May 1, 2010

Isaiah 55:1 - John Gill

Isaiah 55:1.
He, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat, yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

1. These words are no call, invitation, or[1] offer of grace to dead sinners, since they are spoken to such who were thirsty, that is, who, in a spiritual sense, were thirsting after pardon of sin, a justifying righteousness, and salvation by Christ; after a greater knowledge of him, communion with him, conformity to him, and enjoyment of him in his ordinances, which supposes them to be. spiritually alive; for such who are dead in sin, thirst not after the grace of God, but the lusts of the flesh; they mind and savor the things of the flesh, and not the things of the Spirit; only new-born babes, or such who are born again, are quickened and made alive, desire Christ, his grace, and the sincere milk of the word, that their souls may grow thereby; besides, the persons called unto, are represented as having no money; which, though true of unconverted persons, who have nothing to pay off their debts, or purchase any thing for themselves; yet they fancy themselves to be rich, and increased in goods, and stand in need of nothing; whereas the persons here encouraged are such, who not only have no money, but know they have none; who are poor in spirit, and sensible of their spiritual poverty; which sense arises from the quickening influences of the Spirit of God upon their souls; nor are Isaiah 1:18, 19, Luke 13:3, John 3:16, and 7:24, any offers, grace, as they are with this represented to be.

2. They do not express any power or ability in unconverted persons to come to Christ, seeing they are not directed to such, as is before observed; besides, neither Christ, nor the grace of Christ, are designed by the waters, but the ordinances; the allusion being, as is thought by some,[2] to maritime places, or sea-ports, where ships of merchandise unload their traffic, and people resort to buy things necessary for them. Now where should hungry and thirsty souls, and such that have no money, attend, but on the ordinances, the means of grace? where they may expect to meet with Christ, and of his fullness receive, even grace for grace. Nor,

3. Do they declare any self-sufficiency in creatures to procure any thing for themselves by their works; for the things to be bought, wine and milk suitable to thirsty persons, signify either the doctrines of the gospel, or the blessings of grace, both which are freely given. Buying here is to be taken not in a proper sense, for no valuable consideration can be given to God for his grace; but in an improper one, the manner in which these things were to be bought, being without price; and besides, the persons who are called upon to buy, are said to have no money. This explanation of the words in the several parts of them, will help us to understand the advice and invitation given in other places; such as Revelation 3:18, and 22:17.

[1] Whitby, p. 341; ed. 2. 358.
[2] Gataker in Pol Synops. in loc.

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