The Way Made Plain

By James H. Brookes

Chapter 8



And not only are these remarkable names applied to Him, many of which imply His true and proper divinity, but the attributes of God are ascribed to Him by the inspired writers without the slightest hesitation or apology. Eternity is said to be the measure of His existence; for it is written, "In the beginning was the Word;"1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you. Before Abraham was, I am;"2 "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was;"3 "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."4 Immutability belongs to Him; for God addresses Him in the sublune words, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."5 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever."6 Omnipotence is His; for even as Mediator, He could say, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth;"7 and He reveals Himself to John on Patmos as the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."8 Omnipresence is His; for while on earth He spoke of Himself as "the Son of man which is in heaven";9 and encouraged the hearts of His disciples with the sweet promise, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;"10 "and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."11 Omniscience is His; for it is said, "He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man;"12 and Peter, led of the Holy Spirit, said to Him, "Lord, thou knowest all things;"13 and He Himself declares, "I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts."14

We look a little farther and find that the works of God are ascribed to Him throughout the Scriptures; for we learn that "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made";15 and "by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the Church."16 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."17 "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."18 "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so, the Son quickeneth whom he will."19 "I and my Father are one."20 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life."21 "If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you,"22 and "he shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."23 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations."24 "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."25 "Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."26

Once more, we find that He is the object of worship which is due to God alone, and which it is the height of blasphemy to render to the most exalted creature in the universe. When Paul and Barnabas were at Lystra, the inhabitants of that city, amazed by a miracle wrought upon a cripple, said, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men," and prepared to offer sacrifices to the strangers; "which, when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying. Sirs, why do ye these things?"27 When John had a revelation of the Divine purpose w4th respect to the Church in the heavenly glory and of the world smitten by terrible judgments, he says, "I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."28 But when the risen Christ appeared to Thomas, that doubting disciple, who demanded the evidence of his own senses to satisfy his mind, "said unto him. My Lord and my God; "29 and he said this without the slightest intimation that he was guilty of blasphemy in applying these high titles to Jesus. Our Lord subsequently appeared to the disciples in a mountain of Galilee where He had appointed to meet them, and it is said that "when they saw him they worshipped him";30 and they evidently worshipped Him without rebuke, for immediately afterwards He claims universal power, and commands them to teach all nations, baptizing in His name as well as in the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost, promising to be with them always. Nay, He tells us it is the Father's will "that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him."31 He said to his apostles, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me;"32 and we know it is the sovereign pleasure and eternal purpose of God '* that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."33 We are not surprised, then, to learn that when the martyred Stephen fell asleep he addressed his dying prayer to Christ, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."34 Nor are we surprised to learn that the inspired writers through the Epistles constantly assert His Divinity, supplicate His blessing, and associate Him on terms of perfect equality with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the apostolic benediction, for the Father Himself sends forth the royal proclamation, saying, "And let all the angels of God worship him."35

If the Being of whom all this can be truthfully affirmed is not God, surely there is no God. If He who is called by Divine names, who wears Divine titles, who possesses Divine attributes, who performs Divine works, and is represented as worthy of Divine worship, has not a Divine nature, it is simply impossible to express the doctrine of the Deity in language. I have hastily skimmed over the surface of a very limited portion of the Scriptures to establish this doctrine, but enough has been said to prove it to the satisfaction of any mind that is submissive to the authority of God's word; and I must add that its cordial reception on your part, dear reader, is absolutely essential to your salvation. Nothing can be more offensive in the sight of the Father than the denial of the Divinity of His Son; and hence He says to us by the Spirit, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds."36 But besides the blasphemy of denying His Divinity, I may say that it becomes an absolute necessity if we are to be saved, because none but a Divine person could be the end of a Divine law. I would not hang the interests of my undying soul upon the arm of the strongest seraph in heaven; for angels have sinned and fallen from their high estate;37 and I need, yea, I must have, the righteousness, the power, and the unchangeableness of a Divine Redeemer as the solid foundation of my hope before I can find lasting repose.

