Jan 28, 2012

The Son of God, who existed as such, from everlasting - John Gill

"...And declared to be the Son of God, etc... Not made as he is said to be before, when his incarnation is spoken of; nor did he begin to be the Son of God, when he was made of the seed of David, but he, the Son of God, who existed as such, from everlasting, was manifested in the flesh, or human nature: and this his divine sonship, and proper deity, are declared and made evident..." -John Gill, commenting on Romans 1:4

"...He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1:4-5) - Gilbert Beebe

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinatd us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)

In this heaven-inspired language the apostle implies three characters: First, The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings as having made the choice of which this record testifies. Second, Christ Jesus, in his sonship, as the Son of the God and Father, who has made the choice under consideration. Third, The church or people, so chosen by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the grand end and design of the choice, that we, (the people chosen,) should be holy and without blame, before him in love. And this choice and predestination to the adoption of children, holy and without blame, is according to the good pleasure of the will of the eternal God.

On this interesting subject volumes might be written; eternal ages, so to speak, will not exhaust the heavenly theme; but at this time our remarks must be very brief. Although Christ, in his official character in the work of salvation occupies a distinct character from the Father, as the Mediatorial Head of his church, still in the unity of the Godhead they are one; hence, in setting forth the choice, we are informed that it is in Christ Jesus, and complete before the foundation of the world, and so perfect from the ancients of eternity, that no more alteration can possibly be made to the choice, in Christ, than can be made to the spiritual blessings treasured in him for us from the same date. As the saints were blessed with all spiritual blessings, according to the choice in him, it follows, that if one of those chosen in Christ can be diminished from the whole, then so may some of the all spiritual blessings bestowed, also fail to take effect. It is heart-cheering to the saints to know that instead of spiritual blessings being offered conditionally according to the good or bad pleasure or volition of our will, all is secured according to the pleasure of the immutable will of Jehovah. The blessings and the choice are in sweet harmony with each other, and both according to the good pleasure of the will of God, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. In distinction to this, how precarious would be the prospect were it written, that all spiritual blessings were to be given, according as men may render themselves deserving of such divine favors from the hand of God. The church chosen in Christ and in him supplied with all spiritual blessings, before the foundation of the world, demonstrates the existence of the Son of God in his Mediatorial relation both to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also to that church which was chosen in him, which is his body, and the fullness of him which filleth all in all.

This was and is the plan of God, for making the objects of this choice holy and unblamable in love. Certainly, then, we could not have been so chosen and blessed because we were holy and without blame in ourselves considered; but to make us so in Christ. Arminians and will-worshipers do not think this the best way to secure holiness to the chosen, or to display the wisdom and goodness of God; but all the saints are delighted to know that it is according to the good pleasure of God’s will. And while enemies may charge God with unrighteousness, and may feel more confidence in their own plans and schemes, we know there is no possibility of salvation in any other way.

Having predestinated us. Predestination is first, the choice and all spiritual blessings are established firmly as the throne of heaven upon that predestination, and all who are so predestinated must assuredly receive the adoption to which God has destined them, or the decrees of God must fail.

Middletown, N.Y.
March 1, 1861.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 4
Pages 465 – 467

"...If her husband be dead, she is free from that law." (Romans 7:1-4) - John Foreman

"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (Romans 7:1-4)

If a man by the Holy Spirit, and regenerating grace and favour of God, be under grace, and so under the law of faith, he is not, nor can he be under the law of works at the same time; even so the natural man being under the law of works, cannot be under grace and the law of faith at the same time. And a man's duties and obligations, both in the nature and extent of them, are prescribed and determined by the law that he is under. The truth of this, I consider the apostle most clearly sets forth, by comparing the law that the soul is under to a husband, and the soul to be bound to the law exclusively under which it is; and so much so, that the soul must be dead to the one law, before it can be under the other, either in a way of obligation or of privilege, see Rom 7. So that every natural man is under the law of works, and is bound thereby exclusively to it, as a woman is bound by the law of her husband to him exclusively, so long as he lives. And while we receive this apostolic argument in the force of infallible truth, it must fairly amount to this, that it can no more be the natural man's duty under the law of works, by the law of faith to believe unto salvation, than it is a woman's duty to think of, yield her person and affections to, and secure to herself, a second husband before her first be dead; she having no liberty whatever from her first obligations, nor another husband any demand whatever, till she be freed from her first husband; and then by marriage only to another, does she come under the new obligations to a second husband. But no natural man is dead to the law of works by the body of Christ, and consequently is not married to Christ: and so neither Christian duties nor privileges are his province or his property; but to keep the whole law of works, and be as naturally pure as Adam was at the first, or death eternal is all that belongs to him as a sinful natural man.

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions