For both the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are of the same family. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
I. THE ONENESS OF OUR LORD WITH MAN. "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one."
1. Our Lord is of one nature with man. This is what many take to be the meaning of the writer in this place. The Savior was truly human. As a man, he hungered and thirsted, ate and drank, was wearied and slept, sorrowed and wept, suffered and died. His humanity was a real thing.
2. But unity of spiritual relation seems to be set forth here. The text certainly points to something higher than the mere physical oneness of Christ with all men. It is not his relation to all men that is here expressed, but his relation as Sanctifier to all who are being sanctified through him. It is this union of spiritual relationship which is here meant. The Sanctifier and the sanctified are all of one God and Father. They "are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus;" they "have received the Spirit of adoption," etc. Our Lord not only stooped down to our nature, but he lifts our nature into fellowship and oneness with God. Thus the Sanctifier and they who are being sanctified are all of one "God, the spiritual Father as of Christ, so also of those who are descended from Christ" (cf. John 20:17).
II. THE WORK OF OUR LORD FOR MAN. He is here represented as the Sanctifier of his people. The word used in the text suggests the ideas of:
1. Expiation. It does not seem to us that we are warranted in making this interpretation exclusive of others (as M. Stuart does, who translates "both he who maketh expiation and they for whom expiation is made"). But ἁγιάζω may point to the atoning death of Christ. "While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son." "God reconciled us to himself through Christ." Sanctification is impossible apart from reconciliation to God, and that reconciliation is effected by means of the death of Christ. "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 10:10).
2. Consecration. They who are sanctified have consecrated themselves to God. They are devoted to him; they do not live with common aims or for common cuds; but at all times, and even in commonest duties, they live for God and for his glory. They have presented themselves "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God," etc.
3. Transformation. "They who are sanctified;" literally, "they who are being sanctified," are being made true and right in word and deed, in thought and feeling. They are not sinless or perfect. Their sanctification is not yet complete, but it is in progress. They are being transformed into the image of their Lord and Savior. But how can our Lord be said to be the Sanctifier? The Holy Spirit is the great Agent in the transforming process; but the expiation or atonement was made by Christ. And while consecration, or dedication to God, is the act of the Christian, the mighty impulse from which that act springs comes from the Christ. And in the transforming work Christ sends "the sanctifying Spirit; he is the Head of all sanctifying influences. The Spirit sanctifieth as the Spirit of Christ."
III. THE CONDESCENSION OF OUR LORD TOWARDS MAN. "For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy Name unto my brethren," etc. Though he is "Lord of men as well as angels," he calls his people his brethren. Notwithstanding the lowliness of their condition and the crudeness and imperfection of their character, he graciously acknowledges them as his brethren (cf. Matthew 28:10; John 20:17).
1. Here is encouragement to address our Lord in our tithes of need. "Though now ascended up on high... He bends on earth a Brother's eye;" and he has a brother's heart towards us.
2. Here is reason why we should confess him, as our Lord and Savior. Since he acknowledges us as his brethren, let us humbly and heartily acknowledge him as our Savior and Sovereign.
3. Here is reason for acknowledging the lowliest Christian as our brother. Shall we refuse to recognize as our spiritual kindred those whom our Lord calls his brethren?
4. Here is incitement to the cultivation of holiness. Since Christ is engaged in our sanctification, "let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit," etc. (2 Corinthians 7:1). - W.J.
He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one. -1. A description of the work which Christ has come to accomplish for His people. He is described as "He that sanctifieth," and His people as "they who are sanctified." Jesus sanctifies both Himself and His people with His own blood, expiating and purging away their sins, and fitting them, and Himself as their Surety, for coming with acceptance into the presence of the holy God. This is the great end of the Saviour's mighty undertaking, to bring His people near to God. To a creature with a moral nature like man, distance from God is misery — it is death. Thus He is in our. text most comprehensively, as well as appropriately, described as "He that sanctifieth." We say, most comprehensively; for this is the sum of all that He accomplishes as the Saviour of His people — most appropriately, for the word as here used carries us back to the shedding of blood needful for sanctification under the law, and suggests the necessity of the fact which the apostle is expounding, that Jesus, in sanctifying Himself and His people, should in common with them both suffer and die.
