Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

as to give his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life :" that is, whosoever, with a true heart, rests his soul upon what the Lord Jesus has done and suffered, relying upon the merit of his precious blood for pardon ; upon his grace for strength ; upon his aid for succour ; and

upon

his final victory, for an entrance into his kingdom, “he shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” This being revealed to us, it is of the last importance that the record be believed. He puts the question, therefore, to Martha, “ Believest thou this ?” She, with a simplicity and honest sincerity, which exceeds all praise, at once said to him, “Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world !" as much as to say, I have that simple confidence in

you, that whatsoever you declare, to that my heart assents. For seeing you now in your true character, not merely as a prophet, but as the only begotten Son of God, the appointed Saviour of the world, whatsoever you promise to accomplish, that I fully believe

you

will perform.

My beloved friends, this is the very point to which I earnestly pray every individual present may be brought. For if this be the real conviction of your souls, I do not mean the assent that the mind may give from the force of early habits, or out of respect to religious friends, or other lower motives; but if this belief is so entwined around the heart, as faith is upon a subject in which a deep interest is taken, then it will be impossible to believe that Jesus is “the resurrection and the life ;" and that he who believes in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and that he that liveth and believeth in him shall never die, I say it will be impossible to possess this living faith, without making an earnest application to this lifegiving Saviour,— to give, preserve, and increase this spiritual life in you. No; if you have anything like the faith of Martha, when she said, “Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world,” you will count all things but dross, for the excellency of Christ Jesus our Lord. Your great aim will be to be found in him, “Not having your own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” In addition to this, you will also desire to “know the power of his resurrection," or that fulness which is treasured up in him, now that He is seated at the right hand of God, having power to raise the dullest among his people, not only to be living, but lively Christians. That this may be our blessed state, this should be our ain—not like Martha, to postpone the resurrection of the body till a very distant period—but to connect this blessed truth with the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ : to consider that we have in him “the resurrection and the life” embodied ; that there is in him, as He now sits exalted at the right hand of God, that fulness of the Spirit which will suffice to give spiritual life to all the elect, from this day, till his appearing; and also to quicken all the mortal bodies of all his departed saints.

If you thus behold your Saviour, you will see that there is in him sufficient power to

;

you have been

raise you to a much higher degree of spirituality than you now possess ; to give you victory over the world, the flesh, and Satan or to fulfil that precept of the Apostle, “ If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God." “Set your affection on things above, and not on things on earth ; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

Let me then, my dear friends, at the close of the day, in which

many

of celebrating the dying love of your Saviour, entreat you now to fix the eye of faith upon him, as he describes himself in the text.

You see the powerful effect, the simple reception of this glorious truth produced in Martha; that whereas she met our Lord in a desponding spirit, looking only to second causes, saying, Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died,”—when the Lord revealed bimself to her by this majestic character, “I am the resurrection and the life,”_this grand truth, brought to her heart by his Almighty power and grace, led

her immediately to this good confession, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” Such was the effect produced on Martha ; and if you, my beloved friends, ask the aid of the glorifier of the Lord Jesus, a similar effect will be produced upon you. You will say, as the inspired Psalmist said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom shall I fear ? the Lord is the strength of my life ; of whom shall I be afraid.” Remember, you serve a living Saviour. He is on your side. He will be your friend, your guide, your counsellor, and protector. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Be not, therefore, ashamed boldly to confess his name ; but act like Martha, who, when she heard that he was come, went out at once to meet him. Let it be seen, not only on the Sabbath-day, but in the conduct of your ordinary affairs, that you are among the number of his consistent followers; that when you are taken away, from the respect they bear to your name, many may come to your sorrowing family, as they did from Jeru

« VorigeDoorgaan »