A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby At East Street Chapel, Walworth, London, On Tuesday Evening, June 6th, 1848.
“And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”—Colossians 3:17
I. From this portion of God’s word, I shall, with the Lord’s help, endeavour to mark out the characters addressed.
II. Drop a hint or two upon the glorious Person set before us—“the Lord Jesus.”
III. Speak of the injunction enjoined upon them: “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
I. In the characters here addressed are such as are mentioned in the first few verses of the chapter: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” They are characters that are risen with Christ. Now there is a threefold sense in which some of God’s people are risen with Christ.
1. They are all risen with him by virtue of union to him. He was crucified as the public Head of his body, the church, and he rose as their public Head. All God’s elect had the sentence of death passed on them in the death of Christ, and were in this sense crucified with him; and his solemn Majesty never took a step, from the cradle to the cross, nay, to the crown, without every soul of his elect being in him; so that when he rose, they rose together with him. But how? By virtue of their inseparable union to him, they sat together with him, and were presented before God as engraven upon his heart. Hence we find the Holy Ghost saith, Christ has “entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
2. In the Lord’s set time to favour them, his people rise together with Christ, by virtue of his resurrection, above the dominion, the love, and the power of sin and the world. When the Lord the Spirit quickens their dead souls, it is by life communicated from Christ;. and one of the results of it is, a cutting them off from the world and the things of it, and bringing them into a blessed resurrection from its ways and pursuits. And when this takes place, they cannot be kept any longer in good humor with the world, nor with Satan either. They are raised from the love of it; so that the world and they are no longer in union. They have received a principle of life which makes them dead to it, and they cannot remain any longer in love with it. And if they should be in a false profession of religion, they will rise from that also; they will come out of it; and this resurrection from a false profession is manifested in them by a death to that profession; they will come away from it and rise above it. If they have been free-willers, all their legal props will give way and leave them helpless and destitute; and if they have been high free-willers, the result will be just the same. For my part I see no difference between them; for when men say they can believe when they please, and be happy and comfortable when they please, what is it but freewill in another shape? The poor, tempest-tossed, harassed soul finds that he has no power to believe or comfort his own soul. Yea, those who have risen with Christ, and have been taught the truth as it is in him, know that if this doctrine put forth were true, there is not a soul of them but must be damned. They are brought to feel, every one of them, that they cannot stand upon it; so that, under the teachings of the blessed Spirit, they are raised above these false delusions. Whether they perish or not, they find they cannot live upon any free- will system. But when the Lord is graciously pleased to reveal his pardoning grace, seal it home on the conscience, and the soul is brought to experience the blessed effects of the love and blood of Christ, O how blessedly then it is raised to joy and peace and can see that every thing is secured in the dear Redeemer. It can then triumph above all its foes, for a moment or two, and magnify the riches of God’s grace and mercy in thus bringing them into a blessed resurrection-state with Christ.
3. If they live much longer, almost to a certainty they will be brought to experience another resurrection. They will come into a state of mind just where Ezekiel was in his vision, when he was set down in the midst of the valley which was full of dry bones. These bones were very dry, and what seemed to him so vastly strange was, they were not only very dry. but there was not a single bone in its proper place; and even when they were partly clothed, and the Lord said to the prophet, “Can these dry bones live?” as much as Ezekiel knew of the Lord’s wonderful dealings and the power of his arm, yet it so staggered him, that he said, “O Lord God, thou knowest!” And the people of God sometimes, in a backsliding state, get into such a dry, barren, lifeless, distracted state of mind, that they do not feel a single joint in its proper place, nor a single joint moving aright. They are as gloomy, dark, and lifeless as the dry bones scattered in the valley. But when the Lord commanded his servant to prophesy to the wind, and say, “Come from the four winds, O breath^ and breathe upon these slain that they may live,” and breath came into these dry bones, they lived, and stood up, an exceeding great army. So it is with the soul, when the Lord is graciously pleased to breathe into it fresh communications of life and power; why there is a blessed resurrection takes place immediately. Faith is brought into lively exercise, hope is brought into lively exercise, love is brought into lively exercise, joy is brought into lively exercise, peace is brought into lively exercise, prayer is brought into lively exercise, and thanksgiving to God is brought into lively exercise; and the poor soul rejoices that he has been separated from the world and raised up to God, to sing the wonders of his love and to demonstrate that God has made him a living monument of his truth; and all the life, strength, and power communicated to him, with all the joy and peace he experiences, he feels that it all comes from Christ; and then he solemnly shouts, “Victory, through the blood of the Lamb!” So that the people of God know what it is to be risen with Christ, in some blessed measure, in this threefold point of view.
