Isaiah 55:4
Behold, I have made him a witness to the nations, a leader and commander of the peoples.
Sermons
The Leadership of ChristW. Clarkson Isaiah 55:4
The Messianic BlessingsE. Johnson Isaiah 55:1-5
A Free SalvationIsaiah 55:1-13
A Gracious InvitationJ. Parsons.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buy and EatJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buyers Will Show that They PossessW. Cleaves, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buying of ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Buying Without MoneyIsaiah 55:1-13
Christ's Gracious TermsO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
ComeJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Come to the WatersJ. Trapp.Isaiah 55:1-13
Come! Come!T. De Flirt Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Driving a Trade with ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Food a Supreme NeedSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 55:1-13
God Eager for SinnersIsaiah 55:1-13
Gospel Blessings to be BoughtW. Cleaves, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Gospel Invitation Without RestrictionJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Invitation; Expostulation; EntreatyO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Man's Misery and God's CallG.A. Chadwick, D.D.Isaiah 55:1-13
No Coinage Can Buy Spiritual GoodA. Maclaran, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Soul ThirstHomilistIsaiah 55:1-13
Spiritual MerchandiseO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Spiritual ThirstO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Benefit of Trading with ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Best BargainMonthly Visitor.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Cries of the Water-CarriersF. Sessions.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Desire to Bring Something to ChristIsaiah 55:1-13
The Fulness of Christ Offered to the Needy SinnerO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Gospel First Addressed to Human NecessityJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Gracious InvitationT. D. Witherspoon, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Great ProclamationA. Mallard, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Jews in Exile Prosperous Yet ThirstingJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Proclamation and Expostulation of MercyJ. S. Swan.Isaiah 55:1-13
The Spiritual Appetite and its GratificationLira of FaithIsaiah 55:1-13
The True ImperialismJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Too Valuable to be BoughtChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
True Satisfaction in ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Trying to Buy SalvationChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
Water for the ThirstyO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Water, Wine and MilkF. Delitzsch, D. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Willingness to Buy of ChristO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Wine and MilkR. Jones, M. A.Isaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceIsaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceO. Sedgwick, B. D.Isaiah 55:1-13
Without Money and Without PriceChristian Budget.Isaiah 55:1-13
Christ a Witness to the PeopleA Barnes, D. D.Isaiah 55:4-6
Christ as a WitnessHomilistIsaiah 55:4-6
Christ Given as a LeaderJ. Allan.Isaiah 55:4-6
Christ Given, as a WitnessJ. Allan.Isaiah 55:4-6
Christ the Father's WitnessR. Jessop, M. A.Isaiah 55:4-6
Christ's Triple CharacterIsaiah 55:4-6
Our Glorified LeaderF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 55:4-6
The Grand ChieftainHomilistIsaiah 55:4-6
The Greatest Gift in Time or EternityIsaiah 55:4-6
The People's LeaderW. Birch.Isaiah 55:4-6
Witness; Leader; CommanderProf. J. Skinner, D. D.Isaiah 55:4-6
These words, primarily applicable to David, are true of that Son of David whose course was to be so different, but whose work was to be so much deeper and greater than that of the King of Israel. David was a man who showed himself possessed of all the essential qualities of a great leader of men. He had the power of attaching them to his own person with a strong affection; he shared their hardships and their perils; he impressed on them his own principles and habits; he lifted them up with his own elevation. In these respects, but with a depth and fulness to which the earthly monarch can lay no claim at all, Jesus Christ is the great "Leader to the people" of God.

I. HE ATTACHES US TO HIMSELF. The devotion of his soldiers to Napoleon Bonaparte was extraordinary; but that great commander, with all his egotism, acknowledged that this was nothing compared with the devotion of Christian men to the Person of Jesus Christ. The pity with which he pitied us in our low estate, the tender interest with which he has sought and rescued us, the shame and the sorrow which he bore for us, the death he died for us, the patient love with which he has been loving us, - all this will well account for the fact that, as no king, or general, or statesman has ever done before, Jesus Christ has shown himself the Leader of men by attaching them to his Person with a passionate and unwavering devotion.

