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Archive for December 18th, 2011

All Sufficient Merit

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”. Charles Wesley preaches the gospel clearly in this short song about the first advent of Christ:

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

I spent some time contemplating the next to last phrase: “By Thine all sufficient merit”.

We speak of Christ’s all sufficient grace though never frequently enough. It occurred to me that we would never have that grace if it were not for His all sufficient merit. In what respect is it all sufficient? His nature was divine from eternity past, the essence of perfection. His was most certainly an immaculate conception because he did not receive our father Adam’s sin nature but rather possessed His coequal nature with His Heavenly Father. As a man he fulfilled all the law, actually blameless though accused, tempted, and rejected. And you can’t improve on perfection, right?  The Scripture teaches that He did, not in essence but in quantity: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10) and “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,…” (Hebrews 5:8-9). He added to all of His other perfections this merit also that He obeyed and suffered, purchasing us heaven. His merit is sufficient to raise sinners who trust Him to His glorious throne where He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High. I am there positionally now and bodily one day to worship and thank Him for His all sufficient merit that bought His all sufficient grace for me.

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