2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal.
Sermons
A Holy CallingSpeaker's Commentary2 Timothy 1:9
A Holy CallingJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:9
Christianity a Holy Religion2 Timothy 1:9
Effectual CallingT. Boston, D. D.2 Timothy 1:9
Effectual Calling, with its FruitsD. Noel.2 Timothy 1:9
God's CallH. C. G. Moule, M. A.2 Timothy 1:9
God's Plan for Man's SalvationSamuel Luke.2 Timothy 1:9
Grace and Free WillW. Baxendale.2 Timothy 1:9
Grace Does not Lightly EsteemAnon.2 Timothy 1:9
Salvation Altogether by GraceC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 1:9
Salvation by Grace2 Timothy 1:9
The People of God Effectually Called in TimeW. Wilkinson, B. A.2 Timothy 1:9
The Sovereign Grace of God2 Timothy 1:9
Address and SalutationR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 1:1-14
The Power of God in the Salvation Manifested by Jesus Christ to the WorldT. Croskery 2 Timothy 1:9-11
He now proceeds to expound in a glorious sentence the origin, conditions, manifestations of the salvation provided in the gospel.

I. THE MANNER IN WHICH THE POWER OF GOD HAS BEEN DISPLAYED TOWARD US. "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

1. The power of God has been displayed toward us in salvation. God is the Author of salvation in its most comprehensive sense, as including both its impetration and its application. The salvation may be said to precede the calling, as

(1) it has its origin in the "purpose of God,"

(2) as Christ has procured it by his death.

2. It has been displayed in our calling.

(1) The call is the act of the Father (Galatians 1:6).

(2) It is a "holy calling,"

(a) as its Author is holy;

(b) it is a call to holiness;

(c) the called are enabled to live holy lives.

3. The principle or condition of our salvation. "Not according to our works."

(1) Negatively. Works are not

(a) the moving cause of it, which is the love and favour of God (John 3:16);

(b) nor are they the procuring cause, which is the obedience and death of Christ (Romans 3:21-26);

(c) nor do they help in the application of salvation; for works done before our calling are not good, being without fairly; and works done after it are the fruits of our calling, and therefore not the cause of it.

(2) Positively. "But according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began." Salvation has thus a double aspect.

(a) It is "according to the purpose of God." It is a gift from eternity; for it was "before the world began," and therefore it was not dependent upon man's works.

(b) It is according to "his grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Though those to whom it was given were not in existence, they existed in Christ as the covenant Head and Representative of his people. They were chosen in him (Ephesians 1:4).

II. THE MANIFESTATION OF THIS PURPOSE AND GRACE IN THE INCARNATION AND WORK OF CHRIST. "But manifested now by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ."

1. The nature of this manifestation. It included

(1) the Incarnation; for the Son of God appeared in the fulness of time to make known the "mystery hid from ages," even himself - "the Hope of glory" - to both Jew and Gentile;

(2) the work of Christ, in the obedience of his life and the suffering of his death - in a word, the whole work of redemption.

2. The effects of this manifestation. "Who abolished death, and brought to light life and incorruptibility by means of the gospel."

(1) Its action upon death. It has abolished or made it of none effect. Death is regarded both in its physical and its ethical aspects.

(a) In its physical aspects, Christ has

(α) deprived it of its sting, and made it a blessing to believers (Hebrews 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:55), and (β) secured its ultimate abolition (Revelation 21:4).

(b) In its ethical aspects, as working through a law of sin and death, Christ has caused us "to pass from death unto life" in regeneration (1 John 3:14), and secured us from "the second death" (Revelation 2:11).

(2) Its revelation of life and incorruptibility.

(a) Life here is the true life, over which death has no power - the new and blessed life of the Spirit. This was, in a sense, known to the Old Testament saints; but Christ exhibited it, in its resurrection aspect, after he rose from the dead. It was in virtue of his resurrection, indeed, that the saints of the old economy had life at all. But they did not see it as we see it.

(b) Incorruptibility. Not in reference to the risen body, but to the life of the soul, in its imperishable qualities, in its perfect exemption from death (1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 21:4).

(c) The means of this revelation is the gospel, which makes this life perfectly known to men, as to its nature, as to the way into it, as to the persons for whom it is prepared or designed.

III. THE CONNECTION OF THE APOSTLE WITH THIS REVELATION OF LIFE. "For which I was appointed a herald and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." He rehearses his titles of dignity at the very time that he points to them as entailing suffering upon him. - T.C.







Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling.
I. We may, in the first place, INQUIRE WHEREIN THIS HEAVENLY AND HOLY CALLING IS, OR WHAT SUCH ARE REPRESENTED IN SCRIPTURE AS CALLED TO.

1. They are called, in the first place, it is said, "out of darkness into marvellous light."

2. And then they are said, again, to be "called to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ." But then they are called to the knowledge of Jesus as "the way" to eternal life, and to simple and humble faith in Him, and to see such glory in Him as shall lead them to find Him to be to them everything they can need, and possessed of everything they can receive and enjoy here and for ever.

II. BUT THEN HOW IS THIS ACCOMPLISHED? We say, by the Spirit; it is the Spirit's work. But then He condescends to work by means, though He can work without means or by means, as He pleases. Generally speaking, the means is the Word of God, applied by His own almighty power and influence to the soul.

III. BUT THEN HOW ARE WE TO TRACE THIS? The text teaches us to trace it, not to anything in the creature, or any thing that distinguishes those who partake of that heavenly calling from those who never partake of it, but to the sovereign and rich and distinguishing grace of the great Jehovah. "Not according to our works, but according to tits own purpose and grace which was given us" long before we were born or had any existence, "given us in Christ Jesus" our spiritual Head, "given us in Him before the world began." You will find this great change described by emblems, which imply altogether the incapacity of man to accomplish it, and imply that he can have nothing in him to deserve it or merit it. It is called, you know, in one place, a resurrection — what none but God can possibly accomplish.

(W. Wilkinson, B. A.)

I. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE GOSPEL-CALL.

1. We read in Scripture of an universal or general call, directed to all that live under the gospel. The invitation runs in the most comprehensive terms, that none may think themselves excluded. Salvation by faith in Christ was first proposed to the Jews, but upon their peremptory refusal it was offered without distinction to the Gentiles, who received it gladly; from which time the partition-wall has been broken down, and in every nation, they that fear God and work righteousness may be accepted of Him. But here, it must be carefully observed, the gospel-call is of a moral nature, and addressed to our reasonable powers. The blessed Jesus does not force men into His service by offering violence to their understanding and will; but convinces the former by setting the important truths of religion before it in a just and amiable light; and influences the latter by motives and arguments proper to dispose it to act agreeable to such conviction. If men complain their powers are broken, and that of themselves they cannot comply with the calls of God in His Word, He has directed them where to seek for necessary assistance, and has exalted His Son Jesus to give repentance, as well as remission of sins. So that if men finally refuse the gospel salvation, it will appear to have been owing more to a want of will than of power.

2. Besides this general call of the gospel, there is a more particular and personal call, when the Holy Spirit shines into the mind with such irresistible light as convinces the judgment, awakens the conscience, and engages the will to a compliance with every part of its duty'.

II. We are to inquire into THE AUTHOR OF EFFECTUAL CALLING, which my text says is GOD. If ministers had the tongues of angels, they could not of themselves prevail with sinners to believe and obey the gospel. By the representation the Scripture gives of the deplorable condition of fallen man, it is further evident that his effectual calling must he from God; for it says, that his under standing is darkened, and "alienated from the life of God." That his will and affections are under invincible prejudices against virtue and goodness, and strongly biassed to sin and folly; nay, that he is a slave to the devil, and carried captive by him at his pleasure. Is it not reasonable to conclude the necessity of a Divine agency, in order to accomplish the mighty change? Besides, effectual calling is compared in Scripture to those wonderful works that are peculiar to God Himself. It is called a New Creation, and a resurrection from the dead; nay, 'tis compared to the mighty power of God, which was wrought in Christ when He was raised from the dead (Ephesians 1:19).

III. We are now to consider THE PROPERTIES BY WHICH THIS CALL OF THE SPIRIT IS DESCRIBED.

1. It is secret, God does not call sinners wish an audible voice, but by secret and powerful impressions upon their souls.

2. It is a personal call; ministers draw the bow at a venture, but the Spirit of God directs the arrow to the breast, where it is to enter.

3. Effectual calling is under the direction of She sovereign will and pleasure of God, as to the time, and manner, and means of it. Some are called into the vineyard at the third hour; others at the sixth, and others not till the eleventh hour. The manner of God's calling men into the kingdom of grace is no less various. The like variety may be observed in the means of effectual calling. Some have been awakened by a sermon, others by remarkable providence. Some by reading the Holy Scriptures, or heel,s of devotion; and others by religious conversation, meditation and prayers.

4. Effectual calling is without any regard to our works: so says the apostle in the text, "He has called us not according to our works."