There may be some here who are at present in the first resurrection- state I have been describing, and may want to enter more fully into an enjoyment of the blessedness and glory of it. But I tell you one thing; if you are God’s people, as long as you can experience the work of grace in your souls, you are on rich ground, and cannot but be happy and rejoicing; but when God removes these feelings of comfort, and brings you into a dry, barren, and wintry condition, which certainly will be the case, why, then you will shrink up like a poor worm in a frosty night; you will sink so low in your feelings as to conclude that there is no hope left, and be ready to give up all for lost. But when this is the case, “let no man take thy crown;” because you may not have all you can want or desire, do not conclude from thence that you have nothing at all. Let me only put this case to you. Suppose any of you now were journeying to Manchester, and when you reached Birmingham you met with a companion who had seen several of the factories in Manchester, and he were to tell you how wonderfully they worked, and what a curious specimen of machinery he had viewed, would you conclude that you were in London, and not on your road to Manchester, indeed more than half way there, because you had not seen it yourself? Certainly not. So it is with the child of God, who is hobbling and crawling on, amidst temptations and conflicts, and who is not on the high mountains of delight. He is still on the high road, and the Lord will bring him there in his own time. Therefore let such a poor soul wait where he is, sighing and crying, till God is pleased to raise him up on high; for “he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” And every one who is raised up to an enjoyment of God knows what it is to be risen with Christ, in this blessed way, in his own appointed time. But some may say, “I have been waiting so long for it!” Aye; but how long did poor Abraham have to wait for the accomplishment of the promise? And when, like you and me, his patience was exhausted, and there was no appearance of the fulfillment of the promise; and when Sarah and he, with their free- will efforts, tried to accomplish God’s work, what did it do for them? Why, they brought a plague into their house! And just so it is with us; for that is all we can do with our free-will plans. We can never enter into the sweetness of the promise until we find the plague in our own proceedings; and then God saith, “Cast out the bond- woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman.” How often do we set to work with our legal plans to accomplish God’s work, and not leave off till he really brings a fresh plague into our consciences, and then we must remain there until God opens up afresh the mysteries of his love and salvation to us. Therefore wait, poor soul, on the Lord; wait at the footstool of his mercy; and if you cannot speak, groan; and if you cannot groan, sigh; for you that are walking in such a path as this shall not sigh or groan long before the Lord will appear for you. May you not, then, be discouraged, but abide where you are, at the feet of the dear Redeemer, and there lie helpless in self. He will be sure to come, and arise up for the deliverance of the poor and needy, for “he giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” “He filleth the poor with good things,” while “the rich he sends empty away.”
II. But we pass on to notice the solemn and glorious Person set before us,—”the Lord Jesus!” “His name shall be called Jesus.” For what? Because he shall do his part towards saving his people, and they are to accomplish the rest? No, no; not so. What then? “Because he shall save his people from their sins.” Now, mind you, if Jesus is to save thee from thy sins, thou art not to set on to save thyself, and then come to him to approve of thy wonderful works. The sinner who is brought by the Spirit to the Lord Jesus comes with all his sins on him, and all his sins about him. He comes as a wretched, vile, ruined, and guilty sinner. “O,” say you, “I am frightened at that!” You may well be so; I do not wonder at it; for if God has opened your heart to your view and brought you to feel what a sinner you really are, it is enough to make you frightened.
