The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption 
by John Flavel 
File 16 
(... continued from file 15) 
Sermon 14.  
Containing the fifth Motive to apply Christ, drawn from another  
excellent Title of Christ.  
1 Cor. 2: 8.  

Which, none of the princes of this world have known, for had they 

known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 


    In this chapter the apostle discourses to the Corinthians, of 

the excellency of his ministry, both to obviate the contempt which 

some cast upon it for want of human ornaments, and to give the 

greater authority unto it among all: and whereas the spiritual 

simplicity of his ministry laid it under the contempt of some, he 

removes that several ways, by showing them, 

    First, That it was not suitable to the design and end of his 

ministry, his aim being "to know nothing among them, save Jesus 

Christ, and him crucified," ver. 1, 2. 

    Secondly, Neither was it for the advantage of their souls; it 

might indeed tickle their fancies, but could be no solid foundation 

to their faith and comfort, ver. 4, 5. 

    Thirdly, Though his discourses seemed jejune and dry to carnal 

hearers, yet they had a depth and excellency in them, which 

spiritual and judicious Christians saw and acknowledged, ver. 6, 7. 

    Fourthly, Therefore this excellent wisdom which he preached far 

transcended all the natural wisdom of this world; yea, the most 

raised and improved understandings of those that were most renowned 

and admired in that age for wisdom, ver. 8. "which none of the 

princes of this world knew." 

    In which words we have, 

    1. A negative proposition. 

    2. The proof of the proposition. 

    First, A negative proposition: None of the princes of this 

world knew that spiritual wisdom which he taught. By princes of this 

world, or rather, principes seculi, the princes of that age, he 

means, as Cameron well notes, the learned Rabbies, Scribes, and 

Pharisees, renowned for wisdom and learning among them; and honoured 

upon that account as so many princes: but he adds a diminutive term, 

which darkens all their glory: They are but the princes of this 

world, utterly unacquainted with the wisdom of the other world. To 

which he adds, 

    Secondly, A clear and full proof; "For had they known it, they 

would not have crucified the Lord of glory." In which words we find 

one of Christ's glorious and royal titles, The Lord of glory: upon 

which title will be my present discourse. The words being fitly 

rendered, and nothing of ambiguity in them, they give us this 



    Doct. That' Christ crucified is the Lord of glory. 


    Great and excellent is the glory of Jesus Christ, the 

scriptures every where proclaim his glory: yea, we may observe a 

notable climax, or gradation, in those scriptures that speak of his 

glory. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of him, calls him glorious; Isa. 

4: 2. "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and 

glorious." John, speaking of his glory, rises a step higher, and 

ascribeth to him a "glory as of the only begotten Son of the 

Father," John 1: 14. i.e. a glory meet for, and becoming the Son of 

God: proper to him, and incommunicable to any other. The apostle 

James rises yet higher, and does not only call him glorious, or 

glorious as the only begotten of the Father, but the glory, James 2: 

1. glory in the abstract; "My brethren, (saith he) have not the 

faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory, with respect of persons;" 

For the word "Lord", which is in our translation, is a supplement; 

Christ is glory itself, yea, the glory emphatically so stiled; the 

glory of heaven; the glory of Sion; the glory of our souls for ever. 

The author to the Hebrews goes yet higher, and calls him not simply 

the glory, but "the brightness of the Father's glory," Heb. 1: 3. as 

though he should say, the radiancy, sparkling, or beaming forth of 

his Father's glory; the very splendour or refulgency of divine 

glory. O what a glorious Lord is our Lord Jesus Christ! the bright, 

sparkling diamond of heaven; who shines in glory there, above the 

glory of angels and saints, as the glory of the sun excels the 

lesser, twinkling stars. When he appeared to Paul, Acts 26: 13. "I 

saw (saith he) a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun, 

shining round about me:" Needs must the glory of Christ be 

unspeakable, who reflects glory upon all that are with him, John 17: 

24. and stamps glory upon all that belong to him. His works on earth 

were glorious works, Luke 13: 17. the purchased liberty of his 

people, a glorious liberty, Rom. 8: 21. the church his mystical 

body, a glorious church, Eph. 5: 27. the gospel which reveals him is 

a glorious gospel, 1 Tim. 1: 11. 

    But more particularly let us consider the glory of Christ, as 

it is distinguished into his either, 

    1. Essential, or, 

    2. Mediatorial glory. 

    First, The essential glory of Christ, which he has as God from 

everlasting; which is unspeakable and inconceivable glory: For 

(saith the apostle, Phil. 2: 6.) "He being in the form of God, 

thought it no robbery to be equal with God," i.e. he has a peerage 

or equality with his Father in glory; John 10: 80. "I and my Father 

are one." And again, John 16: 15. "All things that the Father has 

are mine:" the same name, the same nature, the same essential 

properties, the same will, and the same glory. 

    Secondly, The mediatorial glory of Christ is exceeding great. 

This is proper to him, as the head of the church, which he has 

purchased with his own blood. Of this glory the apostle speaks, 

Phil. 2: 9, 10. "Wherefore God also has exalted him, and given him a 

name, which is above every name, &c. "huperupsose", exalted above 

all exaltation. Now the mediatorial glory of our Lord Jesus Christ 

consisteth either, 

    1. In the fulness of grace inherent in him; or, 

    2. In the dignity and authority put upon him. 

    First, In the tallness of grace inherent in him: The humanity 

of Christ is filled with grace, as the sun with light: John 1: 14. 

"Full of grace and truth." Never any creature was filled by the 

Spirit of grace, as the man Christ Jesus is filled; for "God gives 

not the Spirit to him by measure," John 3:34. By reason of this 

fulness of grace inherent in him, he is "fairer than the children of 

men," Psal. 14: 2. excelling all the saints in spiritual lustre and 

gracious excellencies. 

    Secondly, In the dignity and authority put upon him. He is 

crowned King in Sion; all power in heaven and earth is given unto 

him, Matth. 28: 18. he is a law-giver to the church, James 4: 12. 

all acts of worship are to be performed in his name; prayer, 

preaching, censures, sacraments, all to be administered in his name. 

Church officers are commissioned by him, Eph. 4: 11. The judgement 

of the world in the great day will be administered by him; Matth. 

25: 81. "Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." 

    To conclude, Jesus Christ shall have glory and honour ascribed 

to him for evermore, by angels and saints, upon the account of his 

mediatorial work; this some divines call his passive glory, the 

glory which he is said to receive from his redeemed ones. Rev. 5: 8, 

9, 10. "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and the 

four and twenty elders, fell down before the Lamb, having every one 

of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the 

prayers of the saints; and they sung a new song, saying, Thou art 

worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou 

west slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every 

kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation," &c. And thus you see 

that our Lord Jesus Christ is upon all accounts the Lord of glory. 

The uses follow. 

    Inference 1. How wonderful was the love of Christ, the Lord of 

Priory, to be so abased and bumbled, as he was for us, vile and 

sinful dust? It is astonishing to conceive that ever Jesus Christ 

should strip himself of his robes of glory, to clothe himself with 

the mean garment of our flesh: O what a stoop did he make in his 

incarnation for us! If the most magnificent monarch upon earth had 

been degraded into a toad; if the sun in the heavens had been turned 

into a wandering atom; if the most glorious angel in heaven had been 

transformed even into a fly; it had been nothing to the abasement of 

the Lord of glory. This act is everywhere celebrated in scripture as 

the great mystery, the astonishing wonder of the whole world, 2 Tim. 

3: 16. Phil 2: 8. Rom. 8: 3. The Lord of glory looked not like 

himself, when he came in the habit of a man; Isa. 53: 3. "We hid, as 

it were our faces from him:" Nay, rather like a worm than a man, 

Psal. 22: 6. "A reproach of men, and despised of the people." The 

birds of the air and beasts of the earth were here provided of 

better accommodations than the Lord of glory, Matth. 8: 20. O 

stupendous abasement! O love unspeakable! "Though he was rich, yet 

for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be 

rich," 2 Cor. 8: 9. He put off the crown of glory to put on the 

crown of thorns; Quanto pro me vilior, tanto mihi charior, said 

Bernard; The lower he humbled himself for me, the dearer he shall be 

to me. 

    Inf. 2. How transcendently glorious is the advancement of be 

believers, by their union with the Lord of glory? This also is an 

admirable and astonishing mystery; it is the highest dignity of 

which our nature is capable, to be hypostatically united; and the 

greatest glory of which our persons are capable is to be mystically 

united to this Lord of glory, to be bone of his bone, and flesh of 

his flesh. O what is this! Christian, dost thou know and believe all 

this, and thy heart not burn within thee in love to Christ? O! then, 

what a heart hast thou? What art thou, by nature, but sinful dust, a 

loathsome sinner, viler than the vilest creature, cast out to the 

loathing of thy person in the day of thy nativity! O that ever the 

Lord of glory should unite himself to such a lump of vileness! take 

such a wretch into his very bosom! Be astonished, O heavens and 

earth, at this! this is the great mystery which the angels stooped 

down to look into: Such an honour as this could never have catered 

into the heart of man. It would have seemed a rude blasphemy in us, 

once to have thought or spoken of such a things, had not Christ made 

first the motion thereof; yet how long didst thou make this Lord of 

glory wait upon thy undetermined will, before he gained thy consent? 

Might he not justly have spurned thee into hell, upon thy first 

refusal, and never have made thee such another offer? Wilt thou not 

say, Lord, what am I, and what is my father's house, that so great a 

King, should stoop so far beneath himself, to such a worm as I am! 

That strength should unite itself to weakness, infinite glory to 

such baseness! O grace, grace, for ever to be admired! 

    Inf. 3. Is Jesus Christ the Lord of glory? Then let no man 

count himself dishonoured by suffering the vilest indignities for 

his sake: The Lord of glory puts glory upon the very suffering you 

undergo in this world for him. "Moses esteemed the reproaches of 

Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt," Heb. 11: 26. he 

cast a kingdom at his heels, to be crowned with reproaches, for the 

name of Christ. The diadem of Egypt was not half so glorious as self- 

denial for Christ. This Lord of' glory freely degraded himself' for 

thee; wilt thou stand hesitating with him upon terms? It is 

certainly your honour to be dishonoured for Christ, Acts 5: 41. to 

you it is given, in behalf of Christ, not only to believe, but also 

to suffer for his sake, Phil. 1: 29. The gift of suffering is there 

matched with the gift of faith; it is given as an honorarium, a 

badge of honour to suffer for the Lord of glory. As all have not the 

honour to wear the crown of glory in heaven, so few have the honour 

to wear the chain of Christ upon earth. Thanus reports of Ludovicus 

Marsacus, a knight of France, that being led to suffer with other 

martyrs, who were bound, and he unbound, because a person of honour; 

he cried out, "Why don't you honour me with a chain too, and create 

me a knight of that noble order?" My brethren, count it all joy when 

ye fall into divers temptations, James 1: 2. i.e. trials by 

sufferings. David thought it an honour to be vile for God, and that 

is a true observation that disgrace itself is glorious when endured 

for the Lord of glory. 

    Inf. 4. Is Christ the Lord of glory? How glorious then shall 

the saints one day be, when they shall be made like this glorious 

Lord, and partake of his glory in heaven?, John 17: 22. "The glory 

which thou gavest me, I have given them:" Yea, the vile bodies of 

believers shall be made like to the glorious body of Christ, Phil. 

3: 21. What glory then will be communicated to their souls? True, 

his essential glory is incommunicable; but there is a glory which 

Christ will communicate to his people. "When he comes to judge the 

world, he will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired 

in all them that believe," 2 Thes. 1: 10. Thus he seemeth to account 

his social glory, which shall result from his saints, a great part 

of his own glory: As we have now fellowship with him in his 

sufferings, so we shall have a fellowship or communion with him in 

his glory: When he shall appear, then shall we also appear with him 

in glory; then the poorest believer shall be more glorious than 

Solomon in all his royalty. It was a pious saying of Luther, that he 

had rather be Christianus rusticus, quam Ethnicus Alexander; a 

Christian clown, then a Pagan emperor. The righteous is more 

excellent than his neighbour, though he live next door to a 

graceless nobleman: But it does not yet appear what they shall be. 

