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Two Sermons: Israel's Hope and Plenteous Redemption
Israel's Hope; or, The Centre of the Target
April 19th, 1891
by C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
"Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." Psalms 130:7 .
When he penned this psalm, the writer, David, was in deep distress, if not of circumstances, yet of conscience. He constantly mentions iniquities, and begs forgiveness. He felt like a shipwrecked mariner, carried overboard into the raging sea. Thus he reviews the situation "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord." Yet he lived to tell the tale of deliverance. His prayer from among the waves was a memory worth preserving, and he does preserve it. The mercy of God to him he weaves into a song for us; and in this our text is found. Two things the rescued sufferer tells us. First, that, as God delivered him from the power of sin, so he will deliver all his praying, wrestling, believing people. That is the last verse of the psalm He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." The argument is He delivered me. What am I more than others? The gracious Lord who saved me will save all those who call upon him in truth. He delivered me, though laden with iniquities, and his pardoning mercy is unfailing; and therefore he can and will rescue others from their uttermost distresses. This is a good line of reasoning, for the Lord's ways are constant, and he will do for all believers what he has done for one of them. The other thing which the Psalmist sets before us is this: we are wise if we apply to God alone for help. He says, "I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning." He incidentally tells us that it is vain to wait upon man, and put our trust in any human support, for the way of deliverance lies alone in reliance upon God, immediately and alone. We are not to depend upon outward means, but upon the God who lends efficacy to all means. Why is it that we need to be told of this? Why is faith in God so rare? To go first to the Lord is to save time. Straightforward always makes the best runner; and to go straight to God is not only our duty, but it will be our happiest course. The psalm encourages us to this by the assurance that the Lord can and will help all that seek him; and it urges us to let that seeking be distinctly and directly turned to the Most High, to him alone, and to none other. To join another ground of confidence with the Lord is a sort of practical idolatry which is to the wounding of faith. May we learn well the lesson of this psalm! When we meet with a man who has been in special trouble, and he has escaped from it, we are anxious to know how it came to pass, in order that, if we are cast into similar trial, we also may resort to the same door of hope. You meet with a man that has long been sorely afflicted, and to find him full of joy at his relief is a pleasure and a personal comfort. You heard him lamenting for years, and now you hear him rejoicing; and this excites your wonder and your hope. It is as though a cripple saw another lame man leaping and running. He very naturally enquires, "How is this?" The other day you saw a man blind, begging in the street, and now he has an eye bright as that which sparkles on the face of a gazelle, and you cry in astonishment "Tell me who was the oculist that operated on your eyes; for I may be in a like case, and I should be glad to know where to go." Here, then, we have a gate of knowledge opened before us. The Psalmist found salvation and deliverance in going direct to God, and trusting in him; let us follow his example, and in all times of distress, caused by our own iniquity, or by anything else, let us repair to the throne of grace; for the Most High will deal with us also even as he dealt with his servant of old time, to whose cries, out of the depths, he lent an attentive ear. This psalm is called "De Profundis"; its teaching is not only profound but practical. Let me freely speak with you as concerning the great salvation which, as fallen creatures, we all need. In that matter our sole resort must be to God alone, for "salvation is of the Lord." God has been pleased, in these last days, to reveal himself in a glorious manner, suitable to our salvation. He was always to be seen in creation by those whose sight was not darkened by moral evil; and doubtless angelic eyes always beheld Jehovah in all the works of his hands. He was to be seen under the old law in types and shadows; and believing men and women were enabled, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to behold the Lord in his temple. But in these last days the Lord has spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath made heir of all things, and in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. There is the Father most clearly to be seen: and now, if we read that Israel is to hope in the Lord, and if we see that the way of salvation lies in relying upon "the Lord," we must read between the lines, and understand that the glorious Lord must ever be the object of faith according as he at this time reveals himself. It is written, "They that know thy name will put their trust in thee:" that is to say, they trust, as they know how he reveals himself. At this moment the manifestation of God standeth thus: his dear Son has descended from the highest heavens, and taken upon himself our human nature, so that he is God and man in one sacred and mysterious Person. In that complex form, the Word made flesh dwelt among men on earth some thirty years and more; and then he took upon himself the weight of human sin, and bare it upon his shoulders up to the cross. He was arrested by the hand of dine justice, and treated by justice as if he had been a sinner, though sinner he could never be. He was numbered with the transgressors, and given over to wicked men, who, in their wilful malice, scourged him, spit upon him, crowned him with thorns, and condemned him to a felon's death. He died, not for any iniquity of his own; but for the transgression of his people was he smitten. The chastisement of our peace was upon him; yea, "he was made a curse for us;" and even more: "he was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "He died, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." If, then, we would trust God for our personal salvation, we must confide in him as he manifests himself for that purpose; and as we perceive that God sets forth Christ to be a propitiation for our sin, we must accept that ordained way of putting away our sin. This is the way in which "with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption;" and thus it is that "he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." We trust in the Lord God as he reveals himself in the person of his Son Christ Jesus, who has displayed in his own self the love and the justice of God, and has shown how these were equally glorified by the way of redemption through the substitution, and sacrifice of One who is the fellow of the Highest, and yet next-of-kin to man. Our Lord has buried our sin in his sepulcher, and has gone up into heaven to plead there with God for transgressors, and at the same time to prepare a place for as many as believe in him, and so are saved by his plenteous redemption. Understand, then, that if we read in the text, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption," we now, to-day, in the light of the gospel, reedit thus "Let the seeking sinner, who would be redeemed from all his iniquities trust in God as he is seen in and through Jesus Christ, for there forgiveness is freely given through plenteous redemption, and sin is no longer marked or imputed to the believer, because the sacrifice of Jesus has blotted it out, and removed it for ever." This is the introduction of our discourse. May the Holy Spirit now grant his anointing both to preacher and hearers! I. The chief point to which I desire you to give earnest heed is this: in obtaining gospel blessings THE FIRST EXERCISES OF FAITH MUST BE TOWARDS GOD IN CHRIST JESUS, and not towards the blessings themselves. "Let Israel hope in the Lord." We do not read, "Let Israel hope" for mercy; but we read, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy." Neither does it say, Let Israel hope for plenteous redemption;" but it is worded thus, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is plenteous