I just finished reading a fantastic little book called The Person of Christ by Andrew Bonar. Reading it feels like sitting with a man who wants nothing more than for you to see that everything you could ever need or want is overwhelmingly found in Jesus. How can you not like a book like that?
Here are some passages that got acquainted with my highlighter:
“Right views of sin have a tendency to lead us to right views of the Person of the Saviour. But the converse also is true; right views of the Saviour’s person lead to right views of sin.”
“It never is the belief of bare truths that saves the soul ; for these have to do only with the understanding. Truths, however weighty, must guide us onward to the Person who is the essence of the testimony…”Faith is begun in the head, but not perfected till it comes into the heart…The belief of the testimony concerning the Son of God, our Saviour, is the porch of the building, through which we pass into the audience-chamber and meet the Living Inhabitant, full of light, and life, and love.”
“(Jesus) is GOD manifest in the flesh. To see Him is to see GOD in the attitude of redemption. To see him is to see the GOD of holy love putting Himself in a position wherein He might be able, justly and honourably, to save sinners. To see Him is to see Godhead finding a way of coming to sinners with open arms, and yet remaining as holy, and just, and true, as from all eternity.”
“Every saved soul has been too glad to find God Himself the Saviour; ‘Behold God is my salvation…'”
How were Old Testament believers saved? What was the nature of their faith? “To have the heart fixed on the Lord, and on Him whom He was to send, is the heart and kernel of ancient faith.”
“We are wrong, in our day, when we speak more of the work of Christ than of His person – directing more attention to the shadow afforded by the great Rock than to the Rock itself. This is not done in the Apostolic Epistles – there the work is not separated from the worker, but ever kept beside him, and He beside the work.”
And here is a fantastic illustration Bonar gives showing the difference from the Savior’s gifts and the Savior Himself:
The hospital, with its ample accommodation, and its stores of medicine and nourishment, and its supply of all that the sick, however many, can require, with access free to all, at every hour of night or day, this is one thing – but how much better, when besides, we have the presence of the founder and Physician Himself, passing through every room – bending over every sick-bed – uttering words and beaming forth looks of sympathy.
Would you commend the place, and forget the physician? And will the Holy Ghost commend the Saviour’s benefits, if thereby you are to be led to overlook Himself?
Lastly, Bonar tells about the conversion experience of Augustus Toplady (writer of Rock of Ages). Listen with carefulness. I pray you taste these words:
“I was convinced I could be saved no other way than by grace, if I could but find grace enough. But at that time I saw more in my own sin than in God’s mercy. But this put me on a further inquiry after the grace of God, because my life lay upon it: and then I was brought to the Gospel. When, however, I came to the Gospel, I met with the law in it; that is, I was for turning the Gospel into law. I began to settle myself upon Gospel-duties, such as repentance, humiliation, believing, praying; and (I know not how) I forgot the promise of grace which first brought me to the Gospel. Soon I found I could neither believe nor pray as the Gospel required. While I was in this plunge, it pleased the Lord to direct me to study the Person of Christ, whom I looked on as the great undertaker in the work of man’s salvation! And truly here I may say, as Paul did, ‘It pleased God to reveal His Son in me.’ God overcame my heart with this. I saw so much mercy in His mercy, so much love in His love, so much grace in His grace, that I knew not what to liken it to. And here my heart broke, I knew not how! Before this faith came, I knew not how to secure myself against past, present, and future sins: but there was that largeness of grace, that all-sufficiency of mercy, that infinity of righteousness, discovered to me in Christ, that I found sufficient for all the days of my life.“
As the old hymn puts it:
Whatever I need in Jesus dwells,
and there it dwells for me.
It’s Christ my earthen vessel fills
with treasures rich and free.