Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I have felt the power of those blessed truths in my soul of which you have written from time to time in the Gospel Standard, particularly the short scrap last month on “Election”.
o! that blessed truth has been and still is dearer to me than life; and the way and manner of its revelation and application to my soul in deep bondage and distress, has been marvellous indeed.
“Though God’s election is a truth
Small comfort there I see,
Till I am told by God’s own mouth,
That He has chosen me.
I trust I can say that He has chosen me; for when I was under the law crying to the dear Lord for mercy, He spoke these words to my soul: “I have redeemed thee; thou art mine.”
This precious election is made known in redemption, so that we have electing love and redeeming blood. Peter calls the Lord’s family, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:2) Hence, then, it is certain that election is known only by the Spirit, where there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1) Then follows the ratification of this solemn matter in the blood of sprinkling, which the Holy Ghost so blessedly reveals through the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 9; “When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” (Hebrews 9:19-20)
Redemption appears to follow close after election, and therefore must lie foursquare with that precious stone.
The ransom and the testification of it are to the elect only, and that always in “due time”. (I Timothy 2:6) So that there is no such thing as being too late in these eternal matters.
Now, as to the Redeemer, He is altogether fitted for the great work, as He must needs be, for His people had sold themselves for nought, (Isaiah 52:3; Romans 7:14) and could not by any means redeem their souls or give to God a ransom (Psalm 49:7). No, nor all the angels in heaven; none but God could redeem to God; therefore God’s eternal Son undertook to accomplish this great work. (Isaiah 63:1-6).
He came out of the bosom of the Father, who sent Him into the world. (John 1:18) He is the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15) and the brightness of His glory, upholding all things by the word of His power; who purged our sin before He sat down at the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3). He is the “Child born” unto us, and the “Son given”, for this very purpose, (Isaiah 9:6) whose name is to be called Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Hence we behold Him in our nature, born of a woman, made under the law to redeem us therefrom; and yet at the same time He is the “mighty God”, the “everlasting Father”, and the “Prince of peace”. He is the most high God, and yet was made lower than the angels! (Hebrews 2:9)
He, the mighty, the strong, (Proverbs 23:11) and yet He was crucified through weakness! (2 Corinthians 13:4)
He is indeed the near Kinsman, in whom is the right to redeem, (Ruth 3:13)—so near that He is the Head of the body, (Ephesians 5:23), the Husband of the church, (Isaiah 54:5) and the Brother born for adversity, (Proverbs 17:17) And bless His dear name, He is not ashamed to call His people brethren, (Hebrews 2:11) for we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (Ephesians 5:30). And this near Kinsman has redeemed us.
1. He has redeemed us out of the hands of justice, by laying down His life for us. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). That is, for His sheep, (John 10:11) whom He redeemed from under the law and the curse, by being made a curse for them. (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5).
2. He redeemed us also from the house of bondage, that awful place in which we were by nature, symbolized by Israel’s being in bondage in Egypt, whence the Lord redeemed them, (Exodus 13:3) and called them to remember that redemption. (Deuteronomy 24:18).
3. He redeemed us from the grave and the prison-house. “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” (Psalm 49:15)
“As for thee, also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.”
4. He redeemed us from the power of darkness. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13).
5. We are redeemed from the hand of the terrible.
“And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.”
“I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues! O grave, I will be thy destruction!”
6. We are also redeemed from all iniquity.
“He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”
“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
7. And lastly, we are redeemed from all evil, as was our father Jacob of old. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God;” “Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:21-23).
Observe also the price of our redemption, and how that endears the Person of the Redeemer when it is made known by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was in His love and in His pity He redeemed us, (Isaiah 63:9) and that “not with corruptible things,” as silver and gold, “but with the precious blood of Christ,” (I Peter 1:18-19,)
“in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
And so the four and twenty elders sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”
Once more, as to the extent of this atonement. It reaches to the “ends of the earth” (Isaiah 65:22) to “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9). It reached Jonah in the belly of hell (Jonah 2:2), Mary Magdalene in all her filth, David in his twofold iniquity, Paul in his bloody persecutions of the saints, and the thief on the cross in the last hour of his life. In a word, it extends to all the elect, all the adopted, all the sheep, all the effectually called; and so wonderful is its efficacy that it washes them, purges them, pardons them, brings them nigh; makes peace; covers, blots out, and forever puts away all the sin, filth, transgression, and impurity of all the predestinated family of the Prince of Peace.
By William Gadsby - May, 1847.