ONLY ONE WAY
Adapted from a Tract by
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:12
THESE words are striking in themselves. But they are much more striking if you consider when and by whom they were spoken.
They were spoken by a poor and friendless Christian, in the midst of a persecuting Jewish Council. It was a grand confession of Christ.
They were spoken by the Apostle Peter. This is the man who, a few weeks before, abandoned Jesus and fled: this is the very man who three times over denied his Lord. There is another spirit in him now. He stands up boldly before priests and Sadducees, and tells them the truth to their face: “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11:12)
Now if there is salvation in no one else, this rules out all other means such as earning salvation by obeying the law just as Paul writes to the Romans: “by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight.” (Rom 3:20) We have here, implied that tremendous doctrine of the Total Depravity or Inability of Man which are part of the 5 points of Calvinism as we know them. We are totally unable to make ourselves right with God, there is only one way to be saved.
In considering this solemn subject there are three things I would like to do.
I. First, to show you the doctrine here laid down by the Apostle.
II. In the second, to show you some reasons why this doctrine must be true.
III. Thirdly, to show you some consequences which naturally flow from the doctrine.
I. First, let me show you the doctrine of the text.
Let us make sure that we rightly understand what the Apostle Peter means. He says of Christ, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now what does this mean? A lot depends on our right understanding of this statement.
He means that no one can be saved from sin, its guilt, power, and consequences,—except by Jesus Christ.
He means that no one can have peace with God the Father,—obtain pardon in this world, and escape wrath to come in the next,—except through the atonement and mediation of Jesus Christ.
In Christ alone God’s rich provision of salvation for sinners is treasured up: by Christ alone God’s abundant mercies come down from Heaven to earth.
Christ’s blood alone, can cleanse us; Christ’s righteousness alone can clothe us; Christ’s merit alone can give us a title to heaven. Jews and Gentiles, learned and unlearned, kings and poor men,—all alike must either be saved by Jesus or lost for ever.
And the Apostle adds emphatically, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There is no other person commissioned, sealed, and appointed by God the Father to be the Saviour of sinners, except Christ. The keys of life and death are committed to His hand, and all who would be saved must go to Him.
There was only one place of safety in the day when the flood came upon the earth, and that was Noah’s ark. All other places and devices,—mountains, towers, trees, rafts, boats,—all were totally useless. So also there is only one hiding-place for the sinner who would escape the storm of God’s anger,—he must entrust his soul to Christ.
There was only one man to whom the Egyptians could go in the time of famine, when they wanted food,—they must go to Joseph: it was a waste of time to go to anyone else. So also there is only One to whom hungering souls must go, if they would not perish for ever,—they must go to Christ.
Such is the doctrine of the text. “No salvation but by Jesus Christ: in Him plenty of salvation,—salvation to the uttermost, salvation for the very chief of sinners;—out of Him no salvation at all.” It is in perfect harmony with our Lord's own words in the gospel of John: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) It is the same thing that Paul tells the Corinthians: "no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 3:11) And the same that John tells us in his first Epistle: “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11,12) All these texts come to one and the same point,—There is salvation in none other but by Jesus Christ.
I urge you to really take a hold of this in your mind. Perhaps you think this is all old news. Perhaps you feel, “These are ancient things: who does not know not such truth as these? Of course we believe there is no salvation but by Christ.” But mark well what I say: make sure that you understand this doctrine, or else before long you will stumble, and be offended by what follows.
Remember that you are to venture the whole salvation of your soul on Christ, and on Christ only. You are to completely and entirely abandon all other hopes and trusts. You are not to rest partly on Christ,—partly on doing all you can,—partly on keeping up attending church,—partly on receiving the Lord’s Supper and submitting to his command to be baptised. In the matter of your justification Christ is to be all. This is what the text plainly teaches.
Remember that heaven is before you, and Christ the only door into it; hell beneath you, and Christ alone able to deliver you from it; the devil behind you, and Christ the only refuge from his wrath and accusations; the law against you, and Christ alone able to redeem you; sin weighing you down, and Christ alone able to put it away. This is the teaching of the text.
I hope that you do see this. But it is to be feared that many think so who may find, from what is to come, that they do not.
II. Let me show you, in the second place, some reasons why the doctrine of the text must be true.
(1) For one thing, the doctrine of the text must be true, because man is what man is.
