Sermon 3062. The Spirit's Office Towards Disciples
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1907.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 23, 1865.
"He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive ofMine, and shall show it unto you." John 16:14.
[Other Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon upon this passage are as follows-#465, Volume 8-THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFYING CHRIST; #2213, Volume37-"HONEY IN THE MOUTH"; #2382, Volume 40-THE HOLY SPIRIT'S CHIEF OFFICE. An Exposition ofJohn 16:1-22, was published with#3052, Volume 53-CHRIST'S LONELINESS AND OURS.]
MANY persons are anxiously asking the question, "Are we partakers of the Holy Spirit?" With enlarged anxiety, they reasonthus, "We have felt certain inward emotions. There has been in us, we trust, a change of life. Eager are our desires for Godand His Grace. Do these come of the Spirit of God? When we find a suggestion which appears to be holy in our soul, does itcome from Him? When we are at any time filled with earnestness and pray, or our soul has peculiar delight in considering Divinethings, may we say with truth that we are under the operation of the Holy Spirit?" I do not intend to go thoroughly into theresolution of these scruples-that would be too wide a subject for a short evening's discourse-but there is one point whichmay often relieve your perplexities. It appears from the text that it is the work and office and custom of the Holy Spiritto glorify Christ. If, therefore, with much strength and fervor in your soul, you glorify Him, you may trust that it comesfrom the Spirit of God. But if there is anything in you which is derogatory to the Character or Person or Glory of the LordJesus, it may either come from Satan or from your own corrupt mind. But from the Spirit of God it never came and it wouldbe blasphemy to impute it to Him. Whatever you feel which lifts Christ on high in your soul comes of the Spirit-but whateverthere may be which exalts self or anything else in the place of Christ-no matter from where it comes-the Holy Spirit has nothingto do with it!
Let us then just handle this point. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ in His people. How does He do it and how far may I judgethat He is at work in me?
One way in which the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ is this-He gives us more and more debasing views of ourselves. There aretwo Gods, as it were. One the true, the other the false. Self first mounts the throne in our heart and the higher the throneof self is exalted, the lower must Christ go. Much of self, little of the Savior. Exalted views of self, self-power, or self-righteousness,and then there are sure to be low views of Christ. But when self goes down, then Christ at once rises. It may be said of self,as John the Baptist once said of Christ and himself, "He must increase, but I must decrease." If you have had shallow viewsof your own natural depravity, then you have had very shallow thoughts of Christ. If you think sin to be delightful, if Gethsemane,Golgotha and Calvary seem to you to be names without weight or meaning. If you have never groaned under sin, I do not wonderthat you think little of Christ's groans, griefs and bloody sweat. But when you come to know yourself as verily lost and undone,then you will prize your Deliverer! When the dread word, "lost," has seemed to fall like a death knell upon your ears, thenthe tidings that the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost will be as sweet to you as the Christmas carolof the angels, when they sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." If you feel the disease,you will value the Physician. If you know your own emptiness, you will prize Christ's fullness. But if you reject the teachingof the Holy Spirit which shows you your utter helplessness and worthlessness, in so doing you have rejected Christ and putfar from you that Savior who alone came to save sinners! It is, then, a most precious thing when we begin to sink lower andlower in our own estimation. At the commencement of spiritual life we believe that we are nothing. As we advance, we findthat we are less
than nothing. May the Holy Spirit so work in you! Some of you are, perhaps, depending and thinking that you are not childrenof God, or else you would not be so cast down as you are. I pray you to understand this matter aright. Instead of having anyreason for despondency, you will find a subject for joy, for I am sure that the Spirit is honoring Christ when He is loweringyou in your own estimation.