redemption." To me this has the look of a very encouraging truth: the sinner is not to hasten with his first thoughts to the mercy that he wants, nor even to the promise of God to which he may look; but he is to go to the Lord Jesus' Christ himself, as the Lord of mercy, and fountain of redemption. The first exercise of our faith is to deal immediately with the Lord God as he meets us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here let me say that this is the most natural order which faith can follow. Look first to the Giver, and then to the gift. Look for the Helper, and then for the help. Do not be saying, "I long to be forgiven. I labor to believe that I am forgiven. I desire to be saved. I want to know that I am saved." This is looking for the fruit, when you have need first to find the tree. Your first business, as a seeker of pardon and salvation, is to believe in Jesus Christ, that is, to trust yourself with the divine Savior. The natural order is, believe in the Promiser, and then you will believe the promise. You never say to yourself, "I should like to be able to take that man's word. I will sit down and try to make my mind confident of the truth of what he says." This would be a foolish and futile method of procedure. You follow a much more reasonable course: you enquire about the individual's character and standing: you find out who he is, and what he is, and what he has done; and thus you gather arguments for confidence and faith. You cannot help believing the promise when once you believe in the Promiser. If you find a merchant to be an eminently upright and substantial man, you do not hesitate to take his cheques; in fact, you would be glad to have your purse full of them. Faith prizes the promises of her faithful God, and calls them precious. Apply this rule, and deal with heavenly things in due order. You seek pardon. Do not look continually at this priceless mercy at first, but look to the pardoning God. You will soon believe in forgiveness if you cause the first exercise of your faith to refer to the Forgiver, even Christ Jesus himself. When you have believed in him, as able to say, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," then you will believe in sins being forgiven. This is the natural order of things. So, also, if you desire to believe for salvation, and to be assured that you have it, or may have it at once, the simple course the natural course is to believe in the Savior. To be healed, you believe first in the Healer. When you have believed in the Savior, then you will believe in the salvation. If you know that Jesus can save you, if you desire to be saved, you will trust him to save you. You will be readily able to believe that you can be saved when you trust in Jesus as able to save to the uttermost. Poor trembling heart, do not look at the blessing, and say, "Alas, it is too great!" Look at the Savior himself! Is anything too great for him to give who gave his heart's blood to redeem? Do not say, "My heart is so hard, it cannot be changed." Look at the Savior; is anything impossible to him to whom the Father has committed all power? Is he not mighty to save? Fix your eye, first and foremost, upon him who is both God and man, and has therefore power and sympathy, majesty and mercy, omnipotence and brotherliness. I pray you, do not consider so much the greatness of the effect as the unlimited power of the Cause. I may doubt my washing, but not when I believe in the cleansing virtue of the precious blood. It may be difficult to believe in my salvation, but not to believe in my Savior. It may be hard to hope for heaven; but the text sets me an easier task "Let Israel hope in the Lord." When I open my window Godwards, and look towards the Lord Jesus, I see glorious things in the light of the rising sun, even things which I could not have seen if I had not first turned towards the light. "In the beginning God": this, according to the first chapter of Genesis, is the natural order of all divine work; do not attempt to alter it. To this I would add, this is the necessary order. It must be so: the Savior first, and then the salvation. Suppose for a moment that it were possible for you to obtain pardon without Christ, what good would it do you? I would remind you that no blessing is a covenant blessing, or a blessing at all, except as it is connected with Christ Jesus, and so with the Lord God. No comfort is worth having if Jesus does not comfort us. No forgiveness is worth the words which utter it if Jesus does not forgive. There is no coming to the Father except by Christ. If, therefore, I imagine that I have come to the Father without Christ, it is clear that I have not come. If I fancy that I have saving blessings apart from the appointed Savior, I am a deceived man. Beloved, do not seek after mercy, pardon, holiness, heaven, except through Christ Jesus our Lord, for you will be seeking counterfeits, shadows, delusions. Begin at the cross. See how Jesus puts it: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He does not first say, "Take my yoke upon you;" but first "Come unto me." He first gives us rest, and then afterwards we find it; but we begin with coming to him. First Christ, and then his yoke. First Christ, and then rest. Do not ask for rest first, and then say, "I will come to Christ afterwards." This is an impossible order. Do not even say, "I must get a broken heart, and then come to Christ." No, come to Christ for a broken heart. I preach to-night to you a Savior who wants nothing of you, but who is ready to begin with you at the beginning, just where you are, in all your unworthiness and ill desert in all your depravity and vileness. He is ready to take you up from the mire of the pit wherein you lie, and to look on you with love in all the pollution with which you are disgraced. Come ye, then, and begin with Jesus. It is the necessary order of your coming: first to Christ, and then to his yoke, and to his peace. Let your faith exercise itself, not so much on what you ought to be, or on what you hope to be, as on what Christ is, and on his ability to make you all that your heart pings after. Hear ye the good word of my text, and give good heed thereto. Note well the permission of heavenly love "Let Israel hope in the Lord." Observe, also, that, as it is the natural order, and the necessary order, so it is evidently the easiest order. Sometimes it seems to a burdened heart to be more than difficult to believe in the pardon of innumerable sins: it appears impossible. Guilty one, do not try to believe in pardon in the abstract, but believe in Jesus the Sacrifice and Savior, who has once for all appeared to put away sin. Believe in the divine Substitute, and then you will believe that the forgiveness of your sins is a thing provided for by him. Do not even say, "I can never be sanctified; such a wretched sinner as I am could never be made into a saint. "Do not try to believe in sanctification, but rely upon the boundless power of Jesus to "make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight." For all parts of salvation, hope in the Lord, and look to his hand for the working thereof. Forget yourself now, and only think of him who worketh all things according to the good pleasure of his will. Cease looking for the water, and look for the well. You will more readily see the Savior than see salvation, for he is lifted up, even he who is God, and beside him there is none else. You will more easily fix your eye on Jesus than upon justification, sanctification, or any other separate blessing. When the work seems hard, look to his hand: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" You may fix your eye upon a covenant promise till it dazzles you; but if you see Jesus, the sight will strengthen your eyes, and you will see the promise in him, and perceive it to be yea and amen to the glory of God. It is easier to believe in a personal Christ than in impersonal promises. That poor woman who was sick, in Jesus Christ's day, might have said to herself, "It is impossible that I should be healed;" but then she thought not so much of the healing as of the Healer, and when she saw Jesus walking about among the crowds, healing all manner of diseases, and when she believed that God was in him, why, then she inferred that he could heal her disease, and she came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. She sought him, and so sought healing. Do keep in this