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The Apostle closeth his Epistle with this Chapter. He points out the Victory of the Regenerate. He most blessedly declares, of the three heavenly, and the three earthly Witnesses. And shews, that the Possession of Christ, by Union with him, is eternal Life.
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
We shall stumble at the very threshold of this Chapter, and have but very imperfect ideas of what the Holy Ghost intended to teach the Church by this belief, unless we first consider the scriptural grounds of true faith, I have often thought, that if we were to calculate faith upon the standard of creeds, in prayer-books, and the rehearsal of them in the congregations, one after another, as horses in team; we might suppose that the whole were believers. But, if we were to examine such persons, upon the principles of the doctrines they profess to believe, perhaps not one in a score could be able to give an answer to any enquiry of the hope that is in them.
It is not the mere lip service of the acknowledgement of God, that implies a real belief in the existence of God, either in those that take up upon trust the scriptural testimony, that in this Being of God, there exists a plurality of persons; do we anymore discover in them a knowledge of Him. So it will follow, that there may be a confession of all that those creeds drawn up by men declare; and yet the heart all the while remain perfectly unacquainted with any saving knowledge of God in Christ. Reader! remember what all the way through I have been observing, that the regeneration of the heart, or being born again, is the only security for the real knowledge of God, Until that the child of God is regenerated and made a new creature in Christ, he hath no real heartfelt knowledge of the Lord. An entrance into Christ's kingdom in grace, as well as an entrance hereafter into Christ's kingdom in glory, can be accomplished no other way. Ye must be born again; John 3:7 .
The Holy Ghost by the Apostle opens this Chapter in shewing the blessed effects which arise out of this new birth. He believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. And how is this wrought? No man (saith the Apostle Paul) can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost; 1 Corinthians 12:3 . But, when the Holy Ghost by regeneration hath opened the eyes of the understanding, in the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; he then sees, that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily: and, like one of old, taught by the same Almighty Teacher, he crieth out to Jesus, Rabbi! thou art the Son of God! thou art the King of Israel! Colossians 2:2-10 ; John 1:49 . Hence in this belief; arising from regeneration, and the teaching of God the Holy Ghost, the knowledge of Jesus as the Christ, that is, the Sent, the Sealed, the Anointed of the Father; implies, all the precious and blessed things included in that high administration. I mean, the apprehension, according to scriptural testimony, of the glorious doctrine of the Holy Three in One, which bear record in heaven; the union of God and Man in the Person of Christ atonement by his blood; justification in his righteousness; the Person, work, and ministry of God the Holy Ghost; together with all those great things connected with a life of grace here, for the Church of God, and the assurance of everlasting happiness in, and through Christ, in the life to come. Hence, whosoever hath these blessed views concerning Christ and his Church, and from the heart led by divine teaching is thus made acquainted with Christ, and believeth that Jesus is the Christ, this man hath the Spirit bearing witness with his spirit, that he is born of God. Reader! what say you to these things?
The Holy Ghost is graciously pleased to add, by way of further evidence, that the child of God may have a further, collateral testimony, to the assurance of faith wherein he stands; that everyone who loveth Christ, loveth also the people of Christ. And, as the love of the brethren, when that love is formed for Christ's sake, becomes another sweet testimony that we love the Lord of those brethren, when we love them because they are his; so, a desire of obedience, and conformity to what Jesus hath enjoined, on his account, will uniformly mark the pool of God as his whose they are, and whom they serve in the Gospel of God's dear Son. Reader! it is a sweet testimony, when, not from bondage-frames, but from real heartfelt affection, we follow the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; Luke 1:6 .
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (6) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
In these verses we here discover where the strength of the Church lies, and in whom alone she finds victory, even in Christ. The Apostle expresseth it by the word our faith. But by faith, is meant Christ, the great object of faith. Seeing the Son, our Lord calls it, and believing on him; John 6:40 . And this includes all the blessed properties connected with it. He that is born of God, seeth himself a needy, lost, and helpless creature. He beholds a glory in Christ, and a fulness and suitableness in Christ, for salvation. He discovers also, a warrant in God the Father, to come to Christ, as a remedy of God's own providing. He feels an hungering and a thirsting for Christ, excited by the Holy Ghost in his soul. And thus he comes to Christ, and finds him to be wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; 1 Corinthians 1:30 . This is to overcome the world, and to have a real soul enjoying faith, in the assured conviction, that Jesus is the Son of God!