2. The declaration of the reason why the Son of God, in sanctifying His people, must Himself of necessity be a sufferer. The ordinance of consecration for the priesthood under the law suggests this necessity; yet the question remains, whence the necessity of the shedding of blood? Our text answers this question — "He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." Here is the essence of the Divine scheme for sinners' redemption.
I. WHATSOEVER IS THEIRS IS MADE HIS.
1. Their sin. One man may spontaneously make himself liable for his neighbour's debt but a husband is necessarily liable for the debts of his wife, because they are "all of one." This is only a shadow of Christ's hability for the sin of His people. Like the husband, Christ may be regarded as having spontaneously assumed the relation of unity with His spouse, but having become one flesh with her, He is, voluntarily indeed, yet necessarily, liable for her debts.
2. Jesus having thus become chargeable with the guilt of His people's sin, became subject to its penal effects. With their sin their suffering also is made His.
3. With their sin their death also is made His. Death was from the beginning the appointed penalty of sin.
II. WHAT IS CHRIST'S IS TRANSFERRED TO HIS PEOPLE.
1. His righteousness is made theirs (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus the holy God can look with complacency on "the ungodly" believing in Jesus. Not that He esteems less hateful their sin. Not that He esteems less honourable His own law, but He accepts them "in the beloved," and He is "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
2. His death is made theirs. He had obeyed as His people's surety and head. In the same capacity He died. Thus, when He died on the Cross, His people died in Him. "If one died for all, then were all dead," or "then have all died." This is the glorious security of His people, that having died in their surety, their salvation, in the most important some of the word, is already accomplished.
3. Christ's resurrection, as well as His death, is made theirs. In the person of their Head they have already risen and taken possession of their inheritance.
Homilist.I. SANCTIFICATION CONSISTS OF TWO ACTIONS.
II. SANCTIFICATION IS CARRIED ON BY TWO AGENTS.
1. "He that sanctifieth." The Holy Spirit works in man to will and to do.
2. "They who are sanctified." There must be acquiescence on our part. The Spirit influences: we act. He teaches: we believe.
Homilist.I. THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST. "All of one" — one nature. His humanity serves to —
1. Enlist our sympathies.
2. Encourage our hopes.
II. THE FUNCTION OF CHRIST. TO make man holy. "He that sanctifieth." This work of His —
1. He has undertaken in sovereign love.
2. Is indispensable to our well-being.
III. THE FRATERNALNESS OF CHRIST. "Not ashamed to call us brethren." Then —
1. Let us not be afraid to approach Him.
2. Let us not be ashamed of His followers, however humble.
(Homilist.)Psalm 22., out of which he proveth it, "I will show forth Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee." Now where it is said here, "He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one," we have to consider that even in the manhood of our Saviour Christ is virtue and grace, in which He doth sanctify us. For not only as He is God He sanctifieth us, but also in His human nature He hath this virtue and power to make us holy; not taking His nature such from the Virgin Mary, but making it such by pouring into it the fulness of His Spirit. The holiness which the apostles had in their calling they had it from Jesus Christ, made man, and walking in that vacation before them. Even so it is with us. All that is good in us, and all the righteousness that can be in us, we have it neither out of the east, nor west, but from the body of Jesus Christ, neither is there in the world any other sanctification. Even as our hands and arms and other members are not nourished but only by the meat received of the head, so our spiritual meat of righteousness and life is not given us but from our Head, Jesus Christ. And as the veins are moans by which nourishment is conveyed to every part, so faith is the means by which we receive from Christ all that is healthful unto us. And as by joints and sinews our members are really knit and made a body unto the head, so really, by one Spirit we be knit unto Christ as perfectly one with Him as our members are one with our head. And where it is said here, He that doth sanctify, showing the present time and the work still doing, it teacheth us that our sanctification hath a daily increase, and when it is fully accomplished, then God calleth and our days are at an end. And let us note this well, if we be Christians we are still sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, for so it was in Him. He grew still in grace before God and men. If thou be grafted into His body thou hast His Spirit, and it will have His work in thee. Thou shalt not be weary of well-doing, nor cease to rejoice in God thy Saviour, but still increase in spiritual grace till thou come to the age of the fulness of Christ. It followeth, "For this cause He is not ashamed to call us brethren." Upon good cause the apostle saith, "He is not ashamed," for if He humbled not Himself in great love of us, how justly might He account it shame to be as we are? He that made heaven and earth, He that is the immortal and glorious God, one with His Father, before whom all angels do obey and all princes ate earth and ashes; ought we not to say, seeing it pleaseth Him to acknowledge us, that are but poor ,creatures, that He is not ashamed of us? And if His highness abased itself to our low estate, and was not ashamed, let us learn to be wise and know what the Lord requireth of us for all the good which He hath done unto us. tie saith in the gospel, "He that is ashamed of Me and My words before men, I will be ashamed of him before My Father which is in heaven. Pride, or flattery, or covetousness, or vanity, or fear, or what you will, may make us now ashamed to confess him, or to dissemble that ever we know Him; but when all this corruption is taken from us, and the grave and death shall take their own, our former foolishness will make us so afraid that we will pray unto the hills to hide us, but vows and wishes shall be but foolish thoughts. It followeth, "I will declare Thy name unto My brethren." We are called the brethren of Christ, not in society of flesh and blood, for that the wicked have with Him as well as we, who are yet no brethren, but strangers even from the womb. But as they are natural brethren, which are born of the same parents, so we are brethren with Christ, that are burn of God, through the same Spirit, by which we cry, "Abba, Father," the fruit whereof is in glorifying His name, even as our Saviour Christ saith, "He that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven, he is My brother" (Matthew 12:48). And when it is further said, "In the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee." First, here we must needs confess what duty is among men, even that they edify one another; for as many as are of Christ are called in this covenant: " I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee." The graces of God are not such that they can be looked up in our hearts or kept secret, but they will burn within like fire, and make us speak with our tongues, that we may make, many brethren partakers of our joy. And tell me, I beseech you, what man excelleth in anything, and hath not a delight to speak of his cunning? Doth not the shipman talk of the winds, the ploughman of his oxen? Will not the soldier be reckoning up his wounds, and the shepherd telling of his sheep? So it is with us if we be the brethren of Christ. The covenant of our kindred is, "I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise Thee." Let them know this, all to whom it is spoken, and let them discern between hypocrites and true Christians. Some think it a praise to be close men, secret to themselves, that by their words you shall never know them, of what religion they be. Those men, where they think they hide themselves most, there they lay widest open their shame, and while they think to keep it secret of what religion they are, this their dissimulation proclaimeth it louder than the blast of a trumpet that they be of no religion at all; at all, I say, touching any religion of God; for if it were of Him it would show forth His praise, and what their heart believed their mouth would confess it. We are ashamed to exhort men to do well; we are not ashamed to provoke them to sin. We are ashamed to minister talk of faith and religion; we are not ashamed of rotten and unclean works of wantonness. We are ashamed to speak to the praise of God; we are not ashamed to blaspheme His name. We are ashamed of Christ; we are not ashamed of the devil. The prophet David was a good scholar in this doctrine. When he opened his mouth unto God and vowed, "I will speak of Thy name before kings, and will not be ashamed" (Psalm 145:21, 119:46). Pray, dearly beloved, that we may be partakers of the same grace. It followeth now in the 13th verse, "And again, I will put my trust in Him." This psalm the prophet made when he was delivered from the layings of wait of Saul and from all his enemies; wherein, as he was a figure of Christ, so it is most properly and truly verified in Christ that he said of himself. Now, because the apostle allegeth this to prove our Saviour Christ to be man like unto us, mark