The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
When Christ became our sacrifice, he bore away our sins. The word ‘to bear’ is a full and emphatic word, signifying not only to bear, but to bear away. This is a real purging of sin. How great a mercy is this! ‘Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered’ (Psa. 32:1). Who can express the happiness of such a state as this? Pardoned reader, let me beg you, look over the cancelled bonds, and see what a vast sum has been remitted to you. Remember your natural state, and yet pardoned. Fully, finally, and freely pardoned! What can you do less than fall down at the feet of free grace that moved so freely towards so vile a sinner? Not long ago your iniquities were upon you. Now they are as far as the east is from the west (Psa. 103:11-12). O the unspeakable effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice; it extends to all sins (1 John 1:7): past, present, without exception, and all sins to come! God ‘did not spare his own Son’. Sparing mercy was denied to Christ. Not a moment of time was lessened for the suffering and wrath that was appointed for him. Justice will not bend in the least. What a sad case for your soul, O reader, if you have no interest in this sacrifice! Consider how you can support the infinite wrath that Christ bore in the place of God’s elect. Woe and alas for evermore to that man who meets a just God without a mediator! I beseech you, by the mercies of God, in the light of all the love you have for your own soul, do not neglect this opportunity. Get an interest in this sacrifice quickly. What will your state be when vast eternity opens to swallow you up? Happy is that man who can say in a dying hour: ‘This is my comfort – “Forgiven!’” Remember, no sin can stand before the effectiveness of his blood (1 John 1:7).
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.