II. HE HAS SHARED OUR HARDSHIPS AND OUR SUFFERINGS. He does not bid us go the way he went not himself.

"He leads us through no darker rooms
Than he went through before." He asks us to drink of his cup, but it is only to taste that bitter draught which he himself drained even to the dregs. Whether it be bodily pain or spiritual distress; whether it be suffering, or poverty, or loneliness, or disappointment, or desertion, or shame, or death, - Christ has himself endured darker and sadder trials than any he calls us to encounter.

III. HE CONSTRAINS US TO LIVE HIS OWN LIFE. He not only demands of us that our minds shall be possessed with his own principles, and that our lives shall illustrate them, but he has the power of constraining us to think as he thought, to feel as he felt, to do as he did, to be what he was. If this purpose of his is not accomplished or is not being wrought in us, then are we not his "disciples indeed."

IV. HE SHARES WITH US HIS OWN EXALTATION. If we bear his cross, we shall sit down with him on his throne. To us all he says, "I appoint unto you a kingdom." If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him. - C.







Behold I have given Him for a Witness to the people.
1. Most modern authorities hold that the person spoken of in ver. 4. is the historical David, and that vers. 4, 5 institute a parallel between the position he occupied in the heathen world of his time and that which Israel shall occupy in the future; the thought expressed, therefore, is that the Messianic hope is transferred from the dynasty to the nation. The view is thus succinctly stated by Driver: "As David became ruler of subject nations (2 Samuel 8.), a knowledge of his religion, however imperfect, spread among them; thus he was a 'witness' to them. This position of David is idealized in Isaiah 18:43 ('Thou makest me a head of nations; a people whom I have not known shall serve me'); and the position, as thus idealized, is here enlarged, and extended in a spiritual sense to Israel (ver. 5)."

2. Others think that the reference in ver. 4 is to the future Messianic king (who is called David in Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23f.), so that the two verses represent under two aspects the future greatness of Israel.

3. An intermediate position is taken by some, viz. that ver. 4 goes back to the promise made to David, but regards it as one destined to be fulfilled in the person of his Son, the Messiah. It is very difficult to decide between these conflicting explanations. The third view seems on the whole the best; the original covenant guarantees an endless dominion to the family of David, and after the restoration this will assume a spiritual character and expand into universal empire in the reign of the Messiah.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

One who stood forth to bear solemn testimony in regard to God — to His law, and claims, and plans; and One who was therefore designated to be the Instructor, Guide, and Teacher of men.

(A Barnes, D. D.)

I. THE QUALIFICATIONS WHICH WERE REQUISITE. A witness is one who gives evidence, even at the expense of life. This has been so generally received as its meaning, that the original word "martyr" has been transferred to our own language, without any material alteration of its signification — not that every person who is willing to lay down his life, is therefore a true witness, but he cannot be a true witness without it. There are many qualifications requisite beside this, and we shall now examine how far they were possessed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. He must have been an eye-witness of the things He related. He came to bear testimony to things of which the world at large were entirely ignorant, and concerning which He could derive no information, except by being intimately conversant with them. But He who "came for a Witness, to bear witness unto the truth," could say, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."

2. But He might have possessed this and every other qualification without the willingness to communicate what He knew as an eyewitness. And herein is manifested the exceeding love of the three Persons in the Trinity, towards man. The Father sets Him forth as His gift to sinners — "Behold I have given Him." The Son, when before His unjust judge, declares, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. And He was anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power for this particular work.

