Sermon 1986. The Child Of Light Walking In Light
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, OCTOBER 2, 1887,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the Light,as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."1 John 1:6, 7.
THE Apostle warns us against saying more than we have made our own by experience. He hints at the solemn difference betweenempty profession and gracious reality. To have fellowship with God is a great matter-but merely to say that we have fellowshipwith Him is a totally different thing. John warns us that if we say that which our characters do not support, we lie. He leavesit just so, without a word of softening or excuse. Between saying and being-between saying and doing-there may be all thedifference in the world. There is a tendency among men, if there is a good experience, to say that they possess it; if thereis a high privilege of Grace, to say that they are enjoying it. What a folly this is! It is akin to madness! To unsound minds,a precious original suggests a desire to fashion an imitation. To the untruthful mind, the genuine is an invitation to bethe counterfeit. Let us be upon our guard that we do not flatter ourselves into saying more than is true. Let us not stretchour arm beyond our sleeve, nor boast beyond our line. Every profession will be tried with fire-let us, therefore, see to itthat we put in no claim which will not endure the severest test.
There were certain in John's day who said, "We have fellowship with God." How they had come by it they did not explain. Perhapsthey claimed to have reached it by philosophical speculation, by exact reasoning, or by long-continued meditation. Whateverthe road, they said that they had reached the City of God and were in communion with the Great Being. John saw that they walkedin darkness, rejecting the Light of Divine Revelation from above and the pure Light of the Holy Spirit within. He also sawthat they, themselves, were not true, and that their lives were not pure and, therefore, he warned them that they were speakingand acting a lie. Their life was a lie, for they were not walking in the truth. And their profession that they had fellowshipwith God was another lie, for God can have no fellowship with falsehood. "God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all"and, therefore, He cannot hold any communion with darkness.
John draws the lines very tightly and judges with unflinching fidelity-he is not inclined to the boasted charity of latitudinarianism,but he curtly dismisses false claims with that plain word, "lie." The disciple whom Jesus loved spoke like the Son of Thunderthat he was when he had to deal with shams. It is the part of true love to be honest and to expose that which would be injuriousto those it loves. He who will gloss over a falsehood loves but in word, only. Learn, then, that if men boast of fellowshipwith God and do not receive the Revelation of His Word, they lie, and know not the
Truth of God.
Let us now speak of the real thing, the fellowship with God which comes of walking in the Light of God. The Christian lifeis described as walking, which implies activity. Christian life feeds upon contemplation, but it displays itself in action.Fellowship with God necessitates action, since to be with God, we must "walk with God." The living God is not inactive, motionless,aimless. "My Father," says Jesus, "works hitherto, and I work." Chiefly in the character of active workers or in that of willingsufferers we must maintain fellowship with God. Walking implies activity, but it must be of a continuous kind. Neither thisstep, nor that, nor the next, can make a walk. We must be moving onward and onward and remain in that exercise, or we ceasefrom walking. Holy walking includes perseverance in obedience and continuance in service. Not he that begins, but he thatcontinues is the true Christian. Final perseverance enters into the very essence of the Believer's life-the true pilgrimsof Zion go from strength to strength.
From strength to strength, did I say? This suggests that walking implies progress. He that takes one step and another step,but still stands where he was, has not walked! There is such a thing as the goose-step and I am afraid many Christians arewonderfully familiar with it-they are where they used to be-and are half inclined to congratulate themselves upon that fact,since they might have backslidden! They have not advanced in the heavenly pilgrimage-so how can they be said to walk? My Hearer,is your life a walk with God and towards God? If so, our subject has to do with you. May the Spirit of all Grace lead us intothe heart of it!
The things we shall consider this morning will arise out of the text in the following order-First, the light of our walk."If we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light." Secondly, the communion of our walk. "We have fellowship with one another."Thirdly, the glory of that communion. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
I. Consider, first, THE LIGHT OF OUR WALK. True Believers do not walk in darkness. They have found the road and they see itbefore them. They know whom they have believed and why they have believed-and so they go forward intelligently. How unhappyare those who are sure of nothing but a groping for the way-and wander in endless circles of hope and fear! True Believerswalk onward because the Light of God shows them their path and makes them sure of safety and progress. What is meant by walkingin the Light? It is somewhat singular that last Sunday morning our subject was, "The Child of Light Walking in Darkness."[Sermon #1985.] That darkness is very different from the darkness with which we deal this morning. Children of Light may,for a time, walk in the darkness of sorrow, but from the darkness of untruthfulness, ignorance, sin and unbelief they havebeen delivered! In these respects the darkness is past and the true Light of God now shines. Moral darkness is contrary totheir new-born nature-they cannot endure it. We must distinguish between things that differ, between the darkness of sorrowand the darkness of sin. A metaphor may be used for many purposes-and that of darkness has a wide range of meaning.