5. The effectual calling of the Holy Spirit is always successful.

IV. We are to consider THE FRUITS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EFFECTUAL CALLING. Before their conversion they were in a state of darkness, slavery, corruption and death; now they are delivered from all this misery, and made partakers of the privileges of the children of God. But the more immediate consequences of effectual calling may be comprehended under these three particulars.

1. The first is, regeneration, or the new nature.

2. Sanctification by the Holy Spirit is another consequence of effectual calling.

3. A certain prophet of salvation.

(D. Noel.)

I. I AM TO SHOW WHAT THE EFFECTUAL CALL IN THE GENERAL IS. All effectual call is opposed to an ineffectual one. An effectual call is the call that gains its real intent; that is to say, when the party called comes when called. To apply this to our purpose, all that hear the gospel are called; but,

1. To some of them it is ineffectual, and these are the most part of gospel-hearers, "For many be called, but few chosen" (Matthew 20:10). They are called, invited; but it is but the singing of a song to a deaf man that is not moved with it (Proverbs 1:24).

2. To others it is effectual, and these are but few (Matthew 20:16).

II. I COME NOW TO SHOW WHO THEY ARE THAT ABE THUS EFFECTUALLY CALLED. The text tells us that this effectual call is according to God's purpose and free grace in Christ.

1. It is men, and not fallen angels, that are called.

2. It is some men, and not others, that are called effectually, and these naturally in as bad and sinful a condition as others (Ephesians 2:12).

3. It is for the most part those who have the least advantages as to their outward condition in the world (1 Corinthians 1:26-28).

III. I PROCEED TO SHOW WHENCE AND WHITHER THEY ARE CALLED WHO ARE EFFECTUALLY CALLED.

1. Called out of the world that lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). And hence the Church has its name in the prophetical and apostolical writings, Ekklesia; i.e., a company called out from among others, a gathered congregation.

2. Called unto Jesus Christ, and through Him to the blessed society of another world.

IV. I PROCEED TO SHOW WHAT MAKES THE CALL EFFECTUAL TO SOME, WHEN IT IS NOT SO TO OTHERS. Negatively.

1. It is neither the piety, parts, nor seriousness of those who are employed to carry the gospel-call to sinners (1 Corinthians 3:7).

2. Neither is it one that uses his own free will better than another does (Romans 9:6). Positively. We may say in this case, "Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord."

V. IT MAY BE ASKED, WHAT NECESSITY IS THERE FOR THEIR BEING THUS CALLED? The necessity of it is manifest to all that know their natural case.

1. They are far off (Ephesians 2:13), far from God, and Christ, and all good (Ephesians 2:12). Hence the call is, "Draw nigh to God."

2. They are hard and fast asleep, and they need this call, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Ephesians 5:14).

3. If they were awakened they know not where to go to (Acts 2:37).

4. If they did not know where to go to, they are not willing to go thither (John 5:40).

5. If they are willing to go to Christ, yet being awakened, they dare not venture, guilt so states them in the face, "Thou saidst, There is no hope" (Jeremiah 2:25).

6. If they durst come, yet they cannot come, unless they be drawn (John 6:44).

VI. I SHALL MORE PARTICULARLY EXPLAIN THE NATURE OF EFFECTUAL CALLING. It is the work of the Lord's Spirit.

1. On the understanding.

(1)An illumination of the soul from Mount Sinai.

(2)An illumination of the soul from Mount Zion.

2. On the will of the sinner. This faculty of the soul needs also a saving work of the Spirit thereon, being fearfully depraved in the state of nature (Romans 8:7). Now, the Spirit's work on the will is, the renewing of it (Ezekiel 36:26).

(T. Boston, D. D.)

It is somewhat remarkable — at least it may seem so to persons who are not accustomed to think upon the subject — that the apostle, in order to excite Timothy to boldness, to keep him constant in the faith, reminds him of the great doctrine that the grace of God reigns in the salvation of men.

I. Very carefully let us CONSIDER THE DOCTRINE TAUGHT BY THE APOSTLE IN THIS TEXT.

1. The apostle in stating his doctrine in the following words, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," declares God to be the Author of salvation — "Who hath saved us and called us." The whole tenor of the verse is towards a strong affirmation of Jonah's doctrine, "that salvation is of the Lord." To say that we save ourselves is to utter a manifest absurdity. We are called in Scripture "a temple" — A holy temple in the Lord. But shall any one assert that the stones of the edifice were their own architect? No: we believe that God the Father was the architect, sketched the plan, supplied the materials, and will complete the work. Shall it also be said that those who are redeemed, redeemed themselves? that slaves of Satan break their own fetters? Then why was a Redeemer needed at all? Do you believe that the sheep of God, whom He has taken from between the jaws of the lion, could have rescued themselves? Can the dead make themselves alive?

