Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I. ATHEISM. "No God." This implies:
1. Denial of God's existence This is folly. The assertion proves nothing. Negatives are not arguments. Besides, there may be a God, though you, the denier, have not found him. You have not yet explored the universe.
2. Denial of God's moral government of the world. "No God!" if so, then there is nothing but chance. There can be no law without a lawgiver, no order without a controlling mind. "No God!" then we are free to do our own pleasure. "Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die."
3. Denial of God's grace in the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ. "No God]" then the Bible is a fable, heaven and hell are dreams, the benefits of the gospel are a delusion, faith in Christ and the resurrection is a mockery and a lie.
II. GODLINESS. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God;" but the wise man says that there is a God, and that "he is the Rewarder of all who diligently seek him." Godliness implies:
1. Faith in God as revealed in Christ Jesus. Here is the satisfaction of the soul.
2. Life ruled by the law of Christ, which is holy, just, and good. Here is the true ideal, and the Spirit, by the gospel, shows how it may be realized.
3. Prayer and holy endeavour to the end. We are not left to struggle alone, but have the Word to guide us, the promises to cheer us, the love of Christ to inspire us, that we may go from strength to strength, and that when called hence we may enter upon the blessed and perfect life beyond this world. Thus the godly witness for God. They testify to his being, for in him they live; to his character, for their aim is to be holy as he is holy; to his will and government, for they strive to do justly as he does justly, and to be merciful as he is merciful, who "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." All the good in themselves, in society, in the world, is from God. What has been is in agreement with what is now. The progress of all things is towards a perfect end. The cross, which overthrew paganism, and triumphed over the eagles of Rome, is destined to win greater and vet greater victories. Yet a little while, and the great voices of heaven shall cry, "The kingdoms of this world arc become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). - W.F.