8 December 1765

Lecture 18

The words I believe are to be understood as if set before each of the Articles in the Creed. Of the first we have spoken; the second is, ‘And I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord’.
For this we have his own warrant (John 14:1). [1] And the command of the Father (John 5:23) [2] that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father. From hence there is a sufficient argument to prove that Christ is God; otherwise the Scripture in directing us to believe in, to trust and honour him, would enjoin idolatry.
Let us under the former head, consider:
1. the names and titles here given him.
2. what it is to believe in him.
1. [The names and titles here given him]
  The names and characters here given of the Redeemer, suggest much consolation and instruction to his people.
  1.1 Jesus
    This name was given him by the angel before his birth (Matthew 1:21). [3] It signifies a Saviour – a welcome sound in the ears of awakened sinners. A Saviour by price and by power, from sin and from hell. He came to seek and to save those which were lost. O the savour and fragrance of this name. It is as ointment poured forth. Those who know it will put their trust in him.
  1.2 Christ
    By this word his appointment and offices is intended – when ‘Christ’ is added to Jesus, it signifies the anointed Saviour: he who was set apart for this great work, by an eternal decree, who was furnished with all power and grace for the discharge of it – and in truth and reality did sustain those several characters and offices to which men were of old time consecrated by a solemn anointing with oil, such as prophet, priest and king. [4] In the explanation of this word the way and method of our salvation is included.

He saves his people:
    1.2.1 As a priest By atoning for their sins with blood, his own precious blood. By presenting them to God acceptable in himself. By his continual intercession (Hebrews 7:25; 9:12). [5]
    1.2.2 As a prophet Revealing to us those great truths which we could not otherwise have heard of. Teaching us by his grace to believe and understand them.
    1.2.3 As our king
      Defending us from all our enemies, sending suitable supplies in every time of need, and ordering all events for good to those that fear him. Lest unbelief should say, How can these things be? the next words remind us who he is.
  1.3 His only Son
    The Son of God, the Saviour of men. His only Son. God has many sons by creation and adoption. But Jesus is his Son in so peculiar a way, as only belongs to himself – his own, his only Son.

And this:
    1.3.1 As to his divine nature
      The Son, the Word of God – are expressions used to convey to our feeble understandings so much as we can properly conceive of him, as the second person of the glorious Trinity, God with God before the foundation of the world. This is not to be cleared by many words. Those will understand it best, who live nearest to the Lord in a course of humble obedience and fervent prayer.
    1.3.2 As to his human nature
      Which was formed as we shall afterwards consider by the immediate power of God in the virgin's womb, and was therefore perfectly free from that spot and defilement which is inseparable from all the natural children of Adam (Luke 1:35). [6]
    1.3.3 As the great Mediator God and man in one person
      Thus the voice witnessed to him from heaven (Matthew 3:17). [7] And thus he is said to have been declared the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). [8] This is the honour with which he is highly exalted, the name he has received above every name in heaven and in earth. Good reason there is therefore to receive and acknowledge him as:
  1.4 Our Lord
    He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36). [9] To put our whole trust in him, to seek all our help from him, to aim entirely at his glory, and to yield him unfeigned and universal obedience – This is indeed to believe in him, of which more particularly in our next.
At present:
1. Compare the views you have of him, with what is thus revealed of him in the Scripture. To understand these names so as to live and feed upon them and to walk in some measure answerable, is a singular grace of God. None can thus know the Son, but those to whom the Father has revealed him.
2. If your notions are of this sort, examine if they are inward and spiritual. The plain proof lies in the effect: if you believe in him, you trust not in yourselves, you love not your sins, you are breathing after holiness, you walk in some measure as he walked. The Lord make us all partakers of this precious faith.

1. John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2. John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
3. Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
4. This phrase – prophet, priest and king – and the former aluding to his name is as ointment poured forth – both hint at Newton’s hymn How sweet the  name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear Jesus!  my Shepherd, Husband, Friend, My Prophet, Priest and King’. He had earlier preached on the text Song of Solomon 1:3, Thy name is as ointment poured forth, in March 1765.
5. Hebrews 7:25; 9:12 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
6. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall 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.
7. Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
8. Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
9. Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

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