“He has glorified You.”
GOD has glorified His Son. How deeply we ought to regret that we glorify Christ so little, bought with His precious blood, owing all we have to Him. We make but a very poor return and even when we are helped by the Spirit of God to glorify Christ, yet I am sure we should always feel an insatiable desire to do it yet more. To glorify Christ is so sweet a thing that when a man has once tasted of it, he pants and pants within his spirit for a greater capacity to glorify Christ–and this is one of his griefs, that he cannot praise his Savior as he would–hence it is that oftentimes the Prophet and the Psalmist, when they were most full of praise, would bid the earth, the sea, the heavens, and the Heaven of heavens, help to praise the King in whom they saw such ravishing beauties and delights! Hence it is that godly men, whenever they are stirred up and feel that they could magnify and bless the Lord, always want their fellow creatures to join them–and their sorrow is that Jesus does not reign in every heart and that He has not a throne in every soul!
Now it must be a great comfort to lovers of Christ, who mourn that He is not honored as He should be, that God has taken care of His Son’s honor. “He has glorified You,” and you know when God glorifies, He does the work perfectly! He does it after His own Spirit and that an Infinite One, so that the Glory of Christ, after all, is safe. And though He is blasphemed by rebels, dishonored by apostates and grieved by ourselves, yet God, after all, shall not suffer Christ’s fame to be tarnished for a single moment by all this, for He has said, “He has glorified You.” I don’t know that I can preach from the text, but I do know what I can do. I can feel thrice happy at the thoughts which it raises in my mind! It is so delightful to think that the crown is safe upon His head, though the nations rebel and the kings take counsel against Him, that his shield is forever glorified and untarnished, let men do what they may! Him has God the Father exalted and given Him a name which is above every name, which is first and chief and shall never be second, but shall forever reign and must reign till He has put all His enemies under His feet.
Now glancing across the subject, as some skiff flies over the sea, we will talk about what God has done by way of glorifying His Son, Jesus–
- GOD HAS GLORIFIED HIM IN THE ENTIRE ECONOMY OF SALVATION.
From first to last, Christ glorifies His Father, and the Father glorifies Him. Begin with that which has no beginning, namely, everlasting love, and we find that we are chosen in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world. The love of God which comes to us through Jesus Christ always is the channel–and it is connected with Jesus Christ before the heavens were stretched abroad! He was glorified in our election! Now with Christ Jesus in the mind of the Eternal Father, there is no election to eternal love except through Jesus Christ! And if you and I are chosen, it is–
“Because Christ is My first elect, He said,
He chose our souls in Christ our Head.”
We dare not look into that council chamber unless we knew that Christ was there. We dare not think of the Infinite Wisdom of God in the arrangement of all things from the beginning, if we did not remember that Christ was the center of these arrangements and that as many as have believed on Him were represented in Him in those days before the daystar knew its place, or planets ran their round. God has been pleased to glorify Christ afterwards in all the promises which, one by one, revealed the glorious Grace of God, from that first promise at the gates of Eden concerning the Seed of the woman, right on until He appeared–the hand that drew back the black curtain that hid the face of God was always the hand of the Crucified–and whenever men come to see anything of the marvelous love and goodness of God, they always behold it in connection with the Messiah, the Anointed One yet to come.
God has glorified His Son in
the matter of redemption. There is no redemption out of Christ, and there is none to
help Christ in the matter of redemption. Albeit that Calvary seems to have a black cloud of shame hanging over it, yet is there no spot on earth or Heaven more glorious, for there it was that God permitted His Son to bear, without assistance, the Divine Wrath which was due to our sins, allowed Him to tread the winepress alone and would not permit that of the people there should be one with Him, lest the glory should in any way be divided. Christ, and Christ, alone, must pay the price of our souls with His own soul!
