an encore presentation
It is refreshing to read a true man of God like Jeremiah Burroughs. Burroughs was not a man of the times; he transcended them. He was not concerned about adapting to culture, but in pleasing Christ. He was not for sale and no one owned his heart and mind save Christ Jesus the Lord His Word, and His gospel.
As it was said of D.L. Moody, could be said of Jeremiah Burroughs as well. That he did not have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit; but the Holy Spirit did have a monopoly on Jeremiah Burroughs.
May I encourage you to not read the following through the blurry eyes of postmodernity, but with the lucidity that is birthed from being in the reverent presence of our holy God.
The Apostle Paul was a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ, to carry it up and down in the world. Indeed, his spirit was full of Christ. He desired to know nothing but Christ, to preach nothing but Christ, to be found in none but Christ. The very name of Christ was delightful to him. He seeks to magnify Christ in all of his epistles and, in these words I read to you, he omnifies Christ. He does not only make Him great but he makes Him all.
As far as God sees Christ in anyone He accepts them. If Christ is not there, no matter what they have, He does not regard them. Christ is all in all, even in the esteem of the Father Himself. He was the delight of the Father from all eternity, Prov.8:30, and the Father undertook infinite contentment in Him upon His willingness to undertake this blessed work of the redemption of mankind. God the Father is infinitely satisfied in Christ. He is all in all to Him. Surely if Christ is an object sufficient for the satisfaction of the Father, much more, then, is He an object sufficient for the satisfaction of any soul.
But that which is the main scope of the Holy Ghost here is this high expression of Christ's transcendent excellency, which I will deliver in this doctrinal proposition:
That which I shall this day endeavor is to show you something of the glory of God shining in this truth:
This is the sum of the gospel and the most supernatural truth revealed in all the Book of God.
There is no coming to the Father but by Christ. He is the way.
All good is in God, true, but how shall we come to partake of that good? There is such a distance between you and God that, were not Christ in the middle, you would never come together. But Christ has come between and joined you together so that all is yours because you are Christ's and Christ is God's. Think of God as the Fountain of all good, and Christ, as it were, the Cistern, and from Him are pipes converged to every believer. Faith sucks at the mouth of every pipe and draws from God, but it comes from God through Christ. The Father fills the Son with all good and so it comes from the Father, through the Son, by faith unto the soul of every believer. We have a notable expression of this mystery in Ephesians, the second and third chapters. In chapter 2:12, Paul has told them that they had been without hope and without God in the world, but, he says in verse 13, Ye who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. It is by the blood of Christ that you have anything to do with God. But especially in Eph.3:12, In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. In whom? In Christ we come to have boldness and access. The word "boldness" signifies liberty of speech. We can come before God with liberty of speech, and we also have access. We are led by the hand of Christ to the Father. There is no coming to the Father except by Christ, and Christ takes a believer by the hand and leads him to the Father, and so he comes to have boldness.
He is the way of conveying good to us by His intercession, for He is now and shall forever be at the right hand of the Father in glory making intercession for His people. That is, He is continually presenting before the Father the work of His mediation, His merits, what He has done and suffered and is, as it were, pleading with His Father for the conveyance of all needful mercy and good unto the souls and bodies of His people whom He has redeemed. It is as if He should every moment eternally speak thus to the Father: "Father, behold, here is My blood, My merits, My death, all My sufferings, the work of My humiliation. It is for these. Yea, for this poor soul and for that poor soul particularly." Know that Christ thinks not only of the lump of believers in general, but particularly of every believer, and is continually presenting His infinite merits before the Father to plead with Him to supply of all grace and mercy to us. Thus He becomes an infinite way of conveying good to the souls of His people, and to be all and in all to them both here and eternally.
In the point of justification and the pardon of sins, the great thing we stand in need of from God is the acceptation of us as righteous.
Therefore, it is not for you to rest upon the fact that you do what you can, have good wishes and desires and the like, for if all the righteousness of all the righteous men who ever lived were in one man, it would not be sufficient for his justification. It is not what God enables you to do either, that can be the formality of your justification. Such are the terms between God and you that there is nothing you can do of yourself, or be enabled to do, that is accepted by Him for your righteousness to eternal life.
He is all in all in point of adoption, Gal.3:26, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and chapter 4:4-5,
In point of reconciliation and peace with God, Christ is all in all there, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom .5:1.
