Contents The Christian System
by Alexander Campbell
Index

CHAPTER XII.

CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

I. AS Abraham said to Isaac on his way to Mount Moriah, "God," my son, "will provide himself a lamb for the burnt offering," so has it come to pass. In order to the redemption of man from sin and all its penal consequences, God has provided a lamb, for a sin offering. He sent his Son, who on coming into the world, said, "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me; in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins thou has had no pleasure; then said I, Lo, I come to do thy will, in the volume of the book it is written of me." But he did more than offer himself as a sin offering; he was more than the Lamb of God; he was the "prophet of Jehovah," and revealed to man the character and the will of God. He disclosed secrets hid from the foundation of the world. In one word, he is THE ORACLE, as well as the SACRIFICE which God had provided for us.

II. As the INCARNATE WORD, he is the interpreter of his will. The New Testament is then, the gift of Christ - and was written by his guidance and inspiration. For all that the Spirit of God has done has been through his instrumentality. The Spirit is Christ's gift. Jesus is now as much "Lord of the Spirit" as he is the Lord of life and glory. The New Testament is a volume written by his servants. Six of his Apostles and two of his Evangelists wrote it all. That book is to us now in the stead of the personal presence of the Lord and his Apostles. He gave gifts to men after he left their abode. "He gave Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers." As a means of our salvation; as one of the things which God has done for us, we place the New Testament, the living oracles, or gospel of Christ, as next in order, as it is in importance, to his sacrifice.

III. To the sacrifice of Christ, we always look for the basis of our pardon; to his blood that cleanses from all sin, for justification and personal acceptance; and to his Word we look for counsel and instruction in Christian piety and righteousness. We are as dependent on his Word for light, as we are upon his blood for pardon. "I am," said he, "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." "That was the true light," said John, "which coming into the world, enlighteneth every man." "As long as I am in the world," says Jesus, "I am the light of the world." Thus Isaiah spake of him: "I will also give thee as a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the earth." "I will give thee for a covenant of the people, or light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison; and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." "His going forth is prepared as the morning." "The sun of righteousness will arise with healing under his wings." "I witness," said Paul, "both to small and great, that the Messiah should show light to the people and to the Gentiles." The Word of Christ, is the light of Christ; and therefore the Christian Scriptures are the light of the world; and he that followeth them shall have the light of life. "If you continue in my doctrine," says the Messiah, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." "If the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed."


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