Now, what is man? There is one broad, sweeping answer, which takes in the whole human race: man is a sinful being. All children of Adam born into the world, whatever be their name or nation, are corrupt, wicked, and defiled in the sight of God. Their thoughts, words, ways, and actions are all, more or less, defective and imperfect.
Is there no country on the face of the globe where sin does not reign? Is there no happy valley, no secluded island, where innocence is to be found? Is there no tribe on earth where, far away from civilization, and commerce, and money, and weapons of war, and luxury, and books, morality and purity flourish? There is none.
Look over all the voyages and travels you can lay your hand on and you will see the truth of this. Once solitary islands of the Pacific Ocean,—islands cut off from all the rest of the world, islands where people were alike ignorant of Rome and Paris, London and Jerusalem,—these islands were found full of impurity, cruelty, and idolatry. The footprints of the devil have been traced on every shore. The truth of the third chapter of Genesis has everywhere been established. Whatever else isolated tribes have been found ignorant of, they have never been found ignorant of sin.
But are there no men and women in the world who are free from this corruption of nature? Have there not been high and exalted souls who have every now and then lived faultless lives? Have there not been some, if it be only a few, who have done all that God required, and thus proved that sinless perfection is a possibility? There have been none.
Look over all the biographies and lives of the holiest Christians; mark how the brightest and best of Christ’s people have always had the deepest sense of their own defectiveness and corruption. They groan, they mourn, they sigh, they weep over their own shortcomings: it is one of the common grounds on which they meet. Patriarchs and Apostles, believers in all ages,—all are alike agreed in feeling their own sinfulness. The more light they have, the more humble and self-abased they seem to be; the more holy they are, the more they seem to feel their own unworthiness, and to glory, not in themselves, but in Christ.
Now what does all this seem to lead to? Does it not show that human nature is so tainted and corrupt that, left to himself, no man could be saved. Man’s case appears to be a hopeless one without a Saviour,—and that a mighty Saviour too. There must be a Mediator, an Atonement, an Advocate, to make such poor sinful beings acceptable with God: and this is to be found nowhere, except in Jesus Christ. Heaven for man without a mighty Redeemer, peace with God for man without a mighty Intercessor, eternal life for man without an eternal Saviour,—in one word, salvation without Christ,—all alike are utterly impossible.
Please carefully consider this things. There is no doubt that it is one of the hardest things in the world to realize the sinfulness of sin. To say we are all sinners is one thing; to have an idea what sin must be in the sight of God is quite another. Sin is too much part of ourselves to allow us to see it as it is: we do not feel our own moral deformity. We are like those animals in creation which we find repulsive, but are not so to themselves, nor yet to one another: that is how they are, and they do not see it. Our corruption is part and parcel of ourselves, and at our best we have but a feeble understanding of its intensity.
But this you may be sure of,—if you could see your own lives with the eyes of the angels who never fell, you would never doubt this point for a moment. Depend on it, no one can really know what man is, and not see that the doctrine of our text must be true. There can be no salvation except by Christ.
(2) In the second place, the doctrine of our text must be true, because God is what God is.
Now what is God? That is a deep question indeed. We know something of His attributes: He has not left Himself without witness in creation; He has mercifully revealed to us many things about Himself in His Word. We know that God is a Spirit,—eternal, invisible, almighty,—the Maker of all things, the Preserver of all things,—holy, just, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-remembering,— infinite in mercy, in wisdom, in purity.
But, sadly, after all, how low and grovelling are our highest ideas, when we come to put down on paper what we believe God to be! How many words and expressions we use whose full meaning we cannot grasp! How many things our tongues say of Him which our minds are utterly unable to conceive!
How small a part of Him do we see! How little of Him can we possibly know! How mean and insufficient are any words of ours to convey any idea of Him who made this mighty world out of nothing, and with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day! How weak and inadequate are our poor feeble intellects to conceive of Him who is perfect in all His works,—perfect in the greatest as well as perfect in the smallest, perfect in appointing the days and hours in which Jupiter, with all his satellites, travels round the sun,—perfect in forming the smallest insect that creeps over a few feet of our little globe! How little can our busy helplessness comprehend a Being who is ever ordering all things, in heaven and earth, by universal providence: ordering the rise and fall of nations and dynasties, like Nineveh and Carthage; ordering the least step in the life of the humblest believer among His people: all at the same time, all unceasingly, all perfectly,—all for His own glory.
