The promises of GOD are absolutely certain for they are first made to the MAN, CHRIST JESUS as the FULFILLER and PERFORMER of the law. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (2Cor 1:20) Those for whom HE came as a SUBSTITUTE, receive all of those promises as a result of HIS labor and not their own, that GOD may receive all of the glory.
There is no requirement which is set forth in GOD’s holy and righteous commandments which HE has not obeyed, satisfied, and fulfilled without any mixture of error or lack of adherence to its most minute detail. For as HE said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Mat 5:17-18)
There is probably no greater blessing to the sons of GOD than when they are able to fully grasp the significance of this truth and no greater occasion for them to fall upon their faces in thanksgiving and worship for the unspeakable gift of HIS grace. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1-4)
This is the exact result of HIS labor and not that of those who receive the benefits of HIS promise. Ever since the early days of the preaching of the Gospel there have been those who would seek to mix the duty of law with the freedom of grace. They miss the mark of the completeness of the work of GOD’s grace which is not limited to the end result but is manifested in the working of HIS SPIRIT in those who are the recipients of HIS promises.
GOD’s people are blessed in HIM, by HIM, and through HIM. They possess no righteousness but that which is HIS nor can they improve upon any aspect of that perfection which HE has provided for them. It is this very truth which proves a great delight to the laboring sinner who would try to bring something of his own to the LORD, but discovers that even his “righteousnesses” are but as filthy rags before HIM. (see Isa.64:6)
The numerous exhortations given to GOD’s people, throughout the word of GOD, are not given so that men might disregard this truth of perfection in HIM and seek to obtain more holiness by their own effort. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal 3:1-3)
Rather, these exhortations and admonitions, serve as a means whereby the sons of GOD are reminded of their corruption and are driven to HIS feet to confess that unless the LORD build the house they labor in vain that build it. The greatest, and only true, impetus for the sons of GOD to walk according to the precepts of HIS word is in the fact that HE does constrain HIS people by love. “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2Cor 5:14-15) If this principle is not active in a man, then he has no reason to consider that he has been born again. If he must be hedged in by threats and penalties then he is a stranger to grace and the promises of GOD.
Solomon lamented the vanity of this world which he illustrated by the fact that men labor to gain this world’s goods, laying up in store, and striving to amass fortunes, only to see all of that labor come to naught as the fruits and enjoyment of that labor is left to others upon one’s death. “Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.” (Ecc 2:18-19) Thus he set forth this advice, “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Pro 23:4-5)
There is not a man among us who will not find that this proves to be true, for of a certainty, all men, their earthly possessions, and their work will soon be parted forever. Yet this is, gloriously, not true for HIM, who is that perfect MAN, who has labored to provide that which shall never fade away; who has laid up for HIMSELF treasures in heaven where moth and rust corrupt not and thieves cannot break through and steal.
The scriptures speak of HIS joy at the prospect of purchasing a prized possession and the glory of HIS enjoyment of it forever. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2) HE has purchased for HIMSELF a bride with HIS own labor and the blood of HIS own hands, feet, head, and side; giving HIS back to the smiters and HIS cheeks to those who would pluck off his hair.
HE has sent his SERVANT (the HOLY SPIRIT) into a far country to the house of HIS kinsmen, to bring that one who is the apple of HIS eye to HIM, thus assuring that she shall be brought to HIS side forever. “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
Natural men (as Solomon sets forth) look at the labor of their hands, and having no ability to ultimately hold onto that gain, for which they have diligently worked; lament their efforts. However, this MAN; CHRIST JESUS, surveys that which HE has done and counts HIS sorrows and trial as well worth the cost. We read of an example (in type) of this in the account of Jacob as he labored for the hand of Rachel. “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” (Gen 29:20)
So too does the LORD with an even greater joy. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:10-11)
This is the labor of HIS hands. Is it possible that HE should labor and then be filled with sorrow because some of those for whom HE suffered, should perish? Away with such blasphemous thought. That for which CHRIST bled, HE has purchased with an irrevocable price, for HE has “obtained eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12) for her which is precious in HIS sight. Can HIS labor fail? Can HIS purpose be overturned? Can one of those for which HE bled be called upon to answer for his sin which has already been borne by HIM who fulfilled the law in his behalf?
Oh you who grieve for your sin. You who despair of finding a place of refuge on the account of your many crimes. I tell you there is ONE whose blood washes away the darkest stain. One whose righteousness swallows up the guilt of those bowed under its load. “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, and there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away. Dear dying LAMB thy precious blood, shall never lose its power, till all the ransomed church of GOD be saved to sin no more. E’er since by faith, I saw the stream, THY flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die”
(# 160 Gadsby’s Hymns by William Cowper)
HE has indeed labored for that which perisheth not.mam