The man that can laugh at sin and make sport with sin does not bow either the feeling sense of it, the sight of it, or the stench of it; for it is enough to suffocate a Samson, and the strongest man, except Christ, and to bring him prostrate to the ground, just as you and I are. Well, poor pulled-up, rooted-up sinner, without help in self, God help you to come to Christ; he saves from sin; and, bless Ms precious name, he does not half save only. A half salvation win not do for me, whether it will for you or not! I must have a whole and complete salvation,—a salvation, not only from sin and the consequences of it, but one which Satan cannot mar, or it will not suit my case or come into my conscience. But the salvation of the Lord does; it is a perfect work; it meets all the circumstances and enters into all the wants and requirements of the soul. Jesus has mediatorially put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hence the law is satisfied, justice is honoured, death and the devil are vanquished, and the world is overcome. And when the blessed Spirit comes into the conscience of the ruined sinner with his divine power, and gives the poor soul a dead lift, he is brought then blessedly to enter into the salvation of Jesus, as just suited to his needy case and circumstances. He feels that he has saved him throughout, completely and entirely, and that “his name is Jesus,” because he has saved him from all his sins!
Now there is one thing I would notice in being saved from sin; and this part of salvation which I have in view, I have sometimes illustrated by this simple figure. Suppose a vagabond should have robbed and plundered every one he came near, and at last should be taken up, be tried, cast, and condemned; and that after this the queen should pardon him, and he be sent out of prison; would not all the neighbours be alarmed at the man, at such a vile fellow being set free, and say, “It is a pity such a vagabond should be let loose on society?” The man’s character is gone; and though the queen has pardoned him, yet no one would like to employ him or have any thing to do with him. But if the queen could really prove him to be innocent, and should take him openly and manifestly into her family, why the man would not then merely be pardoned, but there would be a dignity stamped upon him! An act of this kind would appear something like salvation, would it not? Now our Jesus saves in this way. He not only saves his people from sin, and the awful consequences of it, but he raises them up to dignity and glory. They are saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, and they have an everlasting robe of righteousness imputed to them, in which they are glorified for ever; for “he raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill, that he may set him among princes, even with the princes of his people.” And thus he brings them into a blessed enjoyment of his immortal salvation. Jesus is not only the Saviour of his church, but he is made such a glorious Saviour to them that he is Jesus the anointed; a tender-hearted, a pitying and compassionate Friend; capable in the sympathy of his nature of coming into the sorrows, pains, trials, conflicts, and miseries of his people. As Jesus, he has had to wade through the deep waters; he has been to the bottom of them, and knows their depth. You and I do not. He has gone through hot fires, and he knows the fierceness of the flames; but, blessed be his name, he has made a way through the waters, and through the fires, and says, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” And thus he has by his love and blood quenched the flames, and comes now blessedly and manifestively to the soul, by a new and living way which he hath consecrated by his precious blood, for thy salvation and God’s glory; so that, as Jesus, he is suited to thy state and circumstances, poor disconsolate child of God, poor broken-hearted sinner, and thou shalt be brought to feel that everything thou canst want is treasured up in his fulness for every time of need.
But again. He is not only Jesus, but he is the Lord Jesus. I often think I am one of the greatest fools that God has ever let live, for sin and Satan so much to obscure the glories of Christ’s Person from my view. In my judgment I firmly believe that the Lord Jesus is the “Lord of lords, and the King of kings,”—that God’s providence is in his hands, that all my cares and all my trials are under his appointment, that devils and men must obey his sovereign nod,— that “he speaks, and it is done; he commands, and it stands fast,” and that his eternal Majesty, as God, is in inseparable union with his manhood in his glorious Person; and all this for my everlasting welfare. And yet how troubled I am, at times, as though I had never known him. And these precious truths are not only laid down in his blessed Word, but now and then let into the conscience of the poor sinking sinner, to prop him up, and to comfort his soul. Therefore, “whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
III. Now it is not my intention to weary your patience to-night. I shall, therefore, pass on, and notice what it is the Lord enjoins on his people, and what it is that honours his gracious Majesty! “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
First, then. Do we pray unto God? Of what use are our words, sighs, or groans, at the footstool of mercy, at the throne of grace, unless they are “in the name of the Lord Jesus?” Never utter a sentence in your own name, your own work, or your own words! Remember, poor soul, and God give you a feeling sense of it, Christ himself said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” But mind, it must not be a divided salvation, for him to do half and the other half left for you to do! No; there must be an entire stripping of self. All your self-hope, self-confidence, self-duty, and self-piety must be rooted up; for no sinner that is really taught his lost and ruined condition can ever fall back upon self for help, either in whole or in part; but he will be led to place all his hope and dependence on the Lord Jesus! And the poor soul, who is brought here by the solemn teachings of the blessed Spirit, will feel that all his sighs, his groans, and his prayers must be in the name of Jesus only; and therefore he pleads the blessed name of the dear Redeemer alone. Here his hope anchors, and his faith