how the argument followeth. Christ saith, "I will put My trust in God"; but it were a very improper speech, and such as the Scripture never useth to say, God will trust in God. Therefore there must be a nature in our Saviour Christ inferior to His Godhead, in which he speaketh thus: "I will trust in Him," and that was His perfect humanity like unto ours, in which we saw Him subject to peril, and how, according to His trust, God His Father delivered Him. And here the apostle allegeth such Scripture for proof of the manhood of Christ, as also proveth that He is our King; for where he saith, "I will trust in Him," it noteth that Christ was not weak in faith, but assuredly trusted in the power of God His Father, that He should overcome the devil. And let us here learn for our instruction when we have had experience of God's benefits, as the prophet had, let us vow as he did — we will pat our trust in Him. When David remembered how God had delivered him from a lion and a bear, he was not afraid of the uncircumcised Philistine. When St. Paul had reckoned so many calamities out of which God had delivered him, he boasted of a holy hope, and said he was sure that ever God would deliver him. Another testimony yet followeth to prove the humanity of our Saviour Christ, and it is this: "Behold Me, and the children which Thou hast given Me." This is written in the eighth of Isaiah, in which chapter the prophet foretelleth the captivity of the Israelites by the king of Ashur, how it is determined of God that the people, for all their rebellions, should surely perish; but yet so that God, for His Church's sake, would bridle their rage, and save some who might praise His name. These threatenings and promises both, while the people contemptuously reject, the Lord biddeth the prophet cease, and bind up these promises for another people that should believe; and then the prophet answering again to God, in acknowledging all His truth and goodness, saith thus: "Behold, I and the children that God hath given me." Now, here we must learn as the apostle teacheth. Was the prophet Isaiah a man like unto his children, that is, like unto those which obeyed his word? Then was our Saviour Christ perfect man, like unto us, whom He hath delivered from sin and death. And if He have saved us He hath saved those whom God hath given Him, flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone; for this is His intercession unto His Father, "Behold Me and My children" One other thing we must learn in this. There was an apostasy of all men, so that they which believed were made as signs and wonders; yet howsoever the world was the prophet saith, "Behold me and my children." Such shall be the days of Christ, many shall fall away, religion and faith shall be persecuted, iniquity shall abound. What, then? Our Saviour Christ saith, "Lo, I and My children." If the whole world fall away, we would not regard their multitude to follow them to do evil, but we would alone stand with the Lord our God. We must further mark in these words that the prophet saith, "Behold the children which Thou hast given me." In that it is said, God hath given us to His Son Christ, it teacheth us to acknowledge His free gift and grace; and let none of us think there was any wisdom in ourselves why we would choose Him, nor any constancy in us, by which we could cleave unto Him; but God in His grace drew us, that we might come unto Him, and with His power He strengthened us, that we should abide with Him.
(E. Deering, B. D.)
(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)
(W. Jones, D. D.)1. As Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren, so let us do nothing so near as we can that may shame this our Brother. Is it not a shame that the king's brother should be a common drunkard, whoremaster, or such like? Doth not the king take himself disgraced by it? And shall we that are brethren to the King of kings take such courses as that great ignominy should redound to Christ by it? As He is not ashamed to call us brethren, so let us do nothing that may pull a shame on Him and His gospel.
2. Can a brother that is a wealthy man, of fair revenues, and ample possessions, see any of his brethren go begging? Will he not rather receive him to his own house, and set him at his table? Christ, which is the Lord of heaven and earth, is our brother; therefore let us fear no want. so long as we fear Him. This may be a comfort to us in all our calamities, that Christ and we are brethren.
(W. Jones, D. D.)
(W. Landels, D. D.)
Not ashamed to call them brethren.I. CHRIST OUR BROTHER. "In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Human nature was divided by the ancients into body, soul, and spirit. Take this tripartite nature of man and see how like He is to us in all things.
