Marcus Rainsford (1820-1897) is one of the many faithful believers who are now a part of the Great Cloud of Witnesses in Heaven (Heb 12:1). Their words “live” on to testify of Jesus and to equip encourage, and empower us.
The ableness of Jesus was a subject addressed by Marcus Rainsford in 1872. It was a message for the new year. We have edited it slightly for better readability by 21st-century readers, but the content remains true to the thoughts and words expressed by Marcus Rainsford almost 150 years ago. And, this message presents timeless truths of the Lord’s goodness and power. Read, enjoy, and be inspired to live your best year yet.
2 Tim 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Jesus is able! An Address for the New Year, by Marcus Rainsford, 1872
I desire to invite attention specifically to that which evidently was the all-sufficient resting place of the apostle Paul’s faith and hope: Christ’s ability — “He is able.” So completely was the apostle’s own mind at rest in realizing Christ’s ability that we find him constantly pressing the same fact on those into whose hearts he would pour consolation, comfort, and assurance.
Paul tells us that Jesus is able to:
“…make all grace abound toward you” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
“…make you stand” (Romans 14:4)
“…do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)
“…succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18)
“…keep you from falling, and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24)
“…save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him” (Hebrews 7:25),
“and so He is able to keep that which [Paul] committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
Knowing Why the Lord is Able
We all understand omnipotency to be an essential attribute of God. But omnipotence and ability are by no means the same thing.
The ability of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was the grounds of Paul’s hope, is not an essential attribute, but an acquired privilege.
Jesus possesses and exercises this power because, “though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty, might be rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)
“He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made Himself of no reputation, 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. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; 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.” (Phil 2:6)
Trusting that the Lord is Able
Many have entrusted the keeping of their souls to Jesus. In the dark shadows of the Old Testament dispensation, men committed themselves to the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- Job! — “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and thou after my skin worms destroyed his body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:25)
- Abraham!— Saw His day afar off. Abraham “saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56)
- Moses! — “Esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.” (Heb 11:26)
- David! — “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee.” (Ps 73:25)
- Daniel! — Trusted Him in the den of lions (Dan 6:7ff)
- Daniel’s three friends! — Trusted Him in the burning fiery furnace (Dan 3:12).
Time would fail to tell of the great cloud of witnesses enumerated in Hebrews 11 who trusted Him at all times, under all circumstances, and committed their all to Him. Jesus did not leave them. He did not forsake them. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8), and He is able to keep that which we commit unto Him. His ability is the pledge and seal of His willingness.
If Jesus, Himself, had not been “wounded for transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.” (Isa 53:5), He would not have been able to receive us poor sinners without disparaging God’s justice, without violating God’s law, and without lowering the standard of His holiness and truth. But His boundless and unspeakable love availed even for this we “have committed unto Him against that day.”
Join with the Faithful
Come, my reader, “come boldly to the throne of grace” (Heb 4:16); cast in your lot and take your stand today amidst the great multitude that has gone before us. Ah, they trusted Him, and He did not disappoint them.
Now what have you committed to Him? How much will you henceforth entrust Him with? Do try and make the subject a practical one.
We have entered upon a new year. God knows if we shall see the end of it. Some of us, all of us, have very much care and need to commit to Him. He invites you to cast all your burdens on him. He says to cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you (Mat 11:28-30, 1 Pet 5:7).
What are you going to deposit with Christ? (In the original, the word is “my deposit”) He is able to keep “your deposit” whatever it may be.
Some of us have committed nothing to him. Yet, some of us have committed more or less. Let us try and commit all to him.
Benefits of Committing All
Reader, the more you commit to him the more acceptable will be your service. The more you commit to him, the less you will have to carry. And, the more you commit to him the deeper will be your peace.
What are the things that are most troubling for you? The things that most perplex you? What are the things that cause the unseen silent tear? What are they? They are the things that you have not confidence to commit to Christ. You know this is true. Do trust him.
“In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil 4:6)
Those who trust Jesus shall never be ashamed. Never! Either of the fact that they were led to trust Him, or of the Lord in whom they trusted, or of the wisdom, kindness, faithfulness, and love with which He managed that which they committed to Him.
He is able, and oh, Lord Jesus Christ, Thou has pledged Thyself to us that Thou art willing! O Lord, make us willing too! Amen.
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