LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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DISCOURSE V.  

 

FULL REDEMPTION IN CHRIST.

 

“Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”Hebrews 7:25.

 

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”—John 4:14.

 

IN remarking upon these passages, the attention of the reader is invited to a consideration of the following propositions, which it will be my object to illustrate and establish.

I. Christ presents himself to us as a Saviour in this sense, that he is both able and willing to meet fully every real demand of our being; in other words, perfectly to supply all our real necessities.

II. We will notice some of the demands of our nature which Christ pledges himself to meet.

III. Illustrate the nature of faith in Christ as such a Saviour.

IV. I will endeavour to show that the object of Christ, in all his dispensations towards his people, is to induce in them the exercise of this implicit faith towards him.

V. That it is only when this implicit faith is exercised towards Christ, that he can accomplish in us all that he has promised.

VI. That Christians honour Christ most highly, when, and only when, they rely upon him for an entire fulfilment in them of all that he has promised.

I. Christ presents himself to us as a Saviour, in this sense, that he is both able and willing to meet fully every real demand of our being; in other words, perfectly to supply all our real necessities. The truth of this proposition I argue,—

1. From the fact that it is positively promised in the text, and elsewhere in the Bible. “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” “Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;” i.e., all his real necessities shall be perfectly supplied. Philippians 4:19 ,—“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Psalm 84:11,—“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” Romans 8: 32 ,—“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

2. On this condition only can Christ claim to be unto us the object of supreme regard. If there is any real demand of our nature, which he is unable or unwilling to meet, for the supply of that demand, we should look to some other source.

3. Christ is infinite in power and love, and therefore must be both able and willing thus to “supply our need.”

II. We will now consider some of the demands of our being, which Christ pledges himself to meet. All the real demands of our nature are comprehended in these two—a state of perfect moral purity and blessedness. That these may be possessed in all their fulness, the following special demands must be met:—

1. As sinners, we need pardon. Till we are conscious that God has forgiven our sins, and fully restored us to his favour, a state of well-being is with us an absolute impossibility. To meet this demand, Christ presents himself to us as our “Advocate with the Father,” and as the “propitiation for our sins.” “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

2. Another demand of our nature is, entire deliverance from the power of sin, into a state of conscious perfect moral rectitude. In every condition, actual and conceivable, this is a changeless demand of our being. Until it is met, and perfectly met, the want of it will, of necessity, render our minds “like the troubled sea.” To meet this demand, Christ presents himself as able and willing to “redeem us from all iniquity,” and render us “perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

3. Another demand of our nature is, conscious security against all the temptations to sin, from the “world, the flesh, and the devil.” To meet this demand, the Saviour pledges himself that “he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it.” He presents us with the armour of righteousness, assuring us that, if we will “put on the whole armour of God,” we shall be “able to stand against all the wiles of the devil.”

4. Another fundamental demand of our being is, a love of knowledge. In view of this demand, Christ holds before our minds the declaration of eternal love—“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus, whom he hath sent”—and then presents himself to us as able and willing, through his Spirit, to communicate this knowledge to us.

5. To a state of perfect well-being, the friendship and favour of other minds is an indispensable requisite. To supply this want of our being, he holds before us the Divine declaration,—“I will dwell in them and walk in them;” “and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” He then lifts our contemplation to the eternal throne, and pledges himself to introduce to us an endless and blissful association with the pure spirits that are congregated there.

6. We have also certain demands through our physical constitution, which need to be met. To meet these, Christ stands ready to do for us the following things:—1. To render us perfectly contented with our circumstances, whatever they may be. 2. To render us in the highest sense blessed, in what infinite love actually confers upon us. The saint who could sit down to her meal, which consisted barely of a cup of water and a few dry crusts of bread, and lift her heart to heaven with the exclamation, “All this, Lord, and Jesus too,” hardly needed another ingredient to her cup of blessedness, to cause it to overflow. 3. To bestow upon us all that will be to us, in our circumstances, a real blessing. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” 4. To cause “all things to work together for our good.”