line, let not the devil take you off it that the first object of your faith should be the Lord Jesus; for by him, as the ladder which God has set up, you can climb to the highest place of privilege, and lay hold upon the choicest gift of grace. This is the way even to God himself, and the only way which our human feet can tread. Consider well who Christ was, and what he has done, and then you will conclude that he can save even you. By looking to him you will be saved; and what is easier than to look? To hope in God is a far more simple matter than to search for signs and evidences in yourself, or to labor to force yourself up into certain states of mind. Answer the question, "Will he save me?" by looking to see what kind of a Savior Jesus is; and when you perceive the glory of his person, the perfection of his obedience, and the merit of his blood, you will be convinced that you may safely trust in him according to his command; for he commands you to believe. Jesus declares, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Let us come at once, for it is the nearest and best road to peace. To come first of all to God in Christ Jesus is the wisest course. You are too bewildered to know which blessing to seek, therefore seek Jesus himself, and he will be unto you wisdom. It is easier to come to the cross than to the separate blessings which come of it. Take the straight road, which lies plain before your face. In faintness and trembling of heart we dare not appropriate a mercy; our palsied hand cannot grasp a favor; and therefore it is our wisdom to fall at Jesus' feet, and let him give us what seemeth good to him. Through our ignorance we know not what to ask, and through our doubt we are afraid to ask; therefore, let us leave all with our Lord. We need the wine and oil; but we are sore wounded, and shall do well to lie still, and let him pour them in. When the good Samaritan is come, all is come. Let us, therefore, neither cry for wine nor oil, but for HIM, we know his name. The wisdom of the prayer is seen in its completeness. At first, sinners, conscious of their ill desert, cry to be saved from hell; and this is the most of their prayer: but suppose the Lord should give them this, and not change their natures, would they be one whit the better? If there were no fires of Tophet, so long as a man has sin within him, he creates his own hell. In seeking the Lord Jesus, a man finds escape from punishment, and much more. No man knows enough to be able to ask for an all-round salvation: he will only seek this or that which seems to him most pressingly needful. We are too ignorant, too much the creatures of feeling, too partial, too childish, to make a catalogue of what we need; but we can ask for Jesus, and he is all in one. How excellent is that hymn of ours with the refrain,
"Give me Christ, or else I die!
We have asked all when we have asked for the Savior anointed of the Lord. When our hope is in God, through the Mediator whom he has appointed, we hope in him in a way which renders our hope sure and steadfast; and this is the highest wisdom. In laying hold upon Jesus, you have obtained not only something, but everything. In looking first to Jesus, you have sought for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and you know the promise that all other things shall be added. If you need strength, comfort, guidance, fruitfulness, and aught also that makes up eternal salvation, behold, you have it in your Lord. Nothing that is wanted for a soul between this present state of trial and the perfection of heaven, is omitted from Christ: "ye are complete in him." If, therefore, you make him the first object of your faith, and lay hold upon him, rather than upon any or all blessings, you are delivered from anxiety as to whether your ignorant prayers have comprehended all you need; and this must be a wise course to follow. It is therefore the most profitable course for needy souls like ourselves. By grasping our Lord, and hoping in him, we fill our hands, not with brass or silver, but with gold of Ophir. Let others hope where they may, but let Israel, the prince, hope in the Lord, from whom he has already won such royal favors. I see at times, in the newspaper, "Principals only will be dealt with," and in our heavenly business we had better keep to this rule. Go not to the servants; make all your applications to the Master; and in your dealings with him seek not so much his gifts as himself; for the Giver is ever greater than what he gives. The bottle of water which Hagar carried for Ishmael is a poor thing compared with that well of God beside which Isaac abode. Fruit from a choice tree is well, apples of gold in baskets of silver are not to be despised; but, if one can have the tree planted in his own garden, he is richer far. Our Lord is the apple tree among the trees of the wood, and to possess HIM is to have the best of the best, yea, all things that can be desired. Covenant blessings are streams, but our Lord Jesus is the well-head. Believe for the infinite, immutable, inexhaustible "deep which lieth under," and you may sink as many wells as you please. I believe that, in every cave wherein the soul finds peace, this is the actual order. We may go about after pardon, renewal, and holiness, but we find no rest unto our souls while hunting for these. As a matter of fact, we look unto HIM and are lightened, and not by any other means. If, by aiming even at repentance, we are taken off from the Lord, we are taken off the right road. It is possible even to look to faith in such a manner as to forget the object of faith. It is not my hand, but what my hand grasps that saves me when I lay hold on Christ. It is not my eye, but what my eye sees which saves me when I look to Jesus. In very deed no heart can find salvation in that which comes forth from itself: its hope lies alone in the Lord, to whom it must trust for everything. Beware of trusting to an anchor which lies on your own deck, or to a confidence which depends in the least degree on yourself. "Let Israel hope in the Lord." Now the Lord is not self, nor will he be joined with self. The Lord is beyond and outside of all that the criteria can find within, or hope to produce from itself. Mercy and redemption are with the Lord, not with self. Why, then, should we look where, in the very nature of things, those are not, and cannot be? Why not look to the Lord, in whom along all heavenly treasures abide? This, then, is my message to every man who desires salvation, "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." Do not let him begin by hoping in mercy and redemption, for these are not to be found apart from the Lord but let him go at once to that divine Person with whom there is mercy and plenteous redemption, then both of those will be granted him. I wish I knew how to put this so plainly that every bewildered and cast-down spirit would catch my meaning, and accept its counsel. I would also have preachers learn a lesson from the point I have been driving at. Let them not so much preach sinners to Christ as preach Christ to sinners. I am persuaded that a full and clear declaration of what Jesus is, as to his person, offices, character, work, and authority, would do more to produce faith than all our exhortations. "Whosoever believeth in him hath everlasting life;" but how shall they believe unless they hear of him? The very best topic for the immediate conversion of men is Christ crucified the doctrine that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. I know one that came in here full of evil, living an unchaste life, and the text was, "He that believeth in him hath everlasting life." There would not seem to be anything about the sermon to convince of sin but the charming mercy of God won that heart, and that heart, being won by love, learned at once to hate evil, and to serve the Lord Jesus in all that is pure, and lovely, and of good report. There sat in this very house, not long ago, side by side with one who still is in the service of Satan, a woman, who had not attended the house of God for years. Nothing was heard but the simple proclamation of the grace of God in Christ Jesus to the guilty, but she was shot down by the side of her companion: the thought of the amazing mercy and infinite love of God, in giving his Son to die, touched her heart, and she began to weep, whereat her companion upbraided her; but she answered, "I have found mercy." That