This need is precisely and perfectly met in the person and work of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation [emptied himself], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."38 If the phrase, "took upon him the form of a servant," means that He was truly man, it is equally certain that the phrase, "being in the form of God," means that He was truly God; and if you ask me how God could become man, I reply, I do not know, nor care to know, because the blessed fact satisfies my mind and heart; and until I can tell how I raise my hand, or how a blade of grass grows, I shall not reject the glorious doctrine of the incarnation on account of its mystery. "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."39 Man's ignorance should never be weighed against God's positive testimony, and we find that this testimony was given hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus in the form of a prophecy: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."40 Turning to the New Testament, we read, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. . . . Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us."41 Here the voice of the Eternal is heard speaking to the proud intellect, saying, "Be still, and know that I am God:"42 and here it is the highest province of reason to sit reverently at the manger of Bethlehem, and gaze with adoring gratitude upon the sublime mystery of incarnate love. "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."43 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."44

The word "redeem," in the first of these passages, properly means to deliver by the payment of a ransom; and we know the price paid for our deliverance from the curse of the law: for the Saviour tells us "the Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many."45 In the second passage, when it is said, "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh," we are to understand that the law could not give us righteousness; not that it was imperfect in itself, but because it was rendered inadequate, ineffectual, inoperative, by reason of our flesh or corrupt nature; and, therefore, God, in His amazing grace sending forth His own Son, inflicted upon Him the sentence of condemnation, not only against sins in their outward form, but against sin in the flesh, or the sin of our nature. And "now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all [that is, it is offered to all], and upon all them [that is, it is the actual portion of all them] that believe."46 I cannot be too emphatic in reminding you that the law has not been set aside, but that it has been honored, vindicated, obeyed, satisfied, in every jot and tittle of its claims upon the believer, because "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us."47

As another has beautifully written, "We were under the curse, because we had not kept the law; but Christ, the perfect Man, having magnified the law and made it honorable by the very fact of His obeying it perfectly, became a curse for us by hanging on the tree. Thus, in His life He magnified God's law, and in His death He bore our curse. There is, therefore, now, no guilt, no curse, no wrath, no condemnation for the believer; and albeit he must be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, he will find that judgment-seat every whit as friendly, by and by, as the mercy-seat is now. It will make manifest the truth of his condition, namely, that there is nothing against him; what he is, it is ' God that hath wrought him.' He is God's workmanship. He was taken up in a state of death and condemnation, and made just what God would have him to be. The Judge Himself has put away all his sins and is his righteousness, so that the judgment-seat cannot but be friendly to him; yea, it will be the full, public, authoritative declaration to heaven, earth, and hell, that the one who is washed from his sins in the blood of the Lamb is as clean as God can make him." Yes, he is as clean as God can make him, because Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; and, as we have already seen, this righteousness which he receives through faith is the very righteousness of God Himself. The law is satisfied and can ask no more. It stood, if I may so speak, hand in hand with justice, looking upon that awful scene in Calvary where God "made him to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,"48 and when they heard the cry, "It is finished,"49 they knew that the dying Redeemer had prevailed through death "to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,"50 and now they join grace and mercy in extending a joyful welcome to the believing sinner.

They pursue him to the grave of Jesus, but they can go no farther, for their demands have all been met by Him who lay in the sepulchre of stone, and they come to an end, while the believer passes safely through, and stands in the new creation upon which God looks down with infinite delight and sees that it is "very good." On this side of that tomb there is nothing but sin; on the other side there is nothing but righteousness. On this side there is nothing but condemnation; on the other side there is nothing but justification. On this side there is nothing but death; on the other side there is nothing but life. Theological writers tell us that while the law is no longer the rule of justification, it is still the rule of life; but surely they have no authority in the word of God for the assertion. In their anxiety to avoid the evils of Antinomianism, or the infamous doctrine that the Christian has license to sin, they fall into the opposite error of legalism, and "put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear."51 When they affirm that the law is still the rule of life, if they mean that it still declares the mind of God as to what man ought to be and do, there can be no objection to the expression; but if they mean that the believer is required to walk according to this rule in order to salvation, and that he will be judged and condemned if he fails in conformity to its demands, nothing can be more false. The very ground upon which the apostle exhorts Christians to abstain from sin, and assures them that it shall not have dominion over them, is, that they "are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."52 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?... Knowing this, that our old man is [or rather was] crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. . . . Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."53

Elsewhere the same apostle says, "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse,"54 and no exception is made in favor of the believer. "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held [or we being dead to that wherein we were held]; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter."55 Christ took our place under the law, and by enduring its penalty made an end of it, and henceforth He is our life and rule of life, and all in all to the saved soul. The Bible everywhere affirms that when He died we who believe also died; and when He was made alive, God "quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; ) and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."56 There the believer is now, as God views him; no longer on earth, but in the heavenly places; having a perfect righteousness because his Divine Surety has met all the demands of the law for him, and possessing the resurrection life of Jesus, which is something infinitely better than the life given to Adam in Eden.

