Why remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh…
I. THE AFFECTING CONDITION DESCRIBED.
1. Upon his understanding.
2. Consider this subject as it affects the conscience. "The whole world is guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).
3. As it affects the character. Where Christ is not, morality sheds but a dim, a feeble, and Often a delusive ray.
4. As it relates to the happiness of man in the present life. Without Christ, you leave man as a sufferer under all the unmitigated weight of trouble; you leave him to grapple, unaided and unsustained, with the fierce and uncontrollable calamities of life.
5. Trace its operation on the civil and religious institutions of human society.
6. Consider the relation of the subject to the immortal destiny of man. To live without Christ is dreadful; but oh! what must it be to die without Him?
II. THE DUTY OF CHERISHING A DISTINCT AND CONSTANT REMEMBRANCE OF THIS CONDITION.
1. The light of reason, and the custom of mankind, are sufficient to Show that we should cherish the grateful remembrance of eminent deliverances.
2. The express direction of Holy Scripture. On the Jewish Church such recollection was frequently and solemnly inculcated (Exodus 13:3; see also Deuteronomy 5:15).
3. We may appeal to the impulse of good feeling in every mind that is rightly, by which I mean religiously, constituted.
III. THE PRACTICAL EFFECTS WHICH SHOULD FLOW FROM THIS REMEMBRANCE.
1. This recollection should be productive of deep humiliation and self-abasement.
2. This recollection should excite sentiments of the liveliest gratitude for the happy change which has taken place in our condition.
3. This recollection should endear to us our native land, which the religion of Jesus has hallowed and blessed.
4. This recollection should engage us to demean ourselves in a manner answerable to the great change which, through the favour of God, has taken place in our moral situation.
5. This recollection should excite in our bosoms the tenderest compassion for those nations who are yet without Christ, deeply plunged in all the miseries of which we have been hearing.
6. Finally, this recollection will supply the amplest justification of missionary efforts, and urge us forward in the prosecution of missionary labours.
(J. Burns, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;