That he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
I. THE COVENANT DELIVERANCE BESTOWED. We, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies. I shall reduce these to four.
1. They are delivered from the law. Not from the law as a rule of life in the hand of a Mediator, standing in the covenant of grace; but from the law as a covenant, under which all men are in their natural state (Romans 6:14, 15). They are delivered from the curse of it. From the commanding power of it. For how can it have a commanding power over them who are not under it? But they are as completely freed from it, as death can make a wife free from her husband.
2. From sin. Though they are not free from the indwelling of it in this life, and molestation by it, yet they are freed from its guilt of eternal wrath, by which it binds over the sinner to the revenging wrath of God. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." They are freed also from the dominion of sin. "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace."
3. From death. Our Lord's words are, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep My saying, he shall never see death." Lastly, from Satan, though not from molestation by him in this life; yet from under his power and dominion. Let us now —
II. Take notice of the covenant service, WHICH IS THE DESIGN OF THIS DELIVERANCE; and not only the design of the deliverance, but also of the deliverer: which, therefore, shall certainly take effect in the delivered. I take it up in three things, according to the text. They shall serve the Lord —
1. As sons serving their Father. Love to their Father will set them to work.
2. They shall serve Him universally. "Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all Thy commandments." They will serve the Lord internally and externally.
3. They will serve Him constantly. "I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes alway, even unto the end." Let us —
III. SHOW THE NECESSARY CONNECTION BETWIXT THE COVENANT DELIVERANCE AND COVENANT SERVICE.
1. None can serve the Lord in this right manner, till once in the first place, they are delivered: no more than a dead corpse can rise and serve you (Ephesians 2:1-10).
2. The soul being once thus delivered, will certainly serve the Lord " in holiness and righteousness before Him."
Use 1. The sanctification of sinners is the chief subordinate end of the covenant of grace, or of the gospel, standing next to the glory of God.
Use 2. They in whom the spirit of legalism, hypocrisy, and apostasy reigns, have no part nor lot in this matter. Lastly, as ever you would evidence yourselves God's covenant people, partakers of this deliverance, serve no more the devil and your own lusts.
Parallel VersesKJV: That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,