GOD AND GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY by John Gill


GOD AND GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
Jehovah’s Prerogative, And His Alone,
To Put Away The Sins Of His People
2 SAMUEL 12:13
by John Gill
(London: George Keith, 1752)
Thou hast given a standard to them that fear thee;
that it may be displayed because of the truth
— Psalm 60:4

SERMON 6
JEHOVAH’S PREROGATIVE AND HIS LOVE TO
PUT AWAY THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE

2 SAMUEL 12:13
—And Nathan said unto David, the Lord also hath put away
thy Sin; thou shall not die.
In the preceding chapter we have an account of the sin of David, which is
here recited. I need not name it, it is too well known; and from which we
may learn, what men, the best of men are, when left to themselves the
Lord’s people, not only before conversion, but even after they are called by
grace, and have tasted that the Lord is gracious. What awful instances are
Noah, Lot, Peter, and others. O how sinful is the heart of man, how deep
the iniquity in it! What wickedness is there! If even a good man is left to
himself, what will he not do?
Now, such examples as these are recorded, not for our imitation, but for
our caution and from hence we learn this useful lesson,
Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed, lest he fall
(

1 Corinthians 10:12).
And, moreover, these things stand upon record for the comfort and relief
of such who have backslidden, fallen into great sins, and are brought to
true repentance for them, such need not despair of the grace and mercy of
God; for the sin of David, notorious as it was, and though attended with
such dreadful aggravations, yet, according to the message brought him in
our text, God put it away, that he should not die.
David for a considerable time, as it appears, was under great stupidity of
mind; quite insensible of the evil he had committed; did not appear to have
any remorse of conscience, or at least, not to be humbled before God for
his sin, and make an acknowledgment of it, or discover any true repentance
for it, not for a year, or thereabouts, as is plain from the history; but God
will not suffer sin to lay upon any of his people, and especially not upon.3
such an eminent servant as David was, unrebuked, without taking notice of
it. The Lord will rebuke man for his iniquity some way or other; either by
impressing a sense of guilt upon his conscience, by some awakening
providence, or by the ministry of the word, or by sending his servants to
reprove for it, and convince of it; which was the case here. He sent Nathan
the prophet: one whom David was familiar with, and who had been
brought up in his court; a very proper person to be a messenger to him; a
man that knew how to speak to a king, and address him in a decent and
becoming manner; as appears from the context. He does not take upon him
to speak in an abrupt, or use him in a rough way; but by a fable, an
apologue or parable, leads him into the nature of his sin, and fulfils the
message that God had sent him with. He delivers out a parable unto him,
concerning two men in one city; a rich man and a poor man. The rich man
had many flocks and herds; the poor man had but one ewe lamb. A traveler
came to the rich man’s house, and he thought fit to entertain him; but
instead of taking a lamb or kid out of his own flock, he takes the poor
man’s lamb, and dresses that for his guest. So Nathan represents the case
to David; who was so enraged, that this man should behave in such a.
manner, that he at once pronounces him worthy of death; As the Lord
liveth, the man that hath done this thing, shall surely die; and he shall
restore the lamb fourfold: upon which Nathan says to him boldly, Thou art
the man. Thou art the man that hast done this, or what is equivalent unto
it: and then sets forth his sin in its proper colors; threatens, in the name of
God, what should be done to him; that the sword should not depart from
his house, because he had shed innocent blood; that one of his own family,
a son, should rise up and ravish his wives and his concubines. David was
then smote to the heart, and cried out, as in the former part of the verse, I
have sinned against the Lord. “I own my sin, acknowledge it, and repent
of it. I am sorry for it.” It is but a short confession that he here makes, but
it was a full one; attended with brokenness of heart, contrition of soul, real
contrition and sincere repentance; as it is plain from the fifty-first Psalm,
that penitential Psalm, which was penned on this occasion. Nathan, who
was thoroughly satisfied with the genuineness of David’s repentance, being
under the impulse of the Divine Spirit, and directed by the Lord, then said
unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die. He
hath put away thy sin; he will not impute it to thee, or place it to thy
account: he will not charge thee with it, or punish thee with death, though
thou deservest to die. Thou shalt not die, either a bodily, spiritual, or
eternal death. It is as much as if he had said to him, Thy sin is forgiven.4
thee. He had authority from God to say this to him for his comfort, under
the conviction and distress of mind which he now was fallen into. So
sometimes God makes use of a gospel minister for the declaring of
pardoning grace and mercy to his people. We have an instance of this in the
sixth chapter of Isaiah; when the prophet, sensible of his iniquity, confessed
it. with a great deal of concern and trouble; and, perhaps, in some sort of
despondency, said,
Woe is me, for I am undone! I am a man of unclean lips, and I
dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have
seen the King, the Lord of Hosts (

Isaiah 6:5).
Now to relieve the prophet, under a sense of his impurity and the
consequences of it, one of the Seraphim (who may be considered as an
emblem of a gospel minister), flew to the altar, and took a live coal from
thence (an emblem of the sacrifice which our Lord Jesus Christ has made
for sin), and applied it unto the lips of the prophet, saying, Thine iniquity is
taken away and thy sin purged. Thus gospel ministers are made use of, in
the hand of the blessed Spirit, for the relief of his people under a sense of
sin, to direct them to the pardoning grace and mercy of God to sinners.
It is the will and pleasure of Jehovah, that when his dear children are
distressed on account of sin, that they should be comforted; and the
ministers of Christ are charged to do this.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, to her very heart, and cry unto
her that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s
hand double for all her sins (

Isaiah 40:2).
In this light, I apprehend, we are to understand the words of the text: from
which I observe the following things.
I. That it is the work of God, and his only, to put away the sin of his
people. The Lord also hath put away thy sin.
II. That those whose sins are put away by the Lord, shall not die;
either a spiritual or eternal death, The Lord hath put away thy sin, thou
shalt not die.
I. It is the Lord’s work, and his only, it is his act, and deed, to put away sin
from his people. Of this, they themselves are sensible; and therefore, under.5
a sense of sin, apply to him for the removal and putting of it away: hence
Job says,
I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou Preserver of
men?—Why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away
mine iniquity? (

Job 7:21);
plainly intimating, that no other could pardon and forgive, or take away his
sin, but the Lord himself, against whom he had sinned: and hence David,
when he was under a strong and full conviction of the sin he had been
guilty of, here referred unto, in the fifty-first Psalm, that penitential Psalm
penned on this occasion, entreats, that God would
blot out his transgressions, and cleanse him from his sin
(

Psalm 51:1, 2);
which is the same thing as in the text, putting away his sin from him. This
is the Lord’s act, and his only.
And sometimes we may observe, Jehovah puts this plea into the months of
his people, and encourages them to ask it of him: thus he speaks to
backsliding Israel,
Take with you words and turn to the Lord; say unto him, take away
all iniquity, and receive us graciously (

Hosea 14:2).
And the Lord does do so: as he did to Joshua the High Priest, represented
as clothed with filthy garments, to whom he said,
I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee; and I will clothe thee
with change of raiment (

Zechariah 3:4).
That we may the better understand what is contained in this part of our
text, which concerns the act of God in putting away the sin of his people,
we shall consider,
1. What that is which is put away. Sin.
2. What is meant by putting it away. And then,
3. Shall show that this is God’s act and deed, and his only to put away
sin. Nathan the prophet does not take it upon himself: he speaks of it
clearly as the act of God, the Lord hath put away thy sin..6
1. What that is which the Lord puts away from his people, and that is
iniquity. “The Lord hath put away thy sin.” Sin, which is that abominable
thing that he hateth; which he cannot bear the sight of. “He is of purer eyes
than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity (

Habakkuk 1:13): so far
is he from taking any delight and pleasure in sin; and therefore to put it
away, must be most agreeable to himself. It is loathsome and abominable in
the sight of his people; they loath it, and they loath themselves for it: it is
what is hateful to them; the things which they do, they hate, as the apostle
did (

Romans 7:15). Wherefore, to put away this from them, which is so
abominable to God, so loathsome and hateful to themselves, must be a
desirable thing; quite agreeable to them.
The Lord has put away thy sin: sin, which sets men at a distance from
God. Man was in fellowship with his Maker, and continued so till sin
entered; then he was driven out of Eden’s garden, that pleasant spot, and a
state of separation from God took place. In this state are all men, by
nature; and they must have eternally continued so, they must have been
everlastingly separated, and heard that dreadful sentence, Depart ye
cursed, into everlasting fire (

Matthew 25:41), had not sovereign grace
interposed.
Men, even all men, through sin, are in a state of estrangement, alienation
and distance from God: even God’s elect themselves, as in a state of
nature, are so; but they are reconciled, made nigh by the blood of Christ,
and brought into open and near communion with God, through the power
of divine grace upon them. And yet, even those who are brought into such
nearness, and have communion with him, may, through sin, be set at a sort
of distance from him; though not separated from him with respect to union
and interest; yet with regard to sensible communion and fellowship they
may
Your iniquities have separated between you and your God; and
your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear
(

Isaiah 54:2).
Now to have that put away, that whisperer, which separates chief friends,
must be a desirable thing by the saints themselves.
The Lord hath put away thy sin. Sin, which is a burden, an heavy burden,
too heavy for the saint to bear; he groans under the weight of it: we groan,
being burdened, says the apostle (