What is this light, then, in which the Christian walks? I answer, first, it is the Light of Grace. In our natural state weare in darkness and under the dominion of the Prince of Darkness. The Apostle says of us Gentiles, "Having the understandingdarkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart."When the Grace of God comes, the Day-Spring from on high visits us. The Holy Spirit brings us out from under the dominionof the old nature by creating within us a new life. And He brings us out from under the tyranny of the Prince of Darknessby opening our eyes to see and our minds to understand celestial Truths of God. The opening of our blind eyes and the pouringin of the Light of Truth are from the Lord. This is a work in which He is as fully seen in the glory of His Godhead as whenin the natural creation He said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
The entrance of God's Word into the mind by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us light as to ourselves, our sin and our danger.With this comes light as to the way of salvation through Jesus Christ and light as to the mind of God concerning our sanctification.True knowledge takes the place of ignorance and a desire for purity becomes supreme over the love of sin. Paul says, "Youwere sometime darkness, but now are you light in the Lord." We accept the Revelation of God in the Inspired Book-by the attendingwitness of the Holy Spirit it becomes a Revelation of God to our own hearts and thus all our position-our past, present andfuture-is set in a new light. With the driving out of our natural darkness old things pass away and, with the coming in ofthe Divine Light, all things become new. Blessed is that man to whom the Eternal Light has come by the effectual working ofthe Spirit of God who brings to us the Light of God wherein we see God, Christ and life everlasting! This is the secret beginningof all our light-"God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of theknowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
The result of this Light of God is seen in various ways. It causes deep sorrow in the beginning, for its first discoveriesare grievous to the conscience. Light is painful to eyes long accustomed to darkness. But soon the Light brings great joy,for the soul perceives deliverance from the evils which it mourned. Thus the Light of God and gladness in the end go together,as it is written, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." Always, in each condition, youobserve conspicuously that the Light of Grace is seen as the light of sincerity. Until Grace comes into our souls we haveno heart for the things of God. We may be fussily religious so far as to be attentive to every outward form of worship, butthere is no heart-work, no light of the Truth of God in all our devotion. But when once the Divine Light comes in, then webecome intensely real in our dealings with God. Hypocrisy and pretence fly before sincere belief and
feeling. "Lord, have mercy upon us miserable sinners," no longer passes our lips flippantly and thoughtlessly, but we are,indeed, miserable on account of sin!
When we seek for mercy we mean it, and do not play at confession and repentance. Our eyes look to God and our whole body isfull of the Light of God-we see what we are doing and awake ourselves to do it in earnest. We know what we are praying aboutand there is no question as to the deep sincerity of our cries and tears. We desire with the whole force of our nature tofind pardon and acceptance through the precious blood of Christ. We do not merely say that we desire salvation and eternallife, but we feel that we must have them and cannot be denied! We cease from playing fast and loose with God. We no longerhesitate between two opinions, but one thing we seek after, desiring it of the Lord-we would be right with God in all respects.The man that is walking in the Light of God is thoroughly sincere. The shadows of pretence have been chased away-he is downrightearnest in all that he does.
O my Hearers, many of you have never come so far as this, though this, alone, is not far! By being in a place of worship youshow an outward respect to Divine things, but are you worshipping God? Did you worship Him just now in the prayer and in thepraise? You are listening to me while I talk of the highest things that ever occupied the human mind, but do you long to bea partaker of these things? Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Those who are walking in the Light of God are freefrom pretence and are living in real earnest-is it so with you? Contentment with unreality is a sign of dwelling in darkness!Careful keeping up of shams, diligent puffing out of wind-bags and constant creation of make-believes-all this is of the nightand its dreams! But to be what you seem to be, to be true in all the phases of your life-this is surely seen in those whowalk in the Light of God! What can God have to do with shams? What cares He for empty professions? Everything must be truewhich is to come under His eyes.
