Apr 25, 2010

Hebrews 12:15 - WIlliam Tant

Heb. 12:15. " Looking diligently lest any man fail, of the grace of God." " he apostle does not, men that those who possess the grace of God should be looking diligently after it, lest they should lose it, as if there were a possibility for grace to fall out of a man. But he is exhorting the spiritual Hebrews to be looking diligently after the work of grace among themselves, for fear any in their their comumunion only had a name to live while dead ; and notwithstanding they might profess the name of Christ, yet failed, or were destitute of a gracious and saving knowledge of him; " lest," says he, " there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birth-right." And the verse preceding is often taken to establish the tenet of progressive sanctification. But the meaning appears to me to be somewhat similar to the other; indeed the two verses are very closely united by the apostle, and our translators have only separated them by a colon. " Follow peace with all men." What can be this peace? "He," (Christ) " is our peace," Eph. ii. 14. Well, but some will say, "all men have not got Christ, therefore how can Christ be followed with all men?" The apostle, for this very reason, because all men have not really and truly got Christ, thus speaks, " follow peace with all men." Be upon the close pursuit of an experimental revelation of Christ in the heart by the Holy Ghost. Whatever may be the profession of men, nothing but this is true religion, and destitute of this, every man's religion will be found to be rotten and corrupt. Therefore " follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." What holiness is it without which no man can see the Lord? Not creature-holiness; for, says Paul, " I find that in me, that is in my flesh, that there dwelleth no good thing," Rom. vii. 18. So the holiness the apostle alludes to cannot be an holiness obtained from creature-doings, for that holiness is worth nothing, because in the creature, considered apart from Christ, there is " no good thing." Even the uprightness of Adam, was not the holiness here alluded to, for " with out it no man shall see the Lord." And Adam, while he stood perfect in Eden, never saw the Lord in the spirituality of his law, the fulness of his grace, the riches of his mercy, the glory of his justice, and the sovereignty of his-love; but by Christ being brought home to the soul by the blessed testimony of the Spirit, we see the Lord in all the harmony of his attributes, the love o£ his heart, the grace of his lips, the preciousness of his relations, and the glory of his covenant characters : we can approach him with holy confidence as the God of our salvation, take his promises as our own, and bless his name as our portion, our friend, and our everlasting refuge.

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