I detain the Reader over the words of this verse, where it is said, that Jesus Christ came by water and blood; not by water only, but by water and blood. I have already in the Commentary (John 3:8 ) very largely spoken to this subject, to which I refer. And in addition, shall only think it necessary to say, that when the coming of Christ is thus here so blessedly spoken of, we cannot be at loss to apprehend, that as by his blood he hath redeemed his Church; so, by his Spirit he hath regenerated her; the Holy Ghost bearing witness, as the Spirit of truth, to her adoption character to this purport, is the language of the Holy Ghost, by the Apostle. After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we, should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life; Titus 3:4-7 .
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
We have here a most blessed scripture, and which, from its vast importance, merits our closest attention. And, as there have been enemies to our holy faith, among the Christ-despisers, who would wish to wrest it from us; we have the more reason to prize it highly, to bless God for it, and to beg of him to write it on the living tablets of our hearts.
The grand point those heavenly witnesses bear their joint testimony to, is that fundamental doctrine of our most holy faith, namely, that Jesus is the Son of God. For this glorious truth, which includes in it the certainty both of his divine, and human nature, brings with it, and confirms all the momentous doctrines of the Gospel. This leading principle, being written by God the in regeneration on the heart; our lost estate by nature, and our recovery by grace, together with all the glorious events belonging to the Person, offices, character, and relations of the Lord Jesus Christ, blessedly follow, in the wonderful subject of redemption. Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles, have set to their seal, and a great part of them in blood, to the truth as it is in Jesus. And, to confirm all, these Holy Three in One from heaven, bear witness to the same, that God hath given to the Church eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
I admire the manner of expression, which the Holy Ghost, by John, hath been pleased to adopt, in giving the Church those heavenly witnesses. He saith, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. He doth not say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: probably, because it is to the Sonship of Jesus the testimony is here given; and, therefore, the same Person is mentioned by another of his names; the Uncreated Word, And there is a great beauty, as well as strength in this. The Pharisees, the sworn foes of Christ, had objected to his bearing witness of himself. And, although the Lord refuted the weakness of their argument, in terms of the plainest, and most unanswerable nature; see John 8:13-19 . yet, when the Holy Ghost was pleased, by John, to give the Church the relation of those heavenly witnesses; he put an end to all such objections, by calling Christ the Word, and not the Son. It is the Sonship of Jesus, as including every other testimony to his Almightiness of character, which the Lord the Spirit here had in view; and there is, therefore, a great beauty and propriety in calling Jesus by his well - known name, the Word.
I must not, in a work of this kind, gratify my wishes at the expense of the Reader's time and patience, by entering largely into a subject so great and extensive as these precious words would furnish. But I cannot but beg a short indulgence, to amplify my observations on them a little.
And, first. Here is said to be Three which bear record in heaven, that is, from heaven, to the Church upon earth, to this glorious truth, concerning the Person of Christ: and that these Three are One. Our first object, therefore, is concerned to establish, from scriptural testimony, the oneness and unity of the divine essence, existing as is here fully stated, in a threefold character of Person. A few observations will clearly prove this point. That there can be but One Infinite, and Eternal God, is evident, from the very nature of his Attributes and Perfections. For, as an infinite, and eternal Being, he inhabiteth infinity and eternity. Consequently, there can be no other, for he occupies, and fills all space. This alone is enough, in proof of the oneness, and unity of the divine essence. And hence, we find those glorious distinctions of character commanded to be ascribed to him. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; Deuteronomy 6:4 . So again, Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know, that the Lord he is God, there is none else beside him; Deuteronomy 4:35 . And in a language infinitely sublime, and, as one might suppose, would distinguish the Almighty Speaker, we find God himself thus addressing the Church: Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me, there is no God. - Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any. Isaiah 44:6-8 . Here is enough, without adding more, (though the Bible is full to the same amount, in confirmation of the unity and oneness of the divine essence. God is One. I will not detain the Reader with quoting at large some of the many passages in the Word of God, which prove, that these distinguishing perfections of character, constituting Godhead, are all equally ascribed to the whole three Persons of the Godhead. I shall content myself with referring to them. I only beg the Reader, however, before he proceeds further, that he will turn to those scriptures as I have marked them; for they not only confirm the one leading truth of our holy faith, of the unity and oneness in the divine essence; but establish what is here said: that there are Three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One. See Isaiah 9:6 ; Zechariah 13:0 ; Malachi 3:1 ; John 8:51; John 8:51 ; Isaiah 48:16-17 ; Isaiah 63:10 with Deuteronomy 32:12 ; Isaiah 6:8 with Acts 28:25-26 and Luke 1:68 with 2 Peter 1:21 ; Leviticus 26:11-12 with 2 Corinthians 6:16 , and Revelation 21:3 ; 1 Corinthians 6:19 with 1 Corinthians 3:16 etc.
