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Christ, inasmuch as he was given and slain from the beginning of the world, even for those to whom he was not known, provided they believed in God the Father. Hence honourable testimony is borne to the faith of the illustrious patriarchs who lived under the law, Abel, Enoch, Noah, &c. though it is expressly stated that they believed only in God. Heb. xi.
ESPECIALLY THE GRACE OF ETERNAL LIFE. Mark i. 15. repent ye, and believe the gospel." John iii. 15. "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." v. 18. "he that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already." These passages are to be understood of those to whom Christ has been revealed; for to believe in one of whom we have never heard, is evidently impossible. Rom. x. 14. So also. John vi. 47. "he that believeth on me hath everlasting life." 2 Thess. ii. 13. "because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth." Heb. x. 39. "of them that believe to the saving of the soul." 1 Pet. i. 9. "receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1 John v. 13. "these things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that eternal life."
Seeing, however, that faith necessarily includes a receiving of God, and coming to him, John i. 12. ". as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name;" vi. 35. "he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst;" Eph. ii. 18. "through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father;" iii. 12. "in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him ;" Heb. vii. 25. "he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him;" x. 22. "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith;" seeing also that we must have a right knowledge of God before we can receive him or come to him, for " he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,' xi. 6. it follows, that the source from which faith originally springs, and whence it proceeds onward in its progress to good, is a genuine, though possibly in the first instance imperfect,
knowledge of God; so that, properly speaking, the seat of
From faith arises hope, that is, a most assured expectation
CHAP. XXI.-OF BEING INGRAFTED IN CHRIST, AND ITS
REGENERATION AND ITS EFFECTS, repentance and faith, have
Believers are said TO BE INGRAFTED IN CHRIST, when they
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 manifest 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 in me.' Col. iii. 3. "6 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 up his cross 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 THE
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.
BY 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 Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.' Isai. liv. 13. "all thy children shall be taught of God," namely, of God the Father, for so Christ explains it, John vi. 45. "it is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God: every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." Matt. xvi. 17. "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my 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 natural 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. ii. 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 GOOD 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 1 John iv. 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, ye have your 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 uniformly required. Ezek. xviii. 31. "make you a new heart, and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O 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."