« PreviousContinue »
knowledge of God; so that, properly speaking, the seat of faith is not in the understanding, but in the will.
From faith arises hope, that is, a most assured expectation through faith of those future things which are already ours in Christ. Rom. iv. 18, 19. “ who against hope believed in hope,” &c. viii. 24, 25.“ we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” xv. 13. “now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Ğal. v. 5. “ for we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Heb. x. 23. “let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." 1 Pet. i. 3. “ who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection.” v. 13. “ hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” v. 21. “ that your faith and hope might be in God.” Heb. vi. 11. "we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.” Hope differs from faith, as the effect from the cause ; it differs from it likewise in its object; for the object of faith is the promise ; that of hope, the thing promised.
CHAP. XXI.-OF BEING INGRAFTED IN CHRIST, AND ITS
EFFECTS. REGENERATION AND ITS EFFECTS, repentance and faith, have been considered. Next follows INGRAFTING IN CHRIST.
Believers are said TO BE INGRAFTED IN CHRIST, when they are planted in Christ by God the Father, that is, are made partakers of Christ, and meet for becoming one with him. Matt. xv. 13. “every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” John xv. 1, 2. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman : every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away.” 1 Cor. i. 30. “ of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” üi. 22, 23. “all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and
Christ is God's.” Eph. i. 3. “who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Heb. iii. 14.
we are made partakers of Christ.'
Of this ingrafting, combined with regeneration, the effects are NEWNESS OF LIFE and INCREASE. For the new spiritual life and its increase bear the same relation to the restoration of man, which spiritual death and its progress (as described above, on the punishment of sin) bear to his fall.
NEWNESS OF LIFE is that by which we are said to live unto God. 2 Cor. iv. 10. “that the life also of Jesus might be made manitest in our body.” Rom. vi. 11. “likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” v. 4. even so we also should walk in newness of life.” viii. 13. “if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Gal. ii. 19. “ that I might live unto God.” v. 20. “ Christ liveth
Col. iii. 3. - your life is hid with Christ in God.” 1 Pet. iv. 6. “ that they might live according to God,” that is, " in the Spirit."
This is also called self-denial. Luke ix. 23. “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take his daily, and follow me.”
The primary functions of the new life are comprehension of spiritual things, and love of holiness. And as the power of exercising these functions was weakened and in a manner destroyed by the spiritual death, so is the understanding restored in great part to its primitive clearness, and the will to its primitive liberty, by the new spiritual life in Christ.
THE COMPREHENSION OF SPIRITUAL THINGS IS A HABIT OR CONDITION OF MIND PRODUCED BY GOD, WHEREBY THIE NATURAL IGNORANCE OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE AND ARE INGRAFTED IN CHRIST IS
REMOVED, AND THEIR UNDERSTANDINGS ENLIGHTENED FOR THE PERCEPTION OF HEAVENLY THINGS, SO THAT, BY THE TEACHING OF GOD, THEY KNOW ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ETERNAL SALVATION AND THE TRUE HAPPINESS OF LIFE.
THE TEACHING OF GOD. Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. “ I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and will be their God, and they shall be my people ; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah: for they shall all know
me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith
Father which is in heaven." 1 Thess. iv. 9. “as touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you ; for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
By the Son. Matt. xi. 27. “all things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Col. iii. 16. “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.”
And by the Holy Spirit. John xvi. 13. “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself.” I Cor. ii. 10, &c. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit .. the natyral man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned: but he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1 John ii. 20, 27.
ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things .. the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you ; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
NECESSARY TO SALVATION. 1 Cor. ï. 12. “ that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." Tit. i. 1, 2. “the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness, in hope of eternal life.”
In the present life, however, we can only attain to an imperfect comprehension of spiritual things. 1 Cor. xiii. 9. we know in part.”
The other effect is LOVE OR CHARITY, ARISING FROM A SENSE OF THE DIVINE LOVE SHED ABROAD IN THE HEARTS OF THE REGENERATE BY THE SPIRIT, WHEREBY THOSE WHO ARE INGRAFTED IN CHRIST BEING INFLUENCED, BECOME DEAD TO
SIN, AND ALIVE AGAIN UNTO GOD, AND BRING FORTH WOOD WORKS SPONTANEOUSLY AND FREELY. This is also called HOLINESS. Eph. i. 4. “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
The love here intended is not brotherly love, which belongs to another place; nor even the ordinary affection which we bear to God, but one resulting from a consciousness and lively sense of the love wherewith he has loved us, and which in theology is reckoned the third after faith and hope. 1 Cor. xiii. 13.
now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” This is the offspring, as it were, of faith, and the parent of good works. Gal. v. 6. “faith which worketh by love.” It is described 1 Cor. xiii. and I John iy. 16. “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us : God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
SHED BY THE SPIRIT. Ezek. xxxvi. 27. “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes." Rom. v. 5. “hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Gal. v. 22. “the fruit of the Spirit is love."
WHO ARE INGRAFTED IN CHRIST. John xv, 4, 5. “abide in me, and I in you ; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me : I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing Eph. iii. 17, &c. “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love,” &c.
DEAD UNTO SIN. Rom. vi. 22.“but now being made free from sin, and become servants to God,
fruit unto holiness." 1 Pet. ii. 24. “ that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
ALIVE AGAIN UNTO GOD. Rom. vi. 12, 13. “ yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.”
SPONTANEOUSLY AND FREELY ; for our own co-operation is uniforraly required. Ezek. xviii. 31. "make you a new heart, and a new spirit; for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ?”' Rom. vi. 12, 13. let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof, neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.”
xii. 2. “be not conformed to this world, but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 2 Cor. vii. 1. “having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Gal. v. 16. “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Eph. iv. 20—24. “ if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus ; that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of
your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” 2 Cor. vi. 1. “receive not the grace of God in vain.” Col. iii. 5, 9, 10. “mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth ; fornication, &c.—lie not one to another, seeing that ye
have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." 2 Tim. ii. 21. “if a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." 1 John ii. 3. “hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” iii. 3. “every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
In consequence of this love or sanctity all believers are called SAINTS. Philipp. iv. 21, 22. “salute every saint in Christ Jesus ;” and to the same effect in other passages.
The holiness of the saints is nevertheless imperfect in this life. Psal. cxliii. 2. “enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” cxxx. 3. “if thou, Jah, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?” Prov. xx. 9. “who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ?” xxiv. 16. «
a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” Rom. vii. 18, &c. “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I know not.” Gal. v. 17. “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; and these are contrary the one to the other : so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” James iii. 2. “ in many things we