Still more to the point, when the Holy Spirit really works in the heart of man, He honors Christ in every respect. He honorsthe Person of Christ. Those who think but little of His Deity are not taught of the Spirit of God. No man is taught by theHoly Spirit to regard the only-begotten Son of the Father as a secondary God, for the Holy Spirit teaches us upon this wise,"When He brings in the First-Begotten into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him." "In the beginningwas the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Spirit always teaches concerning Christ that He is Godover all, blessed forever. Some have had lowering views of His Humanity. Every now and then we hear dark hints about the HumanNature of our Lord Jesus Christ, His peccability and so on. But this never comes from the Spirit of God. Both the Deity andthe Humanity of Christ receive honor in the Christian's soul when the Spirit comes there with the Light of God-
"Jesus is worthy to receive Honor and power Divine."
That very Man who did hang upon Calvary we now adore. He is exalted far above all principalities and powers. All teachingwhich honors Christ in His Person is of the Spirit. And that which dishonors Him should be branded with its evil authorship.
The Spirit also glorifies Christ in His work. Have you ever seen the finished work of Christ? He came into the world to savemen and He did save them. He did not make a bridge over which they might possibly get across, but He carried them across thebridge. He did not so far accomplish the work of redemption that, by their own exertions, some persons might climb to Heaven,but He, Himself, entered into the heavenly places and took possession, representatively, of the Throne of God for all Hispeople who were in Him. The salvation of the elect, so far as Christ is concerned, is finished. He took upon His shouldersall their guilt. He was punished for that guilt and they were then and there justified. He rose again, having shaken off alikethe punishment and the iniquities that incurred it. He entered into Glory and they were then and there virtually made possessorsof an inheritance which nothing will ever be able to take from them! Let the Christian feel that the teaching which lowersthe work of Christ or makes it dependent upon the will of man as to its effect, puts the Cross on the ground and says, "Thatblood is shed, but it may be shed in vain, shed in vain for you"-let us all feel that such teaching comes not from the Spiritof God! That teaching which, pointing to the Cross, says, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied."That teaching which makes the Atonement a true atonement which forever put away the vindictive Justice of God from every soulfor whom that Atonement was offered, exalts Christ and, therefore, it is a teaching which comes from the Spirit of God! Whenyour heart is brought to rest upon what Christ has done. When, laying aside all confidence in your own works, knowledge, prayers,doing, or believing, you come to rest upon what Christ has done in its simplicity-then is Jesus Christ exalted in your heartand it must have been the work of the Spirit of Divine Grace! The Person, then, and the work of Christ are exalted.
The Holy Spirit also exalts Christ in all His offices. That teaching which calls a man a priest and bids me take my childto receive some "grace" at his priestly hands and which puts another man into lawn sleeves and bids me kneel before him toreceive a confirmation of my "grace" from his pretentious fingers. That system of religion which lifts up any one man abovehis fellow men, as if there were any priests other than the common and general priesthood which belongs to every child ofGod-such teaching as that lowers Christ by lifting up human priests info Christ's place! The Spirit bears witness that Christis the Great High Priest of His Church. It is from His hands we receive the blessing! Through His blood we receive the washing!And nowhere else will we look for the Divine Grace that comes alone from Him!
Christ, too, is exalted by the Spirit in His prophetic as well as in His priestly office. Shall I call any man master so asto take him for my teacher? All teaching which lifts up Wesley, or Calvin, or any man, living or dead, in the place of theauthorized Teacher and which says that their teachings are to be taken as though they were the Infallible Revelations of Christis not of the Spirit of God! But that teaching which says, "One is your Master, even Christ, and all you are brethren," andwhich tells us of the holy equality of all saints and that the true Teacher and the only Teacher who can
speak with authority is Jesus Christ, the Son of God-such teaching you may accept as coming from God the Holy Spirit.
