Those who possess the faith that works by love and purifies the soul will represent Christ, in whom their hope of eternal life is centered, by denying self, by sacrificing self for the good of those for whom Christ died. They will have the experience for which Paul bowed his knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, "of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
Those who have experienced the blessing of God should be the most grateful of persons. They should send up to God words of thanksgiving because Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, clothing his divinity with humanity, in order that he might bring before the world the perfection of God in his own character. He came to represent God, not as a stern judge, but as a loving father. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God is love. This was the great truth that Christ came to the world to reveal. Satan had so misrepresented the character of God to the world, that man stood remote from God; but Christ came to display to the world the Father's attributes, to represent the express image of his person. "As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." "This commandment have I received of my Father." The object of Christ's mission to the world was to reveal the Father.
The Lord Jesus is an example in all things. By the works which he did he made it plain that he was in council with the Father, and that he was in every move fulfilling the eternal purposes of God. In spirit, in works, in his whole earthly history, he revealed the mind and purpose of God toward his heritage among men. In his obedience to the law of God, he exemplified in his human nature the fact that the law is a transcript of divine perfection. In the gift of Christ to the world God would overwhelm fallen man with a marvelous manifestation of his great love wherewith he has loves us; but while he would that all should come to repentance, the declaration no less expresses his character, that he will by no means clear the guilty. Should he give the least sanction to sin, his throne would be corrupted. At immense cost, he opens a way of refuge for the sinner, providing that through the work of the Holy Spirit man shall be transformed into an obedient child of God, a loyal subject of his kingdom. He who receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, also is provided with heavenly protection and heavenly light; for the angels of God are sent to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. The representation given to Jacob of a ladder whose base rested upon earth, and whose top reached to the throne of God; whereon ascended and descended the angels of heaven, is a representation of the plan of salvation. Had the ladder failed to connect with earth by one inch, the connection between earth and heaven would have been broken, and man would have been hopelessly lost. But the ladder is planted firmly upon the earth, that heaven may connect with earth, and that the fallen sons of men be redeemed and rescued. Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, whose base is upon the earth, and whose topmost round reaches the throne of God. Down this ladder streams the glory of God, and on it ascend and descend the angels of heaven to communicate the light and the glory of God, whose train fills the temple, to the lost children of earth. Through Christ heavenly intelligences may communicate with human agents.
Christ declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Christ alone can bridge the gulf that sin has made between earth and heaven, and make it possible to reach fallen man with the overtures of mercy. But through the merits of Christ, man has been given a second probation, that he may be tested and proved by another trial to see whether he will be obedient to all the commandments of God, and be brought back in freedom from sin, with his loyalty proved, to have a right to the tree of life, and to enter in through the gates into the city.
In order that man might be thus privileged, Christ, the divine Son of God, joined himself to human nature, that man might understand that the living true God would have every son and daughter of Adam a partaker of the divine nature through union with himself, and thus manifest to the world, to unfallen worlds, and to the synagogue of Satan, that the redemption of the fallen race is possible. God would have his children bear testimony to the fact that God cannot be satisfied until the fallen race is redeemed, reclaimed, and reinstated to their holy privileges, having free access to the tree of life. He would have them bear testimony to the fact that through the grace of Christ, they may represent Christlikeness of character, and find greatest joy in the assurance of his great love wherewith he has loved us. Once separated from God by the lying devices of Satan, they are reunited to him by learning the lesson of redeeming love, as manifested in the great sacrifice of Christ in giving his precious life for mankind. The human is united to the divine by a tie so strong that unfallen worlds, angels, and men are amazed, for those who believe in the love of God to them are secure in the refuge of his love, and not all the arts of Satan can induce them to continue in transgression of the law of God.
O, cannot the sinner understand that Christ clothed his divinity with humanity, in order that he might reach humanity? Can he not see that Jesus lived the life that all the human race may live, and that no soul shall enter the portals of bliss unless he obeys the laws of the kingdom of God? Christ made the law of God binding upon every soul, in order that, through obedience to the divine precepts, man might be brought back to loyalty to God. Every sinner converted to God must live in conformity to all the commandments of God. Jesus lived among men, consuming himself by continual self-denial and in labors of love. The fact that Christ lived among men in human nature is a testimony to us that God is with us. God dwells in every abode, hears every word that is uttered, listens to every prayer that is offered, tastes the sorrows and disappointments of every man, regards the treatment that is given to father, mother, brother, sister, friend, and neighbor. He understands our necessities, and his beloved Son is the channel through which his love, mercy, and grace shall flow to satisfy our need.
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."