So onward, if you come to the matter of our justification or our acceptance which sprang out of redemption, Godglorified His Son. We are, if pardoned, only forgiven through His blood! If justified, entirely by virtue of His righteousness! If accepted, it is always in the Beloved! If perfected, we are completed in Him, perfect in Christ Jesus! There is not a single Covenant blessing–as I begin at the beginning so may I continue to the close–there is not a single blessing in the economy of Christ which comes to us apart from Christ! And as we receive these gifts, one by one, the Holy Spirit takes care to make us know this–He empties us of self that we may see the fullness of Christ. He kills our pride that we may see the excellence of Christ. He takes away our strength that we may behold the power of Christ. In the operations of the Holy Spirit within our soul, while they aim at destroying sin and at many other blessed results, yet they have for their first and chief purpose, the making Christ glorified in the heart of all His people, in every gift that comes from the hand of the Most High! Brothers and Sisters, our preservation, our final perseverance and every other blessing which is secured to us, and about which we have no doubt–all this comes to us in Him! We are preserved in Christ Jesus. Because He lives, we live, also, and only because He lives and by virtue of our union with Him–we who are the branches continue to bring forth fruit–but if we were separated from Him, we should be only fit to be cast into the fire to be burned! Right away from the gates of Hell, up to the pearly gates of Heaven, it is Christ Jesus who is glorified! In every step the Believer takes, right out of the slough of despondency, up to the Beulah hilltop of full assurance and still onward beyond the clouds, and beyond the stars in the palace of eternal glory, it will be Christ, and Christ Jesus, alone, who shall have all the praise! God has taken care in the planning of the whole economy of Christ, that Jesus Christ should have the pre-eminence. There is much to talk of here, but think of it–that will be better than my speaking. Turn it over as Abraham Boothwrote a book showing the Grace of God in all the ways of salvation, so somebody else might write a book showing the glory of Christ in every single part of the way. And if we cannot write such a book, yet at least we must feel precious emotions as we contemplate the whole. In the next place, God has glorified His Son–
II. IN THE MIDST OF THE CHURCH.
The Church is to Christ what Eve was to Adam. She was taken out of Christ–she is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. As the Apostle says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning what? Concerning matrimony? Yes, in one sense, but not in another sense. Concerning Christ and His Church, for your cause did Christ leave His Father and He came into your world that He might be one flesh with His Church–she owes all to Him–her very existence is owing to Christ. As Eve springs from Adam, the Church springs out of the loins of Jesus Chris!.
Now, Beloved, it is meet that seeing this is the case, Christ should have no second place in His Church, and certainlyno such place has been allotted to Him by the eternal Father. As I can now but speak of the Church of God, at large, I think I am guided for a moment by an evil spirit standing at my left hand, who points with black fingers over to the city of the Seven Hills, and he says to me, “There is one great supreme ruler, the Vicar of God on earth–behold his splendors! See how they bear him through the streets of Rome upon the shoulders of men, with canopies of silk, smothered with jewels and with peacock and ostrich feathers! Mark how they swing their censers and how the multitudes fall down before him, for him has God exalted, for him has God glorified.” Ah, but this is a vain and idle boast, for we read not in any page of this Book of any such exaltation to any being! And where will be found the being that shall dare to take it, unless he shall first become the victim of Satan? Satan said to Christ, “All this will I give You if You will fall down and worship me.” And he that has it, must have first fallen down and worshipped Satan, or he has no such power among the sons of men!
