John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come…
I. WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR HIS PEOPLE.
1. He hath loved us. Can anything be more evident? He loved us from eternity. He foresaw our misery, and, moved with pity, provided for our relief. He loved us when we existed only in His eternal idea. What a love, reaching through eternal ages and undiminished! "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before Him in love." "He hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself." All this from the infinite love of His nature; because He loved us. All that He hath done for His Church through ages are proofs of His love to you. By this merciful preservation of the Church the news of salvation has reached us.
2. He hath washed us from our sins in His own blood.
3. He honours us. "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father."
II. THE RETURNS OF GRATITUDE AND PRAISE WHICH HIS PEOPLE RENDER TO HIM.
1. To Him be glory. He has an essential glory as God. He is possessed of glory arising from His undertaking in behalf of sinful men — from His unparalleled condescension — glorious example — unreserved benevolence — patient submission — from His Cross — spoiling principalities and powers — making a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it — conquest over death — glorious ascension. All this glory the believers see, with gladness, beaming on the crown of the Redeemer. The glory of the Saviour receives additional lustre from those offices which He so successfully fills for His people at the right hand of God. Is He an Advocate? How many causes has He gained! Is He a Priest? All the services of His people are rendered acceptable to God through Him. Is He an Intercessor? What innumerable benefits hath He obtained for them! Is He a Mediator? What hosts of enemies hath He reconciled to God, making them one in Him. Is He a Saviour? How complete and perfect His work, saving to the uttermost all who come unto God through Him. Is He a Leader and Commander of the people? What glorious achievements and conquests have His people made through Him. But His people look forward with pleasing expectation to a period when the glories of their Saviour shall be abundantly increased, and shine forth in their greatest splendour. In the day of judgment He will gather His people before Him, and glorify His grace in their eternal salvation. "He will come to be glorified in His saints and admired by all them that believe." He will be glorified by their variety; out of all nations and kindreds and tongues. He will be glorified by the circumstances attending their salvation. These are they which have come out of great tribulation — through reproaches and persecutions. He will be glorified by the infinite rewards which He will then bestow upon them.
2. "To Him be dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Christ hath a natural dominion as God, and in this His people acquiesce and rejoice. "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof." But He hath acquired dominion as Mediator by grant from His Father. "Ask of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance," etc. As the reward of His obedience. "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, wherefore God hath highly exalted Him," etc. This is but partly established. So He hath taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come," etc.
Parallel VersesKJV: John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;