March 15, 1893 — The Way to Christ
The commandments of God are comprehensive; in a few words they unfold the whole duty of man. The human family have all transgressed them; and as a transgressor of the law, man is hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, and without strength to do any good thing. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Looking into the moral mirror,—God’s holy law,—man sees himself a sinner, and is convicted of his state of evil, his hopeless doom under the just penalty of the law. But he has not been left in the state of hopeless distress into which sin has plunged him; for it was to save the transgressor from ruin that He who was equal with God offered up his life on Calvary. “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”Jesus was the Majesty of heaven, the beloved Commander of the angels, whose delight was to do his pleasure. He was one with God, in the bosom of the Father; yet He thought it not a thing to be desired to be equal with God while man was lost in sin and misery. He stepped down from his throne. He left his crown and royal sceptre, and clothed his divinity with humanity. He humbled Himself even to the death of the cross, that man might be exalted to a seat with Him upon his throne. In Him we have a complete offering, an infinite sacrifice, a mighty Saviour, who is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. In love He comes to reveal the Father, to reconcile man to God, to make him a new creature, renewed after the image of Him who created him.Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. We can make no atonement for ourselves; but by faith we can accept the atonement that has been made. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, …but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” No man of earth, no angel of heaven, could have paid the penalty for sin. Jesus was the only one who could save rebellious man. In Him divinity and humanity are combined, and this was what gave efficacy to the offering on Calvary’s cross. At the cross, mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other. As the sinner looks upon the Saviour dying on Calvary, and realizes that the Sufferer is divine, he asks why, this great sacrifice was made; and the cross points to the holy law of God, which has been transgressed. The death of Christ is an unanswerable argument to the immutability and righteousness of the law. In prophesying of Christ, Isaiah says, “He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” The law has no power to pardon the evil-doer. Its office is to point out his defects, that he may realize his need of One who is mighty to save, realize his need of One who will become his substitute, his surety, his righteousness. Jesus meets the need of the sinner; for He has taken upon Him the sins of the transgressor. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed.” The Lord could have cut off the sinner, and utterly destroyed him; but the more costly plan was chosen. In his great love He provides hope for the hopeless, giving his only begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. And since He has poured out all heaven in that one rich gift, He will withhold from man no needed aid that he may take the cup of salvation, and become an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ.Christ came to manifest the love of God to the world, to draw the hearts of all men to Himself. He said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me.” The first step toward salvation is to respond to the drawing of the love of Christ. God sends message after message to men, entreating them to repentance, that He may forgive, and write pardon against their names. Shall there be no repentance? Shall his appeals be unheeded, his overtures of mercy ignored, and his love utterly rejected? O, then man will cut himself off from the medium through which he may gain life eternal. By the manifestation of his love, by the entreaties of his Spirit, God woos men to repentance; for repentance is the gift of God and whom He pardons He first makes penitent. The sweetest joy comes to man through his sincere repentance toward God for the transgression of his law, and through faith in Christ as the sinner’s Redeemer and Advocate. It is that men may understand the joy of forgiveness, the peace of God, that Christ draws them by the manifestation of his love. If they respond to his drawing, yielding their hearts to his grace, He will lead them on step by step to full knowledge of Himself, and this is life eternal.