2 Corinthians 5:4). Not he only, and.7
other ministers of the word but all the people of God in common. They
groan under the weight of indwelling sin: especially when it breaks forth
into practice in any open way and manner. Then do the iniquities of God’s
people pass over their heads as an heavy burden, too heavy for them to
bear. This produces distress of soul, and inward confusion; such as is
intolerable, without discoveries of pardoning grace and mercy; for a
wounded spirit who can bear? Now to have sin put away, which is the
cause of all this, must be a very desirable thing.
Sin is the cause of all soul sorrow and distress to God’s people, as it was to
David. It was the occasion of the breaking of his bones, and by reason of
this he had no rest; no soundness in his flesh, because of his sin (

Psalm
38:3). His loins were filled with a loathsome disease, and he was in great
distress of soul on that account; which makes even the most holy man upon
earth to say,
O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of
this death? (

Romans 8:24).
Now to have sin, the cause of all soul sorrow and distress, put away, is a
desirable thing.
“The Lord hath put away thy Sin.” The sin which he had been guilty of and
which was only chargeable upon himself, was not to be attributed to God,
who had suffered it, or to Satan, who had tempted him to it: for it was his
own sin; for “every man is drawn aside of his own lust and enticed.” He
had no one to charge with it but himself. Thy sin, which thou hast owned
and acknowledged to be thine, confessed it with sorrow, humiliation,
repentance, and contrition: thy sin, who hath said, my sin is ever before me
(

Psalm 2:3); thy sin the Lord has put away. And all this may, in the first
sense, respect the sin he had been guilty of with respect to Uriah; yet it is
not to he restrained hereunto, but takes in all other sins. David had an
application of pardoning grace and mercy, with respect to all his sins, and
therefore he calls upon his soul, and all that is within him, to bless the
Lord, who had forgiven him all his iniquities (

Psalm 102:1,2,3): and
indeed, where one sin is forgiven, all are forgiven. God forgives all manner
of iniquity for Christ’s sake;
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses from all sin
(

1 John 1:7).
But,.8
2. What are we to understand by putting away sin? “The Lord hath put
away thy sin, thou shalt not die.”
This is not to be understood of removing sin as to the being of it. God
does not put away the sin of his people in this sense, in the present state of
things. He could do it if he would: that is not to be doubted. He could have
dispossessed the Canaanites from the land of Canaan at once; but he chose
not to do it: he drove them out by little and little. And he could, at first
conversion, clear his people of all those corruptions of nature which are in
them; for this he does at death, when this earthly house of their tabernacles
is dissolved; this house that is infected with leprosy when the timber and
stones are removed, and carried into the grave; all sin is removed, and
there is nothing left but the spirits of just men made perfect. I say, he that
can do it at death, could do it at first: but that is not his pleasure. No. As
he left the Canaanites in the land for wise reasons, so he does the
corruptions in the hearts of his people for if there were no corruptions in
them, there would be no trial of their faith. Well then, God does not put
away sin, the being of sin from his people: it dwells in them, it did in an
apostle; sin dwelleth in me (

Romans 7:17).
A most awful soul-deception some are under, who imagine they are free
from sin. What will they say to that text which must stare them in the face:
if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us (

1 John 1:8).
God puts away the sin of his people; but not as to the being of it; no, that
continues. There is such a thing as the weakening of the power of sin in
them; or there is a putting off the old man, though there is not a putting
him away. A putting him off, according to the former conversation, and a
putting on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness (

Ephesians 4:24); but then this is their own act, under the
influence of the Spirit of grace. They are exhorted to put off the old man,
and to mortify the deeds of the body; and, to encourage them, it is said,
If ye through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall
live (

Romans 8:13).
But what I am speaking of, and what our text speaks of, is what is God’s
work entirely. The Lord hath put away thy sin. The promise is, sin shall
not have dominion over you (

Romans 6:14); and it is made good: but
sometimes sin overcomes them; and it had been so with poor David. It.9
could not then be said, that the Lord had put away his sin, as to the being
of it; for perhaps his lust never was stronger than at that time. He found
what the apostle said, to he his own experience (though the apostle never
sinned as this good man did). I see
another law in my members warring against the law of my mind,
and brining me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my
members (