Now, Beloved, Christ did not redeem His Church with His blood that the Pope might come in and steal away the glory! He never came from Heaven to earth and poured out His very heart that He might purchase His people so that a tive on earth! Christ has always been the Head of His Church. Why, we have read in history that kings at different times have wished to play the Head of the Church, and that we owe our Protestantism, as we call it over here–that we owe much of that to the desire of a certain crowned head to become a little Pope over certain dominions! This is very true, but not Henry the Eighth, nor his successor, nor any of those who now live, are more the Head of the Church than he is God, Himself! It is not possible for any to be Head in the Church of Christ, but Jesus! Has God exalted Him and made Him to be the Head over all things–and it is usurping the prerogative of Christ for any to suppose they can be Head of the Church of Christ, for Jesus Christ is the Head and He, alone, holds power over ecclesiastical organizations! Over the sacred mystical, blood-bought, redeemed, regenerated Church of Christ there never can, by any possibility, be any other Head but Jesus Christ, the Lord Himself! Now mark, God has exalted the Lord Jesus Christ in the government of HisChurch. All authority, all authoritative rules in Zion come through Jesus Christ. All true teaching in Zion comes from His lips. We call no man, master, upon earth, for One is our Master, and that One is Christ. No man is Rabbi in the Church, but He is our Rabboni, our Teacher, and all other teachers are thieves and robbers if they teach on their own authority. They only are accepted as the Lord’s shepherds, who speak Christ’s Truth in Christ’s name–and in the power of His own Spirit. God has made Christ to rule supremely throughout the Church, and in this He has glorified Him!
He has made Him the Head of the Church in another respect–He is the head of all light in the Church. There is notrue light in the Christian Church, not a single spark of it, but what comes from Christ. All life comes to us from Him. There may be energy in the Church of a carnal and fleshly sort–she may have force and power which she derives from men–but this will die and perish, like the grass and the flower of the fields. Vital godliness always proceeds from Jesus Christ, as the branch’s life comes from the vine. “Without Me, you can do nothing, but because I live, you shall live, also.” He is the life of men! He quickens whom He will and it is not possible that there should exist even a grain of spiritual life in any human heart, but that which comes to that heart through Jesus Christ! He is also the Head over all things inthe Church–all spiritual things. The Spirit of God resides in Christ without measure–and He sends forth the Spirit–He gives a Comforter to us. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell,” and the continuance of the Church, and the growth of the Church, and the edification of the Church–all sorts of beneficial influences which come to the Church–proceed to us through Jesus Christ, the Church’s covenanted Head!
Now I wish that we should form parts of the true Church of Christ to whatever denominations we may belong. Let us cling closer and closer to our blessed Master, for the secret of union in the Church is union with Christ. It is utterly hopeless, Brothers and Sisters, for us to expect, as the world now is, and as men now are, that we shall ever, all of us, agree in our opinions about all things. God never made us such creatures that we could agree in all things. He has so constituted us, and wisely so, that we, some of us, catch one angle of the Truth of God, and others another. To me one Doctrine, perhaps, will always stand out much more clearly than certain others. I wish it were not so. I should like to have a mind comprehensive enough to grasp all Truth–to attain the completed picture of the Truth of God without ever caricaturing a single feature. But I am deeply conscious I am far from being able to do that! And I think, without being censorious, I may say I do not know any of my fellow creatures who do! But there is in them a warp somewhere or other in the judgment of good men. Some mistake of some man which is not an offensive mistake at all. This is rather an infirmity than a sin, for he follows what he thinks is the Truth of God. His eyes are not right. He has got a little squint and he thinks Truth is a thing that it is not. He shoots well, mark you, if the mark were where he thinks it is, but it is not just there and, therefore, his arrow does not quite hit the center of the target. The true place of union will be, mark you, never in the Creed but in Him who is the Truth! If we believe in Him, love Him, cling to Him, follow Him, imitate Him, glorify Him, we shall get nearer each other than ever we were, closer to the common center! We must be closer to one another. “I would preach up nothing but Christ and preach nothing down but sin,” said a good old Divine, and the good man was right! Some old lady who heard of certain high Calvinistic preachers coming to a certain place did not know who they were, or what they were, but she said she thought she liked them because of their names. She misunderstood the words–she thought they were high Calvary preachers–and anybody who preached high Calvary would suit her if theylifted up the Cross of Jesus, preached up the Master and glorified His name! If in doubt, this should be the test of the Doctrine–does it glorify Christ? This should be the test of all our opinions–do they glorify Christ? For nothing is fit to be within the walls of Zion but that which bows down before Zion’s King!