The blind man is no judge of the paintings of Rembrandt; the deaf man is insensible to the beauty of Handel’s music; the Northern dweller can have but a faint notion of the climate of the tropics; however well you may describe it: there would be no place in their minds to take in these things; they would have no set of thoughts which can comprehend them; they would have no mental fingers to grasp them. And, just in the same way, the best and brightest ideas that man can form of God, compared to the reality which we will one day see, are weak and faint indeed.
But one thing is very clear; and that is this. The more any man considers calmly what God really is, the more he must feel the immeasurable distance between God and himself: the more he meditates, the more he must see that there is a great gulf between him and God. His conscience will tell him, if he will let it speak, that God is perfect, and he is imperfect; that God is very high, and he is very low; that God is glorious majesty and he is a poor worm: and that if ever he is to stand before Him in judgment in security, he must have some mighty helper, or he will not be saved.
And what is all this but the very teaching of our text? What is all this but coming round to the conclusion that is being urged upon you? With such a one as God to give account to, we must have a mighty Saviour. To make us stand with such a glorious Being as God, we must have an Almighty Friend and Advocate on our side—who can answer every charge that can be laid against us, and effectively plead our cause with God. We need this, and nothing less than this. Vague notions of mercy will never give true peace. And such a Saviour, such a Friend, such an Advocate is nowhere to be found except in the person of Jesus Christ.
People may certainly have false notions of God as well as everything else, and shut their eyes against truth; but it may be boldly and confidently said that no man can have really high and honourable views of what God is, and escape the conclusion that the teaching of our text must be true. There can be no possible salvation but by Jesus Christ.
(3.) In the third place, this doctrine must be true, because the Bible is what the Bible is.
All through the Bible, from Genesis down to Revelation, there is only one simple account of the way in which man must be saved. It is always the same: only for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ,—through faith; not for our own works and deservings.
You see it dimly revealed at first: it looms through the mist of a few promises, but there it is.
You have it more plainly afterwards: it is taught by the pictures and emblems of the law of Moses, the schoolmaster dispensation.
You have it still more clearly in due time: the Prophets saw in vision many particulars about the Redeemer yet to come.
You have it fully at last, in the sunshine of New Testament history: Christ incarnate,—Christ crucified, —Christ rising again, Christ preached to the world.
But one golden chain runs through the whole book; no salvation except by Jesus Christ. The bruising of the serpent’s head foretold in the day of the fall; the clothing of our first parents with skins, the sacrifices of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Passover, and all the particulars of the Jewish law,—the high priest, altar, the daily offering of the lamb, the holy of holies entered only by blood, the scapegoat, the cities of refuge,—all are so many witnesses to the truth set forth in the text: all preach with one voice, salvation only by Jesus Christ.
In fact, this truth seams to be the grand object of the Bible, and all the different parts and portions of the book meant to pour light upon it. We can gather from it no ideas of pardon and peace with God except in connection with this truth. If we could read of one soul in it who was saved without faith in a Saviour, we might perhaps not be so sure. But when we see that faith in Christ,—whether a coming Christ or a crucified Christ,—was the prominent feature in the religion of all who went to heaven; when we see Abel owning Christ in his better sacrifice, at one end of the Bible, and the saints in glory in John’s vision rejoicing in Christ, at the other end of the Bible; when we see a man like Cornelius, who was devout, and feared God, and gave alms and prayed, not told that he had done everything he needed, and would of course be saved, but ordered to send for Peter, and hear of Christ; when we see all these things is it not clear that the teaching of our text is the doctrine of the whole Bible? No salvation, no way to heaven, except by Jesus Christ.
Anyone who reads and believes the whole Bible, will find it hard to escape the teaching of our text this morning. Christ is the way, and the only way; Christ the truth, and the only truth; Christ the life, and only life.
Such are the reasons I would highlight this morning which stand to confirm the truth laid down in our text. What man is,—what God is,—what the Bible is,—all appear to lead us on to the same great conclusion: no possible salvation without Christ.
III. And now, in the third and last place, let me show you some consequences which flow naturally out of our text.
There are few parts of this subject which seem to be more important than this. The truth we have been considering is sadly relevant to the condition of a great proportion of mankind. If Christ is the only way of salvation, what are we to feel about many people in the world? This is the point we will now consider.