Next to sincerity I regard a willingness to know and to be known as an early result of walking in the Light of God. The ungodlycome not to the Light, lest their deeds should be reproved. There are matters about which they desire no Light, but rathersay, "Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Your ways." Where ignorance affords them a present peace, they countit folly to be wise. Alas, it is too commonly the case that men have no inclination to obtain a knowledge which might involvehumiliation, repentance and a retracing of steps. "Let well enough alone," they cry. How many will say, "Well, we have beenChristians after our own way for a good many years-why need we question ourselves?" They look upon a faithful preacher withsuspicion-he comes a deal too close to home. When he begins to deal with the heart and conscience, they look at him as ifhe were a dog hunting about for a rat! Truly the emblem is not so very unlike, for wherever there is a self-satisfaction whichis afraid of the Light of God, we suspect that the rat of hypocrisy is not far off!
Beloved, we must not rest content with anything which will not bear the light of day. A religion which we will not submitto the test of self-examination cannot be worth much. No one is afraid to have a genuine sovereign submitted to any test-itis the coiner who is afraid. "Look!" says a man, "I hold a certain creed. My grandmother held it. It has come down to me asan heirloom. You invite me to examine that creed by the Word of God, but I would rather not. I am not disposed to learn anythingwhich might cause me to change. If you speak too strongly, I shall go and hear somebody else, for I cannot bear to be disturbed."This is a foolish prejudice, is it not? Yes, and it may prove the man's ruin! This is the kind of thing that makes a man goout angrily from a sermon and say, "I will not listen to that man again! He is too personal and too severe."
No, Friend, can anyone who loves your soul be too severe? Do you wish to be flattered? Do you not know that plain-dealingis more precious than rubies? Would you not say to your physician, "Put me under the severest examination and let me knowthe truth"? Would you pay him a fee that he might deceive you? As to your soul, do you not desire to know the very worst ofyour case? If you would rather be comfortable than be safe, then you and I are not of one mind, for I want to walk in theLight of God, free from deception, knowing truly and thoroughly my own place before the heart-searching God. I would rathernot cry, "Peace, peace," where there is no peace. The comfort which grows out of delusion I do not desire. Brothers and Sisters,we must build on the Truth of God and nothing else but the Truth of God!
When men walk in the Light of God, they cease to take things for granted, and look below the surface. Certain things havebeen labeled with the mark of truth and have passed current. But men who are in the Light of God disregard the labels andlook at the goods, themselves. We cannot afford to risk our souls on hearsays-we need personal knowledge. For one, I desirea salvation which will bear the test of the closest examination. I would be saved in such a way that I am neither afraid ofconscience, nor of death, nor of the Judgment Seat of God! I would be saved in the Light of God. I
would be known and read of all men and I would know, even as I am known. We wish to conceal nothing. We can conceal nothing,"for all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." We would lay bare our bosoms and sincerelycry, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there is any wicked way in me, and leadme in the way everlasting."
A still surer evidence of Grace is the mind's perception of revealed Truth and its obedience to it. Then has true light shoneon a man's walk when he perceives the Truth revealed by the Holy Spirit in sacred Scripture-and receives it into his heartwith a child-like spirit. He that receives Christ, also receives Christ's Words and the doctrine which we believe is by nomeans a matter of indifference. Whatever may be said, Brothers and Sisters, we have received a Revelation from God which weknow to be "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." The Lord God has broken through the veil of silence and has manifestedHimself to the sons of men! Through the darkness of their minds, the carnal cannot see what God has revealed, neither willthey believe His Truth. The Truth of God is spiritual and the natural man is carnal and, therefore, the natural wan will notreceive the teaching which comes from God. By this test shall you know whether the true Light of God is shining upon you-Doyou believe what God has revealed in His Word? Or are you your own teacher-maker of your own faith? He cannot be a disciplewho does not learn, but invents. Do you hear the teaching of the Lord Jesus and believe it? I repeat it-you must not onlysay that you believe it-but you must, indeed, and without a doubt, believe the things which God has revealed. By this shallyou know whether you are a child of Light, or a child of darkness. Are the Doctrines of Grace essential Truths of God withyou? Whatever God has said about sin, righteousness, judgment to come-are you ready to accept it at once? Whatever He hasrevealed concerning Himself, His Son, His Holy Spirit, the Cross, life, death, Hell and the eternal future-do you believeit unfeignedly? This is to walk in the Light of God! All other teaching is darkness.
