Well, then, beloved, would not this note well become us here? For ” what have we that we have not received?” Who hath made us to differ? I know, this morning, that I am a justified man; I have the full assurance that
“The terrors of law and of God,
With me can have nothing to do;
My Saviour’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.”
There is not a sin against me in God’s book they have all been for ever obliterated by the blood of Christ. and cancelled by his own right hand. I have nothing to fear; I cannot be condemned. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Not God, for he hath justified; not Christ. for he hath died. But if I am justified, who made me so? I say—“And hath made me what I am.” Justification from first to last. is of God. Salvation is of the Lord alone.
Many of you are sanctified persons, but you are not perfectly sanctified, you are not redeemed altogether from the dross of earth; you have still another law in your members, warring against the law of your mind; and you always will have that law while you tabernacle in faith; you never will be perfect in your sanctification until you get up yonder before the solemn throne of God, where even this imperfection of your soul will be taken away, and your carnal depravity rooted out. But yet, beloved, there is an inward principle imparted; you are growing in grace—you are making progress in holiness. Well, but who made you have that progress? Who redeemed you from that lust? Who ransomed you from that vice? Who bade you say farewell to that practice in which you indulged? Cannot you say of Jesus, “And hath made us!” It is Christ who hath done it all, and to his name be honor, and glory, and praise, and dominion.
Let us dwell one moment on this thought, and show you how it is that it can be said that Christ hath made us this. When did Christ make his people kings and priests? When could it be said, “And hath made us kings and priests unto our God?”
1. First of all, he made us kings and priests, virtually, when he signed the covenant of grace. Far, far back in eternity, the Magna Charta of the saints was written by the hand of God, and it needed one signature to make it valid. There was a stipulation in that covenant that the Mediator should become incarnate should live a suffering life, and at last endure a death of ignominy; and it needed but one signature, the signature of the Son of God, to make that covenant valid, eternal, and “ordered in all things and sure.” Methinks I see him now, as my imagination pictures the lofty Son of God grasping the pen. See how his fingers write the name; and there it stands in everlasting letters—“ THE SON!” O sacred ratification of the treaty; it is stamped and sealed with the great seal of our father in heaven. O glorious covenant, then for ever made secure! At the moment of the signature of this wondrous document, the spirits before the throne—I mean the angels—might have taken up the song, and said of the whole body of the elect, “And hast made you kings and priests unto your God;” and could all the chosen company have started into existence, they could have clapped their hands and sung, “Here we are by that very signature constituted kings and priests unto our God.”
2. But he did not stop there. It was not simply agreeing to the terms of the treaty; but in due time he filled it all—yes, to its utmost jot and tittle. Jesus said, “I will take the cup of salvation;” and he did take it—the cup of our deliverance. Bitter were its drops;gall lay in its depths;there were groans, and sighs, and tears, within the red mixture but he took it all, and drank it to its dregs, and swallowed all the awful draught. All was gone. He drank the cup of salvation, and he ate the bread of affliction. See him, as he drinks the cup in Gethsemane, when the fluid of that cup did mingle with his blood, and make each drop a scalding poison. Mark how the hot feet of pain did travel down his veins. See how each nerve is twisted and contorted with his agony. Behold his brow covered with sweat; witness the agonies as they follow each other into the very depths of his soul. Speak, ye lost, and tell what hell’s torment means; but ye cannot tell what the torments of Gethsemane were. Oh! the deep unutterable! There was a depth which couched beneath, when our Redeemer bowed his head, when he placed himself betwixt the upper and nether millstones of his Father’s vengeance, and when his whole soul was ground to powder. Ah! that wrestling man-God—that suffering man of Gethsemane! Weep o’er him, saints—weep o’er him; when ye see him rising from that prayer in the garden, marching forth to his cross; when ye picture him hanging on his cross four long hours in the scorching sun, overwhelmed by his Father’s passing wrath—when ye see his side streaming with gore—when ye hear his death-shriek, “It is finished,”—and see his lips all parched, and moistened by nothing save the vinegar and the gall,—ah! then prostrate yourselves before that cross, bow down before that sufferer, and say, “Thou hast made us—thou hast made us what we are; we are nothing without thee.” The cross of Jesus is the foundation of the glory of the saints; Calvary is the birth-place of heaven; heaven was born in Bethlehem’s manger; had it not been for the sufferings and agonies of Golgotha we should have had no blessing. Oh, saint! in every mercy see the Saviour’s blood; look on this Book—it is sprinkled with his blood; look on this house of prayer—it is sanctified by his sufferings; look on your daily food—it is purchased with his groans. Let every mercy come to you as a blood-bought treasure; value it because it comes from him; and ever more say, “Thou hast made us what we are.”