The Exaltation Of Christ
By John Greenfield
One mark of a genuine baptism with the Holy Ghost is the exaltation of Christ. "He shall glorify Me," said Jesus with reference to the promised Paraclete (John 16:14). One result of Pentecost in apostolic days was the determination "to know nothing among men save Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (Acts 2:23; 3:15; 4:10; 1 Cor. 2:2, etc.)
This is exactly what happened two centuries ago in Herrnhut, Germany (during the great Moravian Revival). They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and became witnesses of Christ and Him crucified. One of their number, John Cennick, truly set this forth in the stanza:
"Christ is our Master Lord and God,
The fullness of the Three in One;
His life, death, righteousness and blood,
Our faith's foundation are alone,
His Godhead and His Death shall be
Our theme to all eternity."
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit caused the renewed Moravian Church to see no man save Jesus only. Their spiritual vision became so keen that they could "see Him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27). The form in which He appeared to them most frequently was when He was "led as a Lamb to the slaughter, wounded for their transgressions and bruised for their iniquities."
In this divine presence of their bleeding and dying Lord they were overwhelmed with their own sinfulness and with His more abounding grace. Hushed were their controversies and quarrels, crucified were their passions and pride as they gazed upon the agonies of their "expiring God." With the Apostle they learned to die daily unto the world, the flesh and the devil, and to live for Him who died for them. Henceforth their one passion was to gaze upon the King in His beauty and to proclaim the "slaughtered Lamb" as the "chief among ten thousand and the one altogether lovely." They did exactly what they sang:
"Then will I tell to sinners 'round,
What a dear Savior I have found;
I'll point to the atoning Blood
Behold the way to God.'"
Their prayers, their litanies, their hymns, their conversation and their sermons had one theme, viz., the wounds, the blood and death of Jesus. Their great leader, Count Zinzendorf, set this forth most clearly in his famous hymn:
"The Savior's blood and righteousness
My beauty is, my glorious dress;
Thus well arrayed, I need not fear,
When in His presence I appear.
"The holy, spotless Lamb of God,
Who freely gave His life and blood,
For all my numerous sins to atone,
I for my Lord and Savior own.
"In Him I trust for evermore;
He hath expunged the dreadful score
Of all my guilt; this done away,
I need not fear the judgment day.
"Therefore my Savior's blood and death
Are here the substance of my faith;
And shall remain, when I'm called hence,
My only hope and confidence."
How many thousands have been brought to Jesus by this hymn, eternity alone can reveal.
Moravian sermons were just as full of Christ and His atonement as were Moravian hymns. In one of Count Zinzendorf's letters we find the following declaration:
"Our method in proclaiming salvation is this: To point out the Loving Lamb, who died for us and although He was the Son of God offered Himself for our sins--to every heart, as his God, his Mediator between God and man, his throne of grace, his example, his brother, his preacher of the law, his comforter, his confessor, his Savior, in short, his all in all--by the preaching of His blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the cross.
"Never, either in the discourse or in the argument, to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the Loving Lamb; to name no virtue except in Him, and from Him and on His account; to preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atone for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self-denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him."
It was of such Christ-Centric preaching that Prof. Binnie in a series of lectures in St. George's Free Church, Edinburgh, declared: "Count Zinzendorf preached the gospel himself with remarkable simplicity and power to an age which greatly needed it--an age which needed to be called off from unprofitable controversies that were wasting its vital energies, and to be roused to open its heart to the message of reconciliation through Christ. This evangelical message Zinzendorf not only preached in person to men of all ranks in half the countries of Europe and amongst the colonists of America, but he sent it out to the heathen also for whom no man cared. He was a great Evangelist and Missionary."
– From Power From On High by John Greenfield, Moravian Evangelist.