O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is loving devotion, and with Him is redemption in abundance.
I. IT IS UNDOUBTEDLY TRUE.
1. The Scriptures affirm it. It is not alone the declaration of this Scripture, but of many more besides.
2. And experience, that of myriads of believers in all ages, attests the same truth. They will tell us with one accord that they have found it so.
3. And it is plenteous because it is redemption from all evil.
(1) From the guilt and condemnation of sin. Utter and complete forgiveness is ours through the death of Christ our Lord.
(2) From the power and tyranny of sin. The blood of Christ keeps cleansing the soul of the man who walks in the light, and is ever trusting in Christ, from all sin (1 John 1:7).
(3) From sorrow's crushing power; for Christ is revealed to us as knowing all our sorrows, sympathizing with us, helping us in them, and for us turning their evil into good. "All things work together for good," etc. (Romans 8:28).
(4) From the fret and worry of life; the believer is taught-the lesson of continued trust, and so to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6, 7).
(5) From the power of death; for the believer does not die in the sense in which of old time death was understood, for he who believes enters no Hades, no intermediate state, but, as Jesus said, he never dies - his body may - but he himself departs, and is at once with Christ, which is far better. Thus is there plenteous redemption.
4. And it is accessible to all. (Isaiah 55:1.) It is the free gift of God.
II. BUT MANY DO NOT CARE FOR IT. They would like a redemption from pain and distress; but they do not care for a redemption from sin - they love and hold on to it too much; holiness excites no desire in their hearts; they love sin.
III. AND MANY OF THOSE WHO DO DARE CAN HARDLY BE GOT TO BELIEVE IN IT. They cannot realize that it is a free gift. For:
1. They keep thinking that they must do something in the way of righteousness and holiness if they are to be saved. They want to bring something of their own to God, in return for which they shall be saved.
2. And there is much to foster this unbelief.
(1) Free gifts out of pure good will are not the way of the world. You must bring your money and pay the price.
(2) And all other religions demand the due tale of good works and meritorious deeds.
(3) For all excellence -physical, artistic, intellectual, moral - we have to toil and do the needful work.
(4) And our pride protests against an eleemosynary salvation.
3. But such unbelief cannot be true.
(1) For think first of him with whom this redemption is. It is the Lord. But can we imagine him bargaining, haggling, coming to terms, over our salvation, as if he were a seller, and not a giver?
(2) And of ourselves. What have we got that could by any imagination be supposed adequate for the purchase? What is all our righteousness?
(3) Of the gift itself. It is so great that it can only be ours by gift; in no other way could we have it.
IV. BUT THIS GRACE OF GOD, IN BESTOWING ON US FREELY THIS PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION, IS JUSTIFIED BY ITS RESULTS.
1. It wakes up in the recipient an overwhelming gratitude. But this is a mighty incentive to all holy obedience.
2. It enables us to go to the vilest of men and proclaim God's mercy waiting for them. We could not do this were it not all of grace.
3. It forbids alike both boasting and despair.
4. It shows a dear path to the fullest salvation the world can know. I can be holy as he is holy, because of this free gift received through faith.
5. It redounds to the glory of God. - S.C.
Let Israel hope in the Lord.
I. In obtaining Gospel blessings THE FIRST EXERCISES OF FAITH MUST BE TOWARDS GOD IN CHRIST JESUS, and not towards the blessings themselves.
1. This is the most natural order which faith can follow. Look first to the Giver, and then to the gift. Look for the Helper, and then for the help.
2. This is the necessary order — first to Christ, and then to His yoke, and to His peace.
3. It is also the easiest order. Do not try to believe in pardon in the abstract, but in Jesus the Sacrifice and Saviour, who has once for all appeared to put away sin. By looking to Him you will be saved; and what is easier than to look?
4. I believe that, in every case wherein the soul finds peace, this is the actual order. We may go about after pardon, renewal, and holiness, but we find no rest unto our souls while hunting for these. As a matter of fact, we look unto Him and are lightened, and not by any other means.