rests; and here he finds something precious and suitable to him beyond all power of description. But some one may be ready to say, “Do you not think that we ought, when we pray to the Lord, at the same time to promise him that if he would do this or that for us, we would do so and so for him?” I tell you, you had better leave that on the background. Be assured of this, no bondage cry is ever a safe one; but let all thy pleas be alone in the solemn name, life, blood, obedience, and righteousness of the Son of God. Hear what the Lord says: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me;” and if you think that the blessing of the Lord proceeds or comes from the Father in any other way than in and through the name of Christ, you are deceiving your own souls; for the Lord of life says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me;” but in this way both Jew and Gentile have access by one Spirit unto the Father, in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ! And so precious and glorious is this name, that whenever the Father saves the poor sinner, it is alone upon this ground; and when the blessed Spirit enables the sinner thus to place all his hope and confidence in Christ, it crowns the mind of God with delight; as the Lord tells us in the end, “he will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy; ho will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing.” It is the work of the Spirit of truth thus to glorify Christ. “He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Therefore, in all your addresses to the throne of God, may you do it “all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
If any of you are invited to breathe out your exercise of soul, or any enjoyment you have experienced of his name; and you should have some fluency of speech, or possess some talent or ability to pray, whether in private or public, do not go to it, poor child of God, in your own name, your own strength, your own might, nor in your own power; do not come with your own talent, with your own vows and promises, not even after enjoying the Lord’s presence; but may all your prayers, whether in public or private, be grounded alone upon the merit and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and if the Lord the Spirit enable you thus to pray, “in spirit and in truth,” you shall certainly find access to God, and he will make it manifest that he is free with you by holding sweet communion with your soul. Do you not recollect the circumstance of Moses making the ark, and the mercyseat, and the lid of it? And what did God say concerning it? “Here will I meet with thee, and commune with thee from above the mercyseat!” Come, poor soul, take thy standing at the mercy-seat, through the blood of the Lamb. What is so pleasing to the Lord as to see thee there,—whilst the Spirit brings thee thus into contrition of soul, to leave thyself at his blessed feet, without any support or creature-help in self, and enables thee to give up thyself to his service, and raises thy soul into a sweet and blessed enjoyment of the Lord Jesus Christ? “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
2. Do we preach? Aye, what a mercy would it be if there were no preaching but “in the name of the Lord Jesus?” I should be thankful if I never came in any other name; but I confess I do not always preach solely and exclusively in the name of the Lord Jesus! Self works; and we want to do it prettily and neatly; and I tell you that that filthy vagabond, self, brings so much of his poison into the man’s mind, even while he is in the pulpit, and he has such a feeling sense of his own loathsome condition whilst there sometimes, that he knows not what to do. And I say, if at any time the devil vamps him up to think that he has preached a good sermon, if he is one of God’s ministers he will be sure to be brought down into a very low place. And if any of you, who are professed ministers of Jesus, are ever vamped up in your mind at any time to think that you have been preaching a good sermon, God will make you smart for your folly. He will certainly do it; for there is no preaching that is acceptable in his sight but what is “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” But if you come in his glorious name, O how sweet will your message be! How comforting to the Lord’s weary and heavy-laden family! Shrink back for ever, then, in your own inability and incapability of doing what you want to do. If you are led to come “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” he will strengthen you for the work; he will not leave, nor let you sink in it; but if it is only a job of your own, he will; and the sooner the better. But some may be ready to say, “Do you feel so?” No, indeed! For sometimes I am as fretful and peevish as a mortal can be, when the Lord is pleased to strip me of everything and to leave me bare; but when he brings me to see in my preaching that nothing will stand the test but what is “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and when his power comes in the ministry of his word, and he makes it manifest that there is a “savour of his knowledge by us in every place,” then we have a blessed evidence that the Lord is with as. There is one thing that will always prove who are God’s ministers; and that is, when their ministry becomes a sweet savour of Christ, so that their testimony will be either a “savour of life unto life, or of death unto death.” And thus, when they come in the name of Christ, that name which “is as ointment poured forth,” it will leave a solemn measure of unction in the conscience of the child of God, and he will feel its sacred power; while at the same time it will offend the proud, presumptuous free- wilier, and he will speak against it. You may be assured of this, that whether they are high or low free-willers, it matters very little which, directly you preach that all the feelings of faith, hope, love, and every other grace in the soul, depend upon the power being communicated thereto by the blessed Spirit, that very moment they will begin to speak against it. But do not be alarmed at it; rather rejoice at it; for there is no proof of your coming “in the name of the Lord Jesus” unless presumptuous professors are made uncomfortable under it. Therefore, when we stand up to preach his word, may our ministry be in his fear, “in the name of the Lord Jesus!”
