Beloved Christians, I cannot wonder enough at the goodness
of God and His compassionate love for us men; and contemplating this, I cannot
but exclaim with the Prophet, "O Lord, what is man, that Thou art made
known unto him? Or the son of man, that Thou takest account of him?" (LXX-Ps.
143:3 [KJV-Ps. 144:3]), when I consider what honor the Lord has granted man!
The honor and nobility which God bestows on men who are true Christians is so
great and so high that it is impossible not only to describe it or to explain
it in words, but even to comprehend it with the mind. "Ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (1
Pet. 2:9), says the true Apostle of Christ.
From what can we see the incomprehensible goodness
and compassionate love of God toward man? Let us but look and set the honor and
nobility of a Christian before our inward eyes, that we may be zealous for it
and seek it out with eagerness. Open then, the hearing of your souls, and you
shall hear a word told about true Christians.
1. They are called and truly are the children of
God. What is more glorious to man than this name? The Apostle of Christ rightly
wonders at this and with wonder he says to Christians, "Behold what
manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the
sons of God?" (1 Jn. 3:1-2), and so we are. Whence Christians also
pray to God as to their Father and raise up to the one voice to Him, "Our
Father, Who art in the heavens" (Mt. 6:9) and the rest.
O the wonder! Sinners say to the All-Holy God,
"Our Father!" O our great nobility and honor and consolation. O
beloved Christians! The Father of the OnlyBegotten Son of God is our Father,
His God is our God, as He Himself says to our great consolation, "I
ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God" (Jn.
2. True Christians have a close union and
fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The Apostle of Christ
assures us of this saying, "our fellowship is with the Father, and with
His Son Jesus Christ" (1 Jn. 1:3). How great this is you can see for
People account it a great thing to have friendship
and fellowship with an earthly king; how incomparably greater is the privilege
of having fellowship and friendship with God, Who is the King of kings and the
Lord of lords and abides in light unapproachable! O how much have God's
goodness and love toward man wrought! Look, O Christian, and you shall see the
nobility and merit of Christians. They have communion with the great and
God, Thy goodness is multiplied and wonderful, and
Thy love for us fallen and poor men is beyond any words and conceiving!
3. In true Christians as in spiritual temples,
God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, abides with love. The Lord
says of this, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father
will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode in him" (Jn.
14:23). What can be more honorable and noble than that soul in which the
Tri-hypostatic God abides with grace and love? It is a glorious thing for
people to receive an earthly king into their house; it is incomparably more
glorious to receive the Heavenly King into the house of their soul, and to have
Him living therein. What also could be more blessed than that soul in which God
lives as in a temple? The paradise of sweetness and joy, the Kingdom of God is
in it. O blessedness! O the worthiness! O the nobility of the Christian soul!
God, a Being that is without beginning, without end, supremely good, and
uncreated, wills to live in the holy Christian soul rather than in heaven or in
any other temple.
O most good and lovely God, our Maker and Creator,
come and visit our weary souls, the souls created by Thee after Thine image and
4. True Christians are spiritual members of the
most heavenly Head, Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Apostle
says concerning this, "We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of
His bones" (Eph. 5:30).
Holy Christian souls! raise up your eyes and see
where your Head is seated at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
By whom is He venerated and worshipped? By angels and archangels and by all the
hosts of heaven and by every creature. "Wherefore God also hath highly
exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name
of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under the earth" (Philip. 2:9-10). You are members of this most
exalted Head. As the Head is glorified, so also do His members partake of His glory.
This is the glory of true Christians, this is their nobility and merit! They
are the spiritual members of the most exalted Head, Jesus Christ.
5. The souls of true Christians are betrothed to
the immortal Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. The Apostle bears witness of this: "I
have espoused you," O Christians, "to one Husband, that I may
present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2). "This
is a great mystery" (Eph. 5:32). As the Bridegroom is glorious, so
also does His bride partake of His glory. What is more honorable and noble than
Jesus the Son of God? What is more noble and honorable than a Christian soul
betrothed to Him?
6. True Christians are "heirs of
God," and "joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17).
Theirs are the eternal and heavenly Kingdom and all good things. "Eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the
things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
These and others are the names and titles that the Holy Spirit attributes to
true Christians. Behold, then, O listeners, the glory and nobility of the
Christian. All the glory of this world is nothing compared to it. Confess,
therefore, that there is nothing more noble and glorious than a true Christian.
Jesus Christ the Son of God, has earned this nobility and glory for us by His
suffering and death, His Heavenly Father bestows it on us. The Holy Spirit
perfects it, and true repentance combined with faith receives it. This nobility
and glory are acquired or is lost here in this world. They are acquired by true
repentance and faith; they are lost by unrepentance and unbelief.
O you who seek the vain glory of this world and
are praised and exalted in your nobility, names, and titles! Turn your inward
eyes to the glory and honor of a Christian and seek those, that you may truly
be noble and glorious. The glory of true Christians is not now manifest, but
can only be attained and known by faith. It shall be opened in the revelation
of the children of God. Beloved, says the Apostle, "now we are the sons
of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He
shall appear, we shall be like Him" (1 Jn. 3:2). "Then shall
the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath
ears to hear, let him hear" (Mt. 13:43).