How many correct and amend-and so betray the Gospel! They take the garment of the Truth of God and dip it in the blood oftheir own thought till it is so stained that they might almost say unto God, Himself, "Do You know whether this is Your Son'scoat or not?" If you are one of those who would twist the Scriptures and force your own meaning on them, you are not in theLight! If you would make them mean other than what God intended them to mean, you are in the darkness, however learned a philosopheryou may be! He only is in the Light of God who distrusts his own wisdom and bows before the Wisdom which comes from above!If you will sit at Jesus' feet like a child-and hear His Words and learn of Him-then has the true Light of God shone uponyou, for He is the Light that lights every man that comes into the world. The Holy Spirit comes not to help us to think outa system of belief of our own, but to lead us into all the Truths of God by taking of the things of Christ and showing themto us.
Brothers and Sisters, there is a Truth and there is a lie, and no lie is of the Truth! Can light commune with darkness, ortruth with falsehood? I make no claim of implicit faith for what I say. God forbid that I should ever become so presumptuous,for that were a sort of blasphemy! But I claim implicit faith for what God says. Believing the Gospel to be the Revelationof God, I claim for it implicit faith! Believing the Lord Jesus to be an Infallible Teacher, I claim immediate faith in allthat He has said! If this implicit faith is refused, it is because there is no Light of God in you! To walk in the Light ofGod is to know, to love and to live the Truth of God! To walk in the Light of God is to receive our instruction from God!To me, the end of all controversy is, "Thus says the Lord." Only let me know that the Lord has said this or that, and thoughthe Revelation should seem impossible to believe, and though it should come into conflict with all my previous notions, Iwill bow before it without a question! "The Lord has said it," stands to us instead of all reason, argument and evidence!Yes, we believe God in the teeth of supposed evidence and reason, saying, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." God willnot have fellowship with us if we reject His Light-but on the ground of absolute Truth He can and will meet us. If we comeunto the Light and believe His witness to the Truth, then are we where God can walk with us and where the precious blood ofJesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
This, beloved Brothers and Sisters, leads to a transparency and simplicity of character. Walking in the Light of God producesIsraelites, indeed, in whom is no guile! Those who are full of deceit and craftiness upon any subject are not walking in theLight of God. God will not have fellowship with any whose minds are crooked and deceitful. Some persons are so warped thatnothing is straight to them-their minds seem to see things crookedly-long practice in un-truthfulness has given them an evilbias. This is not the case with the man in whom the Light of Grace is shining. The man who does in reality what he seems todo. The man who says what he means and means what he says. The man who is
truthful, artless and sincere in all his general dealings both before God and man-he it is whose conduct leads us to hopethat the Light of Grace shines within!
This is very evident in the man's cessation from all guile towards himself. Remember how David pronounces him blessed "inwhose spirit there is no guile." He knew painfully what it was to be full of guile. Look at him! He has gone astray most grievously.His mind is in the dark. What does David do? There is a foul sin committed-he tries to make himself believe that it is notso very horrible-he labors to hoodwink his conscience! His sin is likely to be seen and he tries to cover it. He brings backBathsheba's husband. When Uriah declines to go to his house, he must be made drunk. The design has failed. David is afraid,but he is not penitent. On the contrary, he hastens to still greater crime! Uriah is in the wars and there he is wantonlyexposed to death and is slain in battle! His death is ascribed to the fortune of war. David did not see that it was murder,for he was not walking in the Light of God. He was still in darkness and, therefore, he kept all this while acting a deceitfulpart with his God and his own conscience. His conduct could not bear the Light and so his one idea was to keep it out.
How changed was all this after Nathan had said to him, "You are the man"! When the light of heavenly conviction had penetratedthe night of his soul, he made no more excuses, He practiced no more subterfuges. He stood in the Light, ashamed and confounded.Amazed at the sight of his sin, he abandoned all idea of covering it and fled at once to the mercy of God crying, "Have mercyupon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness." In the sobbing and sighing of the 51st Psalm he lays bare his heart andin the most plain terms, he cries, "Deliver me from the guilt of blood shed, O God, God of my salvation." He is in the Lightof God now, for deceit has gone and now God can speak comfortably to him-and wash him and make him whiter than snow!
