Savior

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“Our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ” – A Classic Devotional From Horatius Bonar

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

“Thou, O Jesus of Nazareth, hast come to seek and save that which was lost. Thy name is ‘Saviour, Christ the Lord’ (Luke 2:11); ‘God my Saviour’ (Luke 1:47); the ‘Saviour of the world’ (John 4:42); ‘God our Saviour’ (1 Tim. 1:1); ‘Our Saviour Jesus Christ’ (1 Tim. 1:10). Salvation is linked with Thy name, Thy person, Thy work, Thy life, Thy death, Thy resurrection. Saviour of the lost, we own Thee, O Christ of God.

‘Who hath saved us’ is the song we sing (2 Tim. 1:9); to Him who is ‘able to save to the uttermost’ (Heb. 7:25). He ‘came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Tim. 1:15). ‘The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Matt. 18:11); and ‘by grace we are saved, through faith’ (Eph. 2:5). We preach Christ the Saviour of sinners, and say: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’ (Acts 16:30); for there is no salvation in any other, nor any other name given under heaven, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). As the deliverer, He saves. As the looser of bonds, He saves. As the forgiver, He saves. As the justifier, He saves. As the shepherd, He saves. As the quickener, He saves. As the propitiation, He saves. The whole completeness of that which we call salvation is to be found in Him, without stint, or lack, or grudging. In His fulness is salvation, just such as a lost one needs;—deliverance from all evil, and the possession of all good.

His willingness to communicate what He possesses, is as boundless as His fulness. He loves to give; nay, He giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. He is clothed with the garments of salvation (Isa. 61:10), and He delights to impart that salvation to all who need it. Out of His lips goeth the word of salvation (Acts 13:26), that all who come within the sound of His voice may hear and live (Isa. 55:3). He is the author of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), and He presents Himself as such to the lost. His long-suffering is salvation (2 Pet. 3:15); for He waits upon the sinner, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. His Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Himself (2 Tim. 3:15). The Father hath ‘set Him to be a light of the Gentiles, that He should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth’ (Acts 13:47). Thus, then, He speaks to us, and says: ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth’ (Isa. 45:22). This is the salvation and this is the Saviour of whom we preach, in preaching ‘the Christ of God.’ ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,’ is our message;—and how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?

All that salvation is we do not, cannot know, now; but we shall know hereafter. There is so much to be saved from; there is such manifold fulness in the Saviour; and there is, over and above the mere salvation, such a glory, and honour, and blessedness in reserve for the saved, that we may truly say that we know not, and shall never fully comprehend, what salvation is. The ‘wells of salvation’ (Isa. 12:3) are very deep. The heights of salvation are very lofty. The circle of salvation is very large. The joy of salvation is satisfying and exuberant. And all this is so free and rich, that we can only say it is infinitely worth the having; all things which eye hath seen, or ear hath heard, are not to be compared with it. He who gains it, gains all that is worth the having; he who loses it, loses everything, and is left inconceivably and eternally poor.”

Horatius Bonar, The Christ of God. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1874), 104–107. [Italics original.]

Treating The King Like A Pawn

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him” Luke 23:8.

Rather than seeking Christ to inquire concerning the truth about the world, humanity, and the Creator God, Herod merely wanted to satisfy his idle curiosity. To him the Lord Jesus’ miracles were not signs authenticating His deity and Messiahship; instead they were magic tricks meant for his royal amusement. He wanted to manipulate his notable prisoner into performing instead of preaching; of course, that is exactly what the Lord would not do. Jesus Christ is not a pawn and life is not a game. In order to accomplish the purpose for which they were created, human beings must bow to the King of kings and Lord of lords who alone gives eternal life.

tissot-jesus-before-herod-513x743*Image: James Tissot, “Jesus before Herod”; found here: http://www.joyfulheart.com/easter/images-tissot/tissot-jesus-before-herod-513×743.jpg Accessed on 6/3/13.

Trivializing The Ultimate Truth

Many moderns reenact Herod’s tragic mistake by thinking that they have heard about Christ and therefore know all about Him. But hearsay is notoriously unreliable. One may hear that Christ was a good teacher or a moral man, and the gospels bear this out – yet it is not the whole truth. Jesus was “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16.) He was a real, sinless man; yet He was also God walking in our midst (1 Tim. 2:5; Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:5-8.)

As God incarnate the Lord Jesus is incapable of being maneuvered by humans into doing what they want. During His earthly ministry, He steadfastly held to God the Father’s will and timetable. Thus, He was born, died, rose again, and ascended back to heaven all according to the schedule preordained from before the foundation of the world (e.g. 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Titus 1:2-3.) For a puny would-be potentate – in reality a dissipated, vacillating puppet of the Roman overlords – to suppose that he could make Christ perform on demand was ludicrous. The Lord Jesus is not malleable to men’s perverted notions.

Checkmating Ourselves

Far too many moderns reduplicate the same mistake in different forms. They suppose that Jesus is there to be reinterpreted according to their thinking. Rather than a holy God who “…commands all men everywhere to repent,” they suppose that He is a grandfatherly type of being who would never dream of separating anyone from Himself for an eternity of punishment. Or they simplistically think that He indulgently turns a blind eye to our sinful desires and thought-life. To others, the Lord is little better than a life-ring to desperately grasp when they get into trouble, or a miracle-working genie whom we may call upon to gratify our desires for the sensational or the supernatural.

The Lord Jesus Christ will not submit to a chess game of our own devising. He is not a pawn, but a king. Bearing this in mind, our legitimate response must be to bow to Him and say “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13); and “My Lord and my God” (Jn. 20:28)!  Afterwards we say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:10) and “Lord, what do you want me to do” (Acts 9:6)? This is the best kind of life: one lived in obedience to our Lord and King.