They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head: they that would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully…
I. PREMISE TWO OR THREE THINGS FOR CLEARING OF THE WAY.
1. When God made man, He bestowed all manner of goods upon him, that were necessary to make him live comfortably here, and to make him eternally happy hereafter.
2. Satan, by this time, having fallen, like a star, from heaven to earth, filled with envy, enters into a resolution, if it were possible, to commit a robbery upon man, and to strike at God's sovereignty through man's side; and accordingly —
3. Satan prevailed upon our first parents, and beguiled them; and thereby the covenant of works was broken.
4. The covenant of works being broken, and man having entered into a rebellion against God with the devil, he justly forfeited all the spiritual and temporal goods that God bestowed upon him, and likewise lost his title to a happy eternity, and became the enemy's vassal; and thus the enemy robbed him of all the goods that God bestowed upon him.
5. The eternal Son of God having a delight in the sons of men, and beholding them in this miserable plight, enters upon a resolution that He will take on man's nature, and that He will in man's nature be avenged upon that serpent that hath beguiled our first parents, and spoiled them of their patrimony. And accordingly, in the fulness of time, He comes, and is manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and to recover all the stolen goods.
II. INQUIRE INTO THE ROBBERY THAT WAS COMMITTED BY SIN AND SATAN, BOTH UPON GOD AND UPON MAN.
1. To begin with the robbery that was committed upon God. It was the devil's great drift, by tempting man to sin against God, to rob God of His glory.
2. Inquire into the goods that wore stolen from man by sin and Satan. Hero we may see a melancholy scene. The glory of the human nature was quite marred by sin. Sin hath robbed us of heaven, and made us heirs of hell and wrath. In short, sin hath disordered and disjointed the whole creation.
III. MAKE IT APPEAR THAT OUR GLORIOUS IMMANUEL MAKES A RESTITUTION OF WHAT WAS TAKEN AWAY BOTH FROM GOD AND FROM MAN. He restores unto God His due, and restores unto man his loss.
IV. INQUIRE INTO THE TIME WHEN CHRIST DID ALL THIS: WHEN DID HE RESTORE THAT WHICH HE TOOK NOT AWAY? (Galatians 4:4, 5).
V. INQUIRE INTO THE REASONS OF THE DOCTRINE. Why was it that our Lord restored what He took not away? Why did He restore these goods that sin and Satan took away both from God and man?
1. Because it was His Father's pleasure.
2. Because it contributed very much to enhance His mediatorial glory.
3. Because of His regard to the holy law of God.
4. Because His delights were with the sons of men.
5. That He might "still the enemy and the avenger," that is, the devil.
1. Is it so that Christ restores what He took not away? Then, hence see, what a generous Kinsman we have of Him; He never took away anything from us, and yet He restores all to the spoiling of His own soul, and pouring it out unto death.
2. This doctrine serves to let us see into the meaning of (Romans 8:3). "He condemned sin." Why, or how did He it? Why, sin is a robber, and is it not just that a robber should be condemned to die? Well, Christ condemns sin, and yet He saves the sinner.
3. Hence see what a criminal correspondence it is that the generality of the children of men have with sin. It is dangerous to haunt and harbour robbers; and yet will you keep a robber in your bosom.
4. If sin be such a robber of God and man, then see how reasonable the command is, to crucify sin, and to mortify the deeds of the body.
5. From this doctrine see what way Christ takes in order to carry on His mediatory work of making peace betwixt God and man.
6. From the doctrine we may likewise see, that the believer in Christ is the wisest man in the world, however the world may look upon him as a fool. Why? because he comes to Christ, and gets restitution of all the losses he suffered either by the sin of the first Adam or his own.
7. See the folly and madness of the sin of unbelief (John 5:40).
8. See the folly of the legalist, that goes about to make restitution to God, and to himself, of what was taken away by sin. But consider, that "by the works of the law no flesh living can be justified"; you will never repair your own losses, nor the dishonour you have done to God, but only by coming to Christ, who is "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Parallel VersesKJV: They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.