The man who is walking in the Light, as God is in the Light, is full of abhorrence of sin. Sin is practical falsehood. Itis moral darkness. The man that abhors evil and injustice. The man that would do good if it cost him his earthly all. Theman that would not do wrong though the world should be his reward for doing it-this is the man that walks in the Light ofGod-and he is the man that shall have fellowship with God and a sense of cleansing from sin. We cannot attach too great importanceto the condition of our minds in reference to sin, for if we wink at it, or take pleasure in it, or persistently practiceit, we are abiding in the darkness-and we are under the wrath of God. John says, "Little children, let no man deceive you:he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous." Forget not this practical Truth of
I fear I have scarcely brought out the fullness of the meaning. They that are in the Light will know what I mean. Those whoare in darkness cannot imagine what life in the Light of God must be.
II. I come, secondly, to THE COMMUNION OF OUR WALK. Those who are in the Light shall not be alone. God
Himself will be with them and be their God. The words, "we have fellowship with one another," constitute a wonderfully condescendingexpression. John would not have dared to coin such an expression-it must have been minted for him by the Spirit from above.Think of God and His people having mutual communion! What honor! What joy is this! Thus is the mischief of the Fall removedand Paradise is restored!
God in the Light and man in the Light have much in common. Now are they abiding in one element, for they are dwelling in oneLight. Now are they both concerned about the same thing and their aims are undivided-God loves Truth and so do those who arerenewed in heart. It has come to pass that the great Lord and His enlightened ones see things in the same Light. God, withHis great vision, beholds more than we can, yet He does not see more than the Truth. And we, with our narrow perceptions,see the Truth and we cannot tolerate falsehood. Now we can speak with God, seeing we speak Truth, and He can converse withus, seeing we are ready to hear the Truth. In prayer and praise we are no longer false and, therefore, the Lord can hear us!His Word also falls upon an honest mind and so its meaning is perceived. Now we can also act together-the great God and Hispoor feeble children are striving together for truth and righteousness! Our poor little work He might overlook if He werenot so good, but being infinitely condescending, He works through us whenever He sees that our work is done in truth. If ourworks were works of darkness, He could not co-operate with us. But now that we walk and work in His Light, He is able to makeus laborers together with Himself.
Now we partake with God in sympathy, having a fellow-feeling with Him. Does the great Father mourn His prodigal child? Sodo we mourn over sinners! Do we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem? So do we mourn for the perishing who will not be saved!Again, as God rejoices over sinners that repent, so do we rejoice in sympathy with Him. By coming
into the Light of love as well as into the Light of knowledge we have received power to enter into sympathy with God. Is notthis a very wonderful thing? But it is as clear and true as it is wonderful! We would gladly bring the whole world into theLight of God! We daily pray, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done." Our will has grown to be like God's will, according toits measure, seeing we have come into the same Light as that in which God dwells.
Do you know, dear Brothers and Sisters, by experience, what it is to be honestly dealing with eternal things, to be no longerplaying, toying and counterfeiting, but to be in real and blessed earnest with God and spiritual facts? Then you have comeinto fellowship with the great God, for He is in earnest and in Him there is no trifling nor make-believe! He is acting withintense reality, acting with His whole heart in His contention against sin, His desire for the glory of His Son, His purposefor the salvation of His people.
III. But now I come, in the third place, to that which strikes me most in the text, and it is this-THE GLORY OF THIS COMMUNION-"Wehave fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." Here am I a poor creaturereading this text. I find that it is possible for men to walk in fellowship with the great and ever-blessed God! I rejoiceto learn this and my heart responds, "If there is any fellowship with God to be known, I will know it. If I can be reconciledto God and be at friendship with Him, I desire it beyond everything. But how can these things be? I see that a great stonelies at the door. I cannot get out of my prison to begin this walk because this great stone of sin shuts me in."
Then the Lord comes in and He says, "I saw that this hindrance was in your road and so, in this very verse, I have shown youhow I have taken it away." Precious words! The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. I gather from the wayin which this sentence grows out of the text that this very thing which looks as if it were the death of all communion withGod, is made, by Infinite Grace, to be a wide and open channel of communion with Him! This stone is rolled away from the doorof the sepulcher and the angel of communion sits down upon it as on a throne. God justifies His people in broad daylight-ina way which defies inspection-and then, by the very method of clearing away their sin, He enters into the nearest and dearestfellowship with them!
To begin with, here is sin! What an evil thing it is! How our soul hates it! It is uncleanness to us-a loathsome and abominableevil. You that are in the Light know how every beam of light makes you see more of the heinousness, blackness and accursednature of sin. Even to feel a tendency towards it in your members makes you groan out, "O wretched man that I am! Who shalldeliver me?" Listen! You are having fellowship with God in this. In Him is no sin, but in Him is great abhorrence of sin!If you hate sin, God hates it, also, and herein you are agreed. The very thought of iniquity, uncleanness, or falsehood isabhorred of God. His holy Nature detests it and in proportion as you feel the same loathing and detestation, you have fellowshipwith God. This comes to you by walking in the Light, as God is in the Light. "Horror has taken hold upon me," says David,"because of the wicked that forsake Your Law." David was as much in fellowship with God in that horror of sin as he was anotherday when he could speak of God as his exceeding joy and rejoice in the mercy which endures forever! Yes, Beloved, our horrorfor sin drives us into fellowship with the great Father in that loathing of sin which made Him hide His face from His Only-Begottenbecause the sin of man had been made to meet upon Him!
Let us go a step further. Sin, being once perceived, the next step is that it should be gotten rid of. "Ah," you say, "I wishI could be cleansed from it; cleansed from all of it, but how can this be? It is not possible for me to purge away my sin."I thought I heard you singing just now-
"Could my tears forever flow.
Could my zeal no respite show.
All for sin could not atone-
You must save, and You alone." This, also, is God's thought about sin-He knows how hard it is to remove its pollution. Hesaw that nothing of ours could remove the horrible blot. Brethren, I know for a fact that all the waters of all the seas mightbe used to wash my scarlet sin and yet they could not wash out the fatal stain. Not even the fires of Hell could burn outthe defilement of sin! In this persuasion we have fellowship with the pure and holy God who saw that there was no means ofremoving sin but one-He must deliver up His own Son to death-or the sin of man could never be purged away. The Sacrifice ofthe Only-Begotten is the unique hope of sinners. The laying of our iniquity upon Him who deigned to be the great Scapegoatof His people, is the only means for the taking away of the sins of the world! That inward persuasion of the impossibility
of the purgation of sin by any doings or feelings of our own-and the consequent perception that only in Christ lies the helpof men-has brought us through the Light of Truth to walk in fellowship with the thrice holy God!
Now go a step further. The glorious Son of God condescends to become the Atonement for sin. He is taken to the tree. Our sinsare made to meet upon His blessed head and there He dies-the Just for the unjust! He was made sin for us, that we might bemade the righteousness of God in Him. Standing by the tree of doom, we look up to that blessed Savior with all-absorbing admirationand love. We admire Him as the masterpiece of Divine Wisdom, Grace, Power and Truth- and, admiring, we love Him-we pledgeourselves to Him. Herein we have entered into fellowship with the great Father, indeed, and without a doubt, for the Fatherinfinitely loves His Son! He greatly delights in Him. No thought of Christ that the most rapturous enthusiast ever had canreach half way to God's thoughts of Christ. See how holy Bernard seems to go into a delirium of love when he talks about hisDivine Master! O Bernard, you cannot tell how the Father loves Jesus; how He delights in His Sacrifice; how He takes pleasurein His exaltation!
In the putting away of sin by the blood of Jesus, the Father has an infinite content and so have we. Beloved, we rejoice inthe Divine satisfaction for sin-it is a well of Divine delight to us. This satisfaction is not accomplished by anything beinghushed up and concealed, but, walking in the Light, as God is in the Light, we have fellowship with God in the one gloriousSacrifice! Suppose I could persuade myself that sin is a trifle? I would not be walking in the Light and I would have no fellowshipwith God. Suppose I said, "Pooh, pooh. Sin can easily be forgiven! I am sure it requires no atonement"? I would not be walkingin the Light and I would have no fellowship with God! Suppose I said, "Though Jesus died, His death was only the close ofHis life and no special reference need be made to it as a Sacrifice for sin"? I would not be walking in the Light of God andI would have no fellowship with God.
