to His People
L. R. Shelton, Jr.
We come today to a series of messages which have been used of the Lord to bless my soul as I have prepared them for delivery over this Word of Truth Broadcast. I desire to set before our hearts CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS PEOPLE; and see what He has been made unto His people in the gospel, unto those sinners who came to know Him in that living, loving and lasting union of grace.
I trust, dear friend, that our gracious Lord by His Spirit will work in our hearts to show us the beauty, glory, preciousness and suitableness of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is He “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:25).
There are three precious words found in Eph. 2:20 that shall be utmost in our hearts and minds as we go into this series, which are JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. You see, dear friends, all we have from God is in the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. All truth is in Him, all doctrine is in Him, all of God’s salvation is in Him, all eternal life is in Him and all hope is in Him. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3). Yes, in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF is all and in all.
We must declare it today across the ether waves: Jesus Christ Himself, the personal, living, loving Lord is our all in all. Christ IN us our Hope of glory; Christ FOR us, our full Redemption; Christ WITH us pleading and preparing our place in heaven is our Joy and Strength. Let me say it then at the outset of these messages: Brethren, Jesus Christ Himself should always be the prominent thought of our minds as Christians. Also if you dear souls listening to me today have a desire to know the Living God as revealed in Jesus Christ Himself, then I say unto you, “Look away to Him by faith, for salvation is found in none other.” It is sad to say but it is true, I know there are some who are taken up mainly with the doctrines of the Bible and are somewhat bitter in their narrow orthodoxy. I say in love to you that we are to love every Word of our Lord Jesus and His apostles, and to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3); but if we do not hold truth in connection with the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, then we have missed it all. TRUTH, dear friend, ISOLATED FROM THE PERSON OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST grows hard and cold. I say true doctrine is priceless and I must contend for it, but not at the expense of my precious Lord. Every doctrine and teaching should lead us to His blessed feet to find in Him our all in all. Some speak of experience as being the whole of our salvation; but experience apart from Christ is nothing, for Christ is the center of our Christian life. So I say, Jesus Christ Himself is our all in all; let us be found in Him, for in Him is truth and righteousness.
Dear friend, as you listen there today, do you know that the relationship
that Christ bears to His people is this: that He loved me, and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20)? This is the basis, the hope of all that His people possess in this life and the next. It is that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25); that “He bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (I Pet. 2:24); that God “hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21); that “by His own blood he entered in once into the Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12); that “by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14), therefore we have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19). Yes, this is the relationship that Jesus Christ Himself bears to His people; He has become our Substitute, our Savior, our Deliverer from sin and the Way back to God and His house.
Again, it is because He is what He is in His unique Person as God’s only begotten Son that He is able to redeem us. HE IS DIVINE, God over all, blessed forever, and therefore saving virtue is found in Him. HE IS HUMAN and perfect in that humanity, and therefore capable of obedience and suffering in your place and mine. He is able to save us because He is IMMANUEL, “God with us”.
Now, because Jesus Christ Himself bears this relationship to us, He should be the object of our faith. The Scriptures declare in Isa. 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” He did not say, “Look to my cross”, nor “look to my life”, nor “look to my death, much less to my sacraments or to my church, but look unto me.” Oh what a blessed truth! What a blessed command: “LOOK UNTO ME! Don’t look away from self, sin and Satan, look unto ME. Don’t look unto my ministers, don’t look to my people, look unto me! From the lips of Jesus Christ Himself sounds forth the words: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). In fact, my dear fellow-believer, our life’s motto should be: Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Are you listening, dear friend? I want to tell you something: I might not know all that is in the Bible-and I don’t; I might be staggered by all that there is to learn about theology-and I am; I might walk in fear and trembling-and I do; I might daily fall short of the glory of God-and I do; I might find in myself no good thing-and I daily acknowledge this, but this one thing I do know: I can believe in Jesus Christ Himself for He is worthy of my trust. He can be relied upon; He can be trusted.
Yes, He Who bled and died that sinners might be saved can be trusted. This is the relationship that Christ bears to His people. He is the One, THE ONLY ONE in Whom we can trust and in Whom we can confide concerning all things of our lives. Now, dear friend, you who have been looking to your faith, I want you to look to Jesus Christ Himself instead of your feeble faith. Now to you who have been studying the results of faith in you and are dissatisfied; I urge you, I beseech you, turn your eyes away from yourselves and look to Jesus Christ Himself. You may say, “I cannot understand that; I don’t know if I have had enough conviction, or if I have seen myself sinner enough; but I say unto you, dear friend, give up wanting to understand anything anymore and come and look at Jesus Christ Himself by faith that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph. 1:17).
Again, because of this relationship of Jesus Christ Himself to His people, our life should be spent studying HIM. He said in John 5:39:
“Search the Scriptures, for...they testify of me.” As He walked with the two disciples to Emmaeus, He chose for His theme: Himself (Luke 24:27) “and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures THE THINGS CONCERNING HIMSELF.” As we search the Scriptures to find out about Him and His relationship to His people, let us rely completely upon the Holy Spirit to teach us of Him, for our Lord said in John 16:13-14: “When he, the Spirit of truth:...he shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
You may ask, “What does the Holy Spirit teach us of the Person of Jesus Christ Himself and His relationship to His people?” Let us be instructed in this from the Gospel of John. In John 6:51 our Lord said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” Yes, in His relationship to His people JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF is the Living Bread of Life. “How is Christ the Bread of Life?” you ask. He brings us life by His death. John 6:51 reads: “...the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” He was the corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died so it might bring forth much fruit (John 12:24). Again, He ministers life to those who believe. A man dying of starvation eagerly eats the bread offered that he may not perish. So whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Again, He sustains our spiritual life as we continue to feed by faith upon Him. John 6:56 reads: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth (abideth) in me, and I in him.” Going on in the Gospel of John we find written: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). In relationship to His people Jesus Christ Himself is our Light. “How is Christ our Light?” you ask. Jesus Christ Himself is the only source of the knowledge of God. Only in Christ is God, Who is Light, made known. John 1:18 reads: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Christ then, is the Light back to the Father for His people. He is Himself the Truth, and by His Spirit, which He gives to all who believe, He guides into all the truth. Also I would say that He is light to His people because He is the Teacher of holiness. Holiness is likeness to Christ which results from walking in His light and obeying His Word. Purity, truth and love are the ingredients of holiness which are all light from Him.
Again, in John 10:9 we read: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” The Lord Jesus in relationship to His people represents Himself here as the Door into salvation, the only way of safety. He is to His people the Entrance into heaven, as Heb. 10:20 tells us, “the new and living way.”
Also in John 10:11 we read: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” So Jesus Christ Himself in relationship to His people is the Good Shepherd. As our Good Shepherd He is spoken of in Scripture as the One Who dies for His sheep; He gathers His sheep unto himself; He knows His sheep and is known of them. He defends them because He has overcome every foe. He seeks pasture for His sheep and feeds them. He heals the sick, binds up the broken, gently leads those that are with young and carries the little lambs in His arms. Oh how precious He is to His sheep as their Good Shepherd!
One more is all we will have time for today. In John 11:25 we read:
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Jesus Christ Himself in relationship to His people is their Resurrection and their Life. Both physical and spiritual resurrection are to be know only in Christ. It is by our relationship with Him that we have hope of life hereafter. Those that believe in Him receive a life that never dies. So the dead will live again and the living will never die.
So we see in our first message today on CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS PEOPLE that He is the sum total of all things, “for in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). What a precious relationship Christ has with His people! Therefore He is worthy of our trust, praise and adoration. I ask one question in closing, “Do you know JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF?
Blessed Jesus! thee we sing;
Thou of life the eternal spring;
Thou art worthy, thou alone;
Thou the Rock and Corner-stone.
‘Tis from thee salvation flows;
This the ransomed sinner knows.
Thou, O Christ, art all his plea,
When he sees his poverty.
