of lords." Again, it is said of him that "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see—kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together. Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ."
There is a transcendent loveliness in the person of Christ. He is "fairer than the children of men:" "the chief among ten thousand; yes, he is altogether lovely." What glorious and lovely attractions center in Emmanuel! Such is the character of Him who came into our sin-polluted world, to shed on Calvary his precious blood for the redemption of his people.
2. Christ came into the world by being manifested in the flesh, yet he lost nothing of his essential glory and dominion. He was as truly "the brightness of his Father's glory," and the owner of the universe, when in the manger, and on the cross, as he is now at the right hand of God: "Even the son of man who is in heaven." Yet out of love to sinners, he chose to suffer that glory to be veiled in humanity, and himself to be made under the law to redeem his people. What amazing love is seen here. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." "God was manifest in the flesh." Christ Jesus was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but "He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. "
The coming of Christ was the signal of peace on earth. His incarnation was an event of great joy to the world. To the shepherds of Bethlehem, the glad tidings of his birth were conveyed by an angel of the Lord. To them he proclaimed: "Don't be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!" A new light then burst upon the world. The glorious Sun of Righteousness, emitting his resplendent rays upon kingdoms and nations involved in moral darkness, arose to enlighten, to gladden, and to bless our benighted planet. The prince of peace made his appearance. The messenger of reconciliation came, to reconcile alienated man to the friendship of his offended Creator, and fit him for the mansions of glory.
When such a momentous event had occurred, when the eternal Son of God had invested himself with humanity, and became bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; well might the song of the heavenly host resound among the hills of Judea, proclaiming, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors." For unto us a Savior was born. And never was human nature so highly honored and exalted as when Christ assumed it. What blessings are bestowed upon fallen man, through the incarnation of the Son of God! Eternity alone can unfold them.
Christ came most willingly into the world to do the will of his heavenly Father. His words were "Look, I have come. And this has been written about me in your scroll: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart." Christ offered himself a willing victim upon the altar of divine wrath. He came into the world. But Oh! wonderful condescension and boundless love, that Christ should come into this sinful world. On the matchless condescension and kindness of Christ, as manifested by his incarnation, a pious writer has the following beautiful remarks: "Earthly princes are only feeble worms; their loftiest elevation is a molehill, and their brightest splendor a vain show. Yet how rarely do they descend from their thrones, to visit and relieve those who languish in the abodes of poverty and wretchedness! In our low and lost estate Jesus Christ not only saw and pitied us, but also hastened on the wings of love to bring salvation. He was eternally rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich."
He was clothed with light, and surrounded with hosts of happy, adoring spirits; yet he submitted to put on our nature, and sojourn among guilty, worthless mortals. Herein is love! love without a parallel, love that exceeds description, and passes knowledge!
The incarnation of the only begotten Son of God is a mystery of wisdom and love, in which all our thoughts ought to be absorbed, and all our hearts with it should be enraptured. The wonders of the vast universe, could they be collected and presented to us in one view, would lose all their attraction and dwindle into insignificance, were we steadfastly to contemplate the marvelous condescension of the Redeemer, manifested in the humiliation to which he submitted on our account.
When he exchanged his throne for the manger of Bethlehem, the shining host of heaven burst into that sublime song, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors." Here is condescension which we could not have believed possible, had it not been so clearly and amply revealed. The kindness and love of God our Savior towards man, appeared with pre-eminent luster in the whole of that great work which he undertook to perform for their salvation. How ardent was that love which brought the ever blessed Son of God from heaven to earth, that he might save sinners. What but infinite love could have induced him to come into the world- to be made sin for us- to bear our sins in his own body, that we might be reconciled to God, and be brought at last into the everlasting mansions of glory; to be ever with the Lord.
Jesus Christ is love itself embodied in a human form: that form once appeared on our earth, and trod the thorny pathway from the manger to the cross, till it was seen to bleed, and groan, and die, on Calvary, for sinners as vile as we are! Reader! have you a saving interest in that great work which Christ, by coming into the world, has finished? Are you deeply interested in his atonement, and righteousness? Is his love shed abroad in your heart? Is he unspeakably precious to you? For, says the Apostle, "unto you therefore who believe, he is precious." Can you adopt the language of the poet, and sweetly sing,
By his coming into the world and accomplishing our salvation, Christ has opened the gates of the celestial city, through which redeemed sinners may now pass into mansions of eternal bliss. O sinner, the gates of Paradise are now wide open for your reception; enter in and be saved. The arms of Christ are now stretched from heaven for your relief. Look up, then, with confidence to your loving Savior. He now calls upon you from his eternal throne, "For there is no other God but me—a just God and a Savior—no, not one! Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other."
"Sweeter sounds than music knows,
Charm me in Emmanuel's name
All her hopes my spirit owes
To his birth, and cross, and shame.
When he came, the angels sung
'Glory be to God on high!'
Lord, unloose my stammering tongue;
Who shall louder sing than I!"
Sinner, have you looked to Christ for salvation? In him you will find an everlasting salvation. Everlasting salvation! precious words! It is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. In the incarnation of the Son of God, we behold immeasurably great love manifested to sinners. With love unparalleled, he descends to this sinful world, and lives and dies for the redemption of his people. Love led him to forsake the regions of glory, for this dark abode of sin and suffering.
"Nothing brought him from above,
Nothing but redeeming love."
O, what love is here manifested to a guilty, rebellious world! "You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich."
But why did he thus veil his glory in humanity, and come into this world? It was to save sinners. "This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the worst of them all."
3. To save sinners was the very object for which Messiah left his throne; for which the Son of God became incarnate. "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." "The Son of man has come to seek and to save those who are lost." When Christ veiled his glory, and left the regions of bliss, it was to save sinners. When he assumed mortal flesh, and became a suffering man, it was to save sinners. When he bled and died on the cross, it was to save sinners. When he burst the fetters of death, and in a glorified form ascended to heaven, it was to save sinners; and now that he is sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, he is still carrying on his blessed work of saving sinners.
It was infinite love that brought Christ into the world to save sinners. What amazing love is here displayed! In man's redemption the love of Christ shines with pre-eminent luster! In his love Christ came to save sinners, and most willingly does he receive even the vilest sinner that comes to him for salvation.
Have you yet fled for refuge to the world's Redeemer? There is but one refuge provided for a lost world– Christ is that refuge. He shelters all that come to him. In him is eternal safety. Happy are they, whose hopes are fixed on him– they are safe. Though all around them are changes and fluctuations, yet their rest is pitched aloft, far above this sphere of changing and perishing mortality. Onward and heavenward will be their course, and glorious will be their destiny! When Christ shall appear, they shall appear with him in glory!
Animated by the hope of immortality, look with holy contempt upon the world and all its delusive pleasures. Let a joyful eternity be ever in your view. Choose Christ as your Savior and portion, and heaven will be your home. You will quickly glide over the tempestuous sea of life, and land on "the peaceful shore of blest eternity." Come, O sinner! come and entrust your salvation to the blessed Jesus, who came to save sinners. He will not east you out. "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." He has a willing ear to hear your cry; a willing heart to receive you; willing arms to embrace you; almighty lower to save you.
O do not refuse the Lord of glory! Do not contemn the gospel message of love. Behold your loving Savior! See what an interest he has taken in your eternal welfare. See him laying aside the robes of his glory for you. See him, though high, becoming low; though rich, becoming poor for you! and see him coming into this world to save you. Attend to his gracious calls. Seek him instantly. May the sweet influences of Christ's redeeming love constrain you to come and partake of the joys of salvation. Salvation by Christ! Blessed gospel; well may you be styled glad tidings of great joy!
In a word, I beseech you, dear reader, as you value the happiness of your immortal soul and the bliss of eternity, to make sure of your salvation. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Tomorrow may be too late. Tomorrow's sun may set upon your grave. Now "Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
"Come, lepers, seize the present hour,
The Savior's grace to prove
He can relieve, for he has power;
He will, for he is love."