2. We next remark that grace is in this verse rendered conspicuous when we see that God pursues a singular method — "Who hath saved us and called us." The peculiarity of the manner lies in three things — first, in the completeness of it. The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, "who hath saved us." Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. This completeness is one peculiarity — we must mark another. I want you to notice the order as well as the completeness: "who hath saved us and called us. What I saved us before He called us? Yes, so the text says. But is a man saved before he is called by grace? Not in his own experience, not as far as the work of the Holy Spirit goes, but he is saved in God's purpose, in Christ's redemption, and in his relationship to his covenant Head; and he is saved, moreover, in this respect, that the work of his salvation is done, and he has only to receive it as a finished work. In the olden times of imprisonment for debt, it would have been quite correct for you to step into the cell of a debtor and say to him, I have freed you, if you had paid his debts and obtained an order for his discharge. Well, but he is still in prison. Yes; but you really liberated him as soon as you paid his debts.

3. When a speaker desires to strengthen his point and to make himself clear, he generally puts in a negative as to the other side. So the apostle adds a negative: "Not according to our works." The world's great preaching is, "Do as well as you can, live a moral life, and God will save you." The gospel preaching is this: "Thou art a lost sinner, and thou canst deserve nothing of God but His displeasure; if thou art to be saved, it must be by an act of sovereign grace."

4. My text is even more explicit yet, for the eternal purpose is mentioned. The next thing the apostle says is this: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our worlds but according to His own purpose." Mark that word — "according to His own purpose." Do you not see how all the merit and the power of the creature are shut out here, when you are saved, not according to your purpose or merit, but "according to His own purpose"?

5. But then the text, lest we should make any mistake, adds, "according to His own purpose and grace." The purpose is not founded on foreseen merit, but upon grace alone. It is grace, all grace, nothing but grace from first to last.

6. Again, in order to shut out everything like boasting, the whole is spoken of as a gift. Do notice that, "purpose and grace which He gave us" — not "which He sold us," "offered us," but "which He gave us."

7. But the gift is bestowed through a medium which glorifies Christ. It is written, "which was given us in Christ Jesus." We ask to have mercy from the well-head of grace, but we ask not even to make the bucket in which it is to be brought to us; Christ is to be the sacred vessel in which the grace of God is to be presented to our thirsty lips.

8. Yet further, a period is mentioned and added — "before the world began." Those last words seem to me for ever to lay prostrate all idea of anything of our merits in saving ourselves, because it is here witnessed that God gave us grace "before the world began." Where were you then? What hand had you in it "before the world began"?

II. SHOW THE USES OF THIS DOCTRINE. I would that free grace were more preached, because it gives men something to believe with confidence.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE ORIGIN OF OUR SALVATION. Three facts claim our notice.

1. It is with God. The last clause of the preceding verse shows to whom the pronoun "who" refers — "According to the power of God." It is God the Father to whom the apostle alludes. The Bible everywhere preserves the distinction between the origin and the means of our salvation. The last it invariably ascribes to God the Son: the first it as invariably ascribes to God the Father. In Ephesians 2:4-7 we have a striking instance of this. In ver. 5, it is "with Christ"; ver. 6, "by Christ"; ver. 7, "through Christ." But all these expressions are introduced by the statement in ver. 4, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith tie loved us," etc. And so, in the text, the apostle says it is "in Christ Jesus"; but it originates so entirely with God the Father, that He is said to have "saved us." This Scripture distinction does away with the only apparently plausible objection that has been raised against the atonement of Christ — viz., that it represents the Father as unwilling to save sinners, or as needing to be appeased. The eternal Father, and the suffering Son, are united in one ascription of praise. In all our doctrinal statements, and in all our expressions of praise, let us give honour to both.