3. It is also required in a witness that He declare the whole troth, and nothing but the truth. In Revelation 1:5 we read — "Jesus Christ is the faithful Witness;" and in the third chapter He calls Himself "the Amen, the faithful and true Witness." Hence it follows that His testimony must contain all needful truth: that natural religion is not sufficient — that as it is a testimony, it can be received only by faith, and no prerequisites are placed by God in the way of a sinner coming to Him. That whilst this testimony is before the mind, it does work effectually in all those who believe, i.e. receive it on testimony; and that, as it came from God, it is the imperative duty of all who hear, to believe it, and that God is just in condemning those who believe not.

II. WHAT THAT TRUTH WAS TO WHICH HE BORE TESTIMONY. "I am come," says He, "a light into the world, that whosoever followeth Me should not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." By this He means to say, that all the world was lying in darkness and the shadow of death, "alienated from the life of God by the ignorance that was in them, because of the blindness of their hearts;" and it was to strike at the root of every false religion, and every garbled form of His own, that He puts Himself forth as the only Witness, who, from His perfect acquaintance with what He spoke, was qualified to teach those truths which mankind had so perverted.

1. The Lord Jesus Christ came to restore the true knowledge of God, and this He did by testifying, in the first place, to the character of the Father, that "God is love."

2. Having thus borne testimony to the Father, He proceeds to bear testimony to Himself. Of Himself He testified that He was the promised Messiah, and that, though man, He was also God.

3. The Lord Jesus likewise was a Witness in declaring that it was the belief of His word, received as a testimony, which should bring salvation.

4. We shall now examine what He says of Himself as being a King, and consequently having a kingdom in the world. Whether He has a kingdom or not in the world is a question we are competent to decide by our own observation of the characters we meet with in our passage through life. But if we can see no signs of it, we must suspend our judgments till we see what the end will be. If He has already established, it will be an additional proof that He is a faithful and true Witness. Now when examined by Pilate, the question was expressly put by him to Jesus, "Art thou a king then?" to which in the most unequivocal manner He replied, "Thou sayest that I am a king." The nature of that kingdom He had as expressly borne testimony,, to — "My kingdom is not of this world; now is My kingdom not from hence. But He bore testimony to this fact not only on His trial before Pilate (though this is called the good confession, because he immediately after sealed it with His blood), but in the whole of His public ministry.

III. THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT. While Christ was in the world He bore witness to the truth, but when He went hence to the Father, the Spirit was commissioned to lead into all truth those whom He left behind, and they, by His inspiration, have committed it to writing. The Holy Scriptures are, therefore, the testimony of Christ, as it has been witnessed to us by the Spirit. Of this testimony, the whole world are ignorant by nature, and as soon as it is made known to them, the pride and carnal enmity of the unrenewed mind rises in opposition to it. This opposition to the truth of God, it is the especial province of the Spirit of God to overcome, and the way in which He effects this, is by taking of things, i.e. the testimony of Christ, and showing them to us, and this He does in such a manner as commends to us, as most lovely, what we before thought most hateful. Many of the children of God are led into and kept in a state of doubt as to their acceptance with God, from thinking that the only witness which the Spirit bears is to the life and conversation, forgetting that these evidences can only flow from the primary witness which He bears to the testimony of Christ. This consideration will also show what it is so important to remember, the connection between soundness and clearness of doctrinal truth with consistency of life.

(R. Jessop, M. A.)

Homilist
Christ as a Witness is —

I. MOST GLORIOUSLY COMMUNICATIVE. Some witnesses are so ignorant that they have but little to say, and others, though better informed, have but little to communicate of importance. What does Christ testify?

1. Of God.

2. Of man.

(1)Man's spiritual existence.

(2)Moral depravity.

(3)Imminent danger.

(4)Future retribution.

3. Of duty. He lived duty.

4. Of man's restoration.

II. MOST UNQUESTIONABLY CREDIBLE. Witnesses are often incredible from two reasons.

1. Their ignorance. They are found to be so imperfectly acquainted with the circumstances of the case to which they testify, that their evidence is either received with suspicion, or rejected as worthless. But is Christ incredible on this ground? No. HIS knowledge is infinite. He knows all about everything of which He testifies. He knows God, man, the universe.