3. If we have conversation one with another, let it be only “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” I have often thought of an old friend of ours, a countryman, a man richly taught, who had a very deep experience in his own soul. Some time since he began to tell a few friends of the dealings of the Lord -with him; and as he had had great conflicts, and had obtained many victories, he had something to talk about; but while he was relating his many troubles and deliverances, the old man observed tears falling from their eyes, and he stopped short in his history; and to use his familiar expression, he said, “I will tell you no more, for your eyes are getting up!” He found now that something else was about being introduced beside “the name of the Lord Jesus.” He felt accursed pride at work and springing up in him; therefore he found it best readily to give it up. And so, when you and I begin to vamp up pride, and want to be gazed at, by and by we shall have little or nothing left for us to say. “\\hat good is there in speaking in each other’s name? The Lord give us a tender conscience, under the unction of his blessed Spirit, that our conversation may be more profitable to one another, and that we may do it more “in the name of the Lord Jesus!”
4. In all our religions acts also, let it be our concern to do it only “in the name of the Lord Jesus!” Do we read the Word of the Lord? God help us always to have Jesus along with us! Take Jesus out of the Bible, take his precious Name away from the Bible, and it would damn every soul of you! There is not a soul could live, if Jesus be taken away! Why, the whole contents of the Bible without Christ would condemn those who have the most imaginary holiness, as being “all under sin.” Nay, more than that; if any of us had all the fancied holiness of all the men in the world, apart from Christ, the Bible would damn us without Christ! But O! What sacred consolations have we found in reading the Word of God in the solemn assembly! What profit have we received from its warnings and rebukes! What blessed instruction and consolation have our souls derived from it, while we have sensibly attended to it “in the name of the Lord Jesus!” O how solemn at such seasons has the Word of God been to us, with its reproofs, rebukes, admonitions, and exhortations, under the teachings of the blessed Spirit! Well; we are assured it is all solemn to the conscience while it thus comes home with power to the soul “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” We may not have a Bible always before us in the letter; but we shall be satisfied with its blessed contents in the heart, and thank God that it is written, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” And, therefore, may all our reading and praying be consecrated by this, that it is all to be done “in the name of the Lord Jesus!”
But now, let me ask you, in whose name have you come here tonight? Perhaps some of you present may say, “To tell you the truth, we have come to hear a queer fellow, a strange man!” Well; and what satisfaction will there be in that? May God, if it be his sovereign pleasure, open your heart, and put ears into your soul to hear his word; and if he give you ears to hear the “name of the Lord Jesus,” you will go away with very different feelings to those with which you came! O Lord, accomplish thine own work in the heart of some poor sinner! And if the Lord should perform this work in thy soul, poor careless sinner, thou wilt have to praise him for it to all eternity; but if not, it would be better for thee if thou hadst never been born. “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus!”
5. Well, now, if we attend to order, and come to the ordinances of God’s house, we must do it “all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” And before you practise anything as an ordinance of God, turn to the Bible for a “Thus saith the Lord!” to sanction it; for if you have only tradition for its authority, you might as well have any other branch of Popery, and follow it; for all tradition is founded upon this system of human invention. But if you have the name of the Lord with you, and practise it with a “Thus saith the Lord!” and the Spirit of the living God lead you to attend to the ordinances of God’s house, “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” you will find it sweet and solemn to your soul, and glorifying to God!