2. It is in His own purpose and grace. The idea of a purpose resulting from grace alone is prominent here. Our salvation not only originates with God, but in His gracious purpose alone.(1) It is not the result of necessity. Even acts of grace are sometimes necessary. The public voice demands them — the interests of the empire require them — the weakness of the government renders them expedient. Nay, the claims of justice itself may be satisfied, and grace steps forward. No voice in heaven — on earth — in hell — could have demanded salvation for guilty men. Believer, your damnation would not have tarnished His glory. Your salvation originated in His own purpose and grace.(2) It was not from the impulse of others. A generous heart is sometimes sluggish. It needs to be excited. One word from another has often stirred to benevolent action. Our merciful God needed no stimulus. It was not the offer of Jesus to die for us which roused Him to save us — ii only met His own gracious desire. No pleading of angels or of men impelled Him. His loving heart did not wait for either. A few years ago a vessel was wrecked on the coast at Scarborough. It was in the night. The signals of distress aroused the crew of the lifeboat; the men were on the cliff, looking out and pitying; but the danger was so great that they stirred not. As soon as it was light crowds gathered on the spot. One voice was heard. It was the voice of a stranger. Pointing to the wreck, it appealed to the lifeboat's crew. It reached the hearts of the men. The boat was launched and manned. Soon it returned, bearing the saved ones to the shore. About the same time another wreck occurred on the same coast. It was the dead of night. A daughter and her father were sleeping in the lighthouse. The signal of distress awoke the young woman. She saw the peril. No voice was near to stir her to the deed of mercy. She aroused her father. Solitary and unstimulated they entered the boat — the wreck was reached — the wrecked ones were borne back in safety. Both deeds were noble; but you see the difference. The impulse from another stirred the crew of the lifeboat. No impulse was needed to stir the heart of Grace Darling. All illustrations must fail us; but we are speaking of Him who needed no impulse — waited for none — but acted at once from His own gracious purpose.(3) It was not by the counsel of others. The phrase "His own purpose" here is expressive. The generous heart is sometimes perplexed. It needs no stimulus, but it needs counsel. Difficulties stand in the way of following out its own promptings. Its language often is — "Oh! tell me what I can do to save him." How gratefully it welcomes the happy thought which removes all its perplexities. David's heart yearned towards Absalom, but his kingly office stood in the way of indulging a father's wishes. How welcome were the counsels of the woman of Tekoah, when she threw herself in his way to plead for the guilty one. But God was His own counsellor in man's salvation. He had no counsellor in creation — no architect. He was His own. He has no counsellor in providence. He needs no minister to advise, or privy council to deliberate — He is His own. It was yet more true as to man's salvation. It is "the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath pursued in Himself" (Ephesians 1:9). He had no counsellor. No one can divide the honour with Him.

3. It is not according to our works. The apostle here intends to put good works in their right place; not to set them aside. By "good works" he invariably means not charities alone, however benevolent — nor prayers alone, however devout: he includes the whole works of a holy life. The daughter of Jairus was raised by Jesus. Think you not that, as the thrill of returning life passed through her veins, her first emotion would be that of love to Him who had rescued her from the grave, and that ever after she would be anxious to show it by every act which gratitude prompted? But Jesus raised her from His own gracious purpose. Her subsequent acts were the effect, not the cause.

II. THE MEANS OR METHOD OF OUR SALVATION. Three facts deserve attention.

1. It is in Christ. Paul teaches this: It is "according to His own purpose and grace"; but he adds, "which was given us in Christ Jesus." No views of God's purposes are right, then, which separate them from Christ Jesus. God has revealed no purpose except in Him. His very mercy, full as it is, knows no channel except through Him. Most men are ready to be saved — nay, wish it. The hard lesson for some to learn is, salvation by Christ. Strange that it should be so. The method which most honours God is the most suited to us.

2. It is by God's calling.

3. This calling is holy. The Apostle Paul has clearly explained his own meaning (2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14). We pause not now to reason with those who would make it a salvation to sin, and not from sin. The text points higher than this. It is not enough to say that we are saved in the way of holiness: our very calling is holy — holy in its design, and holy in its spirit. It breathes spiritual purity, as well as life into the soul — A portion of the pure atmosphere of heaven itself. There is no calling by God which is not a holy calling. He stamps His own image as His own mark upon every soul He calls and saves. There are three classes to whom we wish especially to apply these statements.(1) To those inquiring after the way to salvation. Inquirer; we compared our text to a miniature map of the way of salvation. Take care that you follow it. John Bunyan's "Pilgrim" found his way out of the City of Destruction easily enough when alarmed. But his own mistakes, and the misleadings of others, led him into many perils. Nor was it until Evangelist met him the second time, and set him right, that he found the wicket gate, and the only way to the Celestial City. Take this verse with you at the beginning of your journey. Study it well. It will preserve you from serious perils to your salvation.(2) To those who object to God's plan of salvation. Our reference now is to those who object on the ground of its supposed tendency. It is thought by some that a salvation so arranged will check a holy life. If rightly viewed, it stimulates to it. If holiness be not always the result of the doctrine, the cause of failure is not in the truth, but in the heart on which it falls. When the soft fertilising shower has fallen on your garden, old flowers give fresh signs of life, and new flowers begin to open their buds. Nay, the seed hitherto buried, but invisible appears. And yet in one part of the garden you look, and although the same pure rain has fallen upon it, and the same seed lies buried beneath it, no flowers appears. The cause is not with the rain, but the soil. It was the doctrine of salvation by grace which transformed the frivolous dissipated young soldier of Corfu into the consistent, holy, religious hero of the Crimea — Captain Hedley Vicars.