2. Untruthfulness. Many are placed in the witness-box who, though they have a competent intelligence, have no inviolable attachment to truth. Their prevarication destroys the worth of their evidence. Infinitely removed is Christ from this. He is the Truth. Truth is dearer to Him than life. False witnesses abound; but here is One on whose testimony we may and ought to repose with unbounded trust.

(Homilist)

I. THE PECULIAR FITNESS, OR QUALIFICATIONS, OF JESUS, TO ACT AS A WITNESS FOR GOD TO THE PEOPLE.

1. Jesus was singularly qualified to act as a Witness to the people, because of His being acquainted with the whole counsel of God: whilst His own mind as the Son was in perfect accordance with that of His Father.

2. Jesus was specially qualified to act as a Witness, because of His necessary freedom from all temptation to suppress or mistake any part of the truth. He was from time to time knowingly putting Himself into situations, and bearing, testimony to such views, as were prejudicial to His safety, and endangering His life.

3. Jesus was specially qualified to be a Witness for God to the people, because of His alliance with both in His nature, together with His zeal for God's glory and the good of men In matters where ordinary witness-bearing is required, the interests of at least two parties are generally concerned, and, in so far, it augurs favourably for the ends of justice, that persons acting as witnesses in the case feel something like equal interest in both.

II. THE MODE OF HIS ACTING IN DISCHARGING THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE AS A WITNESS.

1. He witnessed to the effect of confirming that portion of the Scriptures which God had previously given to the Church, as a revelation of His will. That portion is contained in the Old Testament exclusively, such as known to us, and therefore shutting out all Jewish Apocryphas, Talmuds, or Mishnas. To none of these mere human productions did the Lord Jesus ever testify, but in the course of His public teaching He witnessed again and again to the authenticity of the sacred Scriptures, in quoting from them certain, things written concerning Himself by the inspiration of the Almighty.

2. Christ was also a Witness for God to the people, not only in testifying to what had already been written, but in farther adding to the revelation of Heaven. This revelation includes the whole of the New Testament, for this has been added to the Old by the Great Witness of whom we now speak, as an it contains He either delivered orally in the course of His personal ministry, or by the apostles, whose several epistles were written by His inspiration.

3. Jesus was still farther a Witness for God to the people, in the miracles He wrought, and in the holy exemplary life which He led. The many marvellous things He did afforded abundant proof that He came from God, and that consequently His doctrines were true. As God-man He witnessed in the flesh to His own holy law, and in that hath set us aa example that we should follow His steps.

4. Jesus, in acting as a Witness for God to the people, sealed and ratified His testimony in His cruel and ignominious death.

(J. Allan.)

There is no Gospel apart from our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, it is not at all wonderful that, after the glorious Gospel invitations, expostulations, and exhortations of the first three verses of this chapter, we should come, in the fourth verse, to these words: "'Behold, I have given Him.' I have talked to you about waters, and about wine and milk, and about bread, and about fatness; but, 'behold, I have given Him,' for He is all these, — water, wine, milk, bread, fatness. I have spoken to you about 'an everlasting covenant even the sure mercies of David;' but I mean Him, for He is the great Surety of the covenant, and I have given Him for a covenant of the people." We cannot do without a personal Christ. The first word in our text, "Behold,' reminds us that this is a theme for wonder. A part of the wonder concerning Christ consists in the fact that His Father has given Him to the people. Not to you, O kings and princes; — not to you, a few aristocrats picked here and there; but, "I have given Him for a witness to the people." He is the people's Christ, the people's Leader, the people's Friend, the people's King. And the wonder increases when you recollect that the word translated "people" might be just as accurately rendered "nations." No doubt, the Lord's intention here is to refer to the Gentiles: — not to the chosen people, Israel, alone; but even to us, "sinners of the Gentiles," who were outside the favoured family of the Jews.