Then Christ occupies a third office. He is Prophet and Priest-and He is also King. And any teaching which takes Christ offthe Throne of God and puts someone else on it, is not according to the Spirit of God. The Headship of Christ in His Churchis the Doctrine which, perhaps, beyond all others, needs to be taught at this time. It was for this that Scotland's sons sufferedmisery and death. Cast out, they wandered in the morasses and among the mountains. I stood, the other day, near the placewhere the monument is raised to thousands of men who had shed their blood for Christ- and I felt it no small privilege tostand where Guthrie and others had poured out their blood for the defense of the Headship of the Church when Charles the Secondwould be the head of the Church, or James, or some other man of like character. But would this be tolerated by true-heartedsaints of God's own true Church? No! None but rogues and cowards will ever admit the authority of men or women over the Churchof Christ, or permit them to usurp the Divine rights of the Lord Jesus! When that day comes, when the King of kings shallsit upon His throne, He will take summary vengeance upon the traitors who have dared to give up His high prerogatives! Christian,make Christ your Priest who absolves you! Take Him as your only Leader and Prophet, who is the truth and the life for you!And then take Him as your King and bow your knees become Him! Take Christ in all His offices to be exalted, for so the Spiritteaches.
Then Christ is also exalted by the Holy Spirit in His Word. There are some who think and say that they can do without theBible. But certainly such think and speak not by the Spirit of God! This is always an Infallible test of the work of the Spirit-thatHe honors God's own Word. I could think no man true who, first of all, professed to write out his own mind and then afterwardscontradicted it. Then how can that spirit be true that contradicts the writing of the Spirit of the living God? Bring whateveryou have of revelation to the test of Scripture-if it is not in accordance with it-throw it away! I wish this rule were learnedby all men, for every now and then we read of or meet with persons who think that the Spirit has revealed to them somethingover and above what is in Scripture. Now this is never the case! Any man who says that he has had more revealed to him thanis in the Holy Scriptures, incurs the curse of the last chapter of Revelation! He must take care lest, since he adds to thewords of the Lord Jesus Christ, "God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book." "It is finished," mustbe said concerning this Book as we close it. Not a single verse or Revelation shall henceforth come of the Spirit. Until Christcomes, this Book is sealed, so far as any addition to it is concerned!
Indeed, there is nothing which concerns Christ which the Spirit of God does not magnify. Consider any of His offices or Hisrelationships and you will find that the Spirit magnifies them and glorifies them-and so presents them to the Believer's soulthat he may rejoice therein.
Now, I advance a little further. The Holy Spirit's work is to glorify Christ and this He will do by filling you with Christ.If you are subject to the work of the Spirit, then ought you to have much of the spirit of Christ within you. But if you canlive days and weeks without thinking of Christ, set yourself down as being a hypocrite, if you will, for you are not a trueChristian! The very mark of the blessed man is that he lives upon God's Word. "In His Law does he meditate day and night."We feed upon Christ and as our bodies could not live without food, so neither can our souls live without Jesus. The Spiritof God will also fill your heart with Christ so that the more you have of that Spirit, the more intense will be your loveof the Savior until, at last, you will be able to say-
"Jesus, the very thought of You With sweetness fills my breast." When the Spirit of God is with you, you will indeed feelthat it is so. No joy can be compared with that of the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. When the Spirit has thusfilled your thoughts and heart, He will be sure to occupy your tongues. They who love the Savior must speak of Him! In choicecompany they will tell some of the secrets of His love, and in any company they will not be ashamed to acknowledge that theyare His servants. Occupying their tongue, He will also be sure to engage it in prayer for them and they will not cease tooffer such prayers as these-"Your Kingdom come, Jesus. Be You exalted. Oh, when will You come in Your chariot of salvationto ride over the whole earth? Come quickly, O come quickly, Lord Jesus!" And then, too, your tongue will be employed in songsconcerning Him. It is always a token of a revival of religion, it is said, when there is a revival of Psalmody. When Luther'spreaching began to tell upon men, you could hear plowmen at the plow-tail singing Luther's Psalms. Whitefield and Wesley wouldnever have done the
great work they did if it had not been for Charles Wesley's poetry and for the singing of such men as Toplady, Scott, Newtonand many others of the same class. And even now we mark that since there has been somewhat of a religious revival in our variousdenominations, there are more hymnbooks than there ever were before and far more attention is paid to Christian Psalmody thanever before. When your heart is full of Christ you will want to sing! It is a blessed thing to sing at your labor and work,if you are in a place where you can do so. And if the world should laugh at you, you must tell them that you have as gooda right to sing the songs that delight your heart as they have to sing any of the songs in which their hearts delight. PraiseHis name, Christians! Be not dumb! Sing aloud to Jesus, the Lamb! And if we, as Englishmen, can sometimes sing our nationalair, let us as Believers have our national hymn and sing-
"Crown Him, crown Him,
Crown Him Lord of all!"