To change the tone, again, ringing the same peal of bells, in the third place–
III. GOD HAS HIGHLY EXALTED HIS DEAR SON IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE CROSS.
Oh, for a poet’s mind and seraph’s tongue to speak of the wonders of the Cross where Christ, the Savior, hung and died! He died in shame–this never dimmed His Glory–it reveals it to the admiring eyes of all the aged saints who delight to look thereon. What did Jesus, by His dying a painful death, do for us? Why, first, as you all know, He put awayall His people’s sins. There are some that think that Christ died to make all men salvable. They may keep their doctrine–it has no charms for me! That Christ died, some think, for all men, and it is a death for every man, I know the Word of God declares, but there is a Redemption, there is a Redemption far other than that which is universal. He laid down His life for His sheep. He loved His Church and gave Himself for it–and there is a people spoken of who are redeemed from among men in quite another sense in which any redemption was ever made for all men. Now, Beloved, as many as Christ stood for as a Substitute, for so many did He take their sins. And although it is written, “The Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all,” for, “He was made sin for us,” says the Apostle, and the sin of His people was actually laid upon Him–imputed to Him, though it was not His–yet He took it for His people and here is the Glory, that all that mass of sin no longer exists! It is gone! He has vanquished the tyrant and “made an end of sin.” What a wonderful word–made an end of it, and brought in everlasting righteousness! He has cast our iniquities into the depths of the sea. The blood of Christ exterminated our sins when He stood in the place of His people! He suffered an equivalent for all that was due by them and from them to God, and the debts have ceased to be, for they are all paid and disposed of, no charge being brought against Christ’s elect, for, says the Apostle, “It is Christ that died; yes, rather that has risen again.” In the morning when the Father raised His Son from the dead, and Jesus stood once more upon earth, no more to die–in that day the sentence went forth–“None shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect.” Oh, what a blessed work was this to do, to take sin away where it never can be found again! To make it to cease to be! To cover it over forever! To blot it out! But this was not all–our Lord, by His death, destroyed death and he that has the power over it–the devil!
But let us think–He disposed of death first of all. He slept in the tomb. When the morning came, the prison doorwas opened and He rose, the First-Born from the dead, the First Fruits of them that sleep and the harvest sheaf of all who shall come henceforth from the sepulcher! And so now the tomb is no more a prison, a place of ruin! The big imprisoning stone is rolled away. “He that lives and believes in Christ shall never die, and he that believes in Him, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Over yonder cemetery with its holy memories and long lamented departed, I hear a voice ringing, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; yes, says the Spirit, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” And in another case, Beloved, “I am the resurrection and the life; death is dead.” Jesus Christ has accomplished this and the Father has glorified Him!
And now He has also vanquished, once and for all, for His people, all the hosts of Hell. Satan is a cruel enemy to theLord’s people. He molests them, he worries whom he cannot devour. But here is our consolation, that he has an invincible enemy. Christ gave Satan every advantage. He met him, as an old Divine says, “on his own dunghill.” He bearded the lion in his den–no, He bearded him on his own hill. “This is your own hour,” He said–Satan’s own hour, and the hour of darkness–but Jesus triumphed, triumphed when the whole artillery of Hell was discharged against Him–when all the floods out of the mouth of the dragon were vented forth upon Him! He vanquished all the hosts, and bears the banner of a glorious triumph this day, “having led captivity captive, and ascended up on high.”
To tell of all the wonders of the Cross of Calvary would take far longer than the time we can allot to it now, but we may sum it all up in the words of the text, “He has glorified You.” The Father has put many crowns upon the head of Him that wore the crown of thorns!
