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Well, “ The works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.” These works of Christ gave testimony or evidence of Him that he was really the Son of God, and sent from God, “That the Father hath sent
And what more ? “And the Father Himself, Who hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me." Well, now, when did the Father bear witness of Him? The Father bore this testimony to His own dear Son when He was baptized. “ This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” This was the testimony that the Father gave. And on the Mount of Transfiguration the Father said : “ This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.” Now, the Holy Ghost in the sinner's soul—(I mean in the soul of the sinner that is saved)—gives in His evidence, His testimony to the child of God, bears His witness, and proves to him beyond a doubt that he is a child of God,—one of those for whom the Son of God shed His most precious blood. Just read what is said in connection with this subject in the 8th chapter of Romans, and the 14th verse, “ As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God ;” led away from self, led away from sin, led away from the world, and everything that offends ; but led to Christ Jesus the Lord. All those that are thus led by the Spirit “they are the sons of God.” · For,” He says,
“ Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear : but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Thus, the Holy Spirit reveals our adoption. He gives in His evidence. He bears His testimony to our hearts and then we cry Abba, Father. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness or divine evidence, in himself. Be assured of this that when the Spirit gives His evidence or proof within that we are the children of God, we become very jealous for the honour of God, for the honour of Christ, for the honour of the Spirit, and for the honour of the Word of God. And no evidence is right except that which answers to the written word of the living God.
The third evidence is this. The sealing of a child of God by the Holy Spirit. How important this sealing is you will learn from the words of St. Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians. He tells us in the 1st chapter and the 13th
verse, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation : in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise :
or sealed by the Holy Spirit promised to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Again, in the 4th chapter, it is said, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” In the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians and the first chapter we read that God anoints, seals, and gives the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Now, let us touch upon this point, for it is a very important one,--the sealing of a child of God. Well, what is the meaning of this sealing of a child of God ? Here we shall have to notice the ancient use of a seal, signet, or ring. These three words we shall use indifferently, the one for the other. In the East, the ancient use of a seal or signet was to stamp the name or image of the owner upon any document or instrument to which he was pleased to affix it. The impressed name upon the document gave
legal value to it, and was of the same import as the actual signature. A decree sealed with the royal signet gave it force and security. The decree could not be changed. Whoever had the king's ring given to him had the power of using the royal name, and held the highest office in the State. He who was favoured with the king's seal was next to the king himself. Now, Pharaoh the king of Egypt gave to Joseph his ring, his royal signet, and you know that whatever was done in Egypt, Joseph was the doer of it. He had the king's ring, and ruled and did all in the king's name. In the throne only was Pharaoh greater than Joseph (Gen. 41). Ahasuerus gave to Haman his royal ring or signet. Then Haman caused a writing to be made in the name of the king for the destruction of the captive Jews. This writing was sealed with the king's ring to give it the force of a royal decree (Esther 3). The writing against Daniel was signed with the royal signet of Darius (Daniel 6). The idea is this, the royal signet gives legal effect to the document, parchment, or instrument to which it is affixed. Let us see how this applies to the Spirit's sealing. What is the royal signet of the King of kings? Is it not the Spirit of God impressing His image and writing His name upon the child of God. Bear this in mind. Those who have had the royal signet affixed to them invariably bear the name and image of the King of kings. In confirmation of this, see how beautifully it is brought out by Paul where he says in the 2nd Corinthians, 3rd chapter,
“ Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God ; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” Now, this is the royal writing sealed with his own signet. He has left an impression. He has left the likeness of Christ Jesus stamped upon the heart. He has left the Name of Christ written within. And this is sealing a man unto the day of redemption. It is making a Christian safe both for time and for eternity. Just look at the Book of Revelation. You will find in the 3rd chapter these words. “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God : and I will write upon him
my new name. He writes all this upon the Christian by the Holy Spirit, and this is the sealing. This is the Holy Ghost's
. signature. The image of the King of kings stamped upon my heart by the Holy Ghost marks me a child of God. This evidence cannot be disputed. We see the glory of the Lord in the glass of His word, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. Now, we have said, that wherever this takes place, that is, wherever this royal signet has been affixed, it implies safety and security. How do we prove this ? I look at the 9th chapter of the book of Ezekiel, and I find there that the man with the writer's inkhorn by his side went about the city. What was he to do? He was to set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sighed and that cried for all the abominations that were done in the midst thereof. And he was to do this before others went forth to slay utterly all those that did not sigh and that did not cry for all the abominations that had been done in the midst of them, Those persons only were safe who had received the
mark in their foreheads. As it was then, so it is now. All who have the royal image of the King of kings impressed upon them are safe, while all the rest will be destroyed. Just like the children of Israel when the first-born throughout the whole of the land of Egypt were slain, all those Israelities who had the blood upon their door-posts were safe ;-the destroying angel passed over. So, now, all that are sealed
—the by God the Holy Ghost are safe. Their enemies can do nothing. In other words : All His servants are sealed or marked so that God will gather them to Himself in the fulness of time. In the 7th chapter of Revelation we read : “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the trees,” Why? we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” They must all receive the royal seal—the image of their Redeemer ; they must all have the name of God written upon their foreheads. They must be seen and read of all men. God's seal was upon them, and hence their safety and security. I have thrown out these things as some of the evidences of the children of God. And, again, I wish to show you, brethren, that wherever these evidences are they are a pledge of something better to
In the 1st chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, it is said that the sealing is “the earnest.” The earnest of what ? The earnest of our inheritance laid up with God. Now the earnest of anything is a pledge of something more to come. When two persons make a contract, and the contract is ratified--the first part of the payment is usually made. This first part of the payment is a pledge that the whole will be paid. It is an earnest of the whole. The mark on the forehead, and the impressed image upon the heart, are a pledge or earnest of all that God has promised in His precious word to His children. He has given them Christ now, and with Him He will give them all things. All things are theirs in Christ Jesus. Look well to your EVIDENCES.