None shall glory in thy sight
Of their labours e’er so bright;
All who are taught by thee shall know,
Living faith from God must flow.
Grace shall be our lovely theme;
Free redemption, glorious scheme!
This will be the song above:
Praise to Jesus’ bleeding love.
We began a series of messages last week of the subject, CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS PEOPLE under the theme: JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF (Eph. 2:20), showing you from the Scriptures that our Blessed Lord can be trusted and that He is our all in all.
The words found in Col. 3:11: “Christ is all and in all,” will be the basis of our message today. I trust that our hearts will be blessed above measure as we contemplate the relationship of JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF to His people as our all and in all. When you take your Bible and go through it with this thought in mind, that Christ is all and in all, you will indeed have a rich study. You will find that Christ our Lord is all in creation, providence, redemption, grace and glory. Yes, He is in all; He is in all events, making all to work together for the good of His people. He is in all places; for He compasses our path and our lying down...if we ascend up into heaven, he is there; if we make our bed in hell, behold, he is there. The Psalmist continues to ask in Psalm 139: “Whither shall I flee from thy presence? ...if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
Isa. 43:1-2 declares: “Thus saith the Lord that created thee...and he that formed thee...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Yes, He Who is our all in all is with us, His blood-bought children, all the days of our lives. Therefore faith has many exceeding great and precious promises to rest upon.
Also the Scriptures speak of our being complete in Him, for He is our all in all; that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (Col. 2:9-10; I Cor. 1:30).
I believe the poet put it best in these words:
I’ve found the Pearl of greatest price,
my heart doth sin for joy!
And sing I must of a Christ I have,
all gold without alloy.
Christ is my Meat, Christ is my Drink,
my Med’cine and my Health,
My Peace, my Strength, my Joy, my Crown,
my Glory, and my Wealth.
My Saviour is the Heaven of Heavens,
and what shall I Him call?
My Christ is First, my Christ is Last,
my Christ is All in All.
I believe the best way to bring before our hearts this precious thought of Christ being our all and all-today and in the messages that follow-is to look at the titles, the symbols and the names of our Blessed Christ as given in His Holy Scriptures. To me these describe Christ’s relationship to His people as nothing else. In Rev. 1:8 we read: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Everyone knows that Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, so that translated it would read: “I am A and Z.” As A is the first letter, so Christ is the First, the oldest of all things. He lived before the world was: He has always lived; for all things that are made were made by Him. As Z He is the last letter in the alphabet. So Christ will be the same when this world passes away as a worn-out garment, and the skies are rolled up like a scroll of parchment. He is “from everlasting to everlasting (Psa. 90:2); He only hath immortality (I Tim. 6:16), and known to Him are all things that shall be, as perfectly as the things that have been.
So as the A and Z of the alphabet, He will teach His people all things when we know Him, “for in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). To understand the Scriptures is first to know the Divine Alphabet, Christ, the Alpha and Omega; that we have the key of knowledge that unlocks all the Scriptures. I ask then, “Do we know Him, Whom to know is life eternal?” Again, in Rom. 5:14 we find another name that shows Christ’s relationship to His people. We read that the first Adam is the figure of Him that was to come; and in I Cor. 15:45 Christ is expressly called the Last Adam. As the first Adam stood for the whole human race as our representative, and what he did was imputed to us-that is, his sin and rebellion-so the Lord Jesus Christ stands as the Second Adam, and in His relationship to us He stands as our Representative. Therefore what He did upon the cross is paying our sin-debt in full has been imputed to us-that is, His obedience and righteousness has been imputed to all who believe in Him.
Listen to it again, and let us rejoice in Christ’s relationship to His people as their Federal Head, the Second Adam! As the first Adam acted for others as well as for himself, and through his disobedience sin entered into the world and all became sinners, so also Christ, the Second Adam, did what He did for others, and through His obedience millions upon millions are saved.
You see, Adam opened the door through which sin and death entered and seized upon us all. And the Second Adam, Christ, opens a door too, but it is the door of mercy. He opens the door to the kingdom of heaven to all who put their trust in Him.
