Messiahship and Discipleship by Alexander MacClaren

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

By Alexander MacClaren

The hearty recognition of His Messiahship is the center of all discipleship. The earliest and the simplest Christian creed, which yet…contains in itself all the rest, was this: ‘Jesus is Christ.’
Although it is no part of my business to say how much imperfection and confusion of head comprehension may co-exist with a heart acceptance of Jesus that saves a soul from sin, yet I cannot in faithfulness to my own convictions conceal my belief that he who contents himself with ‘Jesus’ and does not grasp ‘Christ’ has cast away the most valuable and characteristic part of the Christianity which he professes.

Surely a most simple inference is that a Christian is at least a man who recognizes the Christship of Jesus. And I press that upon you, my friends. It is not enough for the sustenance of your own souls and for the cultivation of a vigorous religious life that men should admire, howsoever profoundly and deeply, the humanity of our Lord unless that humanity leads them to see the office of the Messiah to whom their whole hearts cleave. ‘Jesus is the Christ’ is the minimum Christian creed.

Take Him for your Christ, but do not lose the Person in the Work, anymore than you lose the work in the Person. And be not content with an intellectual recognition of Him, but bring Him the faith which cleaves to Him and His Work as its only hope and peace, and the love which, because of His work as Christ, flows out to the beloved Person who has done it all. Thus loving Jesus and trusting Christ, you will bring obedience to your Lord and homage to your King, and learn the sweetness and power of the ‘name that is above every name’ – the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Adapted from Expositions of Holy Scripture: Acts of the Apostles (New York, NY: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936), pp. 67-79. MacClaren (1826-1910), known as “the prince of expository preachers,” was the pastor of Union Chapel in Manchester, England while Spurgeon was pastoring the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. His sermons drew vast congregations and his methods of subdivision and analogies drawn from nature and life have been widely imitated ever since.He was rarely active in denominational or civic affairs, but invested his time studying the Word in the original and sharing its truths with others in sermons that are still models of effective expository preaching. Maclaren published a number of books of sermons and he climaxed his ministry by publishing his monumental Expositions of Holy Scripture. This set can be found in electronic edition online at Manybooks.Net.

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