Nov 24, 2011

Exclude all duty necessarily and wholly - Israel Atkinson

Salvation in every part of it from beginning to end is so of grace that in nothing is it a due from God to the sinner; and it is so according to the law of faith, as to its appropriation, possession, enjoyment, and all the means necessary thereto, as to exclude all duty necessarily and wholly. From first to last, "By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast."

The New Commandment - Israel Atkinson

The "new commandment" (John 13:34) must be included among those that are specially Christian. Both as to its reason and to its rule, this differs from the old commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The reason of the old commandment is simply moral ; that of the new is Christian ; that is, the love of Christians to Christians is to be shown for Christ's sake. We say, shown, because this affection is as far superior to mere feeling as is a living energy to an empty utterance of an expression of sentiment. The rule of the old commandment is, "as thyself;" this of the new is, "as I have loved you." In the former case a man's neighbor is to be set on a level with himself; in the latter a Christian is to advance his fellow Christian above, or before himself. Jesus taught his disciples that he that sitteth at meat is greater than he that servcth ; 'I but," said the Lord of all, " I am among you as one that serveth." Answerably to this example, the new commandment must be interpreted as binding Christians to prefer each other in honour; to submit themselves one to another ; each to esteem other better than themselves; and all to make themselves of no reputation, cheerfully to take upon themselves the form of a servant, and in this capacity lovingly to serve their brethren "for Jesus' sake." But more ; Jesus repeated his commandment to his disciples with a very important additional instruction." This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." From this, then, it will be seen without doubt, that Christians, if occasion require, "ought to lay down their lives for the brethren." But all this is peculiarly Christian law for Christians. Bound as all men are, independently of belief in Christ, to love their neighbours as themselves, no unbeliever is obliged to love a Christian, as such, more than he is a heathen. If a heathen refuses to prefer in honour a Christian, as such, before himself, to esteem him better than himself, to submit to him, and to lay down his life for him, he will be a transgressor of no precept under which he is bound; but a default in either of these cases would be chargeable upon a Christian as a breach of the "new commandment."

John 1:9 - Robert Hawker

"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9)

The sense of this verse, which in itself, under divine teaching, is as plain as any portion of the word of GOD, by the perversion or ignorance of men, is brought forward to strengthen the opinion of those who profess that all men are endued with an inward light, which, they say, is sufficient for all the purposes of religion. And this they advance in direct opposition to what the LORD JESUS himself hath said, that the light which is in a man may be altogether darkness. And in consequence hath left upon record this solemn precept, Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness! Matt. 6:23. Luke 11:35. But John's account of CHRIST in this verse is both plain and obvious. If we accept the words as referring to mere natural light, nothing can be more true than that CHRIST, as the Great Creator and Author of nature, lighteth every man that cometh into the world with all the understanding which in nature that man hath. And if we refer the expression to the light of grace, equally certain it is, that every man that cometh into the world who is enlightened by grace, must derive it wholly from CHRIST. So that CHRIST is the Author and Giver of both. And it is clearly in this sense the Apostle meant it. For it should be observed, that the Evangelist is here advancing the glory of CHRIST, and not of the glory of man.

Unawakened by the Holy Ghost - John 1:5 - Robert Hawker

"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:5)

Here is drawn the line of distinction between the character of those who from the natural blindness of a fallen state, unawakened by the HOLY GHOST, have no perception of the person and glory of CHRIST; and those who from grace-union with him, are called out of darkness into his marvellous light. Pause, Reader! and contemplate the vast privileges of the LORD'S people.

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions