Oh the Heart-Pulling Glory in Jesus Christ!

The first of hopefully several excerpts from the PRC paperback of the month, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan (emphasis mine):

“Oh! the heart-attracting glory that is in Jesus Christ, when he is discovered, to draw those to him that are given to him of the Father; therefore those that come of old, rendered this as the cause of their coming to him: ‘And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14).  And the reason why others come not, but perish in their sins, is for want of a sight of his glory.  ‘If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

There is therefore heart-pulling glory in Jesus Christ which, when discovered, draws the man to him; therefore, by ‘shall come to me’, Christ may mean, when his glory is discovered, then they must come, then they shall come to me.

[ . . .] Indeed, the carnal man says, at least in his heart, ‘There is no form or comeliness in Christ; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him’ (Isaiah 53:2); but he lies.  This he speaks, as having never seen him.  But they that stand in his house, and look upon him through the glass of his Word, by the help of his Holy Spirit, they will tell you other things.  ‘But we all,’ say they, ‘with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2 Cor. 3:18).  They see glory in his person, glory in his undertakings, glory in the merit of his blood, and glory in the perfection of his righteousness; yes, heart-affecting, heart-sweetening, and heart-changing glory!”

 – John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2004), 73-75.

If the Scriptures explain our sinful state as “falling short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and that the gospel is the “glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), then surely our gospel proclamation must not be on the worthiness of man but the excellencies and glory of Jesus Christ.  If hearts are going to be pulled, affected, sweetened or changed, it will not be by making much of the sinner but by making much of Jesus Christ.  He who is altogether lovely loves the unlovable, and such love is glorious indeed.  May we preach thus and so exult in the God-man who is the radiance of God’s glory (Heb. 1:3). 

Explore posts in the same categories: 2008 Puritan Challenge, Excerpts, Gospel, Jesus, John Bunyan

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3 Comments on “Oh the Heart-Pulling Glory in Jesus Christ!”

  1. D.L. Kane Says:

    Timmy – Words cannot adequately describe how timely your post is and how God is working providenticially in my life through the “Puritan Reading Challenge” and many of your posts. You said, “If hearts are going to be pulled, affected, sweetened or changed, it will not be by making much of the sinner but by making much of Jesus Christ.”

    Last night I was talking with my mom (who has professed Christ as her Lord and Savior for over 35 years). She had been reading up on Jehovah Witnesses and what they believe and wanted to share what she was learning and how best to evangelize them. I listened and then I said, “Mom, simply tell them about Christ!”. She asked me what I meant by that. I proceeded to share with her that many Christians cannot even articulate what Christ accomplished on the Cross. I said to her, “Can you?”

    She was quite. So, I didn’t push it. I simply continued by asking what was more important, that she learn what they believe or that she know what she believes and can clearly articulate it. I then proceeded to tell her what Christ accomplished on the cross. I explained to her how many Christians seem focused on the physical suffering and the death of Christ and do not truly understand or are able to articulate what really happened on the cross in terms of the the wrath of God being poured out on Christ for our sins.

    To make a long story short, after I shared with my mother, there was a moment of silence and she said, “What would you say if I told you that in over 35 years I truly have never underdstood what Christ accomplished on the cross until this very night”.

    My answer was, “I would say, Praise the Lord for tonight! – Now, learn more about Christ, what was accomplished by his life, death and resurrection and get into the Word of God and focus on Him before you worry about arguing with Jehovah Witnesses.”

    It was a blessed night!

  2. D.L.,

    A blessed night indeed! Thanks for sharing this conversation with your mother. Yesterday morning, I preached on justification and “the great exchange”, addressing God’s justice and mercy, wrath and love, poured out on the cross. I think doctrines like substitutionary atonement are either in disrepute or glossed over because we no longer want to believe that God is a God of judgment and wrath and demands perfect righteousness in conformity to His law. Rather, we want to believe that God is love and leave it at that. If that is the case then, the need for Christ as our substitute and his righteousness imputed to us would never be addressed!

  3. […] Oh the Heart-Pulling Glory in Jesus Christ! Provocations & Pantings (May 18, 2008) I Will Not Cast Out Provocations & Pantings (May 21, 2008) Bunyan on Faith vs. Unbelief Provocations & Pantings (May 25, 2008) […]

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