"Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it; that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle; but that it should be holy and without blemish" Ephesians 5:25-27.
Jesus' work for the sinner was so great and wonderful that it was necessary for Him to give Himself on the cross for that work. Jesus' love for us was so great and wonderful that He actually gave Himself for us and to us. Jesus' surrender is so great and wonderful that all which He gave Himself for can be truly and entirely ours. For Jesus, the Holy, the Almighty, has taken it upon Himself to do it. He gave Himself for us.1 And now the one necessary thing is that we should rightly understand and firmly believe in His surrender for us.
To what end, then, was it that He gave Himself for the Church? Hear what God says. The aim of Jesus is that He might sanctify the Church so that it would be without blemish.2 He will attain His aim in the soul as long as the soul falls into His will, makes His will its most important consideration, and relies on Jesus' surrender of Himself to do so.
Hear this word of God, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). Jesus gave Himself in order to prepare for Himself a pure people, a people of His own, a zealous people. When I receive Him, and when I believe that He gave Himself for me, I will certainly experience it. I will be purified through Him. I will be held securely as His possession and be filled with zeal and joy to work for Him.
And notice how the operation of this surrender of Himself will result in His having us entirely for Himself--"that He might present us to Himself," "that He might purify us to Himself, a people of His own." The more I understand and contemplate Jesus' surrender of Himself for me, the more I give myself again to Him. The surrender is a mutual one--the love comes from both sides. His giving of Himself makes such an impression on my heart, that my heart, with the self-same love and joy, becomes entirely His. Through giving Himself to me, He takes possession of me. He becomes mine and I become His. I know that I have Jesus wholly for me, and that He has me wholly for Himself.3
And how do I come to the full enjoyment of this blessed life? "I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).4 Through faith, I reflect on and contemplate His surrender to me as sure and glorious. Through faith, I believe it. Through faith, I trust in Jesus to confirm this surrender, to communicate Himself to me, and to reveal Himself within me. Through faith, I await--with certainty-for the full experience of salvation which comes from having Jesus as mine, to do all for me. Through faith, I live in Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me. And I say, "No longer do I live, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). Christian, please believe with your whole heart that Jesus gives Himself for you. He is wholly yours. He will do all for you.5
Lord Jesus, what wonderful grace is this, that You gave Yourself for me. In You there is eternal life. You are the life, and You give Yourself to be all that I need in my life. You purify me, sanctify me, and make me zealous in good works. You take me wholly for Yourself and give Yourself wholly for me. Yes, my Lord, in all You are my life. Make me rightly understand this. Amen.
1) Gal. 1:4; 2:20; Eph. 5:2,25; I Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14
2) Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22; I Thess. 2:10; 3:13; 5:23,24
3) Exodus 19:4,5; Deut. 26:7,18; Isa. 41:9,10; I Cor. 6:19,20; I Peter 2:10
4) John 6:29,35; 7:38; 10:10,38
5) Matt. 8:10; 9:2,22; Mark 11:24; Luke 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42; Rom. 4:20,21;
1. It was in His great love that the Father gave the Son. It was out of love that Jesus gave Himself (Rom. 3:16; Eph. 5:26). The taking, the having of Jesus, is the entrance into a life in the love of God. This is the highest life (John 14:21,28; 17:23,26; Eph. 3:17,18). Through faith we must press into love and live there (1 John 4:16-18).
2. Do you think that you have now learned all the lesson and how to begin every day with a childlike trust? I take Jesus this day to be my life and to do all for me.
3. Understand that to take and to have Jesus presupposes a personal communion with Him. To have pleasure in Him, to gladly hold conversation with Him, to rejoice in Him as my friend and in His love--this leads to the faith that truly takes Him.
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