There are many who would follow along so far as we have gone, and would go no further. They will allow the premises: they will have nothing to say to the conclusions. They think it uncharitable to say anything which appears to condemn others. But is this really charity? it seems the kind of charity which would see a neighbour drinking slow poison, but never interfere to stop him; which would allow emigrants to board a leaky, suspect vessel, and not interfere to prevent them; which would see a blind man walking near a precipice, and think it wrong to cry out, and tell him there was danger.
Rather is not the greatest charity to tell the greatest quantity of truth? It is no real charity to hide the legitimate consequences of such a text as we are now considering, or to shut our eyes against them. And I solemnly call on every one who really believes there is no salvation in any but Christ and no other name given under heaven whereby we can be saved,—I solemnly call on that person to listen to me, while I set before him some of the tremendous consequences which the text involves.
i) One mighty consequence then, which seems to be learned from this text, is the utter uselessness of any religion without Christ.
There are many to be found in Christian circles today who have a religion of this kind. They would not like to be called Deists, but that is fact what they are. That there is a God, that there is what they are pleased to call Providence, that God is merciful, that there will be a state after death,—this is about the sum and substance of what they believe; and as to the particular doctrines of Christianity, they do not seem to recognise them at all.
Sadly, such a system is a baseless fabrication,—its seeming foundation man’s fantasy,—its hopes an utter delusion. The god of such people is an idol of their own invention, and not the glorious God of the Scriptures,—a miserably imperfect being, even on their own showing: without holiness, without justice, without any attribute but that of vague indiscriminate mercy. Such a religion may possibly do as a toy to live with: it is far too unreal to die with. It utterly fails to meet the needs of man’s conscience: it offers no remedy; it gives no rest for the soles of our feet; it cannot comfort, for it cannot save. Beware of it if you love life. Beware of a religion without Christ.
ii) Another consequence to be learned from the text is, the folly of any religion in which Christ does not have the first place.
And there are many who in effect hold to a system of this kind. They say in effect that Christ was a mere man; that His blood had no more power to save than that of another; that His death on the cross was not a real atonement and propitiation of man’s sins; and that, after all, doing is the way to heaven, and not believing.
Such a system is the ruin of men’s souls. It strikes at the root of the whole plan of salvation which God has revealed in the Bible, and practically nullifies the greater part of the Scriptures. It overthrows the priesthood of the Lord Jesus, and strips Him of His office; it converts the whole system of the law of Moses touching sacrifices and ordinances, into a meaningless form; it seems to say that the sacrifice of Cain was just as good as the sacrifice of Abel; it turns a man adrift on the sea of uncertainty, by plucking from under him the finished work of a divine Mediator.
Beware of this in all its forms. If you love life, beware of the least attempt to depreciate and undervalue Christ’s person, offices or work. The name whereby alone you can be saved is a name above every name, and the slightest contempt poured on it is an insult to the King of kings. The salvation of your soul has been laid by God the Father on Christ, and no other; and if He were not very God, He never could accomplish it: there could be no salvation at all.
iii) Another consequence to be learned from our text is the great error, committed by those who add anything to Christ, as necessary to salvation.
It is an easy thing to profess belief in the Trinity, and reverence for our Lord Jesus Christ, and yet to make some addition to Christ as the ground of hope, and so to overthrow the doctrine of the text as really and completely as by denying it altogether.
The Church of Rome does this systematically. She adds things of her own invention over and above the requirements of the Gospel. She speaks as if Christ’s finished work was not a sufficient foundation for a sinner's soul, and as if it were not enough to say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) She sends men to penances and absolution, to masses and extreme unction, to fasting, bodily mortification, to the Virgin and the saints,—as if these things could add to the safety there is in Christ Jesus. And in doing this she openly sins against our text. Let us beware of any such yearning after additions to the simple way of the Gospel, from wherever it may come.
