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transgressors continually of that holy law, of which Christ says, It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one tittle of it to fail.
God has his book of remembrance (to speak after the manner of men). He is a God of knowledge and a God of judgment. You never suffered a thought to glance across your mind, but God noted it, and weighed it in the balance of the sanctuary. You never uttered an idle word, but God has registered it. You never did an action, but what lies clear and open in the light of the countenance of that God with whom we have to do. These things may, in a great measure, have passed from your recollection, but God has not forgotten them. They are all written in his book. If you have not come to agreement with him, he has a controversy with you ; he has a lawsuit against you, and sooner or later he will plead with you face to face.
Every soul is in one of these two positions ; either you have agreed with, and are reconciled to, God; or else He and you are yet at utter variance. You are now at peace with him; or else there is no peace at all between you. The debts of your soul are all answered for and settled, to the uttermost farthing; or else you have an immense debt unpaid, which his truth and justice require to be discharged, one way or other, and the wrath of God as yet abideth on you. There is only an arrest of judgment for a season : you are not yet cast into prison; but if your soul's account be not absolutely settled, and its debts paid, you are (to vary the metaphor) as one walking blindly on the brink of a precipice, and any moment may plunge you into the abyss of everlasting ruin.
If your conscience misgives you that matters between God and your soul are not in a satisfactory condition -- if you have reason to doubt whether He and you are reconciled and agreed, let these weighty words of God's own Son sink down into your ears : ponder them in your heart; and call him not “Lord, Lord,” unless you do the thing which he says. He is the faithful and true Witness. He knows your soul's danger, if you do not. He feels compassion for that soul, if you have no pity for it yourself. He who thoroughly knows all things, in the height and in the depth---who himself holds the keys of death and the unseen world,--remember, it is He who thus earnestly warns you to come to terms of agreement with your God, for he knows the consequence of failure.
Now, the fact of Christ's urging this present reconciliation, implies that such a thing is possible, --that there is a means by which you can have
your debt now cancelled and discharged, however great it be. Terms of peace and pardon are freely offered to you. The thing is not only possible, but sure.
You have not to ascend up into the heights to inquire for it : you have not to descend into the depths to search for it. It is very nigh thee : God has brought it home to the very door of your heart. It is built on the word of him who cannot lie. This is a faithful saying, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and it is one worthy of all acceptation, for he that believeth on him is not condemned. He became Surety for us, and was made answerable for our debts,—the just One for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He has made an end of transgressions, and brought in everlasting righteousness, a righteousness which is revealed to faith, and clothes as with a garment,-fine linen, white and clean,--the soul of every sinner who believes on him. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.
This is God's way of reconciliation and agreement with man. This is the method of settling your account with your Creator : this the means by which that debt may be discharged, which must be liquidated, but which you are unable yourself to meet. The fact is, God himself has provided for the payment of your debt, to the very last mite. God himself, in the person of the everlasting Son, has paid the ransom ;-a ransom, not of silver or of gold, but of the precious blood of Christ ;--a ransom which St. Paul, speak
; ing by the Holy Ghost, did not hesitate to call,
the blood of God,” because it was the blood of Him who unites the manhood with the Godhead, the human nature with the divine.
Here is the propitiation for our sins; and it derives its immeasurable value from the fact, that the offerer was no other than God hiniself. It was no angel or archangel, it was no mere created being, who presented himself as our Substitute. It was God's co-equal Son, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God. It was He who in the beginning was with God, and was God before the mountains were settled, who in the fulness of time was made flesh and dwelt among us. It was He whose name is “Wonderful,”
" the Mighty God," who paid to the divine law what was due to it. It was He who sitteth upon the circle of the earth, stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and upholdeth all things by the word of his power, who by himself purged our sins. It was He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, who took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and who, being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself, and became obedient, even to the death of the cross. And it is by His obedience that many are made righteous.
Here is the foundation of that perfect agreement which is possible between God and sinners, and sure to every believing soul. According to your faith shall it be unto you. As many as re-ceive Christ, receive also of his fulness; not only forgiveness of all their sins, because he has suffered all its penalty, but also a righteousness which entitles them to heaven, because he has fulfilled all righteousness. Their sins are put to his account, and he bears them away for ever; and his righteousness is imputed to them, and they ascend into God's holy hill.
Thus God is not merciful only, but faithful and just, when he forgives us our sins, and justifies the sinner who believes in Jesus. It is the glory of the gospel that in it mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou--however vile a sinner-shalt be saved ; saved, too, with judgment and in righteousness.