was enough for her: she made no other excuse for her emotion. I pray that like effects may follow this sermon. I bid you hope in the Lord. Look not to abstract mercy; look not to any feelings or resolves in yourselves; look not even to the hearing of the word, or to promises alone; but look to Jesus, who still lives, and who is in the midst of his people at this time, waiting to receive all who are willing to come to him. While I tell you this, I am praying the Holy Spirit to bless the Word to your souls, so that, at once, without delay, you may look only to the Lord, and may trust in him, and be saved. You are allowed to do so, for the text says, "Let Israel hope in the Lord." If the Scripture permits, who shall forbid? II. Another form of the same truth now invites our attention ALL EXERCISES OF FAITH IN REFERENCE TO OTHER THINGS MUST BE IN CONNECTION WITH THE LORD. I began with our first exercise of faith, but I would not end there. As the stars called "the Pointers" always point to the pole-star, so must our faith ever look to God in Christ Jesus. Having begun with Jesus, our faith must not look elsewhere. Let Israel always hope in the Lord, for with him is what she still requires. What want you to-night, dear friend? Ask, and you shall receive; but ask only of the Lord. Knock, but knock still at the same door. Plead, but when you are pleading, still plead the name of Jesus. Whenever you are expecting a heavenly favor, expect it from the Father, through his dear Son, by the Holy Ghost. Whenever you are longing, long for nothing more than there is in Christ; and whenever you obtain a mercy, remember that you have received it only because you have by faith received Jesus, and so have become a child of God. Whenever you rejoice in a mercy, take care that you do not so much glory in it as in the Lord from whom it came. Hope still in the Lord, and never have any hope in yourself, for that would be a fruitless, groundless, rootless, sapless hope. You are still to find mercy and plenteous redemption in the Lord alone. I am afraid that sometimes we seek mercies apart from God the Giver, or apart from Christ, the channel of their bestowal: and this is always ill of us. Avoid such dangerous error. I read in the papers, frequently, allusions to "Providence." I know what I intend by Providence; but I do not know what the newspapers mean by it. I fear it is only a convenient phrase, a conventional expression, which is not to be too carefully examined. They do not mean a living, foreseeing, providing, working Personality: that would be too much like religion. They admit a certain something, "a power which makes for righteousness," a nonentity called "Providence." I have too often heard Christian people talk about thanking Providence. What is that? Do you mean, "thank God"? If so, say it boldly! It is God that provides. God arranges, God overrules, God worketh out his gracious designs. Again, how often do we hear of "Nature" doing this, and "Nature" being that, and "Nature" producing the other! What do you mean? An infidel, some time ago, was speaking in the open-air, and he orated very eloquently about the elevating influences of nature, and what a blessing it was to study nature. A friend in the crowd said to him, "That is very pretty; but would you have the goodness to tell me what Nature is, which does all this?" The orator answered tartly, "Every fool knows what Nature is." "Well," said the questioner, "then it will be easy to tell us." "Nature," said the speaker, "Well: Nature is Nature." Just so. That is where it ended And so it is with very many people when they talk about Providence or Nature. Let us not speak without knowing what we mean, or without declaring our meaning. We do not erect an altar, and inscribe it TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. We know the Lord, and are known of him, and therefore we would speak of him as our hope, our trust, our joy. We know no providence apart from Jehovah-Jireh, the God who foresees and provides. To us there is no fickle chance, but the Lord reigneth. Equally to us is there no blind, inexorable fate, but the Most High decrees and works out his wise and sovereign will. Therefore do not let God's Israel talk as if they hoped in luck or fate, but let them "hope in the Lord," and avow their reliance upon a personal God, who is working for them evermore; "for with him is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." Now, dear brother, do you want mercy? In your prayers for pardoning mercy, quote the Savior's sacrifice. Do you want sparing mercy? Mention him whom God did not spare in the great atoning day. Do you want restoring mercy? Plead him whom God brought again from the dead. Do you want to behold the light of Jehovah's countenance? Plead him who said, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" In hoping for mercy, set the eye of your hope upon the Lord Jesus, and let no mercy be hoped for by you apart from him. Recollect what happened to Uzziah. He was a man of God, and a king; but when he had grown very great, he thought that he would act as priest for himself, and go into the sanctuary of the Lord, and burn incense on his own account, without the Lord's appointed priest; but he was struck with leprosy, and not only was he thrust out, but he, himself, hastened to go out of the temple. I tremble for those in whom I see any sign of going before God in right of their own character. I fear that among God's own professing people there are some who are so conscious of their own knowledge, and growth, that they pray without Christ, praise without Christ, and talk of being no longer in need of confessing sin. They dare to act without humbly depending upon the presence of the great high priest; and then they fall into sin, and thus they are struck with leprosy, and, perhaps, to their dying day they can never enter into such fellowship with God as once they knew. I would do nothing without Jesus. I would not even wish to repent except my eye were upon the cross. I would not hope to think a holy thought except as my soul still gazed upon Jesus my all. Away, away with every idea of mercy except it be mercy received through Jesus, for he alone is full of grace, and of his fullness must we receive. I would bind you, brethren, if I could, to the cross as your one hope. I pray the Lord bind me for ever to the cross: the wounds my only founts of hope, the blood and water my only cleansing. Go you who have a righteousness of your own, and hope elsewhere; but the long hope of my soul is the bleeding, dying, buried, risen, coming Savior. "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy," and with him alone: all the exercises of faith about mercy must ever be tethered to the cross. Mercy flows through Christ alone. So is it with "plenteous redemption." What a grand utterance that is "plenteous redemption"! I would like to dwell upon it. Is there not rare music in the sound? It means plenteous forgiveness for plenteous sin, through a price paid, a ransom given. In Christ only can you find this. "With him" is plenteous redemption." Do not dream of finding redemption in ordinances, in prayers, in tears, or in anything but the life and death and person of the Son of God. "With him is plenteous redemption." A great price he has paid, and therefore a great debt is blotted out. Great offenses are forgiven, but only through the precious blood of our adorable Redeemer. "Plenteous redemption." Why, that means deliverance from the bondage of many lusts, freedom from the thraldom of strong passions, a ransom of captives from fierce taskmasters. My God, I long to be so delivered, and redeemed, and there is with thee all grace and power, and provision for plenteous deliverance by redemption; but this is found in Christ alone. I charge you, my hearers, do not look for escape from the slavery of sin apart from the redemption of Christ. Do not expect to overcome the smallest sin except by the blood of the Lamb. There is nothing, I believe, more deceiving than the notion of the unregenerate heart that it is seeking after holiness, though it is destitute of the power of the Holy Ghost, and takes no thought of the merit of Jesus Christ. We need grace plenteously, plenteous redemption, in fact: but all of all that we receive must come to us from the Lord, by Jesus Christ the Mediator. "Plenteous redemption" includes in its range of meaning great growth in grace, abounding