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In whom we have redemption


In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7

LET not the reader be satisfied to rest upon the mere surface of the truth, that
Christ has made an atonement for sin; this may be believed, and yet the full
blessedness, peace, and sanctification of it not enjoyed. And why? Because he
enters not fully into the experience of the truth. Shall we not say, too, because his
views of sin rest but on the surface of sin’s exceeding sinfulness? Deep views of
sin will ever result in deep views of the Sacrifice for sin; inadequate knowledge of
sin, inadequate knowledge of Christ; low views of self, high views of Christ. Be
satisfied, then, not to rest upon the surface of this wondrous truth. The
completeness of Christ’s atonement arises from the infinite dignity of His Person:
His Godhead forms the basis of His perfect work. It guarantees, so to speak, the
glorious result of His atonement. It was this that gave perfection to His
obedience, and virtue to His atonement: it was this that made the blood He shed
efficacious in the pardon of sin, and the righteousness He wrought out complete
in the justification of the soul. His entire work would have been wanting but for
His Godhead.
The pardon of a believer’s sins is an entire pardon: it is the full pardon of all his
sins. It were no pardon to him, if it were not an entire pardon. If it were but a
partial blotting out of the thick cloud—if it were but a partial canceling of the
bond—if it were but a forgiveness of some sins only, then the gospel were no
glad tidings to his soul. The law of God has brought him in guilty of an entire
violation. The justice of God demands a satisfaction equal to the enormity of the
sins committed and of the guilt incurred. The Holy Spirit has convinced him of his
utter helplessness, his entire bankruptcy. What rapture would kindle in his bosom
at the announcement of a partial atonement—of a half Savior—of a part payment
of the debt? Not one throb of joyous sensation would it produce. On the contrary,
this very mockery of his woe would but deepen the anguish of his spirit. But, go
to the soul, weary and heavy laden with sin, mourning over its vileness, its
helplessness, and proclaim the gospel. Tell him that the atonement which Jesus
offered on Calvary was a full satisfaction for his sins. That all his sins were borne
and blotted out in that awful moment. That the bond which divine justice held
against the sinner was fully cancelled by the obedience and sufferings of Christ,
and that, appeased and satisfied, God was “ready to pardon.” How beautiful will
be the feet that convey to him tidings so transporting as these! And are not these
statements perfectly accordant with the declarations of God’s own word? Let us
ascertain: what was the ark symbolical of, alluded to by the apostle in the ninth
chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews, which contained the manna, Aaron’s rod,
and the tables of the covenant, over which stood the Cherubim of glory,
shadowing the mercy-seat? What, but the entire covering of sin? For, as the
covering of the ark did hide the law and testimony, so did the Lord Jesus Christ
hide the sins of His chosen, covenant people—not from the eye of God’s
omniscience, but from the eye of the law. They stand legally acquitted. So entire
was the work of Jesus, so infinite and satisfactory His obedience, the law of God
pronounces them acquitted, and can never bring them into condemnation. “There
is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” “Who is he
that condemns? It is Christ that died.” How could the apostle, with any truth, have
made a declaration so astounding, and uttered a challenge so dauntless as this,
if the point we are now endeavoring to establish were not strictly as we affirm it to
be?—Octavius Winslow