I. Let us, with believing eye, SEE OUR LORD IN THREE CHARACTERS OR RELATIONSHIPS.

1. Our blessed Lord is a Witness for the Father, — a Witness concerning the Father. We should never have known what God was like if it had not been that "the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." If, indeed, I do see God in Christ, what a blessed God He is to me! For who would not love Jesus! Nor is Christ merely the Witness concerning God's character, but also concerning God's bearing towards us. How does God feel with regard to His rebellious creatures! He also came to be witness of another matter, namely, that God has set up a kingdom among the sons of men. There is no way of entrance into the kingdom of Divine grace except by regeneration; and Jesus Christ is the Witness of that great truth. Whatever Christ has taught concerning any truth which has to do with our salvation, is His witness upon that point; and if we want to know the truth about anything, we must go to Christ to learn it.

2. The second office of Christ, mentioned in the text, is that, of a Leader to His own people. The word "leader might be rendered "the foremost; and, truly, Christ is the foremost of all His people, — the standard-bearer among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely. In the Church of God, Jesus Christ is the Leader, because His life is the perfect example of practical holiness. First, He is God's witness revealing to us the truth; then, next, He is our Example, working out the practical part of that revelation in His own life.

3. The third character our Lord bears, according to our text, is that of Commander. There may be many meanings given to that title, but it seems to me that it must relate mainly to those of His people who are not yet saved. To them, He is a Commander; to them He issues laws as a law-giver, for such is also the sense of the term. But I think there is more, in this title of Christ, than the mere fact of His making the law, and bidding us publish it abroad in His name. He is also a Commander because He has power to enforce His proclamations. He calls a nation that knew Him not, and then they learn to know Him.

II. THE THREE EXCELLENCES OF CHRIST IN CONNECTION WITH THESE THREE OFFICES.

1. Is Christ a Witness? Then He is a true Witness. There are no falsehoods or mistakes in the witness which Christ bears.

2. If our Lord be a Leader, he has, in that capacity, the quality of holiness. You may safely follow wherever He leads you.

3. If He be a Commander, you see in Him Divine power. It is no use having a commander-in-chief who issues proclamations, but who has neither wit nor wisdom in the day of battle.

III. THESE RELATIONSHIPS AND EXCELLENCES DEMAND FROM US THREE DUTIES.

1. Is Christ a true Witness? Then, believe Him.

2. If He be a Leader, and holiness is the mark of His Leadership, then, let us imitate Him.

3. Then, if He be a Commander, what does He require of us? Obedience.

IV. THERE ARE THREE BENEFITS WHICH WILL BE SECURED BY THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE DUTIES.

1. If you do believe Christ, "the faithful and true Witness," then you have certainty as to what you believe.

2. Then, if Jesus Christ be our Example, and we imitate Him, the next benefit we obtain is safety.

3. If Christ be our Commander, and He hath all power, and we obey Him, then victory is sure.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. A DIVINE GIFT.

1. The Father has given His Son.

2. The Son consented to be given.

3. We have the purpose of this Gift avowed. "For a Witness," etc.

4. The persons thus favoured. "The people."

II. A DIVINE PROMISE made to this Leader and Commander.

1. To call those whom He does not know (ver. 5). That must be a strange nation which Christ does not know. There will be people at the last to whom Christ will say, "I never knew you;" and there arc such people now, whom Christ has never known in this sense. He never spoke with them, He never heard their voice in prayer, He never knew them by mutual acquaintance. And there are nations of this kind of people.

2. Christ is to make run those who do not know Him. People who did not know anything about Christ, and who did not want to know about Him, shall on a sudden hear of Him, and they shall run to Him. I have often noticed that, when such people do come to Christ, they always run to Him.

3. Here is a Divine promise to exert a singular motive power. "Because of the Lord thy God," etc, A glorified Christ makes men run to Him.