And surely when the Spirit of God thus honors Christ in the tongue, it will not stop there! It comes to the acts of dailylife. The Spirit shall glorify Christ by helping you to glorify Him in your own actions. I spoke, this morning [See
Sermon #626, Volume 11-THE WATERER WATERED.] of some who set
themselves apart for extraordinary service. I did not, however, intend to imply that that was at all necessary, for you mayserve Christ as good housewives. You may serve Him as merchants, shopkeepers and, in short, in every condition of life. Ourreligion is for the market-place, for the shop, for the streets and for the field. And as God's Being is not confined to templesmade by the hands of men, but is present everywhere-on heath, and city, and moor, and field-in the sunbeams that light thepeasant's cot as well as the monarch's palace-present in the minute as well as in the magnificent-down there in the gladeswhere the red deer wander and the child loves to play. And up there where the storms gather upon the mountain's hoary brow-asvisible in a blade of grass as in the cedar and the tall waving pine-to be seen as well in the dewdrop as in the avalanche-ascertainly in the falling of a leaf as in the tremendous roar of the thunder-everywhere present-so is true religion everywhere-inthe cottage as well as in the temple, in business as well as in devotions. Abroad in the streets as well as in the silenceof retirement! Up yonder where men wrestle with God and down there where they come to contend with men and for His Truth!You have never received the Spirit so as to know that Christ is the Glorified One unless in your life as well as with yourlips you show forth His praise!
If the Spirit has thus far instructed you, He will conduct you a little further and you may accept His teaching because itglorifies Christ There are some Doctrines which are not often preached in certain pulpits. They are supposed to be ratherdangerous. Speaking of a certain hymnbook, I remarked to a minister in whose pulpit I preached, that I did not like the hymnbook,as I could never find a hymn that sang of the Covenant of Grace or the Doctrine of Election. "Oh, well," he said, "that isno disadvantage to me, for I never say anything about those Doctrines!" And I can quite believe what he said. There are certainhigher Truths of God which only belong to those who have passed through the rudiments and have done with the grammar-schoolbooks and can enter into the university! One of the things which glorify Christ is where the Spirit makes us understand theeternal love of Christ to His people and His Covenant engagements for them.
Christian, I would have you know that Christ never did begin to love you! Before the mountains were piled, or the clouds hadgathered about them, Christ had set His heart upon you! No, when this great world, the sun, moon and stars slept in the mindof God like forests in an acorn-cup, then-then had Jehovah-Jesus love for you! And when the proper time came, He offered Himselfup as a Surety for your souls, to pay your debts, to stand as your Representative, to keep you in this world and to presentyou at the last to the Father as a priceless jewel. Oh, how you will glorify Christ if you have faith enough to take in thisDivine mystery! Stagger not at electing love-it is one of the highest notes of heavenly music! Be not afraid of such a verseas this-"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you." Here is marrow and fatnesssuch as saints fed upon in days long since gone!
Take another Truth of God, the precious Truth of the finished work of Christ for His people. How often do you hear Christ'swork preached as if it were only begun and many hold Him up as though He had commenced a fitting garment but had left offsomewhere so that by adding our rags we might complete the work! I was in one of the vaults of the British Museum some timesince, when the sculptures came from Nineveh and one of them was unfinished. There was evidently the last mark which the masonhad made before he was destroyed or, it may be, called away from his work to which he never returned. But Jesus Christ hasleft no sculpture of this kind-He has finished all His work. "It is finished," were words that gladdened earth and made Heavenmore glorious! There is now nothing for souls to do to save
themselves. For where Jesus died, that soul is saved and all that that soul has to do is, being saved, to show its gratitudeand love as one that is brought to life from the dead-
"Loved of my God, for Him again
With love intense I burn.