I shall now point out to you in the THIRD PLACE the CHRISTIAN'S PRIVILEGES. Now, what are the privileges of God's children ? One of the privileges belonging to the children of God is this : That they shall all be taught of the Lord. This is a great privilege. Isaiah said in his 54th chapter, “ All thy children shall be taught of the Lord ; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Now our Lord explains this in the 6th chapter of St. John. He says, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him ; and I will raise him up at the last day.” As “It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.” In the Old Testament we read “My children,” or the children of God, “shall all be taught of the Lord.” Now, read on in John, Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me." Do I come to the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, then I have learned of the Father. But what have I learnt?
We might here give you some of the lessons which we have learnt and which God teaches His children, but to enter into them fully would require a sermon,
We have learned a little ! There are those who are not children of God, and who are not taught of God, and who think they
have learned a great deal. They swell with knowledge. When the real teaching of God commences, it is very humbling to the sinner. He soon learns how very little he knows, and how foolish and ignorant he is. The Spirit of God teaches us our need of Christ. He enables us also to appreciate the fulness of the grace which is laid up in Him for His redeemed family. The Lord's teaching of His children includes the whole of their spiritual training in their true state. This is clearly set forth in the 12th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the 5th and following verses : “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.” The word “ chastening ” or 6 “chastisement” is sometimes rendered “correction,” “instruction," and
nurture.” It is applied to the training up of children in the way that they should go. If earthly parents train up and discipline their children shall not our heavenly Father put his spiritual children to school ? Our compassionate Father pities His children. All His spiritual dealings with them are in love. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." There is no exception in this school. All the children are partakers of chastisement. " Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence : shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live ?” For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous.” No! the children do not like to go to school. It requires some time to surmount the difficulties and to love the training. We know this is so both literally and spiritually, that “No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous : nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness ụnto them which are exercised thereby.” These spiritual exercises in the school of Christ are for our spiritual benefit. Blessed indeed are they who know the Lord, and who have Him for their teacher and guide. This is a great privilege, to be taught of the Lord.
The second privilege is this : To be found in my Father's House—a son, or a daughter of the family of God. What a privilege to belong to
, the Royal Family of Christ Jesus the Lord. You know that believers are spoken of as the household of faith, and as the household of God, and as the habitation of God. This household of God, is the family for which our heavenly Father provides. And what does he provide ? Excellent food. “A feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” They are in the presence of the King, and feed and feast at his table. Their clothing is the clothing of kings. It is of wrought gold. What more? They all speak the language of Zion, which is the language of the family. Now these are some of the privileges of those who belong to God's household. They are cared for and attended to more than a loving parent cares for his beloved child.
A third privilege is this, that every child of God has the right to come with his complaint to God, “crying Abba, Father."
"crying Abba, Father.” We may come to Him crying, and tell Him what we feel and what we want: we may come to Him and tell Him our sins and our sorrows. We dare not tell the secrets of our hearts to those who are nearest and dearest to us. But we can tell all our troubles to our Father. We can tell all to Him Who sees in secret, and Who hears in secret, and Who rewards us openly. He will give us all we need here. He looks upon us with an eye of pity and compassion, and answers our cry and thus rewards us openly. We learn in the school of Christ the privilege of knowing that our God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
A fourth privilege is this, that the children of God are heirs of a glorious inheritance. We read in the 8th chapter of Romans : “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ”-Oh! what a privilege ! We
may have to suffer a while, but we shall be glorified together with Him. What a glorious inheritance. It is “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” What an inheritance is this ! Who can measure heaven ? or the glories of the heavenly inheritance ? I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Another privilege is the glorious prospect of the children of God. They are to be like Christ. It doth not yet appear what we shall be. Still even here on earth, we taste the sweetness of religion, and occasion ally have a drink out of His gracious fulness. There is more to come. More grace by the way and more glory at the end. We are to be like Christ. “ We know, that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” What a privilege to be like Christ ! In our bodies, in our souls, and in our spirits like Christ-incorruptible -powerful-spiritual and glorious. Christ has done with sin, and sorrow, and death—we shall be like Him. Our present life is hid with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. When I see Jesus as He is, shall I not try to praise Him as I ought ? We shall be near to the King of kings, and have great power with Him-having been sealed with His own signet. He only will be superior in the Throne. What a glorious prospect! And—what a privilege !!
Another privilege is the precious promises which are made to the children of God in Christ Jesus. “ All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the Glory of God.” All these promises belong to the children. And why? Because Christ is theirs, and so all the promises in Christ are theirs. There are promises in Christ suitable to all the circumstances, states, and experiences of the children of God. “ All things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.” You may rely upon the truth of God, that the Christian shall have strength given him to enable him to do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him. What a privilege ! !
The last privilege that I shall mention is this, that we cannot be deprived