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“BROUGHT TO GOD."
NOTHING is so helpful and establishing to the true child of God, as to see God's righteousness maintained, and yet fully satisfied with regard to the terrible question of his sins. It is not. enough for him to know that his sins have been forgiven, that the long catalogue of his guilt has been cancelled for ever, or that his purged conscience retains no stain of sin to make it miserable and unhappy.
We know that the work of Christ effected these blessed results. But it did more-infinitely more. “Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," Jesus Christ “presented himself” to God, “a sacrifice for sin, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.” Yes. In that awful moment when Christ suffered the full penalty of the death and judgment due to me, God's justice and holiness were fully vindicated-all His righteous and holy demands fully acknowledged, and duly satisfied.
“Without shedding of blood there is no remission." Christ's precious blood must flow as the atonement for our guilt. And blessed be His name, He did not shrink from the task He had undertaken. Over His holy soul passed all the waves and billows of God's wrath. No marvel that earth and sky were shrouded in darkness as the awful question of sin was once and for ever settled in the sight of a just and holy God. From the lips of the dying Saviour fell those words of blessedness and peace—“It is finished.” Peace, pardon, forgiveness of sins, could be offered now, “without money, and without price," to all those who should believe on His precious name.
But wonderful and blessed as all this was, it was not enough to satisfy the heart of God. He would have sinners brought to Himself. Now that He had been fully satisfied with regard to sin, His heart must come out in all the fulness of divine love. The beloved and sorrowing disciples, in their ignorance and unbelief, thought that all was over. Timid but devout hands, placed the precious body of the Lord Jesus Christ in its sacred resting-place.* But they had not grasped the
great and wondrous fact that all God's holy and just requirements with regard to man's sin had been divinely satisfied. So God Himself must manifest llis divine appreciation of the sacrifice which He had accepted. Hence we read, that “God raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heaven far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.” No honour too great to heap upon His well-beloved Son--He who had carried out the Father's will, and wrought out our" eternal redemption." And hence, added to the blessed message of peace, pardon, and forgiveness, through the death and resurrection of a crucified Saviour, we can listen in wonder and adoration to the voice of a Father's love. From the heavens, God
* " We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel," they said in their unbelief.
Himself speaks to us to-day-even to each one who has simply "believed” the “record ” concerning His Son. Yes. To us, once so “far off by wicked works, yet now brought nigh by the precious blood of Christ, He says that we are “accepted in the Beloved." Wonderful thought! As the result of all that Christ wrought for me, I stand “accepted” in Him. And God would have me near Himself in all the happy consciousness of His divine favour. He would have me know and enjoy this as I tread the daily path which He has appointed. No blessing too great for the church for which Christ diednothing too great for those for whom His beloved Son suffered. Even as God the Father's smile rests for ever on the Son of His love, so would He have it resting upon “His own” those who now put their trust in Him. Yes. “He [Christ] suffered, the just for the unjust, to bring us to Goll." He would have us know the Father, and rejoice in His love and favour. Dearly beloved, have we in any feeble measure grasped the boundless blessings that lie hidden for each of us in those wonderful words, " accepted in the beloved"? Truly they have spoken peace, pardon, and forgiveness to our conscience-stricken hearts. But above all this, do they not speak of the blessed certainty that God delights to have His children in His presence, daily and hourly rejoicing in the fulness of His love? There He would have them to remain, in the constant and abiding sense of having been "brought to God." “ It passeth praises ! that dear love of Thine, My Jesus! Saviour! yet this heart of mine Would sing a love so rich, so full, so free, Which brought an undone sinner, such as me, Right home to God."