Chosen of Him before time began,
I chose Him in return."
You may know that perfection in Christ by a firm reliance upon the Scriptures. How can you perish? You are saved! There is,therefore, now no condemnation recorded against you. Who shall lay anything to your charge? Who shall separate you from thelove of God which is in Christ Jesus, your Lord?
If there is one Doctrine, however, more sweet and yet more deep than another, it is the Divine Doctrine of that Eternal Unionwhich exists between Christ and His people. It is the Spirit's work to take the golden key and let us into this secret cabinet.Believers are one with Christ! By vital personal union they are one with Him! They are members of His body, or as He, Himself,says, they are the branches and He is the Vine. They are the members and He is the Head. I know of nothing that can be moredelightful than this union-this eternal union-with Christ-
"One in the tomb, one when He rose,
One when He triumphed over His foes!
One when in Heaven He took His seat,
While seraphs sang all Hell's defeat!
This sacred tie forbids our fears
For all He is or has is ours.
With Him, our Head, we stand or fall-
Our Life, our Surety and our All." It used to be said by an excellent theologian that any man who understood the two Covenantsof Works and Grace was a master in theology. Yet, oh how few Christians there seem to be who really understand the Covenantof Grace! "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We fell, not by our own fault, but by Adam's fault.And we rise not by our own virtue, but by virtue of our union with Christ! If you are in Christ, Believer, you are safe whileChrist stands. You cannot drown the body until you drown the Head. My foot may be deep in the streams, but until the billowsroll over my brow, my foot is not drowned-and until Christ shall perish, no soul that is one with Christ can be destroyed,for He said to His disciples, "Because I live, you shall also live." Did time permit, I might enter into some more of thosesublime mysteries which make the core and pith of the comfort of the Christian, but I forbear. May the Spirit of God glorifyChrist by taking these things of Christ and revealing them to you and making them personally yours!
And to close-the Holy Spirit will continue all your life, if you are a Believer in Christ, to further His work in you by writingall that concerns Christ upon your experience and your life. I long to see in the Church more men and women who have Christso glorified in them that their faith never staggers-who have neither doubts nor fears, who know whom they have believed,who are persuaded that He is able to keep that which they have committed unto Him, who leave all things to the Father's wisdom-andfind everything in a perfect Savior! I long to see some of you, Brothers and Sisters, made partakers of our overflowing joy!I long to see your eyes flash with the joyous radiance of your Savior's Presence. I pray that you may be so full of joy thatwhen you speak, you may cheer the downcast and lift up the countenances of the sad. I want you to have added to this an intenseand fervent love-love which shall perform impossibilities, which shall dare anything for Christ, which, instinct with zeal,shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall winnow the wheat from the chaff upon the threshing floor. I praythat you may have that mighty consecration of spirit which shall make you altogether unearthly, that as you have borne theimage of the earthy, you may also bear the image of the heavenly and that as you have been conformed to the first Adam inthe curse, and in all the infirmities and griefs of this mortal life, you may be conformed to the Second Adam in His pureunselfish love for man, His noble, all-daring, all-consuming love for His Father and for His cause.
I am persuaded that the Spirit does not glorify Christ in us so much as He would if we gave ourselves up more fully to theSavior. As one said on a certain occasion, there is a fleet lying in the river, richly-laden, but it cannot come up becausethe river is blocked up with ice. So I think I see my Master's love lying out far down the river and it would gladly cometo my poor soul to enrich me and make me holy and heavenly, but alas, the coldness of my heart, like ice, blocks up the channeland I get not what I might obtain! Come, heavenly love, and melt the ice! Flow, streams of Grace, and dissolve every barrier!Come, Jesus, come into my heart and let Your treasures be mine forevermore! Oh that I could stir some Believers here to seekmore than is generally enjoyed by Christians! May God give you the seraphic earnestness of a Whitefield, the deep piety ofa Martyn and the lovely spirit of a Newton or a Cowper! May He fill you to the brim with Himself till you shall be like acity set upon a hill that cannot be hid-and like unto candles in the house that enlightens all around!
[Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon on various aspects of the Covenant of Grace are as follows-#19, Volume 1-DAVID'S DYING SONG; # 93,Volume 3-GOD IN THE COVENANT; #103, Volume 2-CHRIST IN THE COVENANT; #212, Volume 4-THE NEW HEART; #233, Volume 5-FREE GRACE;#251, Volume 5-THE NECESSITY OF THE SPIRIT'S WORK; #277, Volume 5-THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT; #456, Volume 8-THESTONY HEART REMOVED; #517, Volume 8-THE RAINBOW; #714, Volume 12-A SAVIOR SUCH AS YOU NEED; #1046, Volume 18-COVENANT BLESSINGS;#1129, Volume 19-THE HEART OF FLESH; #1186, Volume 20-THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT; #1289, Volume 22-THE HEART FULL AND THE MOUTHCLOSED; #1451, Volume 25-THE COVENANT PLEADED; #1840, Volume 31-THE BOND OF THE COVENANT; #1886, Volume 32-GOD'S REMEMBRANCEOF HIS COVENANT; #1921, Volume 32-CLEANSING-A COVENANT BLESSING; #1942, Volume 33-SALT FOR SACRIFICE; #2092, Volume 35-GOD'SOWN GOSPEL CALL; #2108, Volume 35- PERSEVERANCE IN HOLINESS; #2200, Volume 37-THE COVENANT PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT; #2316, Volume39-TWELVE COVENANT MERCIES; #2427, Volume 41-"THE ARK OF THE COVENANT"; #2438, Volume 41-"TWO IMMUTABLE THINGS"; No. 2506,Volume 43-GOD'S LAW IN MAN'S HEART and No. 3048, Volume 53-THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE COVENANT.]
But, alas, there are some here who know not my Master at all, who are strangers to His love! There is Christ looking downupon you with tearful eyes and He bids you come to Him. That blood which you have hitherto despised will wash away your everysin. Only cast yourself upon Him. Look up into those languid eyes, for they are full of pity. That streaming blood flows toevery soul that trusts in Jesus. Read the mystery of that pierced heart-there is love alone written there. Study the anguishof that poor martyred body, for in every pang you can learn the story of His compassion. And as you see Him bowing His headand hear Him saying, "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit." He asks you, every one, to commend your spirit to Him.Do it, do it now, God helping you-and Christ will thus be glorified!
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: GALATTIANS 2:15-21; 3.
Galatians 2:15-21. We who are Jews by nature, andnot sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law,but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,and not by the works of the Law: for by the works of the La w shall no flesh be justified. But if while we seek to be justifiedby Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid! For if I build againthe things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live untoGod. I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in theflesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the Grace of God: forif righteousness comes by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain. Paul is arguing against the idea of salvation by works, orsalvation by ceremonies. And he shows, beyond all question, that salvation is by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.Mark the strength of the Apostle's argument in the 21st verse-"If righteousness comes by the Law, then Christ is dead in sin."That is to say, there was no need for Christ to die-the Crucifixion was a superfluity if men can save themselves by theirown good works. Paul is very emphatic about the matter. He puts it as plainly as possible: "If righteousness comes by theLaw, then Christ is dead in vain."
Galatians 3:1, 2. O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has beenevidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the Law,or by the hearing offaith?'"When the Spirit of God came upon you, and renewed you- when He endued some of you with miraculousgifts-did this power come by the works of the Law, or through your believing the Gospel? 'Received you the Spirit by the worksof the Law, or by the hearing of faith?'"
3. Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?"Is this work to be partly God'sand partly your own? And if He has begun it with a basis of gold, are you to perfect it with your poor dust and
clay? Are you so foolish as to attempt to do this?" [See Sermon #1534, Volume 26-Salvation by Works, a Criminal Doctrint.]