Secondly. The same holy scriptures which are thus express, in proof of the oneness and unity in the divine essence, are equally express, in revealing the existence of three distinct Persons in this One Godhead. Not only in this verse before us, but in a great variety of other places, throughout the Bible. Yea, we have distinct actions described, concerning each glorious Person, in which they are revealed as speaking to the Church in Christ, or to themselves, concerning the Church in Christ, or in glorifying each other. Thus at the creation of man, we find the words, let us make man our image, after our likeness: Genesis 1:26 . So again at the Tower of Babel; let us go down and confound their language: Genesis 11:7 . So again, at the vision Isaiah saw: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Isaiah 6:8 . And, to add no more, at the baptism of Christ, there was given the fullest and most complete demonstration of this distinction of Person in the Godhead, when the voice from heaven came saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: the Son of God in our nature at the same time in Jordan; and the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; Matthew 3:16-17 . See the Commentary on those verses. In proof of the actions and speakings of the Holy Three see Matthew 17:5 ; John 12:28 ; Acts 13:4; Acts 13:4 .
Thirdly. We have these heavenly witnesses bearing express testimony to the Sonship of the Lord Jesus, in all the ministry of Jesus. To bring forward proofs on this point, would be little short of going over again the whole records of the four Evangelists. Every eyeless socket Jesus filled and gave sight to, confirmed his Godhead; because this was a complete act of creation. And all the works which Jesus did in his Father's name, and every devil he cast out of the bodies of men, by the Spirit of God, bore a like testimony to the divinity of his Person. Hence, we may safely conclude, in full assurance to the truth of this precious verse of scripture, that as the Church is baptized in the joint names of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Matthew 28:19 , and the Church is blessed in the joint names, of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost: 2 Corinthians 13:14 . so, there are three that bear record in heaven, to the Sonship of the Lord Jesus, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One!
And is it wonderful then, that a scripture so full in point of testimony to all the great and leading truths of the Church of God in Christ should be nibbled at by the enemies of Christ and his Godhead? The greater wonder is, (and only to be explained, by ascribing it to, the real source of all safety, God the Holy Ghost, the author of it, watching over his own word,) that it had not been struck out of our Bibles, by the daring hand of infidelity. But, as the great enemy of souls, (who beguiles his children by his deceivings,) not unfrequently, betrays himself by his subtilty, so here, by tempting to the charge of calling this verse an interpolation, and being introduced by some other hand, and not written by John, shews the fallacy of the argument. For let any plain honest man, by way of trial, read the 6th, and 8th verses of this Chapter (1 John 5:6 ; 1 John 5:8 ), and leave out, (as those opposers of God's truth would tempt us to do,) the 7th verse; and let him say, supposing he had never seen, or heard the 7th verse, whether it would not strike him, that there was somewhat wanting? What connection could there be, between the last word of the sixth verse, and the beginning of the eighth? The And, which begins the eighth, is a conjunction copulative. And on the supposition, the seventh verse was omitted, what would there be to join? To such a miserable expedient are those men reduced, in order to support their wretched system!
Reader! I shall detain you no longer, than just to put the question to your heart, whether you can join me in praises, and thanksgivings to God the Holy Ghost, for the sweet and precious record of this verse; concerning those heavenly witnesses. Blessed be God the Spirit do I say, for such a record! And blessed be God the Spirit, for accompanying it with his seal in my heart to its truth! For what doth it record, when testifying to the Son-ship of Jesus the Son of God, but that God hath sent his Son Jesus to bless his people, in turning away everyone of them from their iniquities; Acts 3:26 . And are there any that would oppose this, and make light of his Godhead, his atoning blood and salvation? Yes? And do they call themselves Christians after Christ? Yes! And is my Reader astonished at this? So am not I. There was a time, when the great enemy of souls professed christianity, when the man of sin was revealed the son of perdition, which the Holy Ghost by Paul foretold, and we know it came to pass; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 . And what is there extraordinary in when we read, that such a master of subtilty he is, as it is written, Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 . In the awful days in which we live, we are taught to expect such things. But there is this blessed assurance, from God our Savior. Though many shall come (saith that watchful Lord, see Isaiah 27:3 ) in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many, and though, except the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved, yet Jesus saith, that for the elect's sake whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. Hence, though false christs, and false prophets rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect; yet the impossibility of the thing, is at the same time confirmed, in what Jesus saith. Let the Reader consult, in further confirmation of this blessed truth; Mark 13:5-27 ; Luke 18:7 ; and Romans 8:28 to the end, and Commentary in all.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (9) If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The truth to which those witnesses bear testimony, in earth, is the same to which those spoken of before, bear record in heaven; namely, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and in whom we have eternal life. And the witnesses themselves, it should seem, are the Spirit when witnessing to our spirits, of our being children of God, the water of regeneration, and the blood of Christ. And these all correspond to the same. I say, it should seem to be these, because it is added, that this is the witness of God, and which the child of God receives, and which he cannot receive but by regeneration. And hence the unregenerate who receive it not, neither accept it, give God the lie, by the rejection of God's record to his Son. And what an awful state are those men in who by rejecting his Godhead, cannot but reject with it, the eternal life he brings. For who less than an Eternal Being, can have or bring Eternal life!
And here Reader, if you are a child of God, and by regeneration brought forth to the apprehension of Christ's Person, and the eternal life that is in him, and by him, I beg of you to pause, and for a moment to contemplate the vast mercy. The Apostle Peter was so wrapt up in the view, that unable to contain himself, he called God the Almighty Giver of it; the God of all grace! The God of all grace (said he) that hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus; 1 Peter 5:10 . And here the beloved Apostle speaks to the same amount, God hath given eternal life, and this life is in his Son! So that it is a free full gift. And it is impossible to be lost, or alienated; or taken away from the child of God, regenerated by the Holy Ghost, being in Christ, and that child of God made part in Christ, by being quickened or made spiritually alive in him. And there are, among numberless, nameless blessings contained in it; and folded up in it, these two more especially striking. First. He that hath the Son, hath this eternal life begun in him; glory begun in the soul, and to be enjoyed here by faith. The other, is, that at death, this life eternal in Christ, opens to the soul in all its glory, and is enjoyed by immediate sight. There are but these two ways of enjoying communion with God in Christ, either in the life that now is, or in that which is to come. And each is suited for the respective places of enjoyment. Allow me to offer a word or two more on each.
First. Eternal life in Christ begins to be enjoyed by faith, the moment of regeneration; when we are then said, to be made partakers of the divine nature, and to have all things given to us, that pertain to life and godliness: 2 Peter 1:3-4 . Our Lord's authority on this point, is very sweet, and much to be regarded. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life: John 5:24 . And speaking of himself, as the resurrection in that sublime discourse, (which is enough to strike every infidel who denies his Godhead, dumb, with everlasting silence,) Jesus said; I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Now mark! And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die; John 11:25-26 . Words, as plain as language can express. The regenerated believer hath everlasting life. Right and title, in actual possession by faith. The day of our effectual calling is the day in which we literally and truly enter upon this inheritance. We are passed from death to life. Die, the child of God can no more spiritually. Eternal life is begun in his soul. And this is the sure earnest of eternal glory.
Secondly. Whenever the life of faith ends, (which of course must end at death,) the spirits of just men made perfect, immediately enter upon this eternal life of glory. And this is evident from the very nature of the thing. For otherwise, there is be an interruption to this eternal life in Christ. And how in this sense, would the words of Jesus be fulfilled. He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die? if the soul ceased its communion with God in Christ, at the death of the body, neither enjoyed it more until the resurrection; the child of God, instead of being a gainer by death, would be an infinite loser. Paul could not then have said to die is gain. Neither would his spirit so have longed, to be absent from the body, that he might be present with the Lord. Very evidently therefore it is, from this view of the subject, if there were no other, that that eternal life, which God hath given us in Christ, and to which he bears record as in Christ, and which, he that hath the Son, hath in Christ; is the beginning of glory, by faith here below, and on the departure of the soul, from the body at death, opens in full fruition of sight, in life eternal. Sweet considerations, both of faith on earth, and glory in heaven, from that eternal life we have in the Son of God! Reader! look to it, (if so be God the Spirit witnesseth to your spirit by regeneration, that you are a child of God,) that you hold fast your faith and confidence; let no man take your crown. You are now in the womb of time, as the infant when in the womb of nature; living by the nourishment of faith, on the eternal life in the Son of God, as the child on the nourishment in the womb. And often now, so strong those principles of spiritual and eternal life in Christ, are communicated to your spirit, by God the Spirit, that, when, like Elizabeth, you hear the salutation of grace in Christ; your soul, like the babe in her womb, leapeth for joy. This is the utmost to be enjoyed by faith, before we leave the present state. But no sooner shall the life of faith cease, than the life of sight begins. Then you will come forth from the womb of nature, and enter into the joy of your Lord. And then, that eternal life, here begun in grace, and there consummated in glory, and all in and from Christ Jesus, will bring the whole Church to the highest state of felicity, and to the united praise of the Holy, and undivided Three, which bear record in heaven, and these Three are One.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (16) If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. (17) All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (18) We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (19) And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (20) And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (21) Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
I shall be very brief, in what remains in this Chapter, having already exceeded my limits. Indeed, what follows are but as so many inferences arising out of what had been said. God's children, quickened, regenerated, and made partakers in Christ of eternal life, may well be supposed to have great interest, from their union with Christ, at the court of heaven. Hence they are here told, that from their confidence concerning Jesus, whatsoever they ask, according to his will, (and never can they wish anything contrary to his will,) he heareth them. It is as if Jesus threw the reins of government into their hands, agreeably to that scripture; Isaiah 45:11 . And if the Reader remembers, the conversation of Jesus with his disciples before his departure, at his parting supper, and what followed, he will discover, that Jesus's whole heart is with his people. Whatsoever, you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name, ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full; John 16:23-24 .
Let the Reader, as he passeth over the verse respecting the sin of his brother, observe, that this is spoken of a child of God. It is a brother in Christ. All sin is justly liable to death. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. And but for Christ, the surety, the whole race of men, both of the Church and out of it, must have died. But by virtue of Christ's redemption, the child of God comes not into the condemnation, or even the commission, much less the guilt of the unpardonable sin. But how blessedly doth the Apostle comfort God's children, in the assurance, that by regeneration he that is born of God, falls not into the danger of it, but keeps. And sweet is this evidence. Reader! if you are taught of God, you have the same evidence as John had. He hath made you also sensible of your lost estate by nature. He hath taught you who Christ is, and what he is able to perform. He hath made you out of love with yourself, and in love with him. And you are coming up out of the wilderness of this world, leaning upon Christ. Is it so with you? Then hath he given you an understanding to know him that is true, and then are you in him that is true, even in God's dear Son Jesus Christ. And then will you subscribe, with full consent of soul and heart, that Jesus Christ is the true God, yea, the only visible Jehovah; for He, and He alone, is come forth from the divine essence, to make known the otherwise unknown God!
I have often been struck at the concluding verse of this Epistle. Little children, keep yourselves from idols! W hat could John mean? Here is his last verse, his last words, his concluding address to the Church. Did he foresee, that in a Church calling itself Christian; idols would be put up? Was John looking so far on, as to many centuries after, when images and saints, and relics would be worshipped? Dear Lord, I would say for the true Church of Christ, in the present hour, do thou keep thy people, (for no man can keep alive his own soul,) from the awful delusions all around! Men now may dare to call thy Godhead in question, no law of man preventing them. And others may arise, to introduce idols in the land. Precious Jesus watch over thy true Church, purchased so dearly by thy blood; and rendered so precious to thee, by thy Father's gift, and by the regenerating influence of God the Spirit! Methinks I hear my God and Savior say; Yes, In that day sing ye unto her, vineyard of red wine! I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it. I will keep it night and day; Isaiah 27:2-3 . Oh! how safe and sure amidst all idols, which may desolate a nation abhorring Jesus, is the Church of Jesus! The gates of hell shall not prevail against it; Isaiah 49:7 ; Matthew 16:11 .
Reader! how gracious was it in our God, to give his Church such tokens as are here marked down, in order that every child of God might know; his having been begotten, to the adoption of children in Jesus Christ. Yes! blessed God, we do know whose we are, and to whom we belong, by our being made believers in Christ Jesus. It is sweet, it is blessed, to know him, and to love him, and to delight in him, who came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ!
Glory be to the three heavenly witnesses, for their united testimony to the Son-ship of Jesus Christ! Lord! give all thy redeemed grace, to receive with holy joy, the record God hath given to his dear Son, and that eternal life which is in him. And oh! may every individual member of his mystical body, rejoice in Christ, and live by faith here, until he come to live in glory hereafter on Jesus, and eternal life in him.
Farewell, thou beloved disciple! we thank our God for his love to thee, and his employment of thee, and for all the benefit the Church hath derived under the Holy Ghost, from thee, in thy ministry. Shortly Jesus will come, and take home his Church, and the Lord shall be then seen, surrounded by his saints, with the whole redeemed Church of God, and all the disciples whom Jesus hath loved.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 John 5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent