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for the benefits we receive by him, which are inestimable,) but he comes to us in the name, and in the love, both of the Father and the Son; as one authorized and delegated by them:
When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father,” John, 15 : 26 ; and in John, 14 : 26, the Father is said to "send him in Christ's name."
But you should beware of grieving the Spirit, on account of his own nature and office.
In his nature he is God: co-equal with the Father and Son in nature and dignity: "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me.” 2 Sam. 23:2, 3. He is God; the Rock of Israel. God omnipotent, for he created all things. Gen. 1:31. God omni. present, filling all things. Psalm 139:7. God omniscient, who knows your heart. Rom. 8:27. Beware therefore of grieving him, for in so doing you grieve God.
Think also of his office, and the benefits we receive by him. Gratitude and ingenuousness must compel us to obey him ; for he is sent in the character of an Advocate to help us to pray; to indite our requests for us ; to teach us what and how to ask of God. Rom. 8: 26. He comes to us as a Comforter. John, 14:16. And none like him. His work is to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us; that is, to take of his death, and resurrection, ascension, yea, of his present intercession in heaven, and show it to us. It was he that formed the body of Christ in the womb, and so prepared him to be a sacrifice for us. He filled that humanity with his unexampled fullness, Luke, 1:35; Isa. 61:1; Col. 1: 19; thus fitting and anointing him for the discharge of his office. It is he that gives efficacy to the ordinances : without him they would be a dead letter. It was he that blessed them to your conviction and conversion. 2 Cor. 9:6; John, 16:9; 1 Pet. 1:12; 1 John, 3: 24; Rom.
8:9, 26; John, 14:26; Ezek. 36 : 25–27. Without him you could never have had an interest in Christ, or communion with Christ. It was he that so often hath helped your infirmities, when you knew not what to say ; comforted your heart when it was overwhelmed within you, and you knew not what to do; preserved you many thousand times from sin and ruin, when you have been upon their slippery brink. It is he, in his sanctifying work, that is the best evidence your soul has for heaven. It were endless to enumerate the mercies you have by him. And now, reader, dost thou not blush to think how unworthily thou hast treated such a friend ? Oh grieve not the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent as soon as he went into heaven, in his Father's name, and in his own name, to perform all these offices for you.
5. Is Christ ascended to the Father as our forerunner ? Then the door of salvation stands open to all believers, and by virtue of Christ's ascension they also shall ascend after him, "far above all heavens.” O my friends, what a place hath Christ prepared for you! what a splendid habitation hath he provided for you! "God is not ashamed to be called your God; for he hath prepared for you a city.” Heb. 11 : 16. In that city Christ hath provided mansions and resting-places for your everlasting abode, John, 14 : 2, and keeps them for you till your coming. Oh how august and glorious a dwelling is that, where sun, and moon, and stars shall roll as much below
your feet as they are now above your heads! May God give us a joyful meeting within the veil with our forerunner, and sweeten our passage into it with many a blessed foresight and foretaste. And, in the mean time, let the love of a Saviour inflame our hearts, so that whenever we cast a look towards that place where our forerunner is for us entered, our souls may say, with melting affections, Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ; and again, blessed be God for his unspeakable gift.
" When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right
hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb. 1:3.
Christ having finished his whole work on earth, and returned again to his Father, assumes the seat prepared for him at God's right hand. How is his condition changed within a few days! Here he groaned, wept, labored, suffered, and found no rest: there he enters into rest, sits down for ever in the highest throne, prepared by the Father for him when he should have done his work.
The design of the epistle to the Hebrews is to demonstrate Christ to be the fulness of all legal types and ceremonies, and that whatever light glimmered to the world through them, was but as the light of the day-star to the light of the sun. In this chapter Christ is described, and in this third verse particularly,
1. By his essential and primeval glory and dignity, he is "the brightness of his Father's glory," the very refulgency of that Sun of glory. As the sun communicates its light and influence to us by its beams; so doth God communicate his goodness, and manifest himself by Christ. Yea, he is "the express image," or character, " of his person."
2. He is described by the work he wrought here on earth, in his humbled state. It was a glorious work, and wrought by his own single hand, "when he had by himself purged our sins.” A work that all the angels in heaven could not do.
3. He is described by his glory, which, as a reward of that work, he now enjoys in heaven. "When he had
by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high ;" that is, the Lord clothed him with the greatest power, and highest honor, that heaven itself could afford. Hence, When our Lord Jesus Christ had finished his work on
earth, he was placed in the seat of the highest honor and authority at the right hand of God in heaven.
This truth is transformingly glorious. Stephen had but a glimpse of Christ at his Father's right hand, and it caused "his face to shine as it had been the face of an angel.” Acts, 6 : 15. This high advancement was foretold and promised before he undertook the work of redemption. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110 : 1. And this promise was performed to Christ after his resurrection and ascension, in his supreme exaltation, far above all created beings in heaven and earth. Eph. 1 : 20–22. We shall here inquire what is meant by God's right hand; and what is implied in Christ's sitting there, his enemies being made his footstool.
I. What are we to understand here by God's right hand ? It is obvious that the expression is figurative. God hath no hand, right or left; but it is an expression, in which God stoops to the creature's understanding, implying honor, power, and nearness.
1. The right hand is the hand of honor, where we place those whom we highly esteem. Solomon placed his mother in a seat at his right hand. 1 Kings, 2 : 19. So in token of honor, God sets Christ at his right hand; called in the text, the right hand of Majesty. God therein expressed favor, delight, and honor, such as he never conferred on any creature. " To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit thou on my right hand ?" Heb. 1: 13.
2. The right hand is also the hand of power ; and the
setting of Christ there, imports his exaltation to the highest authority, and most supreme dominion. Not that God the Father hath put himself out of his authority, and advanced Christ above himself; no, " when he saith he hath put all things under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.” 1 Cor. 15:27. But to sit as an enthroned King at God's right hand, imports power, yea, the most sovereign and supreme power; which is implied in the language of Christ himself: " Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power.” Matt. 26 : 64.
3. It also signifies nearness of place, and so it is applied to Christ, Psalm 110:5, "The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath ;" that is, the Lord, who is very near thee, present with thee, he shall subdue thine enemies.
II. Let us see what is implied in Christ's sitting at God's right hand, his enemies being made his footstool.
1. It implies the perfecting and completing of Christ's work, for which he came into the world. After his work was ended, then he sat down and rested from those labors. "Every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take
away sins: but this man, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.” Heb. 10:11, 12. Here he assigns a double difference between Christ and the Levitical priests; they stand, which is the posture of servants; he sits, which is the posture of a Lord. They offer daily, because their sacrifices cannot take away sin; he did his work fully, by one offering ; and after that, sits or rests for ever in heaven.
2. His sitting at God's right hand shows the high sa. tisfaction of God the Father in him, and in his work. " The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand;" the words are introduced as the words of the Father