That he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
I. The conveyance made in this covenant — "That He would grant unto us," &c.
II. The benefits secured to us in this conveyance. Let us then attend —
I. TO THE CONVEYANCE MADE IS THIS COVENANT. In this two things may be observed.
1. The parties in whose favour this conveyance is made. Us, the seed of Abraham. So in this gospel, the Covenant is held out to you all, as heaven's blank bond for grace and glory, that whosoever will, may fill his own name in it, by applying the same to himself in the way of believing.
2. The manner of the conveyance. It is by way of grant or gift, for so the word is. But observe the gift is to us, and so it is to be understood in respect of us, to be a free gift. In respect of the Lord Jesus, it is not so. All the benefits of the covenant, to be bestowed on His spiritual seed, are made over to Him on a valuable consideration. God gives us to serve our Redeemer, because Christ served Him perfectly in our room and stead.
II. To THE BENEFITS SECURED TO US IN THIS CONVEYANCE, even the sum of the benefits of the covenant of grace.
1. The principal benefit, which stands here under the notion of the end, namely, serving the Lord. "That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve Him." O that men would learn this lesson, that any service we do to God, if right service, it is a benefit of the covenant, bestowed On us, for Christ's sake. Then would they learn that God is not debtor unto them for it, but they are debtors to free grace on that very account. And the more they do for God, and the better that they do it, they are always the deeper in debt to free grace, (Ephesians 2:8, 9, 10). This benefit of the covenant, that we might serve Him, imports three things:
1. The privilege of God's service. God is a master of infinite glory and power, so that to be admitted into His service is the greatest privilege. How do men value themselves, in that they are of an earthly king's household, servants to one who wears a crown? But what a small thing is that, in comparison of this, to be the fellows of angels, in being taken into the service of Jehovah, the Lord of heaven and earth. It is a great part of heaven's happiness. "For there His servants shall serve Him."
2. Strength and ability for His service. "And I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in His name, saith the Lord." "He that abideth in Me, and I in him," saith Jesus, "the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing." "For His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness."
3. Acceptance of the service. For without faith it is impossible to please God. Concerning this covenant service, two things are further to be remarked.
1. The kind of service to God, in which sinners are instated by the covenant of grace; for there is a great difference of services. Now —
(1) This is not bond service, the service of slaves, who work their work for fear of their master's whip. "Wherefore we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father."(2) It is not hired service, so much work for so much wages. But —
(3) It is an honorary service. So the word used by the Holy Ghost, in the text, signifies to minister, which is an honorary kind of service, such as kings and priests had when put into their office. Thus Christ hath made His people kings and priests unto God. They are a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God, by Jesus Christ. Let us now attend —
2. To the qualities of the service. They are these:(1) It is universal, which the service of these remaining under the first covenant never is. "Then shall I not be ashamed, when [ have respect unto all Thy commandments." We are to serve Him in holiness and righteousness. These answer to the whole holy law as a rule of life. That grace is held forth in the covenant, which you are to embrace for sanctification, as well as justification. And it is a full covenant for that purpose, as for all other purposes of salvation.
(2) It is a perpetual and lasting service. The first covenant required a lasting service, but secured not man from breaking the service. But the second covenant secures the perpetuity of the service, that, however fickle the believer is, yet he shall serve the Lord all the days of his life. It imports that he shall serve the Lord for ever and ever, in heaven, after death. We are now to consider, secondly, the subordinate benefit, namely, deliverance from our enemies, which stands here as a mean in order to the end, namely, God's service. "That we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve Him." It is evident from the structure of the words, both in our version, and in the original especially, that the service is the end of the deliverance, and the deliverance the means of the service. As God said of Israel in Egypt, so doth He say of all His people; "Let My son go, that he may serve Me." They cannot serve the Lord till once they be delivered.This may also direct you in your management of this solemn occasion of grace and salvation.
1. If ever you would be capable to serve the Lord, seek that you may be delivered from your spiritual enemies, taken out of their hands who keep you in bondage.
2. If ever you would obtain that deliverance from your spiritual enemies, seek it in the covenant, in a way of believing. "And if the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed." Lastly, Seek that deliverance, that you may serve the Lord. Many seek deliverance by Christ, that they may live at ease in the embraces of their lusts, free from the fear of hell.
Parallel VersesKJV: That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,