usefulness, high spirituality, and perfect preparedness for heaven: for all these we must hope in the Lord, for they are with him. Never think to have redemption in the least or in the highest degree apart from your hope in the Lord your trusting in Christ Jesus. The pith and marrow of what I have said is this: hope distinctly in the Lord. There are many stars, but let one alone of all the train be the object of your believing eye. Lay the foundation of your hope in the Lord; go on building up your comfort in the Lord Jesus; and in him bring forth the topstone. Begin with Christ, and end with Christ. As Christ grows more to you, take care that self grows less and less. If your Christianity puffs you up, it is not Christ's Christianity. I spoke just now of King Uzziah, let me refer to him once more. Read in the Second of Chronicles, chapter twenty-six, at the fifteenth verse "He was marvellously helped, till he was strong." When he became strong, he went off the lines, and we read, "When he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction." Mind that. God will always help us while we are weak. When we are strong: what shall I say? Then are we weak, and have need to fear, for we are being lifted up already, or we should not count ourselves strong poor, puny creatures that we are! God will always bless us as long as we confess our dependence upon his blessing. He will always fill us as long as we are empty. He will always feed us as long as we are hungry. He will be your all in all so long as you are nothing. But the moment you boast in yourself, and say, "I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing," you will be left to learn that you are naked, and poor, and miserable. Woe worth the day in which dust and ashes set up somebody! Nebuchadnezzar is proud, and soon finds a rapid descent from the throne to eating grass like the cattle. Worms, in the presence of the Lord, do all they may do when they hope, they do all they can do when they hope in him. They have nothing but sin, and he has mercy upon them. They are slaves to evil, but he has plenteous redemption wherewith to set them free. The poorest, weakest, saddest among us may hope in the Lord, for he can do all things: wherefore, let us end our meeting with each one of us hoping in the Lord, and let us continue in our faith in "the God of hope," till we receive the heaven we hope for through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
by C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)
"With him is plenteous redemption." Psalms 103:7 .
Redemption is a word which has gladdened many ears, when there was no heavenly sound in its blessed chime. Apart from any theological use of it, the word is a very sweet one, and has been melodious to many hearts. In those days when piracy was carried on continually along the coast of Africa, when our fellow Christian subjects were caught by corsairs, and carried away captive, you can well understand how the burdened soul of the manacled slave, chained to the oar of his galley, was gladdened by the hope that possibly there would be redemption. His cruel master, who had forced him into his possession, would not willingly emancipate him; but a rumour came, that in some distant nation they had raised a sum of money to purchase the freedom of slaves that some wealthy merchant had dedicated of his substance to buy back his fellow-countrymen; that the king himself upon his throne had promised to give a liberal redemption that the captives among the moors might return to their home. Truly I can suppose the hours run happily along, and the dreariness of their toil would be assuaged, when once that word "redemption" had sounded in their ears. So with our fellow-subjects and our fellow-men, who once were slaves in our West India settlements. We can well conceive that to their lips the word redemption must have been a very pleasing song. It must have been well nigh as sweet to them as the marriage peals to a youthful bridegroom, when they knew that the noble British nation would count down the twenty millions of their redemption money; that on a certain morning their fetters should be snapped asunder, so that they should no more go out to the plantations to sweat in the sun, driven by the whip, but they should call themselves their own, and none should be their masters to possess their flesh, and have property in their souls. You can conceive when the sun of that happy morn arose, when emancipation was proclaimed from sea to sea, and the whole land was at liberty, how joyful must their new-found freedom have appeared. O there are many sonnets in that one word "redemption." Now, ye who have sold for nought your glorious heritage; ye who have been carried bondslaves into Satan's dominion; ye who have worn the fetters of guilt and groaned under them; ye who have smarted beneath the lash of the law; what the news of redemption has been to slaves and captives, that will it be to you to-night. It will cheer your souls and gladden your spirits, and more especially so when that rich adjective is coupled with it "plenteous redemption." This evening I shall consider the subject of redemption, and then notice the adjective appended to the word: "plenteous redemption." I. First, then, we shall consider the subject of REDEMPTION. I shall commence in this way, by asking, What has Christ redeemed? And in order to let you know what my views are upon this subject, I would announce at once what I conceive to be an authoritative doctrine, consistent with common sense, and declared to us by Scripture, namely, that whatever Christ has redeemed, Christ will most assuredly have. I start with that as an axiom, that whatever Christ ahs redeemed, Christ must have. I hold it to be repugnant to reason, and much more to revelation, that Christ should die to purchase what he never shall obtain; and I hold it to be little less than blasphemy to assert that the intention of our Saviour's death can ever be frustrated. Whatever was Christ's intention when he died we lay it down as a very groundwork truth, which ought to be granted to us by every reasonable man that Christ will most certainly gain. I cannot see how it can be that the intention of God in anything can be frustrated. We have always thought God to be so superior to creatures, that when he has once intended a thing, it must most assuredly be accomplished; and if I have that granted to me, I cannot for a moment allow you to imagine that Christ should shed his blood in vain; that he should die with an intention of doing something, and yet should not perform it; that he should die with a full intention in his heart, and with a promise on the part of God, that a certain thing should be given to him as a reward of his sufferings, and yet should fail to obtain it. I start with that; and I think that everyone who will weigh the matter, and truly consider it, must see it to be so, that Christ's intention in his death must be fulfilled, and that the design of God, whatever that may be, must certainly be carried out. Well then, I believe that the efficacy of Christ's blood knows no other limit than the purpose of God. I believe that the efficacy of Christ's atonement is just as great as God meant it should be, and that what Christ redeemed is precisely what he meant to redeem, and exactly what the Father had decreed he should redeem. Therefore I cannot for one moment give any credence whatever to that doctrine which tells us that all men are redeemed. Some may hold it, as I know they do, and hold it very strongly, and even urge it as being a fundamental part of the doctrine of revelation. They are welcome to it; this is a land of liberty. Let them hold their views, but I must tell them solemnly my persuasion, that they cannot hold such doctrine if they do but well consider the matter; for if they once believe in universal redemption, they are driven to the blasphemous inference that God's intention is frustrated, and that Christ has not received what he died to procure. If, therefore, they can believe that, I will give them credit for being able to believe anything; and I shall not despair of seeing them landed at the Salt Lake, or in any other region where enthusiasm and credulity can flourish without the checks of ridicule or reason. Starting, then, with this assumption, I beg now to tell you what I believe, according to sound doctrine and Scripture, Christ has really redeemed. His redemption is a very compendious redemption. He has redeemed many things; he has redeemed the souls of his people; he has redeemed the bodies of his people; he has redeemed the original inheritance which man lost in Adam; he has redeemed, in the last place, the world, considered in a certain sense in the sense in which he will have the world at last. Christ has redeemed the souls of all his people who shall ultimately be saved. To state it after the Calvinistic form, Christ has redeemed his elect; but since you do not know his elect until they are revealed, we will alter that, and say, Christ has redeemed all penitent souls; Christ has redeemed all believing souls; and Christ has redeemed the souls of all those who die in infancy, seeing it is to be received, that all those who die in infancy are written in the Lamb's book of life, and are graciously privileged by God to go at once to heaven, instead to toiling through this weary world. The souls of all those who were written before all worlds in the Lamb's book of life, who in process of time are humbled before God, who in due course are led to lay hold of Christ Jesus as the only refuge of their souls, who hold on their way, and ultimately attain to heaven; these, I believe, were redeemed, and I must firmly and solemnly believe the souls of none other men were in that sense subjects of redemption. I do not hold the doctrine that Judas was redeemed; I could not conceive my Saviour bearing the punishment for Judas, or if so how could Judas be punished again. I could not conceive it possible that God should exact first at Christ's hands the penalty of his sin, and then at the sinner's hands again. I cannot conceive for a moment that Christ should have shed his blood in vain; and though I have read in the books of certain divines, that Christ's blood is fuel for the flames of hell, I have shuddered at the thought, and have cast it from me as being a dreadful assertion, perhaps worthy of those who made it, but utterly unsupported by the Word of God. The souls of God's people, whoever they may be, and they are a multitude that no man can number and I could fondly hope they are all of you are redeemed effectually. Briefly, they are redeemed in three ways. They are redeemed from the guilt of sin, from the punishment of sin, and from the power of sin. The souls of Christ's people have guilt on account of sin, until they are redeemed; but when once redemption is applied to my soul, my sins are every one of them from that moment for ever blotted out.
"The moment a sinner believes, And trusts in his crucified Lord, His pardon at once he receives, Salvation in full through his blood."
The guilt of our sin is taken away by the redemption of Christ. Whatever sin you may have committed, the moment you believe in Christ, not only will you never be punished for that sin, but the very guilt of that sin is taken from you. You cease to be in God's sight any longer a guilty person; you are reckoned by God as a justified believer to have the righteousness of Christ about you; and therefore, you can say to recal a verse which we often repeat
"Now freed from sin I walk at large, My Saviour's blood's my full discharge; At his dear feet my soul I lay, A sinner saved, and homage pay."
Every sin, every particle of guilt, every atom of transgression, is by the redemption of Christ, effectually taken away from all the Lord's believing family. And mark, next: not only the guilt, but the punishment of sin is taken away. In fact, when we cease to be guilty, we cease to be the objects of punishment altogether. Take away the guilt, the punishment is gone; but to make it more effectual, it is as it were written over again, that condemnation is taken away, as well as the sin for which we might be condemned. "There is, therefore, now, no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." None of those who were redeemed by Christ can ever be damned; they can never be punished on account of sin, for Christ has suffered their punishment in their stead, and therefore, they cannot, unless God be unjust, be sued a second time for debts already paid. If Christ their ransom died, they cannot die; if he, their surety, paid their debt, then unto God's justice they owe no longer anything, for Christ hath paid it all. If he hath shed his blood, if he hath yielded up the ghost, if he hath "died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God," how, then, would God be just, and yet the punisher of those whom he has already punished once in the person of Jesus Christ their Saviour? No beloved, through the plenteous redemption of Christ we are delivered from all punishment on account of sin, and from all guilt which we had incurred thereby. Moreover the believing family of Christ or rather, all for whom he died are most effectually delivered from the power of sin. Oh! there are some who suck in the two truths I have been mentioning, as if they were honey; but they cannot endure this other point Christ delivers us from the power of sin. Mark you this, then we affirm it very strongly no man can ever be redeemed from the guilt of sin, or from the punishment of sin, unless he be at the same time delivered from the power of sin. Unless he is made by God to hate his own sin, unless he is enabled to cast it to the ground, unless he is made to abhor every evil way, and to cleave unto God with full purpose of heart, walking before him in the land of the living, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, such a man has no right to believe himself redeemed. If thou art still under the dominion of thy lusts, O wicked sinner, thou hast no right to think thyself a purchased heir of heaven. If thou canst be drunk, if thou canst swear, if thou canst curse God, if thou canst lie, if thou canst profane the Sabbath, if thou canst hate his people, if thou canst despise his Word, then thou hast no right whatever, any more than Satan in hell, to boast that thou art redeemed; for all the Lord's redeemed are in due time brought out of the house of bondage, out of the land of Egypt, and they are taught the evil of sin, the horrible penalty of it and the desperate character of it in the sight of God. Art thou delivered from the power of sin, my hearer? Hast thou mortified it? Art thou dead unto it? Is it dead unto thee? Is it crucified unto thee, and thou unto it? Dost thou hate it as thou wouldst a viper? Dost thou tread on it as thou wouldst tread upon a serpent? If thou dost, albeit there be sins of frailty and infirmity, yet if thou hatest the sin of thy heart, if thou hast an unutterable enmity to it, take courage and comfort. The Lord hath redeemed thee from the guilt and penalty, and also from the power of sin. That is the first point of redemption. And hear me distinctly again, lest any should mistake me. I always like to preach so that there can be no mistake about it. I do not want so to preach that you will say in the judgment of charity, he could not have meant what he said. Now, I mean solemnly again to say what I have said that I do believe that none others were redeemed than those who are or shall be redeemed from the guilt, the punishment, and the power of sin, because I say again, it is abhorrent to my reason, much less to my views of Scripture, to conceive that the damned ever were redeemed, and that the lost in perdition were ever washed in the Saviour's blood, or that his blood was ever shed with an intention of saving them. 2. Now let us think of the second thing Christ has redeemed. Christ has redeemed the bodies of all his children. In that day when Christ redeemed our souls, he redeemed the tabernacles in which our souls dwell. At the same moment when the spirit was redeemed by blood, Christ who gave his human soul and his human body to death, purchased the body as well as the soul of every believer. You ask, then, in what way redemption operates upon the body of the believer. I answer, first, it ensures it a resurrection. Those for whom Christ died, are ensured by his death a glorious resurrection. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ, shall all be made alive." All men are by virtue of the death of Christ quickened to a resurrection, but even here there is a special property of the elect, seeing that they are quickened to a blessed resurrection, whilst others are quickened only to a cursed resurrection; a resurrection of woe, a resurrection of unutterable anguish. O Christian, thy body is redeemed.
