"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). What does that statement mean? It means that the very purpose and nature of prophecy is to testify of Jesus Christ and His work of redemption. "The testimony of Jesus" - the record or report of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who He is, what He did, why He did it, where He is now - "is the spirit" - is the life, the heart, the soul, the pulse - "of prophecy," of preaching, a forth telling of the Word of God.
-- Pastor Jim Byrd
NO ACCEPTANCE WITHOUT PERFECTION
None can ever be accepted by God who are not perfect. "It shall be perfect" - without blemish, without spot, complete, innocent - "to be accepted" - delighted in, approved of - (Leviticus 22:21). Since God’s people are accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), then it stands to reason that we are perfect in Christ. Our sins were really and truly imputed to Him and His righteousness has really and truly been imputed to us. Through the substitutionary, justice-satisfying death of our Lord Jesus Christ, His people are "made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). That which was said of Job is true of all God’s people in Christ: "that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1).
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
Christ is not valued nor His grace appreciated until men have a genuine
knowledge of their misery, helplessness, and lost condition because of sin. When sin is sin indeed, then grace is grace indeed, and Christ is Christ indeed. If men have a superficial sense of sin, they have a superficial faith in Christ.
--- Thomas Manton
Excerpts from: Dimensions of Eternal Love
Christ too in this eternal covenant is called the first-born: "I will make him, my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth; that in all things he may have the pre-eminence." And God promised to be to Christ, in human nature, his "Father, his God, and the Rock of his salvation." Ps. 89:26 God having, promised to be the Father and God of Christ, this blessing was transferred to the elect when the Saviour had finished the work of redemption, and was risen again from the dead; as it is written, "Go, tell my brethren that I am risen; and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." God therefore is become our God, and we are heirs of him, as our eternal portion; as it is written, "And, if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." (Rom. 8:17) In this covenant Christ and his elect brethren are said to be of one; as it is written, "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren." (Heb. 2:11,12) The glorious result of all this is to bring many sons to glory. (Heb. 2:10) This therefore is another blessed effect of God's everlasting love. But I proceed.
As God's servant Christ was set up from everlasting to serve under the law, and to redeem them that were under the law; and then to gather together in himself all the elect sheep, as their chief shepherd; as it is written, "Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth," &c. As a shepherd he was appointed to redeem and gather in the sheep that were given to him; as it is written, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me, and I lay down my life for the sheep." And again, "This is the will of my heavenly Father, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day." It appears plain, in the word of God, that Christ received the sheep, their names, and the number of them, before all worlds as it is said, "In thy book were all my members written when as yet there was none of them." This appears very plain; for God calls them sheep before they were either redeemed, or called, or born: "He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isa. 40:11) And this fulfils the ancient prediction, "And to him shall the gathering of the people be," Gen. 49:10) "I will (says God) set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd." (Ezek. 34:23) This doctrine will be proclaimed on the judgment-seat; as it is written, "He shall separate them, even as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matt. 25:32-34) This also is another blessed effect of everlasting love.