That God should be reconciled after such a dreadful breach as the fall of man made, is wonderful; no sin, all things considered, was ever like to this sin: other sins, like a single bullet, kill particular persons, but this, like a chain-shot, cuts off multitudes as the sand upon the sea-shore, which no man can number.
If all the posterity of Adam in their several generations, should do nothing else but bewail and lament this sin of his, whilst this world continues, yet would it not be enough lamented; for a man so newly created out of nothing, and admitted the first moment into the highest order, crowned a king over the works of God’s hands, Psal. 8:5. a man perfect and upright, without the least inordinate motion, or sinful inclination: a man whose mind was most clear, bright, and apprehensive of the will of God, whose will was free, and able to have easily put by the strongest temptation: a man in a paradise of delights, where nothing was left to desire for advancing the happiness of soul or body: a man understanding himself to be a public, complexive person, carrying not only his own, but the happiness of the whole world in his hand: so soon, upon so slight a temptation, to violate the law of his God, and involve himself and all his posterity with him, in such a gulf of guilt and misery; all which he might so easily have prevented! O wonderful amazing mercy, that ever God should think of being reconciled, or have any purposes of peace towards so vile an apostate creature as man.
The Son of God is “the true Light, which lights every man that cometh into the world.” Therefore whoever does not acknowledge Christ and believe in Him, and does not make Him his own, is and remains a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and of damnation, no matter what he is called or what he is. But if man is to find mercy, Christ alone must be the means. He alone makes us paupers rich with His superabundance, expunges our sins with His righteousness, devours our death with His life, and transforms us from children of wrath, tainted with sin, hypocrisy, lies, and deceit, into children of grace and truth. Whoever does not possess this Man possesses nothing.
“Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4” in Works, 22:130–131.
Much of the pleasantness of a journey lies in unexpected views and scenes which burst upon the traveller as he climbs a hill or descends into a dale. If he could see all at once, one long, unvariegated avenue, it would become weary walking for him; but the very freshness and novelty of the events, adventures, and contingencies constantly occurrent, help to make life exciting, if not happy. I thank God for many a mercy which has come to me fresh from the mint of his providence. I could not have imagined that such a well-timed godsend could have come to me in such an unexpected manner: it had all the marks of novelty about it as if the Lord had been pleased to coin it and put it into my hand.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Flashes of Thought (Passmore and Alabaster, 1874).
Christ is come, but first to save, then to judge: to adjudge to punishment those who would not be saved; to bring them to life who, by believing, did not reject salvation. Accordingly, the first dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ is medicinal, not judicial; for if He had come to judge first, He would have found none on whom He might bestow the rewards of righteousness. Because, therefore, He saw that all were sinners, and that none was exempt from the death of sin, His mercy had first to be craved, and afterwards His judgment must be executed; for of Him the psalm had sung, “Mercy and judgment will I sing to Thee, O Lord” (Psalm 101:1).
Now, He says “not judgment and mercy,” for if judgment had been first, there would be no mercy; but it is mercy first, then judgment. What is the mercy first?
The Creator of man deigned to become man; was made what He had made, that the creature He had made might not perish. What can be added to this mercy? And yet He has added thereto. It was not enough for Him to be made man, He added to this that He was rejected of men; it was not enough to be rejected, He was dishonored; it was not enough to be dishonored, He was put to death; but even this was not enough, it was by the death of the cross.
For when the apostle was commending to us His obedience even unto death, it was not enough for him to say, “He became obedient unto death;” for it was not unto death of any kind whatever: but he added, “even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Among all kinds of death, there was nothing worse than that death.
“The Son of man came.” Strange the errand, and unique as the blessed Person who undertook it. Thus to come he stooped from the highest throne in glory down to the manger of Bethlehem; and on his part it was voluntary. We are, as it were, thrust upon the stage of action; it is not of our will that we have come to live on this earth. But Jesus had no need to have been born of the virgin. It was his own consent, his choice, his strong desire, that made him take upon himself our nature, of the seed of Abraham. He came voluntarily on an errand of mercy to the sons of men.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Present Truth (Passmore and Alabaster, 1883).