7. I notice but one other demand of our nature which is met in Christ, which is this—an assured hope of a peaceful death and a glorious immortality. To meet this demand, he spreads before us the following assurance:—“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” With what infinite sweetness can we pillow our heads upon such a pledge as this!

Such, Christian, is the fulness that dwells in Christ for you. Such, also, is your completeness in him. In view of this fulness, this perfect completeness, he claims to be the sun and centre of your soul. “To whom shall we go,” blessed Jesus, but unto thee? “Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe, and are sure, that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

III. We are now prepared for our third inquiry, which is, The nature of faith in Christ as such a Saviour. It implies,—1. A consciousness of infinite guilt, poverty, and helplessness in ourselves. 2. The apprehension of Christ as a present Saviour, able and willing to meet all the demands of our being, as described above. 3. The actual reception of him, and cordial and voluntary surrender of our whole being to his control, that he may accomplish in us all that He has promised to those “who come unto God by him.” The individual that knows and believes the “love that the Father hath unto us”—that relies with implicit confidence upon the absolute truth and rectitude of all that Christ has affirmed, and casts all his powers and interests upon his faithfulness, with the peaceful expectation of realising, in his own experience, a blessed fulfilment of all that he has promised,—such an individual exercises that faith, by which we are told “the just shall live.” This leads me to remark,—

IV. That the object of Christ, in his dispensations and teachings, is, to induce in us the exercise of this implicit faith in himself. A bare allusion to a few circumstances in the life of our Saviour will afford a sufficient illustration of this part of our subject. For example,—1. The promptness with which he invariably granted the requests of those who cast themselves with implicit faith upon his power and faithfulness, together with the commendation which he always bestowed upon such acts of confidence. 2. The fact that he always required such confidence, as a condition of extending relief, by the exertion of miraculous power. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” 3. His perpetual reference to the unbelief of his disciples, as the cause of their failure to perform miracles, of their fear in the tempest, and of their carefulness in respect to the supply of their temporal necessities. 4. The repeated assurance that he gave them, that, if they would only exercise this implicit faith in him, “nothing should be impossible to them.” 5. The manner in which he sent them forth to preach, and then asking them, at the close of his ministry, whether, in going out under his protection, “as sheep in the midst of wolves,” without any provision at all for their wants, they had lacked anything. One object is perfectly visible in all these instances, which was, to break their hold of every other object, and to lead them to hang their entire being, with implicit trust, upon his power and faithfulness. Such was the single object of his entire course of treatment, in respect to his disciples and hearers while on earth. The same object, Christian, he is now pursuing towards you. When unbelief has disappeared from your heart; when you will “credit all that he has said;” when you shall calmly and peacefully repose all your powers and interests upon his faithful word—then his object, in respect to you, is accomplished. Then he will open the fountains of eternal love, and let its life-giving waters flow in upon you for ever. He then can and will accomplish in you all that infinite love desires. “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?”

V. I am now to show, that it is only when this implicit confidence is exercised towards Christ, as a Saviour able and willing to meet all our necessities, that he can accomplish in us all that he has promised. How else, for example, can he preserve us, free from all care, and “keep us in perfect peace?” While the mind reposes with unwavering trust in his ability and faithfulness to meet all its necessities, the necessary result is a state of perfect quietude. Distrust, on the other hand, as necessarily throws the mind into a state of agitation. The little child could be preserved in a state of perfect peace, in the midst of the wildest fury of the hurricane, by the thought that his father held the helm, so long, and so long only, as he reposed implicit confidence in that father’s ability and faithfulness to guide the vessel through the storm. So of the Christian: Christ will “keep those in perfect peace” whose minds are stayed on him, because they trust in him. To keep the mind thus, while in a state of distrust, is an absolute impossibility.