Now suppose, for instance, a child of God is about to be baptized. If he is not enabled to do it in “the name of the Lord Jesus,” it will be but a poor legal task at the best; but let him be convinced of its spirituality, and feel in his soul the power of it, and be brought by the blessed Spirit to see that it is, as Peter speaks of it, a figure of the resurrection of the Son of God, and an emblem also of his own death and burial to sin, and of his resurrection unto newness of life; as well as a sweet type of the solemn resurrection of his body to be fashioned unto the likeness of the glorious body of the Lord Jesus Christ; I say, when the poor soul thus attends to this ordinance, in the real exercise of a living faith,” in the name of the Lord Jesus,” it is a solemn act; but if his name be wanting, there is no unction or power accompanying it, and it is nothing but a poor legal piece of business after all!
6. And so, again, if we attend to the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, it should be “in the name of the Lord Jesus!” Do not come with any of your preparations! Aye, what a tugging and toiling is there in some poor souls to get into a state of preparation, and to make themselves better before they come to the table! What a tugging and striving to do it in their own name! Do you not hear what Paul saith?
“Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord!” “Ah!” says the poor soul; “that is the very thing which makes me so anxious and concerned to get prepared.” But mind, it is said, “Not discerning the Lord’s body!” There if your unworthiness, poor sinner, when it is not done “in the name of the Lord Jesus!” Come, then, poor poverty-stricken, ruined beggar, with nothing to recommend thee; come as them art, with all thy wretchedness and misery, in the name of Immanuel, “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Mayest thou eat and drink the elements by precious faith; and find his gracious Majesty manifest his love and blood to thee, that it may be thy meat and drink! “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
7. But we observe further. If you do an act of kindness, do not do it grudgingly, but do it “in the name of the Lord Jesus;” and remember his words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” But I will tell you what I have seen, and very likely there are some of these characters here to-night. Perhaps a kind friend has been benevolent to them, or done them some service; and they will say, “Well, I do not thank you; I thank the Lord; for it is the Lord that hath done it!” I say it is not true; you do not thank the Lord; for if you had received the act of kindness “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” you would thank the instrument raised up for your help as well as the Lord. What you say about thanking him is nothing but a piece of presumption and manifests that your heart is not right with God; for if it were, you would thank the Lord and the giver too; the giver and his gift would be received from God’s hand, with tenderness of conscience, “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and both go sweetly and savingly together,—the one who is blessed with a spirit to give, and the other who is favoured to receive the bounties of providence from his hands. “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus!”
8. But again. If ye exhort or admonish each other, see that ye do it in love, “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Let it be made manifest that you are concerned for Christ to be all in all! Do not act one toward another, and before men, in a way contrary to what you profess; but give evident proof that there is a holy solemnity in the religion of Christ, and that your conduct is regulated by “the name of the Lord Jesus.” Thus may the Spirit of the living God draw out your souls, and enable you to act in a way as becometh the Gospel of Christ, that so you may walk before God as those who are made alive from the dead and called to show forth his praise. “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
And now to conclude. Perhaps in this assembly there are many who have never thought of the necessity of this Name—never thought they were such sinners as to need the Name of Christ! You may be ready to say, “We go to church (though I never expect many church folks to hear me), every Lord’s day, and say, ‘Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law!’“ Why, what a poor toil is this! If you could begin from this moment and keep the law; were it possible for you to fulfill it in every iota, in every jot and tittle of it, and you had not a better religion than that, you would be damned; your old sins would send you to perdition. What is to become of your old sins? They have already condemned you; and as to your keeping the law for time to come, supposing it were possible, that cannot make amends for old sins. Therefore, poor sinner, JOB stand guilty, and are condemned; and I tell you that unless you have something better than this, you must be lost. You must have a righteousness in which God cannot find a flaw, or you cannot be saved!’ And where is this to be found? In the “name of the Lord Jesus” alone; in the precious blood and obedience of the dear Redeemer! And the soul that is brought here, by the Spirit of Christ, and stands before God raised up “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” shall be led to walk worthily and be brought eternally to praise and glorify him for ever and ever.
May the Lord bless you and me with a more feeling sense of the preciousness of “the name of the Lord Jesus.”
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist.