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he walks by faith and not by sight. He believes the record of the word of God respecting Himself as a sinner who is guilty and self-condemned before God, and has need of pardoning mercy and reconciliation with God, in order to his happiness and salvation. and salvation. Respecting this present evil world, he is convinced that it cannot satisfy the desires of the immortal soul; and respecting Jesus Christ, he believes that He came into the world to save sinners,61 and is able to save, and willing to save, all that come to Him for the blessings of His grace. And being made a partaker of the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit by faith in Christ, he is enabled to overcome the world, to resist its snares and temptations, and to disregard its frowns and threatenings. He can take up the language of the Psalmist, The Lord is on my side, I will not fear : In God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me; for He shall send from heaven and save me.62 It is not in his own strength, for that is unequal to the conflict; but through a reliance on his almighty Protector, or a childlike dependence upon the power and grace of his almighty and most merciful Father, that he that is born of God overcometh the world. It is the believer in Christ alone who thus gives evidence that he is truly a child of God. The apostle

611 Timothy i. 15. 62 Psalm cxviii. 6; lvi. 4; lvii. 3.

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therefore asks, Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? No other person but the true Christian, whose mind is set upon attaining the salvation of Christ, is able to do this. To believe that Jesus is the Son of God, is to receive Him in the character of the Divinely-promised and appointed Saviour of mankind. The only begotten Son of God is the only Saviour of the world. There is no salvation in any other, there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. And it is testified of Him, that He gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God, and our Father; and therefore His believing people are delivered from its dominion, and overcome it by faith in His name, or relying on His Divine power.


The apostle next refers to the characteristics of the Christian dispensation, and the most prominent features in the public ministry of Christ. This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ. He entered upon His public ministry by water, being baptised by John the Baptist in the river of Jordan; He concluded it by blood, His blood having been shed upon the cross. He came not by water only; not merely calling upon men to submit to outward baptism as John did;

63 Acts iv. 12.

64 Galatians i. 4.




but by water and blood, both to cleanse from sin by the washing of regeneration, and to make an atonement for sin, by the shedding of His own precious blood. He came to be the propitiation for our sins,65 because without shedding of blood is no remission;66 and therefore it is declared that in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, and that the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin. This could not be effected by water, by any outward cleansing. Faith in the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, is needful in order to the pardon of sin. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. The Spirit of God bears witness of this in His holy word; and this has been the great object of the testimony of the Spirit of God to the hearts and consciences of His people from the beginning. Our Saviour referred to this witness of the Spirit respecting Himself, when He promised His disciples before He left them, When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me.68 It is the office of the Holy Spirit, in the economy of the covenant of redemption, to bear witness of the salvation of Christ, and to glorify Him in the hearts of His people.

651 John ii. 2; i. 7. 66 Heb. ix. 22. 67 Eph.i. 7. 68 John i. 29; xv. 26.

In this testimony to the person and work of Christ, both heaven and earth agree, it being of the utmost importance that it should be believed, or that His great salvation should be embraced by the children of men. It is therefore asserted, There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. Testimony to the salvation that is in Christ Jesus is borne by the most "holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God," the Triune Jehovah. It is the chief object of the revelation of God to man to bear testimony concerning the bloodshedding and death of the Son of God, as the ransom for sin. The Father of heaven bore this testimony at the baptism of Christ, and at His transfiguration on the holy mount; on both of which occasions He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came to Him such a voice from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.69 The Word, who was in the beginning, with God, and was God, Himself bore this testimony, when He was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and His disciples beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.76 The Holy Ghost bore it, when the angelic message was fulfilled, which was delivered to the virgin Mary, The Holy Ghost shall

69 2 Peter i. 17.

70 John i. 1, 2, 14.

come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God; and when at His baptism, John saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him; and he saw and bare record, that this is the Son of God." Thus when Jesus Christ came by water, or was baptized in the river Jordan, this testimony of the Divine approbation of the work which He had undertaken, was most evidently borne to the eyes of mankind. And when His precious blood was shed upon the cross, it was borne also by the darkness which covered the face of the sky; by the rending of the vail of the temple from the top to the bottom; by His triumphant shout before He expired, which made the centurion exclaim, Truly this was the Son of God;73 by the rending of the rocks, and the quaking of the earth, and the opening of the graves, which accompanied His yielding up the ghost. It was borne also by His rising from the grave, when He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; and by His ascension to heaven in the sight of His astonished disciples, when He was received up into glory, and sat on the right hand of God, having all power given unto Him in heaven and in earth, as the

71 Luke i. 35. 72 John i. 32, 34. 73 Matt. xxvii. 54. 74 Rom. i. 4.

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