III. A DIVINE EXHORTATION.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

A Leader and Commander to the people.
1. He was typified in David. He has been constituted Prince. His name is made great. His throne shall be for ever. His kingdom shall be made sure. For a great while to come His house shall stand. His name shall be continued as long as the sun, and men shall be blessed in Him. All nations shall call Him happy (Psalm 72.). The type was spoilt by David's infidelity and sin. But, even though this was so, on God's side there was no vacillation, no swerving from His purpose. His mercies were sure. Much more in the case of Jesus Christ, the eternal purpose cannot miscarry.

2. This title is applied to Christ after His resurrection. Four times only in the New Testament is Christ called Leader or Prince, and always in resurrection. (Acts 3:14, 15; Acts 5:31; Hebrews 2:9, 10; Hebrews 12:2.) However translated, whether by "Author," "Prince," "Captain," or "Leader," it is the same Greek word, and is applied to Christ as risen.

3. The original meaning of the word is very interesting. Etymologically, it means the first of a file of men, and therefore their leader and commanding officer. This conception, therefore, is presented to our mind, that our Lord is the first of a long procession of souls whom He is leading up from the grave, with its darkness and corruption, through the steeps of air, past principalities and powers, to the very throne of God. He is the First-born from the dead, and therefore Ruler of the kings of the earth. He first, by the resurrection from the dead, has obtained the right to proclaim light to the Gentiles. If this thought of Christ being the first of a long procession is carried out, in respect to the passages mentioned above, it yields great results.(1) He leads the dead out of death into life.(2) He leads the vanquished into the victory of the heavenlies.(3) He leads sufferers through suffering to the perfection, which is only possible as the effect of grievous pain, sanctified through the grace of the Holy Ghost.(4) He leads also the ranks of believers. (Hebrews 11., 12:2.)(5) These conclusions suggested by the New Testament are substantiated and confirmed by the expression used here. "Thou shalt call a nation that Thou knowest not." To whom can this refer, save to the Gentiles, who were once far off? "Nations that knew not Thee, shall run unto Thee." Of whom can this be true, save of that vast ingathering suggested to our Lord by the Greeks who came to Him before He died, and concerning whom He said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me"?

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

He is peculiarly fitted to be a Leader and Commander —

I. BECAUSE HE IS INVESTED WITH FULL POWERS AND AUTHORITY TO ACT ACCORDING TO HIS PLEASURE.

II. BECAUSE OF HIS KNOWING ALL THE DIFFICULTIES THEY HAVE TO ENCOUNTER IN THEIR SOJOURNING AND WARRING CONDITION.

III. BECAUSE OF POSSESSING FULL ABILITY TO INFLUENCE, IN ANY MANNER HE SEES FIT, THE HEARTS OF ALL MEN.

IV. BECAUSE OF THE EXAMPLE HE GAVE IN HIS PERSONAL CONFLICTS WITH HIS ENEMIES, OF WISDOM, FAITHFULNESS, AND COURAGE.

V. BECAUSE OF POSSESSING FULL ABILITY TO REWARD EVERY FAITHFUL FOLLOWER. Who, then, would not wish to fight under the banners of such a Commander? It is no dubious cause, but one that always ends in glory.

(J. Allan.)

I. GOD HAS APPOINTED JESUS CHRIST TO LEAD US IN THE WAY OF TRUTH.

II. GOD HAS GIVEN JESUS CHRIST TO BE OUR LEADER IN THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

1. Jesus leads us by showing that God gives us power to walk in the path of righteousness.

2. In following Jesus in the path of righteousness we must employ self-effort. God gives power, but it is requisite for us to use it. Without earnest self-effort, righteousness is impossible. Notice the crawling worm, how it wriggles and struggles to escape from its old self, and how it is rewarded with wings to fly from flower to flower in the garden. Hear the wee bird pecking itself out from its shell.

III. GOD HAS GIVEN CHRIST TO BE OUR LEADER TO THE CALVARY OF SELF-SURRENDER. The inner chamber of the heart is required for the indwelling of God. If the inner man be true, temptation has but little power over us.