Rom. 5:19 reads: “As by one man’s disobedience-Adam’s-many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One-Christ-shall many be made righteous.” I Cor. 15:21-22 reads: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” We read further in I Cor. 15:47-49: “The first man-Adam-is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven...and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
So you see, Adam brought ruin; and Christ brings salvation. Adam was the first of his kind, having given a name and a nature to us all, a sinful nature; so also Christ is the first of His family, giving His name and His nature to all that belong to Him. His relationship to His people then as the Second Adam is that He became like unto us that we might be made in His likeness. Oh what JOY then to receive from Him His life, His nature, His salvation, His standing with the heavenly Father, His perfect righteousness; and to have all that He did put to our account in heaven as if we had performed it all! To me this is mercy beyond comparison, or as Brother Peter says: it is “Joy unspeakable and full of glory”, and if you would allow me I would sing:
Thank you Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you Lord, for making me whole,
Thank you Lord, for giving to me,
Thy great salvation so rich and free.
Yes, Christ is all and in all in His relationship to His people, and this should bring out the praise from our hearts. It is recorded in Psa. 148 that the angels praise Him, the sun, moon and stars praise Him. The fire, hail, snow, and the stormy wind-fulfilling His Word-praise Him. The mountains, hills, trees, flowers, birds and all beasts praise Him; and shall not my soul praise Him for His great work of redemption? Yes, as the Psalmist said in Psa. 40: Because “he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings, and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.”
I would like to share with you one more of these blessed titles of Christ that shows Him in His relationship to His people. In Heb. 5:9 we read that Christ is “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Now to obey Him is to believe on Him with all our hearts, our understandings, our affections and our wills; for He commands us to believe: “He that believeth...hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Why is it called eternal salvation? Because Christ is the Author of it. He Himself is eternal life and becomes eternal life to all His people. It is eternal because it is from everlasting.
Jer. 31:33 reads: “I have loved they with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” And because it is everlasting, this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.
“But what is salvation?” someone will ask. The Scriptures teach that to be released from condemnation, to receive forgiveness of sins, and to be justified in the sight of God for the sake of Christ:
THIS IS SALVATION. To be lifted up out of the horrible pit of our depraved, sinful condition; to be cleansed with the blood of Christ, poured out to satisfy God’s holy Law which we have broken; and to be cleansed with the washing of regeneration: THIS IS SALVATION. To be adopted into the family of God and to be made a member of His royal household; to have the place of a son and to be enriched with the wealth of an heir, an heir of God: THIS IS SALVATION. To be reserved from the power of sin, from evil passions; to be delivered from the turmoil of evil tempers and saved from my sinful self: THIS IS SALVATION. To be adorned with all the beautiful graces of the Spirit so as to be like Christ: THIS IS SALVATION. To have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me to sanctify me and to make me like Christ is to me SALVATION. But because this salvation includes everything, there is not enough time to tell it all; for it is PEACE of mind and soul, JOY of heart and life, HOLINESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS of life, and surely it includes the wisdom of God for us in Christ.
And there is more: the earth will be ours, affliction shall be ours, death shall be ours, heaven shall be ours; and when we get there by God’s grace in Christ we shall wear a crown of glory and white robes, we shall walk the golden street of the heavenly city and drink of the river of God’s pleasures forevermore.
There is yet more: there we will have no pain, no more sorrow, for Christ’s own nail-scarred hands will wipe away all tears from our eyes. There the smile of God will be upon us, angels will greet us and rejoice over us with singing; there we shall be joined and embraced by all our loved ones who have gone on before us, and our joy shall last forever because Christ Who is our life shall be there, in Whom we shall rejoice forever.
But there is more: Rev. 21:27 says: “There shall in no wise enter into it (heaven) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Praise the Lord NO SIN SHALL BE THERE! This is the salvation of which Christ is the Author. To Him be glory and praise forever and ever is my cry.
