Christ, Mighty to Save!
William Nicholson, 1862
"Mighty to save!" Isaiah 63:1
This chapter is generally supposed to refer to Christ's triumphs on the cross for all his people. It commences with a most interesting truth — the might or power of Christ to save. No object on earth can vie in importance with the salvation of the soul.
I. The Ruined Condition of Man Required a Mighty Savior.
As salvation implies deliverance, it is evident that man was in a state of wretchedness, danger, and exposed to the wrath to come, when Christ came to save. Luke 19:10. He has lost God's image, his purity, his favor and communion. He has broken his laws; he is a traitor, and condemned to perish.
That this is the state of man, is proved by Scripture. Romans 3:11,12, etc. Man is so awfully ruined by sin, that the most striking figures are employed to represent it. Man is stated to be diseased, leprous, blind, naked, in beggary, a debtor, a prisoner, a captive, and as dead.
This ruination is universal. It has ruined the whole of man's body — and all the powers, purity, and happiness of his soul.
It has made man, therefore, spiritually impotent. He cannot deliver himself.
What a loss has man sustained! It is enough to make an angel weep. Think of his being created in righteousness, etc. — and now resembling a demon, etc.
Awful reflection! the sinner is insensible to his danger. He is asleep on the edge of the precipice of perdition. The dread disease of sin is devastating his soul — yet he feels not his danger!
II. Christ is Mighty to Save.
1. He is divine. The only begotten Son of God; "the brightness of," etc. John 1:1-4, and other passages.
2. He became incarnate, that he might suffer, and bleed, and die, for "without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." John 1:14; Hebrews 8:3; 2:14, 15.
He was not only an excellent and holy man, but was God. Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:6.
3. The design of his mission was to save. For this sublime purpose, he was delegated, 1 John 5:11. He was consecrated as the foundation, Isaiah 28:16. His name is Jesus, the Savior Matthew 1:21. God declared him to be his Son. Matthew 3:17. "He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil."
4. Christ has done all that was necessary to save man. He has fulfilled the law; endured its penalty; expiated transgression by the shedding of his blood, 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:7, 8. He conquered man's spiritual foes, and rose to Heaven as a mighty conqueror. Hebrews 9:24, and to intercede for his people.
Observe now the display of his power. His power to save as Mediator, is founded on the efficacy of his atonement. Romans 1:4; Matthew 28:18.
1. He is mighty to save from the law's curse, Galatians 3:13. He who believes, is delivered from condemnation. Acts 13:39.
2. He is mighty to save from the defilement of sin. He can take the plague of sin away, and heal the leprosy of the soul. Zech. 13:1; 1 John 1:9.
3. He is mighty to save from the power and malice of Satan. Colossians 1:13.
4. He is mighty to save from all consequences of sin:
the fear and sting of death,
the dominion of the grave,
and the wrath to come.
5. His might or power to save, includes elevation to glory — body raised — united to soul — and both glorified.
III. What is Necessary to Realize His Saving Power.
1. A deep conviction of ruin; that we are ready to perish.
2. A knowledge of Christ as the mighty Savior.
3. A conviction that we need such a Savior.
4. A cordial approval of the method in which he saves.
5. The renouncement of all self-dependence, and faith in Christ. It is the surrender of the soul to this mighty Savior; it is "trusting in him for all that the soul needs." Ephesians 1:13
1. What encouragement to the despairing sinner!
2. How important that all should inquire after salvation!
3. How great the danger of those who reject it!