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as written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things 6 that are written in the book of the law to do them.”
A Second deduction is, that the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ through faith, exhibits the exceeding greatness of the transcendant glory of the gospel. It glorifies the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead ; it glorifies all the perfections of Jehovah ; all the offices of the blessed Mediator ; and it introduces to glory, all them that believe. O blessed gospel! O glorious righteousness!
Thirdly, We deduce from hence, the great blessedness of all who are justified. « Blessed is he whose transgression is for. "given, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom 6 the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose heart there is no “guile." They are blessed with peace in God, with access to the throne of mercy, with hope which will not make ashamed, with the communications of the Holy Ghost, with deliverance from wrath, and with the well grounded expectation of eternal life. Yea, they are altogether blessed ; blessed in this world, and they will be blessed in the world which is to come. « There« fore being justified by faith, we have peace with God througla “our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith “ into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the • glory of God. Whom he did predestinate, them he also callo ed ; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he “justified, them he also glorified.”
Lastly, We dedace from this doctrine, the strong obligations believers are under for gratitude, love and holy living. How should they be filled with gratitude, because of the blessedness, konor, and glory of justification ; because also of its freeness, security and happiness? How should they love the Lord both for what he is in himself and for all his benefits? How holy, circumspect and godly ought they to be in all manner of conversation ? * Give thanks always for all things unto God, and the Father
" in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord with “your whole heart. Let your tongue speak of his righteousness " and of his praise all the day long.–Take diligent heed to love " the Lord your God. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and “ keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments. O love " the Lord all ye his saints.”—Let believers prove their justification by holy living. If justified, they are dead to sin. “And “ how shall we who are dead to sin, live any longer therein ?" Let us ever imitate the holy Apostle, who kept under his body, and was eminent in godly living. “ He pressed forward to6 ward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ “ Jesus."
ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD BY CHRIST'S OBEDIENCE
TO THE LAW.
IBAIAH ZLII. 21.
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake, he will
magnify the law and make it honorable.
THIS is a chapter of high importance, peculiarly descriptive of the character and advent of the Redeemer, and the future success of the gospel dispensation. The prophecy contained herein is particularly applied to Christ in the twelfth chapter of Matthew. In the first four verses our Lord is described in the meekness, tenderness, and gentleness of his character. From thence to the ninth verse, his call and power to undertake the marvelous work of redemption. Then to the fifteenth, the Gentiles are called upon to sing praises and give glory to God, partly for the gracious salvation procured by the Messiah, and partly for the destruction of his enemies. Then Jew and Gentile are charged with their stupidity, blindness and ignorance, and all their attention demanded to the salvation displayed in the gospel. « Hear ye deaf, and look ye blind, that ye may see.” The Gentiles who sat in darkness are exhorted to behold the brightness, and the Jews to open their ears to hear the glad tidings of sal
Wation. In the words of our text, are declared that God in the accomplishment of this salvation, which will astonish heaven and earth, the Messiah will exhibit the glory of all the divine perfections, support the dignity of his law and government, and he will have pleasure in all the manifestations and applications of his righteousness. .“ The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness " sake ; he will magnify the law and make it honorable.” Various expositions have been given of these words. Some have explained them as a menace of Jehovah, that he wouid take plea. sure in glorifying his justice, by causing his vengeance to smoke against such a blind and stupid people, that he would shew forth the perfection of his law, and reflect an honorable lustre upon it by the punishment of the transgressors thereof. Others understand them of what he had done for his people in times past. He had distinguished them with his favours for the sake of his own righteousness, faithfulness and promises ; he made them great and illustrious by the statutes and ordinances of divine revelation.
But as other parts of this chapter are applied to Christ, so these words will appear with greater propriety and beauty when referred to him. God declares the pleasure he has in the reconciliation of men to himself by the righteousness of him in whom his soul delighteth, because by him his law and government should be raised to great dignity and glory, and floodgates opened for mercy and grace to flow forth to a guilty and ruined world.
From the text understood in this construction, we may observe the following things.
First, That though mankind should remain blind and deaf, in carnality and security, yet God will not lose his glory, his throne will not be affected, nor his happiness disturbed ; " Jehovah is “ delighted or well pleased.”
Secondly, That all of the human race who will relinquish their rebellion, and submit and become reconciled to their heavenly Sovereign, shall be restored to his favor and felicity, by the righteousness of the Mediator, which he wrought out in bis life and sufferings, by his obedience, in the fulfillment of all the requisitions of the divine law.
Thirdly, That when God pardons sinners and receives them into favour, it is only for the sake of the righteousness of Christ, whereby all the prerogatives and honors of divine government are magnified; upon this account he is well pleased with all who believe.
By the law is meant that original constitution, which lies at the foundation of God's government over his rational creatures. The original word translated law, is derived from a root that sig-' nifies a foundation. Hence law here intends the fundamental maxims on which God's moral government is erected. This is the moral law first revealed to Adam, afterwards published to Israel from mount Sinai, and briefly comprehended by our Saviour in love to God and our neighbour.
This law becomes exceeding honorable and illustrious by the obedience of Christ. When the plan for saving a lost world was devised in heaven, it was in such unsearchable wisdom, that all the divine laws were to acquire a magnified lustre and beauty therefrom, in the view of all intellectual beings. Had God shewn mercy and pardoned a rebel world by an arbitrary act of sovereignty, without any satisfaction to his law and justice, all wise intelligences would have begun to question the equity and propriety of his government. Would they not naturally say, surely the divine law was not perfectly right and good, otherwise transgressors could not have been forgiven and admitted to favor without some suitable satisfaction.
But in the humiliation of Christ, tlie divine law is exhibited to view, in all its perfect rectitude, holiness and goodness. It is here satisfied in all its penal and perceptive demands. He was perfectly innocent, and never deviated from an exact obedience to every precept, and suffered the extremity of the penalty by which it was enforced. Therefore, his obedience, in all its