صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

SERMON I.

THE DAY OF GRACE.

2 CORINTHIANS VI. 1, 2.

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

ANXIOUSLY considering to what subjects I might most profitably direct your attention, it has appeared to me that I could not occupy your minds more advantageously than by bringing before you those all-important topics-the Day of Grace, Death, the Resurrection, Judgment, Eternity, Hell and Heaven; which fix our state for ever, and finally closing earthly relations, in their immense magnitude swallow up all inferior concerns :— topics confessedly of supreme importance, and

B

calculated in their very nature to engage our most wakeful attention, and bearing most directly upon every man's liveliest hopes and fears.

In the review of these things, may we all be deeply affected with the awful truth, that on this momentary life hangs an eternity pregnant with consequences of the most stupendous interest. This is the great principle brought before you in the text: We then, as workers together with him beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain; for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee; behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The subject then of our present consideration is, THE DAY OF GRACE. The grace of God is now to be obtained, and the present day is the season for obtaining it. If we reject that grace, we perish for ever; if we receive it, we are everlastingly saved.

We will consider,

1. THE GRACE OF GOD,
2. THE SEASON OF GRACE,

3. THE GIVING OF GRACE,

4. THE RECEIVING OF IT IN VAIN,

5. THE RECEIVING IT EFFECTUALLY.

I. THE GRACE OF GOD.

The grace here meant is free unmerited favour

to sinners, proceeding from the sole love of God our Father, and manifesting itself according to their varied wants and necessities.

We will notice, 1. The grace itself; and, 2. The channel through which it flows.

1. THE GRACE ITSELF.

The Apostle had just given a full description of this grace. All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. We have here a clear and full revelation of gospel grace, of God's good will to us, the good tidings of great joy to perishing sinners.

Man was created upright, but, being tempted by the devil, he rebelled against his Creator and Benefactor; and, if rich grace had not interposed, he would justly have perished for ever. But, O the riches of that unspeakable love, which, in pity to fallen sinners, provided a remedy!

From the beginning to the end, the gospel

unfolds a system of grace. The whole plan of salvation originated in the divine purpose, before the world was made. He hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. (2 Tim. i. 9.) And as it originated in grace, so all the preliminary steps of it have been gratuitous. The promises to Adam, on his fall, and to the patriarchs; the types and shadows in the Law of Moses; the exhibitions of it in the prophetic writings, until its full manifestation in the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light-not one step was advanced through man's wisdom or goodness; but all proceed from the overflowing fountain of divine love. God is therefore altogether sovereign in the disposal of grace, saying, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

The blessings of this glorious Gospel of the grace of God, are also equally free and gracious. Spiritual life and conversion to God are the first, that a sinner, dead in sin, requires. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), (Ephes. ii. 4, 5.) Then he wants free and

full forgiveness. This is also of grace; We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. i. 7.) To be accounted righteous, as well as forgiven, is further indispensable; the same grace justifies; Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom. i. 24.) Holiness also, without which no man shall see the Lord, is absolutely requisite, as, without this, we should be miserable even in heaven itself. It is the grace of God which bringeth salvation, that teacheth us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. (Titus ii. 11, 12.) Nor is there any thing pertaining to our present and everlasting good, which is not freely provided and made over to God's people in Christ Jesus. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. (1 Cor. iii. 22, 23.) And while it is made over to them, they are themselves guarded and secured from ever losing it. The glorious inheritance above is reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.

Now then, my brethren, we proclaim these blessings, and, in the very language of the divine record invite you to partake of them. Ho, every

« السابقةمتابعة »