But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.
I. A STATE OF NATURE.
1. Moral darkness.
2. Spiritual blindness and deafness.
3. Moral and spiritual death.
4. Enmity to and alienation from God.
II. A STATE OF GRACE.
4. Unclouded faith and hope.
III. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A NATURAL MAN.
1. The depravity of his heart and the sinfulness of his unholy affections are stronger than the impulses of his soul.
2. He is destitute of proper knowledge.
3. He is satisfied with this world. He has not raised his affections above temporal joys.
4. He is ignorant, blind, naked, condemned in sin, the slave of his lusts, the servant of Satan, the heir of hell.
IV. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPIRITUAL MAN.
1. He is penitent. The sins of the past he hopes are forgiven, the sins of the present he daily implores God may be pardoned.
2. He is humble. He is not self-complacent over discharge of known duty.
3. He is dependent upon God.
4. He is a man of active Christianity. He locks up, and is ever moving onward and upward.
5. He is a man of love and forbearance. He wears God's image, looks like His Son, has the spirit of an angel, and the praise for his God of a seraph.
V. THE CHANGE OF OUR CONDITION as affected by the application of the text. It intimates that a certain time we were without Christ (vers. 11 and 12). "At that time ye were without Christ" refers to the condition of the heathen. "They were without God and hope in the world." The science of Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, and Rome had discovered much as to things pertaining to the present life; but in respect of a hereafter all was enveloped in gross darkness. The text intimates the mode of the great change. Having asserted that those "who sometimes were afar off are brought nigh to God," the apostle affirms that this is accomplished in Christ, and through the application of His blood. Therefore —
1. The blood of Christ is the means, when preached, through which sinners are brought near to God. "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
2. "By the bleed of Christ, as shed upon the cross, atonement was made, sin was expiated, and a way opened for God to draw near to the sinner, and the sinner to God," This is a proposition of Andrew Fuller. "God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (or by a sacrifice for sin) condemned sin in the flesh." "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" This proposition and this passage are a summary of gospel truth.
3. We are brought into sacred nearness to God, and enter a state of salvation through the blood of Christ. This is applied spiritually, and is the true remission of sins. Divine grace applies spiritually the Divine Redeemer's blood, to cleanse from sin.
(W. C. Crane, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.