1 John 4:14
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
I. CHRISTIANITY IS AN EXTERNAL FACT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
1. The condition of the world was desperate. Man through sin had destroyed himself. Nothing short of salvation would have met the case of man as a sinner. The sinner can destroy himself, but he cannot save himself.
2. This salvation was of necessity a fact. It was a great act. Thoughts and words would not have sufficed to save us; good wishes would not have availed us. To speak would not have been enough. To do was essential. Redemption was a work of infinite greatness and difficulty. And it is this that we find in the history of the Man Christ Jesus — the eternal thoughts and feelings of the Godhead realised in glorious works.
II. CHRISTIANITY IS A SPIRITUAL POWER, OR A SOURCE OF PERMANENT INFLUENCE ON THE WORLD.
1. The Incarnation of the Son of God was the indispensable condition of the reunion of man with God. This is the highest greatness that any creature is ever capable of attaining — that God should "dwell in him, and he in God." This does not mean to be lost like a wavelet in the ocean of Godhead, as the Pantheist imagines, but to become one with God in the affinity of holiness and the fellowship of love, and yet to preserve forever our personal individuality in the conscious enjoyment of that union. Man could not have been saved by ascending — by the mere development of his natural powers. Our salvation has been wrought by a descent of unparalleled magnitude. Descent is the ground of ascension.
2. It follows that the Incarnation and death of the Son of God form the spiritual power that is to create the world anew the moral lever for raising humanity to God. If we see a Christian of extraordinary attainments in godliness, we may be sure that this is the secret of his strength his thoughts and affections revolve constantly around this great centre, "God manifest in the flesh"; he abides by faith and love in Christ, and thereby God dwells in him, and he in God. This is the "secret of godliness."
3. Hence the facts of our redemption accomplished in Palestine years ago remain in the world yet, as great spiritual forces operating on the souls of men to raise them to God.Conclusion.
1. Let us appreciate the gospel above all things.
2. Let us ever remember that godliness, and all progress in holiness, draws its strength from Christ and His Cross, His life, death, and resurrection.
Parallel VersesKJV: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.