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having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 2 Cor. 9. 8.
In faith,-And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through GRACE. Acts 18. 27.
Hope,-Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through GRACE. 2 Thes. 2. 16.
Prayer-And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of GRACE and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Zech. 12. 10.
And Praise.-Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with GRACE in your hearts to the Lord. Col. 3. 16.
Indeed; salvation, from the foundation to the headstone, is entirely of GRACE.-But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ; (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his GRACE in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. For by GRACE are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of GOD.- Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, GRACE, GRACE, unto it. Eph. 2. 4-8. Zech. 4. 7.
Correct information respecting the Author,-Blessed be the GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of GOD.- So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 1 Pet. 1. 3. John 1. 12, 13. Rom. 9. 16.
Means,-But we are bound to give thanks always to GCD for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.- Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth for ever. Of his owN WILL begat he us with THE WORD OF TRUTH, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. 2 Thes. 2. 13. 1 Pet. 1. 23. Jam. 1. 18.
Design,―This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Is. 43. 21. Eph. 1. 4. and 2. 10.
And Evidences,-For as many as are led by the Spirit of GOD, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of GoD.- He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.- In this the children of GoD are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death. Rom. 8. 14, 16. John 14. 21. 1 John 3. 10, 14.
Of instantaneous,-For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one. and despise the other. Ye cannot serve GoD and mammon 2 Cor. 4, 6. Mat. 6. 24.
REGENERATION is immensely important.
Saints' perseverance proved from the nature of Divine love.
"God is love."-He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4. 8.
His love to his people is sovereign,-For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of GOD, according to election might stand, not of
works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy GOD: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Rom. 9. 11-13. Deut. 7.6-8.
Free,-I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely : for mine anger is turned away from him. Hos. 14. 4.
Undeserved,-Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ez. 36. 32.
Everlasting, The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jer. 31. 3.
Inexpressible-For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3. 16.
Inconceivable,-And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Eph. 3. 19.
Infinite,-But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5. 8. Complacent,-Rejoicing in the habitable' part of his earth and my delights were with the sons of men. Prov. 8. 31.
And Immutable.-Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of GoD which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. John 13. 1. Rom. 8. 38, 39 John 10. 26-29.
The Scriptures strikingly contrast the CARNAL and SPIRITUAL mind.
For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.But 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.- For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose GoD is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.- Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of GOD. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For the fruit of the Spirit, is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Rom. 8. 5. 1 Cor. 2. 14. Phil. 3. 18, 19. Gal. 5. 19-21. 1 Cor. 2. 15. Eph. 5. 9. Gal. 5. 22—26, 16, 17.
And the consequences of being carnally-minded or spirituallyminded.-Because the carnal mind is enmity against GOD: for it is not subject to the law of GoD, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please GOD. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of GOD dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die. but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of GOD.- But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin; but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquty, unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH: but THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 8. 7-10, 12—14. and 6. 17—23. || and 7. 5, 6, 21, 23.
"N. B. The preparation required to the acceptable receiving the Lord's Supper, are those same qualifications, that are required in acceptable prayer. The sins for which men ought to be excluded from this ordinance, are the same sins persisted in, for which the sacred Scriptures allow that they should be excluded from Christian society, and declare that such shall be excluded from the kingdom of heaven."
The infinite compassion and unparalleled love of our Divine, incarnate, suffering, bleeding, and expiring REDEEMER, are themes of meditation adapted to this important, solemn, interesting, and soul-refreshing ordinance.
ANGELS are in their nature superior to men,
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Ps. 8. 5.
Their number-The chariots of GOD are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.- A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. Ps. 68. 17. Dan. 7. 10. Heb. 12. 22.