"What though thine inbred sins require Thy flesh to see the dust, Yet, as the Lord thy Saviour rose, So all his followers must."
What! though in a little time I shall slumber in the tomb, though worms devour this body, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and because he lives I know that in my flesh I shall see God. These eyes which soon shall be glazed in death, shall not be always closed in darkness; death shall be made to give back his prey; he shall restore all that he has taken. Lo, I see him there! He hath the bodies of the just locked up in his dungeons; they are wrapped up in their cerements, and he thinks they are secure: he has sealed their tombs and marked them for his own. O death! foolish death! thy caskets shall be rifled; thy storehouses shall be broken open. Lo, the morning is come! Christ hath descended from on high. I hear the trump, "Awake! Awake!" and lo! from their tombs, the righteous start; while death sits in confusion howling in vain, to find his empire all bereft of its subjects, to find all his dungeons rifled of their prey. "Precious shall their blood be in his sight;" precious shall be their bones! their very dust is blessed, and Christ shall raise them with himself. Think of that, ye that have lost friends ye weeping children of sorrow! your redeemed friends shall live again. The very hands that grasped yours with a death clutch, shall grasp them in paradise; those very eyes that wept themselves away in tears, shall, with eye-strings that never shall be broken, wake up in the noon-day of felicity. That very frame which thou didst sorrowfully convey, with dread attire of funeral, to bury in its tomb yes, that selfsame body, made like the image of Jesus Christ, spiritualized and changed, but nevertheless the selfsame body, shall rise again; and thou, if thou art redeemed, shalt see it, for Christ has purchased it, and Christ shall not die in vain. Death will not have one bone of the righteous nay, not a particle of their dust nay, not a hair of their heads. It shall all come back. Christ has purchased all our body, and the whole body shall be completed, and united for ever in heaven with the glorified soul. The bodies of the righteous are redeemed, and redeemed for eternal happiness. 3. In the next place, all the possessions of the righteous which were lost in Adam are redeemed. Adam! where art thou? I have a controversy with thee, man, for I have lost much by thee. Come thou hither. Adam! thou seest what thou art now, tell me what thou once wast; then I shall know what I have lost by thee, and then I shall be able to thank my Master that all thou didst lose he has freely bought back to all believers. What didst thou lose? "Alas!" cries Adam, "I had a crown once; I was king of all the world; the beasts crouched at my feet and did me reverence; God made me, that I might have supreme command over the cattle upon the hills, and over all fowls of the air; but I lost my crown. I had a mitre once," said Adam, "for I was a priest to God, and ofttimes in the morning did I climb the hills, and sing sweet orisons of praise to him that made me. My censer of praise hath often smoked with incense, and my voice has been sweet with praise.
'These are thy glorious works, parent of good, Almighty, thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then;'
Oft have I bidden misty exhalations, sun, and moon, and stars, sing to his praise; daily have I bidden the herds upon the hills low out his glories, and the lions roar his honours; nightly have I told the stars to shine it out, and the little flowers to blossom it forth: but ah! I lost my mitre, and I, who was once a priest to God, ceased any longer to be his holy servant." Ah! Adam, thou hast lost me much; but yonder I see my Saviour; he takes his crown off his head, that he may put a crown on my head; and he puts a mitre on his head, to be a priest, that he may put a mitre on my head too, and on the head of all his people; for, as we have just been singing,
"Thou hast redeemed our souls with blood, Hast set the prisoners free; Hast made us kings and priests to God, And we shall reign with thee."
Just what Adam lost: the kingship and the priesthood of Christ, is won for all his believing people. And what else didst thou lose, Adam? "Why, I lost paradise." Hush, man! say nothing upon that; for Christ hath bought me a paradise worth ten thousand such Edens as thine. So we can well forgive thee that. And what else didst thou lose? "Why, I lost the image of my Maker." Ah! hush, Adam! In Jesus Christ we have something more that that; for we have the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and sure that is even better than the image of the Maker, for it is the very dress and robe that the Maker wore. So, Adam, all that thou hast lost I have again. Christ has redeemed all that we sold for nought. I, who have sold for nought a heritage divine, shall have it back unbought, the gift of love, says Christ, e'en mine. Oh! hear it, then! The trump of Jubilee is blown; Christ hath redeemed the lost possessions of his people. 4. And now I come to the last thing that Christ has redeemed, though not the last point of the discourse. Christ has redeemed this world. "Well, now," says one, "that is strange, sir; you are going to contradict yourself flatly." Stop a moment. Understand what I mean by the world, if you please. We do not mean every man, in it; we never pretended such a thing. But I will tell you how Christ has redeemed the world. When Adam fell God cursed the world with barrenness. "Thorns also and briars shall it bring forth unto thee, and in the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread." God cursed the earth. When Christ came into the world they twisted a crown made of the cursed thorn, and they put that on his head, and made him king of the curse; and in that day he purchased the redemption of the world from its curse; and it is my very belief, and I think it is warranted by Scripture, that when Christ shall come a second time, this world will become everywhere as fertile as the garden of Paradise used to be. I believe that Sahara, the literal desert, shall one day blossom like Sharon, and rejoice like the garden of the Lord. I do not conceive that this poor world is to be a forlorn planetary wanderer for ever; I believe that she is yet to be clothed with verdure, such as she once wore. We have evidences in the beds of coal underneath the earth, that this world was once much more fertile than it is now. Gigantic trees once spread their mighty arms, and I had almost said one arm of a tree in that day would have builded half a forest for us now. Then mighty creatures, far different from ours, stalked through the earth; and I believe firmly that a luxuriant vegetation, such as this world once knew shall be restored to us, and that we shall see again a garden such as we have not known. No more cursed with blight and mildew, with no more blast and withering, we shall see a land like heaven itself
"Where everlasting spring abides, And never withering flowers."
