‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ John 1:12–13
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 9:18–36
My Master will not be satisfied with the acknowledgment that his character is lovely, his doctrine pure, and his moral teaching super-excellent; he will not be content with your admission that he is a prophet greater than any prophet that ever came before or after him; he will not rest satisfied with your admission that he is a teacher sent from heaven, and a being who on account of his virtues is now peculiarly exalted in heaven: all this is well, but it is not enough; you must also believe that he who as man was born of the virgin, and was dandled upon her lap at Bethlehem, was as God none other than the everlasting Lord, without beginning of days or end of years. You do not receive Christ in very deed and truth unless you believe in his proper humanity and actual Godhead. Indeed, what is there for you to receive if you do not receive this? A Saviour who is not divine can be no Saviour for us. How can a mere man, however eminent, deliver his fellows from sins such as yours and mine? How can he bear the burden of our guilt any more than we can ourselves bear it, if there be no more about him than about any other singularly virtuous man? An angel would stagger beneath the load of human criminality, and much more would this be the case with even a perfect man. It needed those mighty shoulders—‘Which bear the earth’s huge pillars up’, to sustain the weight of human sin, and carry it into the wilderness of forgetfulness. You must receive Christ, in order to be saved by him, as being God though man.
For meditation: ‘What think ye of Christ?’ (Matthew 22:42); consider the second person of the Godhead—Christ in eternity before creation (John 1:1–2; Colossians 1:16–17; 1 Peter 1:18–20), Christ in Old Testament history (John 8:56–58; 12:41–42), Christ in the womb before Christmas (Matthew 1:18,20,23; Luke 1:31,35).
Sermon no. 669
26 December (Preached 17 December 1865)