Dear friend, this salvation is found in Him Who is its author. Come to Him for it, believing and trusting Him to work it in you by His Holy Spirit.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labours increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
-Annie Johnson Flint
It is with joy that we come into your homes again today to speak again upon the subject: CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS PEOPLE. When we speak of Christ in relation to His people, we speak of the One Who knows us, cares for us, understands us, loves us, prays for us, dwells in us by His Spirit and One Who shed His precious blood for the purpose of cleansing His people from all their sins.
In the Person of our Lord we have One Who is suited for every one of the needs of His people, from the youngest to the oldest; and One Who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for He Himself was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). It is spoken of Him in Heb. 2:14-18 that as the children whom He was going to bring back to God are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. For what reason? “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” so He would be able to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Oh what a precious Lord He is to do this for sinful men, “to be made like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people”! (vs. 17).
With this in mind then, what a privilege, what a blessing, what joy is mine! to be able to tell you of Him Who is able “to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). I will then, by the grace of God, speak to you today on Christ’s relation to His people as our Great Physician.
Yes, it is with joy that I tell you of the Great Physician, the Lord of Glory, Who is able to save, heal, restore, prescribe and make whole and well all sin-sick souls who put their trust in Him. I know what He has done for my sin-sick soul and therefore what He can do for you. We read in Matt. 9:12: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” You and I both know that the whole world lies in the lap of the wicked one and that each one of us are sick because of sin; therefore we each one need the Lord Jesus Christ as the Great Physician sent down from heaven: to preach the gospel to our poor souls, to heal our broken hearts, to preach deliverance to our captive souls, to enlighten our blinded eyes and to set at liberty we who are bruised (Luke 4:18).
The question is asked: “What are the qualifications of the Lord Jesus Christ that would recommend Him unto us as the Physician to Whom we can trust our never-dying souls? I say that He is a most SKILLFUL Physician, a most TENDER Physician as He deals with the sickness of sin in our lives. He knows by experience how to heal the broken in heart and bind out all their wounds (Psa. 147:3). He knows how to seek that which is lost, and bring again that which is driven away, to bind up that which is broken, and strengthen and give health to them that are sick (Ezek. 34:16).
I say that He is skilled in the use of the knife as a Surgeon to deal with our sin-sick souls. By His Spirit, He takes His Word, the Word of God which is a quickening Word, a powerful Word, a Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword, and with it He pierces even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit and is even able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). He is a Surgeon Who has operated an millions on sin- sick souls, therefore He is skilled in the matter of spiritual surgery. Also remember, the Word of God in conviction is in the hands of the skilled Physician Who is loving, kind, tender, merciful and understanding.
As the Good Physician to His people, He diagnoses our case and then prescribes the remedy. As the Good Physician Who loves us, He never deals with us but in honesty and frankness as He diagnoses our sin-sick case to us. He never applies a bandage to cover up any thing, but goes to the root and cause of the matter. He never applies just a little soothing salve of works, but lets us know the worst about ourselves; then He applies the remedy which He Himself has worked out. He says to all who come to Him for help that their sickness is caused from a depraved heart (Matt. 7:20-23); this is the reason the symptoms are what they are, this is the reason you act like you do and have the sickness you have, because your heart is evil. You break out into anger and disrupt your whole home because your heart is evil. The outbreak of murder is because your heart is evil; you lie and steal because your heart is evil; you commit adultery and fornication and live in lust because your heart is evil. As the Great Physician diagnoses your very symptom, He tells you that all of this comes from an evil heart. You try to drown your troubles and sorrows with the bottle and the needle, but this won’t do because the fountain-head of an evil heart still flows. Your mind is filled with evil thoughts so that you cannot be still and do not have a moments rest because your heart is evil. You are eaten up with covetousness which drives you to sacrifice your life for the things and pleasures of this world which never satisfy because your heart is evil. You curse your fellow man and blaspheme the name of God because your heart is evil. You take on a holier than thou attitude and sit in judgment upon others, priding yourself on the fact that you are not like other men, because your heart is evil.
This tender, loving, kind and understanding Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ, knows how to deal with sin-sick sinners and He has never lost a case. He first diagnoses so He can let us know the real cause of our sickness. He knows the sickness cannot be healed with good works, water baptism, church membership, a clean moral life or penance of any kind; these things cannot get to the root of the matter, they only make matters worse. So being the Great Physician that He is, He takes the time to operate upon our evil hearts and lays them bare before our eyes so we will acknowledge and confess our sickness is unto spiritual death and that we cannot heal ourselves. He never shows us any more than is necessary for us to cry out for mercy unto Him to give us a new heart so we may be made in the image and likeness of our Great Physician. He never keeps us under Holy Spirit conviction any longer than is necessary for us to desire His healing method of grace, which is by the application of His precious blood by faith to our guilt-stricken conscience. This is what He says in Heb. 9:14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” That is His relationship to His people as the Great Physician. He is a GRACIOUS PHYSICIAN, because He never shows us any more of our evil heart than is necessary for us to turn to God in repentance with a hatred for our evil hearts, a hatred for our evil ways, a hatred of our past lives and a desire to leave the sin produced by our evil hearts for the rest of our lives.
Dear friend, the thing that blesses my soul and makes me praise my living God for all of this is that the One Who is diagnosing my case, the One Who opens my heart by His Word, the One Who uses the knife to operate upon me is none other than the One Who loves me and gave His life for me so I could be delivered from my evil heart and my evil way. You see, the heart-transplant operation that He does to give us a new heart (Ezek. 36:26) is done by the One Who loves us, Who has never lost a case!
Another qualification that recommends this Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ, to us is that all He does for us in saving us, healing us, empowering us is all free; it is given to us freely because of His great grace. There is no charge for the operation. He says in Isa. 55:1: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money, and without price.” This Great Physician does not charge for His services. All is given to us freely out of His great heart of love. He forgives us all our sins freely; He cleanses us by His precious blood from all our unrighteousness freely; He justifies us before God freely; He pays our sin-debt in full freely; He clothes us in His perfect robe of righteousness freely; He gives us a new heart and a new nature freely and gives us freely of His grace daily that we may follow Him with this new heart and new life. Another thing He does that blesses my heart is that as the Great Physician He lets us call Him day or night to ask Him questions, to pour out our fears and doubts, to inquire more fully as to how we are to live so we will be healthy. Oh praise His name, He is always accessible! He will always hear our cry for mercy. He always has the right answer to give us so we may be in spiritual health.
You see, when we come to Him with our cares and fears and our doubts and unbelief which make us suffer pain, He says, “Cast them all upon me, I care for you” (I Pet. 5:7). When we come with our sins that trouble us, He says, “Confess them, for I am faithful and just to forgive you of every sin.” When we come with our temptations and testings, He says, “I am faithful, believe me, I will not put on you any more than you are able to bear, but will with these testings and temptations make a way that you may bear it” (I Cor. 10:13). When we are come to Him to tell Him of our need of bread, our need of clothes, our need of a job, our need of material things to keep body and soul together, He says, “I shall supply all your needs according to my riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19). What a Physician we have in our Lord Jesus Christ Who comforts our hearts and always causes us to triumph in Himself! To open up this thought more, I am reminded of the story of the little girl whose mother had died who was asked by a friend, “What do you do without a mother to tell all your troubles to?” The little girl replied, “My mother told me who to go to before she died; I go to the Lord Jesus. He was my mother’s Friend and He is mine; you know He is the Great Physician and the Great Counsellor.” The friend said, “Jesus Christ is up in the sky; He is a long way off and has a great many things to attend to; He is not likely to stop and pay any attention to you.” The little girl answered, “I do not know anything about all of that, but I do know this: He says He will hear me and provide my needs and that is enough for me.”
Praise His name he DOES hear us, He DOES help us, He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; we can come to Him by faith any moment day or night and His ear is open to our cry. He is the Great Physician to His people.
Oh my dear friend, have you been shown you need of the Great Physician to solve your case? to tell you how to be healed of the hurt of sin, how to have victory over sin, how to be delivered from an evil heart that causes all your problems? Then I say to you, come to Christ by faith, search His Word for His instruction, cry after Him to use the knife of His Word upon your heart, trust Him to teach you His way of spiritual health and look to Him as the Lamb of God Who will take away your sins by His own precious blood.
Ask Him to take your case in hand; for you will find there is no hope in yourself to heal your evil heart or even to stop the outpouring of sin. Apply for admission to His hospital of grace and look to Him to do for you what He had done for millions of others down through the years as the Great Physician.
Heal us, Immanuel, here we are,
Waiting to feel thy touch;
Deep-wounded souls to thee repair,
And, Saviour, we are such.
Our faith is feeble, we confess;
We faintly trust thy word;
But wilt thou pity us the less?
Be that far from thee, Lord.
Remember him who once applied,
With trembling for relief;
“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried,
“O help my unbelief.”
She, too, who touched thee in the press,
And healing virtue stole,
Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace;
Thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Like her, with hopes and fears we come,
To touch thee, if we may;
O send us not despairing home;
Send none unhealed away.
We begin our message today by reading Col. 3:1-4. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth, for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
There is one thought among many that stands out to me as we continue these messages on CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP TO HIS PEOPLE which is the expression: “Christ, who is our life.” We desire by the grace of God today to look into this expression and see how our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the believer’s life.
Brother John in his Gospel sets it forth in these words: “In him (Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). In his first epistle he says: “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us)” (I John 1:1-2).
Our Lord Himself declared at Lazarus’ tomb in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Also as He prayed to the Father in John 17, He declared: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Yes, Christ is the source of His people’s life; for in Him we live and move and have our being. He said in John 5:21: “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son QUICKENETH WHOM HE WILL.”
Again, our Lord’s own words are: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:24-25).
Dear friend, because you and I are dead in trespasses and sins by nature, then Christ must speak to us by His Holy Spirit to quicken us and make us alive or we shall forever lay dead without hope in the grave of sin. But praise His name, He Who called Lazarus out of the tomb, brings us out of our grave of sin! We hear the Word of God and we live, according to the promise: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph. 5:14). Therefore it is by His life that we live. He gives us the living water, which is in us a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
You see, Christ is the believer’s life because He is spoken of as being our Head; and we as being members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones in that living union where faith has put us. He has given unto us His divine nature, His spiritual nature, and we can say like David: “‘All my springs are in thee’ oh my Lord and my Saviour” (Psa. 87:7).
Therefore with these precious thoughts in mind, let us take a walk through the Gospel of John today, and as we do let us stop at each expression that is given there of “Christ our Life” and meditate upon them as the Holy Spirit gives us utterance. First, John 1:4 tells us that Christ is the SOURCE of our life, for it is written: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” There is no source of spiritual life, eternal life, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone has been appointed to be “the way, the truth and the life” and no man can come unto God the Father but by Him (John 14:6). Remember, let it sink down deep into your soul: Christ Himself is the only Source of eternal life; for He is that life.
In John 1:14 He is the GLORY of our life, for all that He has done for His people comes out of the glory that the Father gave Him as the God-Man to redeem us from the curse of the law and set us free in Himself.
In John 3:5 He is the POWER of our life, because He makes us alive by His Spirit. He plants in us the Seed of eternal life which is Himself, and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). In John 4:14 He is spoken of as the WATER OF LIFE because the water that He gives us shall be in us “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” He gives to us freely, and that daily, from His life-giving fountain and thereby we are sustained.
In John 5:24 Christ’s Word is the ASSURANCE of our life. He said:
“He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This is precious to me that my blessed Lord’s Word is the assurance of my life. Christ Who cannot lie, has promised everlasting life to me. He Who is my Head has promised that I shall not come into condemnation, but have passed from spiritual death into spiritual life. I need none other assurance but the Word of Him Who is my life; for if He is the truth and reality of my life, then how can I die the second death which is separation from God, since He sits upon the right hand of the Father as my Representative? Praise the Lord, I cannot die when I am in Him! In John 6:48 Christ said: I am that bread of life.” So then to each believer Christ is the very SUSTENANCE of our lives because we feed on Him. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). We are told also in John 6:50: “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” What grace this is then to the believing heart; what a mercy, what a hope: that He Who is our Head, He Who is our Life, He Who is at the right hand of the Father, has provided heavenly bread, spiritual bread, for the sustenance of our spiritual life. So it is HE HIMSELF on which we are to feed as He is lifted up in the Holy Scriptures, and by doing this we shall never die.