Thus it is, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; "because His righteousness, or that which He did to satisfy the claims of the law, is imputed to the believer; and if you desire to know the meaning of the term "imputed," turn to the Epistle to Philemon where the apostle, speaking of Onesimus, says, "If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account."57 There the phrase, "put that on mine account," is precisely the same word in Greek which the apostle uses in Eomans where he says, "Sin is not imputed when there is no law."58 The righteousness of Christ, then, is put on the account of the believer; and whatever merits Christ has in the sight of the Father the believer also possesses. He who was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners";59 "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth";60 who had the approval of God in "a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased";61 who could say, "I do always those things that please him,"62 and who "appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,"63 is no nearer to the heart of the Father than is the believing sinner. The measure of the acceptance of one in the sight of God is the precise measure of the acceptance of the other. Oh, matchless grace! I do not wonder that men are so slow to believe it, for the news seems too good to be true. But it is true, for the Holy One hath said it, and it is true to every one that believeth. Believeth what? Believeth that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness; believeth that Christ appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; believeth the testimony of God that "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."64

Many precious thoughts here crowd upon my mind, but I must not give utterance to them at present, for I have already made this chapter too long. The discussion of belief will come up again, if the Lord will, and I cannot dwell upon it now. I merely wish to say that when men tell you to do anything to be saved they are preaching the law and not the Gospel. You have only to believe; and believing is not doing: it is the opposite of doing; it is simply receiving, and resting on the finished work of Christ which is already done, and done more than eighteen hundred years ago. The sin-hating God met the sin-bearing Jesus at the place of a skull, and there once and forever settled the question of the believer's salvation, and we had nothing to do with it. Now the glad tidings are sent forth to the ends of the earth: "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."65 Are justified: mark that. They are already justified; and they cannot be partly justified and partly unjustified, partly saved and partly unsaved. If they believe that what God has said about His Son is true, and true for them, as it is for any other sinner, they have at this present moment a perfect righteousness, and there is not one condemnation against them. What, then, do these doubting believers mean, if I may be allowed to use such an expression as doubting believers? If their doubts are true, God is a liar, but if God is true their doubts are liars; for He hath said, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."



1) John i. 1.

2) John viii. 58.

3) John xvii. 5.

4) Mic. v. 2.

5) Heb. i. 10-12.

6) Heb. xiii. 8.

7) Matt. xxviii. 18.

8) Rev. i. 8.

9) John iii. 13.

10) Matt. xviii. 20.

11) Matt, xxviii. 20.

12) John ii. 24, 25.

13) John xxi. 17.

14) Rev. ii. 23.

15) John i. 3.

16) Col. i. 16, 18.

17) Heb. i. 1-3.

18) John v. 17.

19) John v. 21.

20) John x. 30.

21) John x. 27, 28.

22) John xvi. 7.

23) John xvi. 14.

24) Matt. xxv. 31, 32.

25) 2 Cor. v. 10.

26) Mark xiv. 61, 62.

27) Acts xiv. 14, 15.

28) Rev. xxii. 8, 9.

29) John xx. 28.

30) Matt. xxviii. 17.

31) John. v. 23.

32) John xiv. 1.

33) Phil. ii. 10, 11.

34) Acts vii. 59.

35) Heb. i. 6.

36) 2 John x. 11.

37) 2 Pet. ii. 4.

38) Phil. ii. 6-8.

39) 1 Tim. iii. 16.

40) Isa. vii. 14.

41) Matt. i. 18, 22, 23.

42) Ps. xlvi. 10.

43) Gal. iv. 4, 5.

44) Rom. viii. 3. 4.

45) Matt. xx. 28.

46) Rom. iii. 21, 22.

47) Gal. iii. 13.

48) 2 Cor. V. 21.

49) John xix. 30.

50) Dan. ix. 24.

51) Acts xv. 10.

52) Rom. vi. 14, 15.

53) Rom. vi. 1, 2, 6, 11.

54) Gal. iii. 10.

55) Rom. vii. 6.

56) Eph. ii. 5, 6.

57) Philem. 18.

58) Rom. v. 13.

59) Heb, vii. 26.

60) 1 Pet. ii. 22.

61) Matt. iii. 17.

62) John viii. 29.

63) Heb. ix. 26.

64) 1 John i. 7.

65) Acts xiii, 38, 39.