But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.…
1. We must so look on our misery as to remember our estate by mercy. The devil will labour to swallow up in sorrow, as well as to kill by carnal security. This teaches ministers how to dispense the Word in wisdom, and Christians how to carry themselves; they must not be all in one extreme, like those philosophers that are either always weeping, or else always laughing; but, if there be heaviness with them in the evening, they must look to that which may bring, joy in the morning; and as a man after hard labour delights to take the air m a garden, so must they, when they have humbled their souls, in viewing their mercy, refresh themselves in walking among those sweet flowers, even the benefits of God.
2. The Lord brings such as are furthest estranged from Him to be near unto Him. If the king pardon one whose goodwill is doubtful, and take him into his favour, it is much; but when one has lived in making attempts on his person, then to forget and to forgive were more than credible clemency. Yet this is what God has done.
(1) None, then, need despair of himself.
(2) No, nor of others, however bad.
(3) Comfort to those already converted.
3. A wonderful change is made in those who are in Christ.
(1) Nearness to God. God dwells with Christ; we, therefore, being in Him, must needs have communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
(2) And to our fellow Christians. Christ is the head of His members; we must therefore needs be near to those who are in affinity with Christ, as in wedlock.
4. It is by the blood of Christ that we are reconciled to God. When we think of Christ crucified and shedding of His blood, there we may see —
(1) Our sins punished to the full.
(2) Our sins pardoned to the full.
(3) Our sins crucified and mortified by His blood.
(4) The flesh crucified (Galatians 5:14).
(5) Ourselves crucified to the world, and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).
(6) There we behold how patient we should be in affliction, even to the death.
(7) There is the picture of our whole life, which must be a continual course of mortification.
(8) There is the seasoning of our death, that whenever it comes it shall be a sweet passage to a better life.
(9) There we see all evils turned to our good.
(10) Therein we see all good things purchased for us: grace, mercy, peace, eternal salvation, yea, a heaven of treasures and riches gathered for us, and that we are made partakers of, by a due view of meditation of Christ crucified.
Parallel VersesKJV: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.