Listen further to what our Lord said in verse 51! “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (vs. 55). Yes, it is as we feed by faith upon the crucified, buried, risen, ascended, exalted Lord Jesus that we have life within us to make the journey to heaven and enter there by His grace. Again, our Lord said, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (vs. 57). Praise His Holy Name that He Who is my life gives me of Himself so I may live with Him and feed upon Him forever.
In John 7:38 He is spoken of as the BLESSINGS of our life. He said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (inward parts) shall flow rivers of living water.” The blessings of living water, refreshing, nourishing and satisfying, come down from Him Who is our life.
In John 8:36 He is spoken of as the LIBERTY of the believer’s life.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Praise the Lord, in Christ we are free; we have liberty. Why? Listen to Rom. 8:2! “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Christ by His Spirit has set us free from sin, from the second death, from Satan, from the world; and by His life in us He enables us to walk in the path of righteousness and true holiness. He surely came to proclaim liberty to the captives and cause us to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Therefore because He is our life, He tells us in Gal. 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with that yoke of bondage.” In John 10:27-28 we find that Christ is the SECURITY of our life. Our Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Security, oh what security: that Christ Himself Who is my life, is also the Security of that life! He said, “‘I give unto them eternal life’. I shall not take it from them, neither shall any man take it from them, neither shall they lose it themselves because I have pledged my Word to the Father that ‘all that the Father giveth me shall come to me and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). In fact I have pledged Myself to bring them safely home at last.” How precious is Jude 24: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” I say then, when you can cut off my life Who is Christ, then I will believe you can separate me or any of Christ’s blood-bought ones from Him; but since “my life is hid in Christ in God” (Col. 3:3) (and He is in heaven and you cannot get to Him) then you cannot, Satan cannot, I cannot cause myself to be separated from Him Who is my Security, my ALL and in all. Oh what preciousness this is to my heart! “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come; nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38- 39). In John 14:3 Christ’s appearing is the HOPE of our life. He said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Col. 3:4 reads: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Titus 2:13 reads: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” I John 3:2-3 reads: “Beloved, now are we 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; for we shall see him as he is, and every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Yes, praise His name, He Who is our life is also our hope, for He is coming back to take us to be with Him forever.
In John 17:24 we read that our Lord’s High Priestly Prayer was for this same thing: that we might be with Him to behold His glory. I love to read it over and over again. Listen to it! “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedest me before the foundation of the world.” Listen to Him Who is our life pray for us! He says, FATHER, (oh how tenderly He pleads with His Father for us!). Then He says, “Father I will.” And I say, shall not the Father give His Son all that His heart desires? He will! Then He looks at those for whom He is asking: His own people, His own elect, those whom the Father had given Him in eternity, those for whom He promised to be their Surety and their Life. Then He prays that they may be with Him where He is-in glory-to behold His glory, the glory of the God-Man, the glory that His Father had given Him. For by His glory each one of His people are saved because this same glory was His death and His resurrection for them as He paid their sin-debt in full.
These then are the many reasons why Christ is our life, for He Himself is the Author and Finisher of it all to His people. So I would say in closing, Children of God, rejoice in that Christ Himself is you life; and it is by Him and through Him we freely receive all things from the Father.
Then unto you who do not know Christ as your life, I say, Seek Him with your whole heart and He shall be found of you (Jer. 29:13); for no one seeks Him in vain. He has been exalted by the Father to His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31). Seek Him alone for those things that are needful for your salvation for time and eternity. Come to Him in faith, looking upon Him Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Obtained from Mt. Zion Bible Church (www.mountzion.org). Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.
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