But it is to be feared the Church of Rome is not alone in this matter: Protestants have often erred in the same direction, although in a very different way; they have fallen into the trap of adding, perhaps without realising, other names to the name of Christ, or attaching any importance to them which they never ought to receive. By emphasizing or centering on the particulars of their denomination such as the mode of baptism, or views of the end-times for example, they, in effect, have a dangerous tendency to add to the doctrine of our text. They seem to be practically declaring that salvation is not to be found simply and solely in Christ; They seem to be practically adding another name to the name of Jesus whereby men must be saved,—even the name of their own denomination and sect and to be practically replying to the question, “What shall I do to be saved?” not merely, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” but also “Come and join us.”
Now every true Christian should always be on guard against this error, in whatever form he may be inclined to it. Yet this is not to say that that a person should not have definite views in these sorts of church matters, and to be fully persuaded of their correctness; but these things should never be put in the place of Christ, or placed anywhere near Him, or spoken of as if you thought them necessary for salvation. However dear to us our own peculiar views may be, let us beware of forcing them in between the sinner and the Saviour, let us beware, in short, of adding to the doctrine of the text. In the things of God’s Word, let us remember, addition, as well as subtraction, is a great sin.
iv) The last consequence to be learned from our text is, the terrible danger of supposing that we ought to be satisfied with a man’s state of soul if he is only sincere.
This is a very common error indeed, and one against which we all need to be on our guard. There are thousands who say in our day, “We have nothing to do with the opinions of others. They may perhaps be mistaken, though it is possible they are right and we are wrong: but if they are sincere, we hope they will be saved, even as we are.” And all this sounds liberal and charitable, and people like to imagine their own views are such.
But this way of thinking is in clear contradiction with the Bible, whatever else it may be. There is not one Scripture stating that anyone ever got to heaven merely by sincerity, or was accepted with God if he was only earnest in maintaining his own views.
The priests of Baal were sincere when they cut themselves with swords and lances till the blood gushed out; but still that did not prevent Elijah from commanding them to be treated as wicked idolaters. The apostle Paul when a Pharisee was sincere while he attacked the Church, but when his eyes were opened he mourned over this as a special wickedness. Let us beware of thinking for a moment that sincerity is everything, and that we have no right to question a man’s spiritual state because of the opinions he holds, if he is only earnest in holding them. On such principles, countless idolatrous practices might each and all be defended. It will not stand: it will not bear the test of Scripture. Once allow such notions to be true, and you may as well throw your Bible aside altogether. Sincerity is not Christ, and therefore sincerity cannot put away sin.
These conclusions likely sound very unpleasant to some who might hear them. But it must be said clearly and deliberately: that a religion without Christ, a religion that takes away from Christ, a religion that adds anything to Christ, a religion that puts sincerity in the place of Christ,—all are dangerous: all are to be avoided, and all are alike contrary to the doctrine of our text.
Many may not like this: but cannot be avoided. It may be thought uncharitable, illiberal, narrow-minded, bigoted, and so forth: be it so. It is nonetheless the doctrine of the Word of God. That doctrine is, salvation in Christ to the very uttermost,—but out of Christ no salvation at all.
My goal this morning is to make clear the spirit of the day we live in; to warn you against its infection. It is not Atheism that is so much to be feared, in the present times, as Pantheism. It is not the system which says nothing is true, so much as the system which says everything is true; it is not the system which says there is no Saviour, so much as the system which says there are many saviours and many ways to peace. It is the system which is so liberal that it dares not say anything is false; it is the system which is so charitable that it will allow everything to be true; it is the system which seems ready to honour others as well as our Lord Jesus Christ, class them all together, and hope well of all.
Every religion is to be treated respectfully: none are to be condemned. It is the system which tells us to smile complacently on all creeds and systems of religion: the Bible and the Koran, and the book of Mormon,—all are to be listened to: none are to be denounced as lies.
It is the system which is so careful about the feelings of others, that we are never to say they are wrong; it is the system which is so liberal that it calls a man a bigot if he dares to say, “I know my views are right.” This is the system, this is the tone of feeling which has risen in our day. This is the system which must be testified against and denounced.
What is it but a bowing down before a great idol specially called liberality? What is it all but a sacrificing of truth upon the altar of a false charity? Beware that the rushing stream of public opinion does not carry you away. Beware of it, if you believe the Bible. Has the Lord God spoken to us in the Bible, or has He not? Has He shown us the way of salvation plainly in that Bible, or has He not? Has He declared to us the dangerous state of all that are out of that way, or has He not?