4, 5. Have you suffered so many things in vain? If it is yet in vain. He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and worksmiracles among you, does He it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?They knew very well that the miracles cameas the result of faith and were an attestation and seal of the Gospel of Faith, and not of the works of the Law.
6, 7. Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know you therefore that they which areof faith, the same are the children of Abraham. He was the father of the faithful-that is of the believing-not of those whotrust in their own works. These are only like Ishmael, who must be cast out of the chosen family-but the true children, thereal Isaacs, are those who are born according to the promise of Grace. [See Sermon #1705, Volume 29-the
HEARING OF FAITH.]
8. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham,saying, In you shall all nations be blessed. That is, "in you, because you are the father of Believers. You are a sort ofhead and prototype of men who believe in Me and so, 'in you shall all nations be blessed' and in your Seed, too, as you shallbe the father of the Christ, shall all nations be blessed."
9-11. So then they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the Law are underthe curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the Lawto do them. But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shalllive by faith.If then, even those who are just live by faith, how can any expect that they shall live by their works? [See Sermons #814,
Volume 14-LIFE BY FAITH and #2809, Volume 48-FAITH-LIFE.]
12. And the Law is not of faith: but The man that does them shalllive in them. The Law says nothing about faith. It speaksonly about doing-"You shall do My judgments, and keep My ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. You shall thereforekeep My statutes, and My judgments: which if a man does, he shall live in them: I am the Lord."
13. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us: for it is written, Cursedis everyone thathangs on a tree.There is the key of the mystery! Christ is our Substitute. He fulfilled the Law's demands by His perfect obedienceand He suffered the Law's utmost penalty by His death upon the Cross. And now, all those who believe in Him are forever justifiedbecause of what He did for them. [See Sermon #873, Volume 15-christ made a curse for us; and #2093,
Volume 35-THE CURSE AND THE CURSE FOR US.]
14. 15. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise ofthe Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men. Though it is but a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmedIf it is legally drawn up, signed, sealed and witnessed.
15. No man disannuls, or adds thereto. There it stands and an appeal can be made to it in any court of Law where it may beproduced.
16. 17. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He says not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to yourSeed, which is Christ. And this Isay, that the Covenant that was confirmed before of Godin Christ, the Law which was fourhundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of no effect. That is clear enough. The Covenantmade with Abraham and his Seed cannot be affected by anything that was said or done on Sinai. Whatever the Covenant of Worksmay be, or say, or do, it comes in more than four centuries after this glorious Covenant of Grace had been signed, sealedand ratified! Therefore it cannot be affected, it must stand fast forever.
18. For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. So, then, we knowit is by promise and God must keep His promise-and we must believe it. It must be true and if we do believe it, we shall proveit to be true and it will be fulfilled in every jot and tittle to every believing soul.
19-22. What purpose, then, does the Law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom thepromisewas made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.Is the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid! For if there had been a Law given which could have given life, verilyrighteousness would have been by the Law. But the Scripture has concluded all are under sin. Or, "shut us all up under sin."The Law has come and proved us all guilty, and shut us all up as in a great prison from which we cannot escape by any powerof our own. [See Sermons #1145, Volume 19-the great jail-and how to get out
OF IT and #2402, Volume 41-UNDER ARREST.]
22-24. That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were keptunder the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Therefore the Law was our schoolmaster
tO bring us unto Christ. [See Sermon 1196, Volume 20-THE STERN TEACHER.] It whipped us to Christ and taught us that we couldnot be saved except by Christ.
24-28. That we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you areall the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in ChristJesus. Yet some foolish people still talk about our Jewish origin! What would that matter even if it were true? "There isneither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free." All these distinctions are done away with and Christ is All-and Believers,whether Jews or Gentiles-"are all one in Christ Jesus."
29. And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise, So that all the blessings whichGod promised to Abraham belong to you who are Believers in Christ! And you may take them and rejoice in them! But if you arewithout faith in Christ, then are you without the one essential thing which gives you an interest in the Covenant of Grace!