A step further. Beloved, many of us have come to Jesus Christ by faith. We have looked to Him and have accepted Him as ourSavior cleansing us from all sin. Joy, joy, joy forever-the brightest day that ever dawned on us was that day when we sawall our sins numbered on our blessed Scapegoat and carried away into the wilderness of forgetfulness! When God saw the bloodof old, He passed over Israel, for His justice was satisfied. And it is so with Jesus. How glad and content we are to seehow Jesus finished transgression, made an end of sin and brought in everlasting righteousness! Brothers and Sisters, the deathof Jesus is a cleansing from sin which will bear the Light of God-it is no hole and corner business, no winking at evil, nosuspension of law-no making out that sin is no sin! No, the debt is acknowledged, and what is far better, it is paid! Theguilty are punished in their Substitute-and in Him are thus justly set free!
We shall all appear before the Judgment Seat and I am glad it is so, for the stain of our sin is so effectually removed bythe blood of Jesus that we are clean every whit-and even the eyes of Divine Justice will see no spot in us! We rejoice inperfect whiteness, for the Lord has made us whiter than snow. Yes, we have fellowship with God in this cleansing, for Godaccepts us in the Beloved. God who made Him to be the Lord, our Righteousness-God Himself justifies us in His Son! He will,in the Last Great Day, make the whole universe a witness to the righteousness of the salvation of Believers. All intelligencesshall see that in Christ all who are in Him are truly justified and most justly saved! How the Lord God and His people willhave fellowship in their common joy in the work and Person of Jesus, as they see the perfection of it, and the way in whichall sin is removed by it! Our salvation in Christ is, in the Light of God, in the most eminent degree-it will bear the full,fierce light of Sinai to be turned upon it-"yet no flaw will be found in it." This is wonderful! This is glorious! Do youwonder that God is well pleased in Him! And are not we well pleased? Blessed be His name! Do you not see how we thus havefellowship with one another? Oh, that I had strength to set forth before you the thoughts which fill my soul!
Brothers and Sisters, we are now at one with God in His master purpose. Was it not in His heart to create beings with whomHe might have fellowship? He made the heavens and the earth. He made the angels. He made all things-but He could find no companionshipin all these things. Our Lord, like Adam, found no help-meet for Himself in any of the creatures He had made. He desired toproduce and bring to Himself an order of beings who could be glorified without danger of pride. Who could think and feel asthe First-Born would do. In fact, would become the friends of the Son of God! How were these creatures to be produced? Notby an immediate fiat of creation. Angels He could speak into being by a word. But in the constitution of these beings therewould need to be an experience and a discipline to fit them for their lofty position. Their model was to be the Son of Jehovah'slove. He was to be the First-Born among many brethren. It was necessary for these creatures to know sin and yet to hate itmore fully than if they had never known it-to know
the love of God-and to be forever bound by it to an unsinning obedience which would fill them with boundless happiness.
Behold the process by which this new creation, this new order of creatures should come forth! Consider the processes by whichthe Fall, the Incarnation, the Cross, and the new birth work out the sacred result! When you have read the past in this light,then gaze into the future. Now we see how throughout eternity we shall walk in the Light, as God is in the Light, and havefellowship with one another-fellowship culminating in Jesus Christ the Only-Begotten-and the cleansing from all sin by Hisblood. The blood-washed are to be the friends of God, with whom He shall speak face to face, as He speaks with no angel orseraph! With these He will dwell and He will be their God, and they shall be His people. And in them and through them He willmake known the glories of His Son to wondering worlds. This great purpose has been worked out to a considerable extent bythe Lord's having already made us to walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, and by washing us in the precious blood. Butit does not even yet appear what we shall be. This much we practically seek after-therefore we live for Christ! Thereforeour chief glory is the Cross! Therefore our ideal of glory for ourselves is to see Jesus glorified! The torrents have sweptus away! We are no longer bound to this earth! We are borne along by the irresistible force of Eternal Love! God has achievedHis purpose in our blood-washed souls-walking in the Light of God, we are now in harmony with His master purpose and we cry-"Father,glorify Your Son!"
I am done, but oh, I wish that all your hearts were brought into the Light of God at this moment! Oh, that you would quitthe dark ways of self-righteousness, carelessness, thoughtlessness and sin-and come into the Light of Truth! Oh, that theLight may come to you as to Saul of Tarsus and at once transform you! May the Spirit of God bring you to know God and HisSon Jesus Christ, whom to know is life eternal.