Again, He is all in all in the lack of things, whatever it is that we lack.
Again, to the saints, Christ is all in all in the enjoyment of all.
A believer can look upon every bit of meat he has, and upon all the good he enjoys, and can see it all come streaming to him in the blood of Christ. And so it comes more sweetly. The sun does not shine as warm through the air as it does through a magnifying glass. Take a magnifying glass and hold it between you and the sun and the glass will contract the beams of the sun so that it shall have an efficacy of heat, even to burn again. So the goodness of God that comes to people through the general bounty and patience of God does not have an efficacy to warm and heat their hearts, to draw them to God. But now Christ is, as it were, the magnifying glass that is held between God and the soul, and how the mercy that comes through this magnifying glass warms and heats outward comforts! Therefore, there are no people in the world who can enjoy outward comforts with as much fulness of contentment as do the people of God, because they all come to them through Christ. Christ is all in all in the enjoyment of all.
But to give you one more particular. As He is all in all in the good we have from God, so He is all in all in whatever we offer up to God: as in descent from God to us, so in ascent from us to God.
If Christ is all in all, then let us bless God that ever we knew Christ, and that the great mystery of the gospel has been revealed to us. For otherwise we would have been without God in the world, and what would have become of us had not this grace of God in the gospel been revealed to us? Could it ever have entered into your heart? Certainly not, nor into the heart of any creature in heaven and earth. Therefore, blessed are your ears that hear the things you hear. Blessed are your eyes which see the things you see, and know that when you come to live under the ministry of the gospel, you enjoy the greatest mercy that you have enjoyed since you were born.
This shows how dear Jesus Christ should be to us. Oh, how we should delight and take contentment in Him who brings the treasuries of grace from the bosom of the Father and opens them to us. And He not only opens the mind of God the Father to us, but comes and lets out the treasure of God's goodness to us. It was stopped before, but Christ opens the floodgates and lets the current of grace and mercy in upon us. Oh, how dear, then, should Christ be to us?
It was the speech of that martyr, Master Lambert, "None but Christ, none but Christ." Yea, when he suffered martyrdom for Christ. then none but Christ was dear to him because he saw that Christ was the way of conveying all good to him. If God were now to make a man the means of conveying a great deal of good to a nation, every man will be ready to have his eye upon that man. But there was never such a way of conveying good to us as Christ. Therefore, how should our hearts love Him, prize Him, and rejoice at the very thought of Him?
If you have a dear friend, and God makes that friend an instrument of mercy to you, how does it endear you to that friend? If the husband is an instrument of good to his wife or the wife to her husband, if a minister to his people or people to their minister? And so it is in all relations. And if it does so between man and man, how should it do so much more between us and Christ, who is indeed the Husband of His church, and through whom the fulness of God is let out to His people? Oh, how dear and precious, therefore, ought He to be to us!
Is Christ all in all? Then if we have an interest in Him, it should satisfy and content us though we have nothing or though we are nothing.
Again, it should have put us upon this, to be willing to give up all we have to Christ. Alas, our all is but a poor all, yet give it to Christ. Our parts, our estates, our names, let Christ have all because He is our all.
Let Him be the rule of our prizing things. As far as we see anything of Christ, prize it suitably. It is reported of Master Bucer that if he could see anything of Christ in any man or woman, though they were never so poor and mean, his heart would close with them. It is said of Austin that before his conversion he took great delight in reading Cicero's works, but afterward he said, "I did not find the name of Christ in all of Cicero," and that took his heart off of him. So in all you enjoy, look how much you see of Christ in it. So far let your delight and esteem be carried out towards it and no farther.
With what mighty intention of spirit should the heart be put forth towards Jesus Christ in all things! Though God gives you an estate and honor in the world, if you have not Christ you have nothing. You have not that which makes way for you to eternity. Therefore, do not be satisfied with anything without Christ. As Abraham said, What wilt Thou give me Lord, seeing I go childless? So you say, "Lord, You have given me a portion in this world. You have given me credit and reputation among men, but, Lord, what is all this to me if I go Christless and do not have Him that is the conveyance of grace to my soul, Him that is all in all? Oh, Lord, You have taught me this day that such is the distance and breach between You and me that, unless it is made up through a Mediator, I must eternally perish. Therefore, give me Christ, whatever else You deny me."
Do not satisfy yourselves with anything without Christ!
I will give you just this note: