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is the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth.
Here observe what grace there is in Christ. The schools tell us, that in him there is a threefold grace. 1. The grace of union. The human nature of Christ hath received the high grace or favor to be personally united to the second person in the godhead; by virtue of which union the fulness of the godhead is said to dwell in him bodily-bodily, that is, personally, or substantially, in opposition to the types and shadows of the Old Testament, in which God is said to dwell in a figure. God was said to dwell in the tabernacle, in the ark of the covenant, in the temple ; but in these he dwelt only as figures and shadows of the human nature of Christ. In Christ he dwells not in a figure, but personally and substantially. As Christ, Col. 2:17, is called the body, in opposition to the types of old, which were but the shadow; so bodily here denotes not a figurative, but a personal inhabitation. Christ is the body, not a shadow; and God dwells in him bodily, that is, substantially, and not in a shadow. 2. Habitual grace. All those moral perfections wherein stands the holiness of his nature : the love and fear of God; his humility, meekness, patience; in sum, his perfect conformity to the image and whole will of God. “Such a High-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” Heb. 7:26. 3. The honor which is given to him to be Head of the church.
Also observe how Christ is said to be full of grace. There is a twofold fulness of grace. In re
spect to grace itself: thus he is said to be full of grace, that hath all grace, and hath it in the greatest excellency and perfection. Also, in respect to the person that hath it; and thus a person is said to be full of grace, that hath as much grace as he is capable of. Christ is full of grace in both respects: the grace which is in him, is grace in the highest perfection of it, and in infinite fulness.
Observe also, that this fulness of Christ is ours, and for us: “Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16. - Your life is hid with Christ in God.” Col: 3:3. Your life: that is, both your spiritual life, grace; and your eternal life, glory. “ This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son." 1 John, 5:11. Our life is said to be in Christ in three respects. 1. It is hid in Christ as the effect in the cause : as the life of the branches is hid in the root, so is the life of a Christian in Christ; he is our root. 2. It is deposited with Christ: it is laid up with himi, committed to his trust and custody; with him it is secured and put into safe hands. 3. The dispensation of it is committed to him: from him it is at his pleasure to be imparted to us; of his fulness we receive. The Son hath life in himself, and he giveth it to whom, when, and in what measure he pleaseth.
Christian, art thou nothing in thyself? Thou hast enough in thy Jesus. Art thou dark ? he is a fountain of light. Art thou dead ? he is a fountain of life. Art thou poor and low, weak in knowledge, in faith, in love, in patience ? he is a treasure of all
grace; and what he is, he is for thee. Is he wise ? he is wise for thee. Is he holy ? he is holy for thee. Is he meek, merciful, humble, patient ? he is so for thee. Is he strong; is he rich; is he full ? it is for thy sake. As he was empty for thee, weak for thee, poor for thee; so for thee he is mighty, he is rich and full. While thou bewailest thine own poverty and weakness, O bless thyself in thy Lord, in his riches, righteousness, and strength.
2. A combination of interests. As the head and body, as the husband and wife, so Christ and his saints are mutually concerned—are rich or poor, must stand and fall, live and die together. As the husband conveys to the wife a title to what he hath; as the wife holds of the husband; so is it between Christ and his church: they have nothing but through him; their whole tenure is in the Head; and whatsoever is his, is theirs. His God is their God, his Father is their Father; his blood, his merits, his Spirit, his victories, all the spoils he has gotten, all the revenue and income of his life and death, all is theirs. For them he obeyed, suffered, lived, died, rose, ascended, is set down in glory at the right hand of God. He obeyed as their Head; died as their Head; rose, ascended, reigns as their Head; and has in their name taken possession of that inheritance which he purchased for them. This is that Jesus who is given to us, and thus is he granted and made over to all his saints in this covenant of God.
THE SPIRIT IN THE COVENANT..
God has put his Spirit into the covenant: the Almighty, the eternal Spirit; the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of glory and of God.
This holy and eternal Spirit is first poured forth on our Head the Lord Jesus, to anoint him our Redeemer, to furnish and qualify him for that great undertaking. “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.", Isa. 61:1. “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and of the fear of the Lord.” Isa. 11:2.
And he is promised to each member of Christ: "I will put my Spirit within you.” Ezek. 36:27. To all these he is granted, as a Spirit of wisdom and revelation; as a Spirit of holiness and sanctification ; as a Spirit of truth and direction; and as a Spirit of comfort and consolation.
I. As a “Spirit of WISDOM AND REVELATION.” Eph. 1:17, 18. To enlighten them, to open their blind eyes, and to shine into their hearts; to give them the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, that they may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; to counterwork the spirit of this world, whose work is to blind men's eyes, lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine unto them. 2 Cor. 4:4-6.
This is he by whom the Father hath called us "out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Pet. 2:9. The light that the Spirit brings in is a marvellous light, and that in three respects :
1. It is a marvellous thing that ever light should come into such dark souls. That those who were born blind, and upon whom the god of this world had, for many years together, been trying his skill to thicken their darkness, to increase and seal them up under it—that ever such eyes should be opened, and the light of life shine in upon such hearts, this is a marvellous thing. When our Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh opened the eyes of those who had been born blind, the people ran together and wondered at the sight. If you should see stones live, if you should see dead stocks or dry bones walk up and down the streets, if you should see trees, or houses, or mountains full of eyes, this were not more full of wonder, than to behold blind sinners receiving their sight. Thou wert once darkness; art thou now light in the Lord ? Stand and wonder at thy cure.
2. They are marvellous things which this light discovers. It is a wonder that such eyes should ever see at all; and lo, they see wonders. The gospel is a mystery full of wonders: there are heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths. “We have seen strange things to-day:" strange love, strange grace, wonderful wisdom, wonderful pity, patience, mercy;