Brace your mind, and look squarely at these questions, and give them an honest answer. Tell us that there is some other inspired book beside the Bible, and then we will know what you mean; tell us that the whole Bible is not inspired, and then we will know where to meet you: but grant for a moment that the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is God’s truth; and then is there any possible way you can escape the doctrine of the text? From the liberality which says everybody is right, from the charity which forbids you to say anybody is wrong, from the peace which is bought at the expense of truth,—from these, may the Lord, in his mercy, deliver us.
As we come to a close, let us consider a few words by way of application.
1- First of all, if there is no salvation except in Christ, make sure that you have an interest in that salvation yourself.
Do not be content with hearing, and approving, and assenting to the truth, and going no further. Seek to have a personal interest in this salvation: lay hold by faith for your own soul; do not rest till you know and feel that you have got actual possession of that peace with God which Jesus offers, and that Christ is yours, and you are Christ’s. If there were two, or three, or more ways of getting to heaven, then there would be no need for insisting on these matters. But if there is only one way, you will hardly wonder that I would urge you to, "make sure that you are in it."
2- Secondly, if there is no salvation except in Christ, try to do good to the souls of all who do not know Him as a Saviour.
There are millions in this miserable condition,—millions in other lands, millions in your own country, millions who are not trusting in Christ. You ought to feel for them if you are a true Christian; you ought to pray for them; you ought to work for them, while there is yet time. Do you really believe that Christ is the only way to heaven? Then live as if you believed it.
Look round the circle of your own relatives and friends: count them up one by one, and think how many of them are not yet in Christ. Try to do good to them in some way or other: act as a man should act who believes his friends to be in danger. Do not be content with their being kind and amiable, gentle and good-tempered, moral, and courteous; be miserable about them till they come to Christ, and trust in Him: for miserable you ought to be. Let nobody alone who is out of Christ, if only you have opportunities of reaching him. This may sound like enthusiasm and fanaticism but would that there was more of it in the world: for sure, anything is better than a quiet indifference about the souls of others, as if everybody was going to heaven. Nothing so proves our little faith, as our little feeling about the spiritual condition of those around us.
3- Thirdly, if there is no salvation except in Christ, let us love all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity, and exalt Him as their Saviour, whoever they may be.
Let us not draw back from others because they do not see eye to eye with ourselves in everything. Whatever are his beliefs on secondary matters, let us love him who loves Christ, and gives Christ His rightful place. We are all fast travelling towards a place where names and forms and Church government will be nothing, and Christ will be all: let us get ready for that place, by loving all who are in the way that leads to it.
This is the true charity: to believe all things and hope all things, so long as we see Bible doctrines maintained and Christ exalted. Christ must be the single standard by which all opinions must be measured. Let us honour all who honour Him: but let us never forget that the same apostle Paul who wrote about charity, says also, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” (1 Cor 16:22) If our charity and liberality are wider than that of the Bible, they are worth nothing at all: indiscriminate love is no love at all, and indiscriminate approbation of all religious opinions, is only a new name for infidelity. Let us hold out the right hand to all who love the Lord Jesus, but let us beware how we go beyond this.
4- Lastly, if there is no salvation except by Christ, you must not be surprised if ministers of the Gospel preach much about Him.
We cannot tell you too much about the name which is above every name: you cannot hear of Him too often. You may hear too much about controversy in sermons,—you may hear too much of men and books, of works and duties, of forms and ceremonies, of sacraments and ordinances,—but there is one subject which you can never hear too much of: you can never hear too much of Christ.
When we are wearied of preaching Him, we are false ministers: when you are wearied of hearing of Him, your souls are in an dangerous state. When we have preached Him all our lives, the half of His excellence will remain untold. When you see Him face to face in the day of His appearing, you will find there was more in Him than your heart ever conceived.
Let me leave you with the words of an old writer. Ryle does not say who he is, and I was not able to find out, but the words seem good and true to me:
“I know no true religion but Christianity; no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ: the doctrine of His divine person, of His divine office, of His divine righteousness, and of His divine Spirit, which all that are His receive. I know no true ministers of Christ but such as make it their business, in their calling, to commend Jesus Christ, in His saving fulness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men; no true Christian but one united to Christ by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauty of Gospel holiness. Ministers and Christians of this spirit have been for many years my brethren and companions, and I hope shall ever be, whithersoever the hand of God shall lead me.”