I wish to ask a minute’s attention to the next, namely, that the Father has glorified Christ in His present power. TheFather sustains Him in the highest heavens among the saints. It is no small glory that Christ should sit at the right hand of the Father, as He does. He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, but now is crowned with Glory, honor and the loftiest created beings delight to do His commands! He reigns in Heaven with scepter undisputed. He says to this one, “Go, and he goes! To another, come, and he comes!” His intercession in Heaven is part of the Glory He has received. As He pleads there like a high priest, He pleads with authority, with a power that is always felt. The blood of Jesus Christ speaks to the heart of God, and no desire of Christ’s is ungranted when heard. A case put into Christ’s hands always speeds–if we ask the Father in Christ’s name, He will do it for us. I am sure very few of us know this, that if we ask in Christ’s name, we ask for Christ’s sake, and that is right and good, and that is as far as we get. But do you know the difference? If you go to a man and say, “Give me such-and-such for the sake of such a friend, he deserves it for it in my name–say I sent you–use my name,” why, that is more powerful by far! And when each Christian becomes clothed, as it were, with that power from Christ, so that he asks God in Christ’s name as though Christ asked, what power is there! And it is part of the Glory of Christ that His intercession should thus be so powerful for His people this day.
And, Brothers and Sisters, think how the Father has exalted Christ in that at this time He is receiving every hoursome of the purchase of His blood. I have sometimes tried to picture in my eyes the delight of Christ, the gleaming of His eyes of love, as His blood-bought ones come Home one by one. You know it is His prayer, “Father, I will that they, also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am.” Here they come, one after another! Some from this Church–one yesterday–usually two or three a week they go up into the bosom of Christ! You know how the farmer rejoices as he sees the loaded wagons coming, one by one, to the barn–but he has sowed, not with blood, though he may have sowed with tears. You know how you and I rejoice as we think we have been the means of the conversion of someone–but what is the joy of Christ as He sees the perfection of His goodness? Christ is exalted, fresh crowns are laid at His feet–the Eternal Spirit, as He brings and conducts the chosen spirit up to Christ, glorifies Him! And here, below, Brothers and Sisters, let us add, as we leave this point, Jesus Christ is glorified in the power which He possesses in the conversion of souls.Wherever His name is preached, it becomes like ointment poured forth. I have no belief in the preaching of Christ unsuccessfully. I think a dear Brother may preach the Gospel for years and see no conversions and, perhaps, there may be none just then, but they will come! I won’t say this to myself to comfort myself. I would be afraid I was on the wrong tack if I did not see them, and I would say to those who preach the Master’s Word faithfully, “It shall not return unto Him void.” Christ is greatly glorified when His Gospel becomes a heart-breaker, like a hammer when it dashes the rock in pieces and becomes like a fire. Christ is glorified when a harlot gives up her evil trade, when the thief casts down the tools of his infamy, when the drunk lifts his last dram to his lips, when the blasphemer washes out his mouth and resolves to drink no more of the wine of cursing! God grant us that we may always pray that God will glorify Christ in marvelous and manifest conversions of extraordinary sinners being snatched from between the teeth of the old lion and made to dedicate the rest of their days to King Jesus! Now to close–
IV. GOD HAS GLORIFIED CHRIST IN HIS KINGDOM.
We have already said that Christ is glorified in His spiritual Kingdom in the midst of Zion. One is tempted to enlarge on that. The King is always glorious when he rules his people by good laws, when he has a happy and prosperous people. And our Lord Jesus Christ rules us with the best of laws, and happy are the citizens of the new Jerusalem–
“The King is glorious,
When in war He is victorious.”
And when He is beloved of His subjects, He certainly is victorious in war. The spoils belong to Him. All the virgins love Him and the saintly sons consecrate their purest affections to Him. Jesus Christ is exalted in His Church, then, as a King upon His Throne–and there God gives Him Glory for the present among the nations. Christ’s Glory is not revealed as we desire it, though He rules by moral influence and the government is upon His shoulders. Perhaps if our eyes were opened, we would see in the progress of civilization and the various changes which have taken place in this world, much more of the influences of Christianity and certainly more of the power of Christ than we have been able to perceive at all times. Perhaps God is now writing and has been, during this last 6,000 years, a wonderful drama at the clearing up of which it will be seen from the first stroke of His pen to the last, God has glorified Christ! It may be so that the shaking of the nations, the revolutions and even the bloody wars shall all be compassed, and the one great whole of which it might be said at the commencement, as Virgil does in song–
“Arms and the man I sing.”
