HOW GREAT A, SUCH A, WHAT KIND OF, WHAT A SAVIOR!

Sam Caldwell


Scripture speaks in big, simple, laudatory, hand-raising, sold-out, hoed-down, magisterial terms. It speaks in ejaculations of praise and joy and hope and sheltering love. It speaks in astonishment.

In particular, we find what the grammarians call “qualitative adjectival/adverbial constructions” in the Bible, and many of them – phrases like, “such a…,” “what a…,” “so great a…,” “what kind of a…”!

Oh, but they’re really just hortative yelps, telling us to take notice: Hallelujah! What a Savior!

You don’t just hear of hope in the Bible; you hear of “such a hope” (2 Cor 3:12), and that’s because it is The Hope. And in that text Paul goes on: “because we have such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.”

Now, I don’t know precisely why this is. I don’t know why Scripture speaks like this. But I know I want it. I see no reason to speak against such a suchness of expression. And maybe Scripture speaks this way because Christ gives in this way: “For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, for He gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34). Old Adolphe Monod said, “There is nothing in Scripture but the absolute and the perfect. It never dreams of calling us to a certain measure of holiness by a certain measure of faith.”

Maybe it speaks this way because that’s the nature of God’s tongue. Have you not seen a limit to all earthly perfection, Christian? But God’s commandment is exceedingly broad (Psalm 119:96).

O how love I Thy law!

Note these expressions well when you read your Bibles in love with Christ:

Idolatry brings ‘such great sin upon us’ (Exodus 32:21),

but we have ‘such a hope’ (2 Corinthians 3:12)

in ‘so great a God’ (Psalm 77:13),

who ‘delivered us from so great a peril of death’ (2 Corinthians 1:10),

that we might see ‘what kind of love the Father has bestowed on us’ (1 John 3:1),

and might never neglect ‘so great a salvation’ (Hebrews 2:3),

a salvation that has saved ‘so great a cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1),

a salvation that is of the Lord alone (Jonah 2:9),

the salvation of ‘such a High Priest’ (Hebrews 7:26; 8:1).

Let us consider this. Let us consider one another to provoke unto love (Hebrews 10:24).

Let us consider Him ‘who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself’ (Hebrews 12:3). For we have not come close to resisting unto bloodshed in our striving against sin (Hebrews 12:4).

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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