For the same reason, it is impossible for Christ to be unto us an object of supreme love and delight, until we are brought to confide in him as being such a Saviour as he represents himself to be. Then, and then only, can he stir up the deep fountains of feeling within us, and cause the tide of love and blessedness to roll on for ever.

How, it may further be asked, is it possible for Christ to bring us into a state of perfect obedience to his will, until we are induced to exercise implicit confidence in the absolute wisdom and rectitude of his requisitions? Whatever Christ does for us as a Saviour, he does and must do, on one condition only—that confidence implicit is reposed in his ability and faithfulness to meet and supply our necessities. The experience of every individual will present a perfect verification of his declarations,—“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.” On the other hand, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

VI. Lastly, I am to show, that Christians honour Christ the most highly, when, and only when, they rely upon him for an entire fulfilment in them of all that he has promised, i.e., to supply all their real necessities. The more enlarged and confiding their expectations, the higher the honour they confer upon him. This is evident from the following considerations:—

1. They then, and then only, give him full and perfect credit for veracity in the testimony which he has given respecting himself. Such a Saviour he represents himself to be. When we trust him with full and perfect confidence as such a Saviour, we honour him as a “faithful and true witness.” Unbelief, a want of this implicit confidence, casts the highest possible dishonour upon Christ, because it practically affirms, that he is not what he has declared himself to be.

2. In the exercise of this full and implicit confidence in Christ as a perfect Saviour, we honour, in the highest possible degree, his benevolence, his mercy, his love. To expect less from Christ than a full supply of all our necessities, is to affirm, that his love is not infinite.

3. In the exercise of this confidence only, we give him credit for being a perfect Saviour. If there is a solitary demand of our being, which he is not able and willing to meet, he is so far, as a Saviour, imperfect.

Do you wish, Christian, to put the highest possible honour upon Christ? “Open your mouth wide,” with the joyful confidence that he “will fill it.” Cast all your cares upon him. Believe that in him you are “complete,” and seek and expect from him the most perfect fulness. When you expect from him less than this, you cast reproach upon his character for veracity and faithfulness, as possessed of infinite love—as an all-powerful and perfect Saviour. You affirm, that “in him all fulness” does not dwell. You wound his heart of love. You “grieve his Holy Spirit.” You put out the light of your own soul.  

 

REMARKS.  

 

I. We may now understand the distinction between perfect and imperfect faith. They are not distinguished, I suppose, by this, that in reference to the same object and the same feature of Christ’s character, the mind may be in a state of trust and distrust at one and the same moment. Our faith may be imperfect for two reasons:—1. We may repose confidence in one, and not in every feature of Christ’s character as a Saviour. For example, the mind, in consequence of ignorance of the perfect fulness of Christ’s redemption in all respects, may repose full confidence in Christ as a justifying, but not as a sanctifying Saviour. 2. For the same reason, the mind may repose confidence in Christ, for sustaining grace, in one condition in life, and not in another. We may, for example, expect Christ to bless us in our closets, but not in the midst of our business transactions. The faith of all such persons is imperfect. Perfect faith, on the other hand, is a full and unshaken confidence in Christ, as in all respects, at all times, and in every condition, a full and perfect Saviour—a Saviour able and willing to meet every possible demand of our being.

II. We also see how it was, that Satan effected the ruin of our first parents. It was by persuading them, that there was one fundamental demand of their being—a love of knowledge—which God did not design to meet; and by inducing them to attempt to supply that demand by transgressing the Divine prohibition. In this state of distrust of God’s power or willingness to meet and supply all their necessities, all mankind now are by nature; and this distrust is the sole cause of every act of disobedience on earth.

III. We may now understand one fundamental design of the plan of redemption. It is to restore in man the full, implicit, and universal confidence in the power, wisdom, and love of God, which was exercised by our first parents before the fall, and is now exercised by all holy beings in existence. What God said to Abraham, he says to all the sons of men, who will hearken to his voice, as Abraham did,—“I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” When God is chosen by the soul as its eternal portion, in whom every demand of its being is perfectly met, then the work of redemption is accomplished in man, as far as his restoration to the love and favour of God is concerned.

IV. We also see when it is that an individual is brought into a state of entire and permanent holiness—when he is settled into a state of full and perpetual consciousness, that in Christ every demand of his being is met, and when all his powers are sweetly yielded up to his control, that he may thus supply our wants, and accomplish, in and through us, all the good pleasure of his goodness. Of such a person, in such a state, it may truly be said, “There is none occasion of stumbling in him.” Nor will there ever be to all eternity. Into this blissful state, Christian, Christ is both able and willing to bring you. Into this state he will bring you, as soon as you will credit his testimony to his own ability and willingness, and will accordingly surrender yourself to his sweet control.

V. We are now presented with another inexplicable difficulty in the way of the theory, that perfection in holiness is unattainable in this life. The advocates of that theory are bound to take the ground, that, in our condition in this life, such perfection—i.e., a state of perfect moral rectitude—would not be, on the whole, a blessing to us, for the glory of God, and the good of the universe; or admit that Christ is able and willing to confer this perfection upon us. If it is a good, Christ stands pledged to confer it upon us. For God has said, that “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Further, if such perfection would be a good to us, and Christ did not present himself to us as able and willing to meet this perpetual and changeless demand of our being, he would be to us an imperfect Saviour.

Again, if such perfection is not in this life a good, for the glory of God, or the well-being of the universe, we are under obligations infinite not to pray for it, or to aim to attain it. To make the present possession of that which, we believe, would not now be a good, the object of prayer and effort, must undeniably be in a high degree criminal. But is not the fact, that a state of moral rectitude would be a good to us, for the glory of God, and the good of the universe, a self-evident truth? Is it not demonstrably evident that it is a good, from the fact that it is required of us in the Bible; that Christ prayed for it in behalf of all Christians, and taught them to pray for it; and that such motives are held before us in the Bible, to induce in us this perfect obedience to God?

Now, which of the above alternatives shall we take? Shall we say, that perfection in holiness is not in this life a good, and, for this reason, as we are bound to do, if the supposition before us is correct, cease to aim at it, or pray for it? Or shall we say, that such perfection is a good, and that Christ, though able, is unwilling to confer it upon us, and thus impeach his benevolence, his character as a perfect Saviour? Or, finally, shall we affirm, that a state of perfect moral rectitude is in this life a good, and that Christ is both able and willing to confer it upon us, and thus proclaim his absolute perfection as a Saviour? One, and only one, of the above alternatives we must take. Which is most honourable to Christ? Which is most conformable to the teachings of inspiration? Which does it become us, as the pupils of the Bible and Spirit of God, as the disciples of such a Saviour, to assume?

VI. We see, also, how it is, and by what means that Satan is endeavouring to draw Christians away from Christ. It is by tempting them to believe, that some one or more of the demands of their being are not met in Christ, and thus to draw off their hearts from him to some other object. In every instance in which a Christian falls into sin, he does it under the influence of some such temptation as this. For the time being, he is led practically to distrust the power or willingness of Christ to answer some of the demands of his nature. To meet this demand, the individual trespasses the command of Christ.

VII. We see, also, that the sentiment, that Christ is not both able and willing to render us, in this life, perfect in holiness, and thus meet this great, this fundamental demand of our nature, is directly and most perfectly adapted to induce distrust in him, and throw the mind under the power of the great enemy. No sentiment can be conceived of, which is more perfectly adapted to secure this object, than the one under consideration.

VIII. We may now understand the full meaning of the passage, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” The meaning of the passage I suppose to be this—Christ accomplishes in and for the believer all that the law would have done, had he always perfectly obeyed its requisitions. For example, perfect obedience to the law secures to the subject a full exemption from all condemnation, and a sure title to the protection and favour of God. This the Christian enjoys through faith in Christ. Entire obedience to the law would have rendered his moral character absolutely perfect, and infinitively lovely and excellent in the estimation of God, and of all intelligent beings. A character, equally perfect, lovely, and excellent, the believer receives through implicit faith in Christ. Further, obedience to the law would have rendered the believer perfectly blessed in the love and favour of God. A blessedness equally perfect descends to the believer through faith in Christ. Again, obedience to the law would have secured to the believer a full and perfect supply of every necessity. Every demand of our being is met with equal fulness in Christ. All that the law would have done for the believer, had he perfectly obeyed its requisitions, Christ does for him, and infinitely more.

IX. We are also prepared to answer an objection, which is sometimes brought to the doctrine maintained in these discourses, to wit, that it tends to dishonour the law, by lowering the standard of moral obligation. When I hear this objection, I am often reminded of a declaration made to Paul by a fellow apostle—“Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are that believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” Whenever the thought is presented, that perfect conformity to the Divine requisitions is not only required, but expected, of us in this life, a great zeal is instantly manifested for the law, as if some fearful sacrilege was done to it by the above supposition. The standard of moral obligation, it is said, will be let down, and Antinomianism, and errors fearfully dangerous, will be introduced. But how a law is honoured, by maintaining that the subject will never obey it, is more than I can understand. And what is gained by elevating the standard of theoretical, and lowering that of practical attainment, is equally inexplicable to my mind. Christians should also understand, that, in their zeal to elevate the law, they may limit the grace of God. To place the law far above the provisions and promises of Christ’s redemption, confers honour neither upon the law nor Christ. On the other hand, “Christ magnifies the law and makes it honourable,” in the highest sense possible, when, as the Mediator of the new covenant, he “puts the law in the minds, and writes it in the hearts,” of his people, and brings all the powers of their being into sweet subjection to its requisitions.

X. In the light of this subject, you see, Christian, the real cause of every sin you commit; of all your “care and trouble about the many things” of this life; of your want of perpetual peace in God, and of the “aching void” in your heart in its stead; and of the absence of that state of perfect content which arises from the consciousness that all your wants are met in Christ. All this has its origin in one principle exclusively—unbelief—a want of confidence in Christ as a full and perfect Saviour. Until you become fully sensible of this fact; until you are led to refer all your particular sins, all your carefulness and anxiety about your worldly interest, your want of perfect peace, and every improper feeling that arises in your mind, to one source—unbelief—you will never feel as you ought the “exceeding sinfulness of sin.”

XI. We may understand the origin and cause of the profound insensibility and hardness of heart, in respect to the love of Christ, of which professors of religion so commonly complain. Three facts will sufficiently account for this state of gloom and heartfelt despondency:—1. Christians generally are ignorant of the fulness of that redemption which they have in Christ. Unbelief has taken their Lord away from their hearts, and they know not where it has laid him. The secret of having a heart always melted with love and tenderness, is an indwelling Christ, from whose fulness our cup of blessedness may perpetually flow. 2. Another cause of the state under consideration is this—the fact that almost every Christian, in uniting with the Church, took upon him the most solemn covenant and vow to live in a state of entire consecration to Christ, not only in the absence of all expectation that such vow would be kept, but with the definite belief that it would not be kept. With such a vow and such a belief lying together upon your conscience, Christian, cease to wonder that your heart has been hardened into the profoundest insensibility and gloom. 3. Another cause of this state of things is, the daily habit of praying definitely for a state of entire sanctification, with the full belief that God will not answer such requests by the bestowment of the blessing prayed for. Let me beseech you, Christian, as you value the presence and favour of God, as you would not fasten a heart of stone as a perpetual mill-stone to your deathless soul, never to put up such a prayer again. “Be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong.”