The day will come, it certainly will come, for the Lord has spoken 

it, when they shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their 


    Inf. 5. How has the devil blindfolded, and deluded them that 

are frighted off from Christ, by the fears of being dishonoured by 

him? Many persons have half a mind to religion, but when they 

consider the generality of its processors to be persons of the 

lowest and meanest rank in the world, and that reproaches and 

sufferings attend that way; they shrink back as men ashamed, and as 

Salvian saith, Mali esse coguntur, ne viles habeantur; they chuse 

rather to remain wicked, than to be esteemed vile: But to them that 

believe, Christ is an honour; as the word which we translate 

"precious" might be rendered, 1 Pet. 2: 7. Till God open men's eyes 

thus, they will put evil for good, and good for evil. But O dear 

bought honours, for which men stake their souls and everlasting 

happiness! Paul was not of your mind: for birth he was an Hebrew of 

the Hebrews; for dignity and esteem, a Pharisee; for moral 

accomplishments, touching the law, blameless: Yet all this he 

trampled under his feet, counting it all but dross and dung in 

comparison of Jesus Christ. Moses had more honour to lay down for 

Christ than you; yet it was no temptation to him to conceal or deny 

the faith of Christ. Noble Galeacius would not be withheld from 

Christ by the splendour and glory of Italy; but O, how does the 

glory of this world dazzle and blind the eyes of many: "How can ye 

believe (saith Christ) who receive honour one of another?" John 5: 

44. Saints and sinners, upon this account, are wonders one to the 

other. It is the wonder of the world to see Christians glory in 

reproaches; they wonder that the saints run not with them into the 

same excess of riot; and it is a wonder to believers, how such poor 

toys and empty titles (rather than titles of honour) should keep the 

world as it does from Jesus Christ, and their everlasting happiness 

in him. 

    Inf. 6. If Christ be the Lord of glory, how careful should all 

be who profess him, that they do not dishonour Jesus Christ, whose 

name is called upon by them? Christ is a glory to you, be not you a 

shame and dishonour to him. How careful had Christians need to be, 

to draw every line and action of their lives exactly: The more 

glorious Christ is, the more circumspect and watchful ye had need to 

be. How lovely would Jesus Christ appear to the world, if the lives 

of Christians did adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour, in all 

things! Remember, you represent the Lord of glory to the world; it 

is not your honour only, but the honour of Christ which is engaged 

and concerned in your actions. O let not the carelessness or scandal 

of your life, make Jesus Christ ashamed to be called your Lord. When 

Israel had grievously revolted from God, he bids Moses rise and get 

down from thence; for (saith he) thy people, which thou hast brought 

forth out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves, Deut. 9: 12. as if 

the Lord were ashamed to own them for his people any longer. It was 

a cutting question, James 2: 7. apt to startle the consciences of 

these loose professors; "Do they not blaspheme that worthy name by 

which ye are called? Your duty is to adorn the gospel by your 

conversations, Titus 2: 10. The words signify to deck, trim, or 

adorn the gospel, to make it trim, neat, and lovely, to the eyes of 

beholders. When there is such a beautiful harmony, and lovely 

proportion betwixt Christ's doctrine and your practices, as there is 

in the works of creation, wherein the comeliness and elegancy of the 

world much consists, (for to this the apostle's word here alludes) 

then do we walk suitably to the Lord of glory. 

    Inf. 7. What delight should Christians take in their daily 

converse with Jesus Christ in the way of duty? Your converses in 

prayer, hearing, and meditation, are with the Lord of glory: The 

greatest peers in the kingdom count it more honour to be in the 

presence of a king, bare-headed, or upon the knee at court, than to 

have thousands standing bare to them in the country. When you are 

called to the duties of communion with Christ, you are called to the 

greatest honour, dignified with the noblest privilege creatures are 

capable of in this world: Had you but a sense of that honour God 

puts upon you by this means, you would not need so much pressing and 

striving, to bring a dead and backward heart into the special 

presence of Jesus Christ. When he saith, Seek ye my face, your 

hearts would echo to his calls; Thy face, Lord, will we seek. But 

alas! the glory of Christ is much hid and veiled by ignorance and 

unbelief, from the eyes of his own people; it is but seldom the best 

of saints, by the eye of faith, do see the King in his glory. 

    Inf. 8. If Christ be so glorious, how should believers long to 

be with him, and behold him in his glory above? Most men need 

patience to die, a believer should need patience to live. Paul 

thought it well worth enduring the pangs of death, to get a sight of 

Jesus Christ in his glory, Phil. 1: 23. "The Lord direct your hearts 

into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ," 

(saith the apostle) 2 Thess. 3: 5. intimating that the saints have 

great need of patience, to enable them to endure the state of 

distance and separation from Christ, so long as they must endure it 

in this world. The spirit and the bride say, come, and let him that 

heareth say, come, and let him that is a-thirst come: even so, come 

Lord Jesus, and be thou as a swift roe upon the mountains of 



         Blessed be God for Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 

The Method of Grace in the Gospel Redemption

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