Friday, September 26, 2014
The chief of sinners
‘Sinners; of whom I am chief.’ 1 Timothy 1:15
Suggested Further Reading: 2 John 7–11
Here I ought to include those who hold views derogatory of the deity and the person of Christ. Faithfulness to you, my hearers, compels me to include the Socinian; I will not call him Unitarian, for we all hold the unity of the Godhead.
Trinitarians, but Unitarians are we still. Far otherwise the Socinian and the Arian—I include them here—the men who say that Christ is not God, that the Redeemer of the world was but the son of Mary, that he who walked the waters of the deep, chained the winds, cast out evil spirits, and made even Hades startle with his voice when the soul of Lazarus came back—that he was but a prophet, a creature, a mere man.
Surely, sir, you are the chief of sinners to have talked thus of him who is ‘very God of very God,’ the express image of his Father’s person. But even to you is Jesus gracious, and he bids you still believe in him. You shall bow the knee to him one day, and worship him, for ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’
Bow your knee now, and ‘kiss the Son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.’ He bids you come to him, then will he blot out ‘as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins.’
The chief of sinners, we are sure, are found among those who directly attack the person of Jehovah’s Christ, yet even to these is the gospel of salvation sent.
Sin is not limited to outward acts; it refers also to inward thoughts, desires and attitudes. If the sixth and seventh commandments can be broken inwardly (Matthew 5:21–22,27–28), so can the first three commandments concerning the character and name of God (Exodus 20:3–7; John 5:22–23). ‘Jesus is Jehovah’ (Romans 10:9) and Jehovah’s Christ saves even ‘Jehovah’s’ Witnesses when they stop denying him and start trusting in him!
Sermon no. 530
26 September (Undated Sermon)