IV. JESUS CHRIST HAS BEEN GIVEN TO BE OUR LEADER IN THE WARFARE OF HOLINESS.

V. GOD HAS GIVEN JESUS TO BE OUR LEADER IN THE WRESTLINGS OF PRAYER. Remember that our Leader spent whole nights in prayer to God.

VI. GOD HAS GIVEN JESUS FOR OUR LEADER IN THE INVINCIBILITY OF FAITH.

1. Let us copy His faith in the loving care of our Father.

2. Let those who are teachers of others follow our Leader in His faith in the power of the Gospel.

3. With our Leader, let us have faith that our paths are Divinely directed.

VII. GOD HAS GIVEN CHRIST TO BE OUR LEADER IN THE CONFIDENCE OF HOPE.

VIII. GOD HAS GIVEN CHRIST TO BE OUR LEADER IN THE CAMPAIGN OF LOVE. Wishing well is a good thing, but doing is better. Jesus Christ is our Leader in loving words and active deeds.

(W. Birch.)

Homilist.
Assuming that these words apply to Christ, they present Him in a capacity with which the world has ever associated its loftiest ideas of heroism, glory and renown. In many other places Christ is spoken of as an illustrious Chieftain (Joshua 5:13, 15; Isaiah 63:1-5; Hebrews 2:10; Revelation 19:11-16). He is the Captain of the Lords hosts. His relation of Commander to His people suggests to us certain ideas concerning the Church.

I. THE CONFLICT OF THE CHURCH. The state of the good here is not a state of conquest but of battle.

1. The enemies are principles, not persons. Error, corruptions, impiety, immorality, wrong in all its forms.

2. The inspiration is benevolent, not selfish. None of the selfish passions, ambition, avarice, revenge, fire the heart and nerve the arm of the true Church in battle. It is pure benevolence, that benevolence which seeketh not its own, which bears each other's burdens.

3. The weapons are spiritual, not carnal. Not civil taw, worldly policy, but truth, example, love: we persuade men. Moral suasion, founded on truth, instinct with love, backed by example, is the grand weapon.

II. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. All the members of the true Church are as one united army, in one campaign, under one Commander.

1. They unite in the aims of their Commander. All loyal armies are of one mind as to aim, and that aim is the purpose of their chieftain. His aim is to establish judgment, rectitude on the earth, and every member of the true Church has this one master-aim.

2. They unite in the direction of their Commander. His will is their law.

3. They unite in the spirit of their Commander. Every commander seeks to give his master-passion to his army. It is only as he succeeds it can be true to him. The Church of Christ is united by the spirit of Christ, that spirit permeates, centralizes and controls all.

III. THE SUBORDINATION OF THE CHURCH. The subordination of the Church to Christ is —

1. Unconditional.

2. Cordial. It is not so in the martial life of men. Many a soldier is forced, contrary to the wishes of his heart, to subordination to the will of his commander. All the instincts of his manhood often recoil at it. Not so with those under the command of Christ.

3. Permanent. human commanders die while the campaign is being accomplished, and soldiers recover their independent wills and become their own masters. Not so with the soldiers of Christ.

IV. THE GLORY OF THE CHURCH

1. Your Commander is all wise. He knows the number, the resources, the stratagems of your antagonists. Nothing in the future will take Him by surprise.

2. Your Commander is all-mighty. There are no difficulties He cannot overcome; no exigencies that He cannot supply

3. Your Commander is all-generous.

4. Christ is a Commander who leads all His soldiers to glory. He makes them kings and priests unto God. Conclusion: Let the battle of our life be a battle fought under this banner. Let this love inspire us to brave deeds. It is said of Trajan that he won the heart of his army because he tore up his robe to bind up the wounds of a soldier who had been stricken down in the field. Let the memory of Christ's unparalleled love win our highest sympathies and undivided powers.

(Homilist.)

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