1. The body. "He was an hungered." All the pains and anguish of intense hunger were felt by Him — Brother then to all the poor and hungry! He thirsted. On the Cross He said, "I thirst" — Brother then to all who in any way thirst! He knew what the pleasures of life were. He was a guest at feasts — Brother then of these who know the dangers of plenty! He was weary. He was asleep in the boat after His long toil. He sat weary with travel and heat by the well — Brother then to all who are weary! He suffered bodily pain — Brother then of every sufferer! He died — Brother then to each of us in that He died!
2. The soul. He was our Brother in experiencing a shrinking from death in manifesting human benevolence, compassion, and sympathy; in associating with humanity; in displaying love for children; in having private and special friendship for a few; in knowing the anguish of unrequited affection; and in manifesting human self. respect.
3. The spirit. There was that wonderful depression that came upon Him at different times. We have the agony of spirit in Gethsemane and on the Cross. He felt what it is to seem to be forsaken of God and all we can comprehend by being apprehensive of spiritual gloom, and the fear of being deserted by God. Again, He was tempted, and He had all the faculties and capacities to which temptations are applied and adapted. Once more, He "was made perfect through sufferings." "For both He that sanctifieth" — Jesus — "and they who are sanctified" — the followers of Jesus — "are all of one." He was a sharer with us in discipline by the salve Father, and in sanctification by the same Spirit, journeying to the same heavenly glory. Thus " in all points He was made like unto His brethren."
II. CHRIST IS NOT ASHAMED OF THE RELATIONSHIP. — Two brothers may be born in the same cottage, fed from the same breast and trencher, trained at the same school, and one of them may rise in social position, but with seeming greatness unite real littleness and be ashamed of his brother who continues a humble cottager. Or one may live a life of sensuality and bring disgrace on the family name, and the other be distinguished for virtue and benevolence, and the virtuous man may be ashamed of his brother. Or, one may have shown kindness continually to his brother and the other have repelled it by constant hostility and ingratitude, so that at last the other may be ashamed of him. Judging after the manner of men might not Christ be ashamed of us? But He is not.
1. Because of His mighty disinterested love. He loved us when we were unlovely and had no love to Him. Human love, when deep and true, is never ashamed of the lowliness of its object. A truly noble nature recognises a friend the more he needs help
2. Because He knows us thoroughly. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows all our imperfections, and is not ashamed of us.
3. Because He knows what good is in us, for He put it there. He knows that at the bottom of our hearts, in spite of infirmities and shortcomings, we do love Him. Beneath the faded exterior and withered blossom and leaf He sees the living germ that shall bud and blossom and bear fruit. He sees the first homeward step of the prodigal, the first fear, and hears the first stammering prayer. And is this the Jesus that some of you are rejecting? Is this the Christ that some of you are ashamed to own? Surely you do not know who it is you thus treat with neglect. He is man's best friend, our true Brother. Accept His salvation and rejoice in His love. What an honour it is to have such a Brother! We may be obscure in the world, but we may look up and say," The King of kings upon the throne of the heavenly Majesty is one who is not ashamed of me; He calls me His brother. How safe we are! What harm can come to us when He who rules the universe is our Brother?"
(Newman Hall, LL. B.)
(T. W. Medhust.)
I. THE RELATION OF A BROTHER. There is a oneness which precludes the idea of separate interests.
II. IT IS PRECISELY THIS RELATIONSHIP WHICH BY HIS INCARNATION AND PASSION THE SAVIOUR CLAIMS. He seeks to give us a relation that we can rest upon; which will draw us by the bands of fraternal sympathy to His strength when we are weak, to His bosom when we are weary and long for rest.
III. It is said in a passage of the Book of Proverbs that "A BROTHER IS BORN FOR ADVERSITIES." That He might know our souls in adversities surely, the elder Brother of the great human family was born in the human home, tasted all pure human experiences, and made Himself familiar with all forms of human pain. God is born unto us, a Saviour. We are of His kindred, the brethren of His Christ. It is no pity that moves Him to us; it is pure and perfect love. God is pleading His own cause in pleading against our sins; He is striving against His own enemies in striving against our tempters and lusts.