It may be that He has written a great epic concerning the warfare of the righteous against evil, and the conquest of the mighty men. He has yet to restore this world and make it brighter than it was before and, Beloved, that God will exaltChrist in the latter days, let us never doubt that for a moment! And though men prophesy, making a profit by their prophecies and are always muddling and unsettling weak minds by their silly predictions, let us still hold to it that this world belongs to Christ, who bought it with His precious blood! And He will have it, every inch, and there is not a corner where the dark places of cruelty shall remain, not a spot where an idol shall hold its throne, not a hill or valley where superstition shall be permitted to linger! We have but to wait. Maybe we shall be gathered to our Father to wait in serener places than this, for it is ordained and none shall stay its coming, when Christ shall reign upon earth with His ancient Glory, and the whole earth, once an Augean stable, shall be cleansed by its Hercules, who shall make the stream of His blood to run through it, and make it pure, glorified and consecrated! And in that day the scepters shall be gathered with them who remain and crowns of kings shall be joyfully laid at His feet–and we shall understand the full meaning of the title, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Oh, how we will salute Him in that day when we shall rise to participate in the splendors with those who are alive and remain! Dear Friends, those who are asleep shall rise to participate in all the splendor of that blessed land of King Jesus! My Father has exalted You! To You, Your Master’s children bow! The sun and the moon bow down before You! You shall reign and we shall reign with You–our reign being to behold Your reign–our glory being to participate in Your Glory! We shall be like You, for we shall see You as You are! May God grant us Grace to have our share in that blessed Advent and He shall be blessed!
But now just one more word. God will glorify Christ, mark you, as He has done. Are we prepared to do the same, my dear Brothers and Sisters? Let us aim to glorify Christ–and shall I tell you how you may do it, for there are many small ways of doing it, not small in themselves, but only small comparatively? You can glorify Christ by your holy living, by your labors for His Kingdom, by your generosity, or, if you want to do the greatest work to glorify Christ, you know what it is! Why, it is to trust Him altogether with all your concerns! Nothing glorifies Christ more than that. Now just lean your whole weight on Him and, with a faith that does not stagger, rely on the efficacy of His blood, the power of His arm, the love of His heart, the immutability of His affections and the divinity of His Presence! Lean on Him! Rest on Him! A poor dependent creature cannot glorify God any better than by trusting Him! This is the work of God, you know–this is a Hebraism, for the greatest work of all, this is the work of God, the God-like work, the work! But what amercy it is that there is such a way for poor creatures like we are, of glorifying Christ by trusting Him–
“The best return for one like me,
So wretched and so poor,
Is from His gifts to draw a plea,
And ask Him still for more.”
One other remark, and that is, if you don’t glorify Jesus Christ willingly and cheerfully by such a trust, He will be glorified even in your condemnation! In the day of His appearing, you that have heard the Gospel–for I speak to you, only, if you reject Him, you will have yet to minister to His honor. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish from the way if His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” But if you trust Him not, here is the alternative–“He shall break the nations with a rod of iron, He shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” How stands it with you? Will you be able to endure that iron rod? Will you be able to endure the breaking, when first the body shall be broken, and then the soul to shivers, like a potter’s vessel? Be wise, therefore, oh you kings and you men, sons of the earth! Be wise, bow before Him, accept Him as your King! God will thus be glorified by the work of Christ, and if it is not so, He will be glorified by the aid of justice, which may the Lord forbid in the case of any one of us! Amen.