II. ALL EXERCISES OF FAITH IN REFERENCE TO OTHER THINGS MUST BE IN CONNECTION WITH THE LORD. As the stars called "the Pointers" always point to the pole-star, so must our faith ever look to God in Christ Jesus. Having begun with Jesus, our faith must not look elsewhere. I would do nothing without Jesus. I would not even wish to repent except my eye were upon the Cross. I would not hope to think a holy thought except as my soul still gazed upon. Jesus my all. Away, away with every idea of mercy except it be mercy received through Jesus, for He alone is full of grace, and of His fulness must we receive. Mercy flows through Christ alone. So is it with "plenteous redemption." What a grand utterance that is — "plenteous redemption"! Is there not rare music in the sound l It means plenteous forgiveness for plenteous sin, through a price paid, a ransom given. In Christ only can you find this. "With Him is plenteous redemption." Do not dream of finding redemption in ordinances, in prayers, in tears, or in anything but the life and death and person of the Son of God. "Plenteous redemption." Why, that means deliverance from the bondage of many lusts, freedom from the thraldom of strong passions, a ransom of captives from fierce taskmasters.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
With Him is plenteous redemption.
I. THIS REDEMPTION IS AMPLE AND UNLIMITED. St. Paul was certainly not deceiving Christians when he taught them to pray for "all men" (1 Timothy 2:1), which would be mere mockery, if all might not come to a knowledge of the truth. The Prayer Book has not been leading us astray when it has made us say so many times, and with such earnestness of heart, "That it may please Thee to have mercy upon all men." If Christ died only for the "elect," where would be the propriety of such petitions?
II. IT CANNOT BE EXHAUSTED, AND PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE FOR EACH ONE OF US. One of the lay preachers who accomplished so much good in Scotland amplified and re-echoed the sentiment — "It was not a live lamb that was tied to the door-posts of the Israelites in Egypt; only its blood was sprinkled over them. It is not the life of Christ that saves, nor imitations of His life; but His death, His blood."
(J. N. Norton.)
Homiletic Review.I. REDEMPTION implies captivity to the penalty and power of sin; release into safety and liberty; and the ransom of the obedience and suffering of Jesus. Faith secures release by appropriating the work of Christ, which abolishes penalty, and the work of the Holy Spirit, which regenerates and so changes the whole nature as to deliver from penalty.
II. THIS REDEMPTION IS PLENTEOUS.
1. In the breadth of forgiveness, covering all offenders and offences, and removing them out of the sight of God.
2. In covering the breadth of man's need, Christ saves to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). Mind, heart, conscience, and will all purged by the power of redeeming blood.
3. In the freedom and fulness of infinite grace such a price — such love — such provision even for non-partakers.
III. IT IS WITH HIM. God the Father devised, the Son executes, the Spirit applies the scheme. No hope or help in man for himself or fellow-man.
I. REDEMPTION. What has Christ redeemed? His redemption is a very compendious redemption. He has redeemed many things; He has redeemed the souls of His people; He has redeemed the bodies of His people; He has redeemed the original inheritance which man lost in Adam; He has redeemed, in the last place, the world, considered in a certain sense — in the sense in which He will have the world at last. "The whole creation," said Paul, "groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now"; waiting for what? "waiting for the redemption"; and by the redemption I understand that this world shall be washed of all her sin; her curse shall be removed, her stains taken away, and this world shall be as fair as when God first struck her from His mind. This Christ has redeemed; this, Christ shall, and most assuredly must, have.
II. "PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION."
1. It is "plenteous" when we consider the millions that have been redeemed.
2. It is "plenteous," again, if we consider the sins of all who are redeemed. S. Remember, again, that this "plenteous redemption" is plenteous because it is enough for all the distresses of all the saints. Your wants are almost infinite; but this atonement is quite so.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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