(T. B. Brown, B. A.)I. There are three particulars which require to be stated; the first of which is, THAT THEY WHO ARE BRETHREN PARTAKE OF ONE NATURE. Thus. then, it is said of Christ. "Forasmuch, then, as the children" — that is, God's children, the family in heaven and earth — "are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death" — or through dying — "He might destroy him that had the power of death," &c. It is also said of Christ, that " He was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross." And further: "What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh," &c. Thus, then, we have the fact clearly revealed to us, that Christ laid the foundation of brotherhood by actually assuming the nature of those whom He now condescends to call brethren. The next particular to be mentioned is, that they who are brethren are so by natural birth, or they become so by adoption into a family. Now, no sinful descendant of Adam can, by virtue of his birth in the flesh, become a member of God's family; it is utterly impossible. Nor can he be adopted into God's family unless born again — born of water and of the Spirit. He partakes of the spirituality of Christ, as Christ possesses his human flesh. The next particular is, that between those who are brethren in heart, as well as in fact, there is a family likeness and sympathy. Hence believers are enjoined to "let this mind be in them which was also in Christ Jesus"; and are said also to have put on the "new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created him." Thus, also, Christ is revealed to us as One who "can have compassion on us," and as One " touched with the feeling of our infirmities."
II. From these three particulars we may infer that Christ, becoming our Brother, by taking on Him our nature, and linking that nature on to His deity, HAD POWER OVER TREAT NATURE, first, to redeem, and then, by His Spirit, to infuse life — His own spiritual life — into it. Next, that, as the Elder Brother, He had the disposition, as well as the power, to put aside every obstacle in the way of our full and tree adoption into His Father's family; so that, knowing Him as their Brother, they might exercise the spirit of adoption when received, and at once look up and call God Father. And lastly that, as a sympathising Brother, communicating His likeness to all the members of the household of faith, He must be the great object of our faith and the foundation of all our hopes as members of the family of God. Thus, then, is Christ set before us, under this symbol, in that very aspect which is most attractive; but when we see all His offices proceeding out of this central fact of brotherhood — when we spiritually know that the great Prophet of the Church is our Brother, that the great "High Priest of our profession " is our Brother, that the King of an unspeakably glorious kingdom is our Brother — when we are assured that the teaching of the Prophet is the teaching of our Brother, that the sacrifice offered by the Priest was the Brother Himself, that the blood which is shed for us was the blood of our Brother, that the grave wherein death became powerless, and from which emerged life and immorality, was the grave of our Brother; oh I what a ground do we then stand on for the realisation and enjoyment of the blessings of salvation, and for looking forward to the coming of the glorious King, who, with all the tenderness of a brother's faithful love, shall gather together the whole family of heaven in manifested union with Himself.
(G. Fisk, LL. B.)Hebrews 1. underlies that word "ashamed," which is meaningless unless Jesus was "the effulgence of the Father's glory, and the very image of His substance." The writer quotes three Old Testament passages which he regards as prophetic of our Lord's identifying Himself with humanity. These three cited sayings deal with three different aspects of Christ's manhood and of the purpose of His incarnation; and they unitedly give, if not a complete, yet a comprehensive answer to the question, Why did God become Man?
I. JESUS IS MAN, THAT HE MAY DECLARE GOD TO MEN. All other sources of knowledge of God fail in certainty. They yield only assertions which may or may not be true. At the best, we are relegated to peradventures and theories if we turn away from Jesus Christ. Men said that there was land away across the Atlantic for centuries before Columbus went and brought back its products. He discovers who proves. Christ has not merely spoken to us beautiful and sacred things about God, as saint, philosopher, or poet might do, but He has shown us God; and henceforward, to those who receive Him, the Unknown Root of all being is not a hypothesis, a great Perhaps, a dread or a hope, as the case may be, but the most certain of all facts, of whom and of whose love we may be surer than we can be of aught besides but our own being.
II. JESUS IS MAN, THAT HE MAY SHOW TO MEN THE LIFE OF DEVOUT TRUST. Perfect manhood is dependent manhood. A reasonable creature who does not live by faith is a monster arrogating the prerogative of God. Christ's perfect manhood did not release Him from, but bound Him to, the exercise of faith. Nor did His true deity make faith impossible to His manhood. Christ's perfect manhood perfected His faith, and in some aspects modified it. His trust had no relation to the consciousness of sin, and no element either of repentance or of longing for pardon. But it had relation to the consciousness of need, and was in Him, as in us, the condition of continual derivation of life and power from the Father. Christ's perfect faith brought forth perfect fruits in His life, issuing, as it did, in obedience which was perfect in purity of motive, in gladness of submission, and in completeness of the resulting deeds as well as in its continuity through His life. Out of His example we may take both shame and encouragement: shame, when we measure our poor, purblind, feeble, and interrupted faith against His; and encouragement when we raise our hopes to the height of the revelation in it of what ours may become.
III. JESUS IS MAN, THAT HE MAY BITING MEN INTO THE FAMILY OF SONS OF GOD.
1. That through Him men may receive a new life which is His own. He can only impart His life on condition of His death. The alabaster box must be broken, though so precious, and though the light of the pure spirit within shone lustrous and softened through it, in order that the house may be filled with the odour of the ointment.
2. That men may, by the communication of His life, become sons of God. They are God's children, being Christ's brethren. They are brought into a new unity, and, being members of one family, are one by a sacreder oneness than the possession of a common humanity.
3. That men may become sharers in His prerogatives and offices. He becomes like us in our lowliness and flesh of sin, that we may become like Him in His glory and perfection.
4. That He may present His family at last to God. If we love and trust Him, He will hold us in His strong and tender grasp, and never part from us till He presents us at last, faultless and joyful, before the presence of His and our Father.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)Ephesians 5:25-27). Without further unfolding this great, this wonderful truth, I ask whether any one need fear to begin a new Christian life with such a Saviour. If, when his prayers go up, they go into the hands of such an One; if all the invitations to a Christian life are those that come from a Brother's lips — from the lips of One who is not ashamed of our poorness, our vileness, our dullness, or our remissness — then any man can be a Christian. Need any one be discouraged who has begun to live a Christian life, because so often he has failed and fallen into backsliding? Is a true pupil discouraged because so many of his lessons are imperfect? There is encouragement, since we have One that is not ashamed of us, in spite of our many defections and inferiorities. Why should we not, therefore, gird up our loins, and take a fresh hold, with new consecration, on the Christian life? Will not every day's experience give reason and argument for gratitude to such a Lord as this? I think I have learned more of the nature of my Master from my bad than from my good. We learn both ways. But it is the sense of God's graciousness that impresses me.
(H. W. Beecher.)
In the midst of the Church win I sing praise.
I. CHRIST'S ENGAGEMENT IN GOD'S SERVICE. In all ages, Christ is serving God in the midst of the Church, by His precepts, example, spirit.
II. CHRIST'S SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IN GOD'S SERVICE. In fellowship with the whole assembly of the good, whom He is not ashamed to call brethren, Christ serves God. But if their brother, He is their Leader in this praise.
III. CHRIST'S VOLUNTARY ENGAGEMENT IN GOD'S SERVICE. Singing is no slavish act; real singing is not even perfunctory; probably, ideal song is spontaneous. Such is Christ's service.
IV. CHRIST'S JOYOUS ENGAGEMENT IN GOD'S SERVICE. AS soon as ever we can sing of our sadness, even the sadness is sweetened, and song is the very symbol of joy. Lessons:
1. The highest engagement of our life is serving God.
2. The true method of serving God is socially, willingly, joyfully.
(U. R. Thomas.)
The children which God hath given Me
(D. L. Moody.)
Christian Age.I was in the company of a talented Christian lady, when a friend said to her, "Why have you never written a book?" "I am writing two," was the quiet reply. "Have been engaged on one for ten years, the other five." "You surprise me," cried the friend; "what profound works they must be!" "It doth not appear yet what we shall be," was her reply; " but when He makes up His jewels, my great ambition is to find them there." "Your children?" I said. "Yes, my two children; they are my life work."
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