3. To those who despise or neglect this salvation. Does its simple easy method offend you? How is this? The accomplishment of great ends by the simplest means is usually regarded as the greatest achievement of wisdom. This plan is the result of Divine wisdom alone. No other wisdom could have devised it.

(Samuel Luke.)

Speaker's Commentary.
St. Peter (1 Peter 1:15) gives the full force of this epithet: "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."

(Speaker's Commentary.)

The voice of Divine grace prevailing upon the will. This is the ruling meaning of "call," "calling," etc., in the Epistles; while in the Gospels it means no more, necessarily, than the audible invitations of the gospel (see, e.g., Matthew 22:14).

(H. C. G. Moule, M. A.)

1. For the causes of it are holy; God, Christ, the Spirit, and the Word are all said to be holy. And the ministers, for the most part, are holy, who be instruments in this action.

2. And in regard of the end too, and the subjects from which we are called, and to which we be called, it is a holy calling. For first, We are called from darkness to light. Secondly, From uncleanness to holiness. Thirdly, From wicked men and devils, to the communion of saints and angels. Fourthly, We are called from earth that is polluted, unto heaven the holy mountain of the Lord.

3. In the last place, this is to teach such as are called on this manner to walk worthy of their calling. Is it a holy calling? live thou holily. Shall a prince plod in the mire, defile his clothes, and pollute his person, by the base offices of poor subjects? How unseemly then is it for these holy brethren.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

To a young infidel who was scoffing at Christianity because of the misconduct of its professors, the late Dr. Mason said, "Did you ever know an uproar to be made because an infidel went astray from the paths of morality?" The infidel admitted that he had not. "Then don't you see," said Dr. Mason, "that, by expecting the professors of Christianity to be holy, you admit it to be a holy religion, and thus pay it the highest compliment in your power?" The young man was silent.

There is sometimes the thought that grace implies God's passing by sin. But no — quite the contrary; grace supposes sin to be so horribly bad a thing, that God cannot tolerate it. Were it in the power of man, after being unrighteous and evil, to patch up his ways, and mend himself so as to stand before God, there would then be no need of grace. The very fact of the Lord's being gracious shows sin to be so evil a thing, that man, being a sinner, his state is utterly ruined and hopeless, and nothing but free grace will do for him — can meet his need.

(Anon.)

The late Rev. C. J. Latrobe visited a certain nobleman in Ireland who devoted considerable sums to charitable purposes; and, among other benevolent acts, had erected an elegant church at his own expense. The nobleman, with great pleasure, showed Mr. Latrobe his estate, pointed him to the church, and said, "Now, sir, do you not think that will merit heaven?" Mr. Latrobe paused for a moment, and said, "Pray, my lord, what may your estate be worth a year?" "I imagine," said the nobleman, "about thirteen or fourteen thousand pounds." "And do you think, my lord," answered the minister, "that God would sell heaven, even for thirteen or fourteen thousand pounds?"

Mrs. Romaine was once in company with a clergyman at Tiverton, who spoke with no little zeal against what he called "irresistible grace," alleging that "such grace would be quite incompatible with free will." "Not at all so," answered Mrs. Romaine; "grace operates effectually, yet not coercively. The wills of God's people are drawn to Him and Divine things,. just as your will would be drawn to a bishopric, if you had the offer of it."

(W. Baxendale.)

Henry IV., King of France, was in every point of view a great man. It is said that on an anniversary of his birthday he made the following reflection: "I was born on this day, and no doubt, taking the world through, thousands were born on the same day with me, yet out of all those thousands I am probably the only one whom God hath made a king, How peculiarly am I favoured by the bounty of His providence!" But a Christian, reflecting on his second birth, may, with greater reason, adore the free and sovereign grace of God.

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2 Timothy 1:8
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