When Christ cometh he shall do even this. In the day of the fall, too, it is currently believed that animals for the first time received their ferocious temperament, and began to fall on each other; of this we are not sure; but if I read Scripture rightly, I find that the lion shall lie down with the kid, and that the leopard shall eat straw like the ox, and that the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. I do believe that in millenial years that are coming, and coming soon, there shall be known no more devouring lions, no blood-thirsty tigers, no creatures that shall devour their kind. God shall restore to us again, and even to the beasts of the field, the blessing which Adam lost. And, my friends, there is a worse curse than that which has fallen on this world. It is the curse of ignorance and sin: that, too, is to be removed. Seest thou yonder planet? It is whirling along through space bright, bright and glorious. Hearest thou the morning stars sing together, because this new sister of theirs is made? That is the earth; she is bright now. Stay! Didst remark that shadow sweep across her? What caused it? The palnet is dimned, and on her face there lies a sorrowful shadow. I am speaking, of course, metaphorically. See there the planet; she glides along in ten-fold night; scarce doth a speck of light irradiate her. Mark again, the day is not come, when that planet shall renew her glory, but it is hastening amain. As the serpent slips its slough, and leaves it behind it in the valley, so yon planet hath slopped its coulds, and shone forth bright as it was before. Do you ask who hath done it? Who hath cleared away the mist? Who hath taken away the darkness? Who hath removed the clouds? "I have done it," says Christ, the sun of righteousness; "I have scattered darkness, and made that world bright again." Lo, I see a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. To explain myself, lest I should be mistaken, I mean this. This world is now covered with sin, ignorance, mistake, idolatry, and crime; the day is coming when the last drop of blood shall be drunk by the sword; it shall be no more intoxicated with blood; God shall make wars to cease unto the ends of the earth. The day is coming oh that it were now! when the feet of Christ shall tread this earth. Then down shall go idols from their thrones; down superstitions from their pinnacles; then slavery shall cease; then crime shall end; then peace shall spread its halcyon wings over all the world; and then shall you know that Christ hath died for the world, and that Christ hath won it. "The whole creation," says Paul, "groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now;" waiting for what? "waiting for the redemption;" and by the redemption, I understand what I have just explained to you, that this world shall be washed of all her sin; her curse shall be removed, her stains taken away and this world shall be as fair as when God first struck her from his mind; as when, like a glowing spark, smitten from the anvil by the eternal hammer she first flashed in her orbit. This Christ has redeemed; this, Christ shall, and most assuredly must have. II. And now, a word or two concerning the last thought "PLENTEOUS REDEMPTION." It is plenteous enough, if you consider what I have already told you Christ has bought. Sure I should have made it no more plenteous, if I had lied against my conscience, and told you that he had bought every man; for of what avail is it that I am bought with blood, if I am lost? Of what use is it to me that Christ has died for me, if I yet sink in the flames of hell? How will that glorify Christ, that he hath redeemed me, and yet failed in his intentions? Surely it is more to his honour to believe, that according to his immutable, sovereign, and all-wise will, he laid the foundation as wide as he intended the structure to be, and then made it just according to his will. Nevertheless, it is "plenteous redemption." Very briefly, lend me your ears just a moment. It is "plenteous," when we consider the millions that have been redeemed. Think if ye can, how great that host who have already "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;" and then think how many now with weary feet are plodding their way to Paradise, all of them redeemed. They all shall sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Is it not "plenteous redemption," when you reflect that it is a "multitude that no man can number" that will be gathered in? Let us close that by saying, "And why not you?" If so many are redeemed, why should not you be? Why should you not seek for mercy on the strength of that, knowing that all who seek will most assuredly receive, for they would not have sought unless it had been prepared for them? It is "plenteous," again, if we consider the sins of all who are redeemed. However great the sins of any redeemed soul, this redemption is enough to cover it all to wash it all away
"What though your numerous sins exceed The stars that spread the skies, And aiming at th' eternal throne, Like pointed mountains rise;"
Yet this plenteous redemption can take all your sins away. They are no greater than Christ foresaw, and vowed to remove. Therefore, I beseech you, fly to Jesus, believing that however great your guilt, his atonement is great enough for all who come to him, and therefore you may safely come. Remember, again, that this "plenteous redemption" is plenteous, because it is enough for all the distresses of all the saints. Your wants are almost infinite; but this atonement is quite so. Your troubles are almost unutterable; but this atonement is quite unutterable. Your needs you can scarce tell; but this redemption I know you cannot tell. Believe, then, that it is "plenteous redemption." O believing sinner, what a sweet comfort it is for you, that there is "plenteous redemption," and that you have a lot in it. You will most certainly be brought safely home, by Jesus' grace. Are you seeking Christ? Or rather, do you know yourselves to be sinners? If you do, I have authority from God to say to every one who will confess his sins, that Christ has redeemed him. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." Are you a sinner? I do not mean a sham sinner; there are lots of them about, but I have no gospel to preach to them just now. I do not mean one of those hypocritical sinners, who cry, "Yes, I am a sinner," who are sinners out of compliment, and do not mean it. I will preach another thing to you: I will preach against your self-righteousness another day; but I shall not preach anything to you just now about Christ, for he "came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." But are you a sinner, in the bona fide sense of the word? Do you know yourself to be a lost, ruined, undone sinner? Then in God's name I urge you to believe this that Christ has died to save you; for as sure as ever he has revealed to you your guilty by the Holy Ghost, he will not leave you till he has revealed to you your pardon by his only Son. If you know your lost estate, you shall soon know your glorious estate. Believe in Jesus now; then thou art saved, and thou mayest go away happy, blest beyond what kings could dream. Believe that since thou art a sinner, Christ hath redeemed thee that just because thou knowest thyself to be undone, guilty, lost and ruined, thou hast this night a right, a privilege, and a title, to bathe in the fountain filled with blood, "shed for many for the remission of sins." Believe that, and then thou shalt know the meaning of this text "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom also we have received the atonement." God dismiss you with a blessing, for Jesus' sake!
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Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 130". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27