XII. One important aspect of the question at issue between the advocates and opposers of the doctrine of Christian perfection, here presents itself to the contemplation. That Christ is able to render us, in this life, as well as in eternity, “perfect and complete in all the will of God,” none, I presume, will deny. The apostle, Ephesians 3:20 –21, after having prayed for the entire sanctification and perfect blessedness of Christians, thus exclaims,—“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Surely we are not straitened in Christ, as far as power to save is concerned. The great question is, Is he willing, as well as able, to render us thus perfect? On this question, the advocates and opposers of the doctrine of Christian perfection are really at issue. On the one hand, it is affirmed that, at all times, and under all circumstances, Christ is both able and willing to meet, and to meet perfectly, every demand of our being, and that, as such a Saviour, he is ever present as an object of faith. On the other hand, it is affirmed that there is no moment, during the present life, when he is willing, though able, to meet one changeless demand of our being, to render us “perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Which of the above positions is true, you, reader, are called upon here, in the fear of God, to decide.

XIII. We are now prepared for the contemplation of another, and very interesting aspect of the question, Whether perfection in holiness is attainable in this life. That doctrine has the highest possible internal evidence in its favour, which directly and manifestly falls in with the great design of God in the Gospel; while the doctrine which wants this characteristic is equally destitute of all claim to our belief. Now, every one is aware that the great and fundamental design of the Gospel is, to induce in the Christian the exercise of implicit faith in Christ. Which view of the character of Christ is best adapted to increase in us the exercise of such faith in him—that which presents him to our contemplation as able and willing to meet perfectly every demand of our being, or that which presents him as able indeed, but unwilling, during the progress of the present life, to meet one fundamental and changeless demand of our nature, i.e., to “sanctify us wholly,” and preserve us in that state to his coming and kingdom? Is not the former view of the character of Christ most perfectly adapted to induce the exercise of perfect faith, and the latter as perfectly adapted to induce the opposite state of mind, that is, unbelief?

XIV. I will here notice a remark which is sometimes made in respect to dwelling upon the doctrine of Christian perfection. It is not in this manner, it is said, that the Christian makes progress in holiness; but by turning his contemplation directly upon the Divine glory, and thus being changed into the same image from glory to glory, “even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The question is, Does not the doctrine of Christian perfection present one of the essential features of this very glory, upon which we are required to turn our contemplation? What is implied in the general and devout meditation upon this doctrine? It implies three things:

1. Deep and profound meditation upon the pure and perfect law of God, and upon the action of all the powers of our being, in all the circumstances and relations in life, in conformity with that law. By thus meditating upon the Divine statutes, the Psalmist declares that he had become “wiser than his teachers.” Who will dare affirm, that such meditations are not in a high degree favourable to holiness? Who will affirm that, in thus meditating upon God’s pure and perfect law, we shall see no bright reflections of that glory, in the beholding of which the Christian is changed into the same image?

2. In another view of the subject, dwelling upon the doctrine of Christian perfection implies a devout contemplation of the character of Christ, as a full and perfect Saviour—a Saviour able and willing to meet all our real necessities. By such contemplations, contemplations in which we are brought to “know and believe the love which God hath to us,” we are informed, 1 John 4:16 –17, that “our love is made perfect.”

3. In yet another view of the subject, dwelling upon the doctrine under consideration implies a frequent and devout contemplation of the provisions of Divine grace for the entire sanctification of believers, and of the designs of God to raise them to this state, whenever they look to him, by faith to do it for them. Such meditations upon God’s “thoughts of good, and not of evil,” towards his people, tends, in the most powerful manner conceivable, to melt our hearts in love and tenderness towards God, and to induce in us the most vigorous efforts after that holiness which we are required to perfect. In whatever point of light the doctrine under consideration is contemplated, dwelling upon it has one tendency, and only one,—the assimilation of our entire character to that of Christ.

Finally, brethren, seeing we have such a full and perfect redemption in Christ, “what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” For remaining under the power of sin in any form we have no excuse. To “rejoice in the Lord always” we are under obligation infinite. “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” To be free from all care; to be perpetually peaceful and blessed in Christ; to “show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light;” to breathe his spirit, walk in his steps, exemplify his virtues, and have his “joy fulfilled in us,”—is our high privilege and sacred duty. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.”