Tag Archives: The Saviour of the World

“The path of self-sacrifice is the path to glory” by B.B. Warfield

“Our self-abnegation is not for our own sake, but for the sake of others. And thus it is not to mere self-denial that Christ calls us, but specifically to self-sacrifice: not to unselfing ourselves, but to unselfishing ourselves.

Self-denial for its own sake is in its very nature ascetic, monkish. It concentrates our whole attention on self—self-knowledge, self-control—and can therefore eventuate in nothing other than the very apotheosis of selfishness.

At best it succeeds only in subjecting the outer self to the inner self, or the lower self to the higher self; and only the more surely falls into the slough of self-seeking, that it partially conceals the selfishness of its goal by refining its ideal of self and excluding its grosser and more outward elements.

Self-denial, then, drives to the cloister; narrows and contracts the soul; murders within us all innocent desires, dries up all the springs of sympathy, and nurses and coddles our self-importance until we grow so great in our own esteem as to be careless of the trials and sufferings, the joys and aspirations, the strivings and failures and successes of our fellow-men.

Self-denial, thus understood, will make us cold, hard, unsympathetic,—proud, arrogant, self-esteeming,—fanatical, overbearing, cruel. It may make monks and Stoics,—it cannot make Christians.

It is not to this that Christ’s example calls us.

He did not cultivate self, even His divine self: He took no account of self.

He was not led by His divine impulse out of the world, driven back into the recesses of His own soul to brood morbidly over His own needs, until to gain His own seemed worth all sacrifice to Him.

He was led by His love for others into the world, to forget Himself in the needs of others, to sacrifice self once for all upon the altar of sympathy.

Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not away from but into the midst of men.

Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort.

Wherever men strive, there will we be to help.

Wherever men fail, there will be we to uplift.

Wherever men succeed, there will we be to rejoice.

Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows: it means absorption in them.

It means forgetfulness of self in others.

It means entering into every man’s hopes and fears, longings and despairs: it means manysidedness of spirit, multiform activity, multiplicity of sympathies.

It means richness of development.

It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives,—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours.

It means that all the experiences of men shall smite our souls and shall beat and batter these stubborn hearts of ours into fitness for their heavenly home.

It is, after all, then, the path to the highest possible development, by which alone we can be made truly men. Not that we shall undertake it with this end in view.

This were to dry up its springs at their source. We cannot be self-consciously self-forgetful, selfishly unselfish.

Only, when we humbly walk this path, seeking truly in it not our own things but those of others, we shall find the promise true, that he who loses his life shall find it.

Only, when, like Christ, and in loving obedience to His call and example, we take no account of ourselves, but freely give ourselves to others, we shall find, each in his measure, the saying true of himself also: ‘Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him.’

The path of self-sacrifice is the path to glory.”

–B.B. Warfield, “Imitating the Incarnation,” in The Saviour of the World (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1916/1991), 268-270. This sermon is from Philippians 2:5-8.

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“The hands that were pierced with the nails of the cross wield the scepter” by B.B. Warfield

“Let us fix our eyes and set our hearts today on our exalted Saviour.

Let us see Him on His throne made head over all things to His Church, with all the reins of government in His hands, ruling over the world, and all the changes and chances of time, that all things may work together for good to those that love Him.

Let us see Him through His Spirit ruling over our hearts, governing all our thoughts, guiding all our feelings, directing all our wills, that, being His, saved by His blood, we may under His unceasing control steadily work out our salvation, as He works in us both the willing and the doing, in accordance with His good pleasure.

As, in our unrighteousness, we know we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,–or, as our own Epistle puts it, a great High Priest who has entered within the veil and ever liveth to make intercession there for us: so let us know that in our weakness we have the protecting arm of the King of kings and Lord of lords about us, and He will not let us slip, but will lose none that the Father has given Him, but will raise them up at the last day.

Having been tempted like as we are (though without sin), He is able to sympathize with us in our infirmities.

Having suffered as we do, He knows how to support us in our trials.

And having opened a way in His own blood leading to life, He knows how to conduct our faltering steps that we may walk in it.

Christ our Saviour is on the throne. The hands that were pierced with the nails of the cross wield the scepter.

How can our salvation fail?”

–B.B. Warfield, “The Glorified Christ,” in The Saviour of the World (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1916/1991), 185-186. This sermon is from Hebrews 2:9.

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“Christ is a complete Saviour” by J. C. Ryle

“Christ is a Saviour. He did not come on earth to be a conqueror, or a philosopher, or a mere teacher of morality. He came to save sinners. He came to do that which man could never do for himself,—to do that which money and learning can never obtain,—to do that which is essential to man’s real happiness,—He came to ‘take away sin.’

Christ is a complete Saviour. He ‘taketh away sin.’ He did not merely make vague proclamations of pardon, mercy, and forgiveness. He ‘took’ our sins upon Himself, and carried them away. He allowed them to be laid upon Himself, and ‘bore them in His own body on the tree.’ (1 Pet. 2:24.) The sins of every one that believes on Jesus are made as though they had never been sinned at all. The Lamb of God has taken them clean away.

Christ is an almighty Saviour, and a Saviour for all mankind. He ‘taketh away the sin of the world.’ He did not die for the Jews only, but for the Gentile as well as the Jew. He did not suffer for a few persons only, but for all mankind.

The payment that He made on the cross was more than enough to make satisfaction for the debts of all. The blood that He shed was precious enough to wash away the sins of all. His atonement on the cross was sufficient for all mankind, though efficient only to them that believe. The sin that He took up and bore on the cross was the sin of the whole world.”

–J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1869/2012), 40-41. Ryle is commenting on John 1:29-34.

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“The one and only Savior” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“It is the cross of Christ that brings us all down to the same place. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The differences between nations, and groups within them, and individuals, are nothing, when you look at the cross of Christ. We are all miserable, helpless, hopeless sinners. There is nothing in which we can boast…

Once you really see this message of the cross, you see yourself grovelling on the dust and the floor, a miserable failure, a hopeless sinner. You can do nothing, neither can your neighbour, you are together in your complete helplessness and hopelessness. But thank God it does not leave you there. You both look up together into the face of the one and only Saviour, the Saviour of the world, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

–Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Cross (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1986), 147-148.

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