THERE was no hope for any sinner unless the Son of God Himself should save him. But the apostle Paul, writing to his son Timothy, says, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;.” You may measure the depth of our danger by the glory of the person of Him who undertook to deliver us from it. It is the Son of God, whom angels worship, who has come “to save sinners.” It must be a deep destruction from which only God Himself could rescue man.
When Christ “came into the world,” observe how He had to be equipped for His service, and from His equipment learn the sternness of His task. He must be Jesus, — a Savior; and then He must also be Christ, — anointed for the work; He must come with authority Divine, and the Spirit of God must rest upon Him to qualify Him for the great undertaking. For Paul saith not: simply that Jesus came into the world, but Christ Jesus, the anointed Savior, came that He might save. If this Divine equipment was needed, then surely the state of man was a grievous one.
Note also that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The Fall of man was so terrible that, if he was to be delivered from its effects, Christ Jesus must come right down into the place of our ruin; He must come to the dunghill that He might lift us out of it. God in Heaven said, “Let there be light,” and the darkness fled before Him; but Christ Jesus must needs come into the world to save sinners; down into this polluted creation the eternal Creator must Himself descend. He cannot save us sinners, so great is our ruin, unless He becomes incarnate, and take,,; upon Himself our nature.
And being here, think how dreadful must be our ruin when we see that Christ cannot return to Heaven, saying, “It is finished,” until first of all He dies. That sacred head must be crowned with thorns, those ,eyes must be closed in the darkness of death, that body must be pierced even to its heart, and then must lie in the grave, a chill, cold corpse, ere man can be redeemed; and all that shame, and suffering’, and death were but the outer shell of what the Savior suffered, for He endured the fierceness of His Father’s wrath against sin, and[bare such a load as would have crushed the whole race of men eternally had they been left to bear it.
O sinner, you are awfully lost, you are infinitely lost, since it needs an infinite Savior to present the atonement of His own body in order to save sinners from the penalty, and power, and consequences of their sin! This is the truth which is conveyed to us by this faithful saying, which is “worthy of all acceptation.” May the Holy Ghost write it on our hearts! ‘There is one thing which should be sure to hold, as though spellbound, the attention of every trembling sinner; it is this, — the Christ of God, who in the end of the world has appeared, did not come to deny the fact of human sin, or ‘to propagate a philosophy which might make sin seem harmless;, or to define it as a mere mistake, or perhaps as a calamity, but by no means as a hell-deserving crime. I am sure that every sensitive conscience would loathe such teaching; it could yield no comfort whatever to a soul which had felt sin to be exceeding sinful.
Jesus Christ did not come into the world to help you to forget your sin. He has not come to furnish you with a cloak with which to cover it. He has not appeared that He may so strengthen your minds (as some men would have you believe,) that you may learn to laugh at your iniquities, and defy the consequences thereof. For no such reason has the Son of God descended from Heaven to earth. He has come, not to lull you into a false peace, not to whisper consolation which would turn out to be delusive in the end, but to give you a real deliverance from sin by putting it away, and so to bring you a true peace in which you may safely rejoice.
For, if sin be put away, then peace is lawful; then rest of spirit becomes not only a blessing which we may enjoy, but which we must enjoy, and which, the more we shall enjoy it, the better shall we please our God. 0 sinner, the good tidings that we bring to you, in the Gospel, are not the mere glitter of a hope that will delude you at the last, not a present palliative for the woe you feel, but a real cure for all your ills, a sure and certain deliverance from all the danger that now hangs over you!