Romans 7:23).
Poor David, with a witness, was brought into captivity to the law of sin
and death, through the prevalence of indwelling corruption. It could not be
said of him then, “ the Lord hath,” as a past act, “ put away thy sin;” i.e. as
to the being of it, as it never was stronger in him than it had now been.
Nor is this to be understood of the taking away a sense of sin from him. He
had been in a strange stupor of mind for many months; insensible of the evil
he had been guilty of; but now, awakened with the message of the prophet,
attended with the power and Spirit of God, he had such a lively sense of sin
as perhaps he never had before. O what a heart-felt sense of it must he
have had when he said, I have sinned! Now his sin stared him in the face,
and his conscience was stung with it: he had a strong sensation of it indeed.
Now he “found no rest in his bones because of his sin.” The hand of the
Lord pressed his conscience sore in impressing his sin on his mind, which
impression was a lasting one.
But this must be understood as a discovery of pardoning grace and mercy
to him. The Lord sometimes comes and says to a poor sinner, laboring
under a sense of sin,
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own
sake, and will not remember thy, sins (

Isaiah 43:25).
Or, as our Lord Jesus Christ himself said to the man sick of the palsy,
Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee (

Matthew 9:2),
to backsliders Jehovah is pleased to say,
I will heal your backslidings (

Hosea 4:4).
And sometimes he sends such a message as this by a servant of his, as he
did to David by Nathan; the Lord hath put away thy sin; that is, he will
never charge it upon thee, nor punish thee for it..10
Various are the ways the Lord takes to put away the sins of his people: I
will just run them over. The first of these is, his determination, and
resolution not to impute sin unto them. This was a resolution and
determination taken up in his divine mind from everlasting.
God was in Christ reconciling the world (of his chosen people) unto
himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them
(

2 Corinthians 5:19).
It was his determined will, not to impute their trespasses unto them; that is,
not to charge them upon them, or place them to their account. And if God
will not, who dare say any thing to the charge of God’s elect? O happy
man, whom the Lord will not charge with sin!
“Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is
covered; blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not
iniquity” (

Psalm 32:2)
This is Jehovah’s first step the resolution of his mind from eternity was, not
to reckon sin to his people, or charge them with it.
Then he has promised, in the everlasting covenant of grace,
that he will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and
their iniquities, he will remember no more (

Hebrews 8:12).
And this promise of grace is made known in all ages for the comfort of his
people; for,
to him (that is, to Christ) give all the prophets (all from the
beginning of the world) witness, that through his name, whosoever
believes in him, shall receive remission of sins (

Acts 10:43).
And he has proclaimed his name,
The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and
abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin (

Exodus 33:6,7).
Moreover, he set forth his own Son to be a propitiation for sin, or
foreordained him (as the word signifies) to be a propitiatory sacrifice for
the sins of his people: and in consequence of this purpose, he sent him, in
time, to be this propitiation, that is, to make reconciliation for their sins,
and bring in an everlasting righteousness..11
In order to this, he took off all the sins of his people from them, and put
them upon Christ: transferred them all upon him; so, saith the Scripture,
the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all (

Isaiah 53:6).
And so made him sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him.
This mystery and wonder of divine grace is emblematically held forth to us
by the High Priest putting all the iniquities and all the transgressions of the
children of Israel upon the head of the scape goat. It is said,
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat,
and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and
all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head
of the goat, and shall send them away by the hand of a fit man into
the wilderness; and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities
unto a land not inhabited (

Leviticus 16:21, &c.).
Now just so, Jehovah put all the sins of his people upon his Son, who
agreed to it, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself: as it is said,
Once, in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by
the sacrifice of himself (

Hebrews 9:26).
To put away sin, to abolish it, to make it null and void, as the word
signifies, so that it shall have no power to condemn those for whom Christ
suffered: hence there is said to be no condemnation to them that are in
Christ Jesus (

Romans 8:1). Yea, Christ, by the sacrifice of himself, has
so put away sin, that it shall be no more. It is finished; the body of sin is
crucified and destroyed (

Romans 6:6): and it is put at a distance,
removed from them; the Lord removed the iniquity of that land in one day
(

Zechariah 3:9). The iniquities of all his people in that one time, when
Christ bore their sins in his own body on the tree, and made full satisfaction
to divine justice for them, were removed as far as the East is from the
West, to the utmost distance; signified by the scape goat bearing the sins of
Israel into the wilderness, and a land uninhabited: removed so as not to be
seen by the avenging eye of God’s justice. Having regard to this work of
Christ, God sees no iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel
(

Numbers 23:21): when their sins are sought for, they shall not be
found, because he has pardoned those whom he hath reserved (

Jeremiah
1:20); which is the same thing as putting away sin. He has cast them.12
behind his back, and into the depths of the sea, so as never to be
remembered any more; that is to say, never to be charged upon them. They
are justified by Christ’s righteousness and satisfaction, from all things from
which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. All their iniquities
are pardoned, they are justified, and so shall most certainly he glorified.
These are the steps Jehovah has taken for the putting away the sins of his
people: Now,
3. This is God’s own act and deed. None can put away sin but himself.
There is a sense indeed, in which it may and is, put away by others; thus,
sin may be put away by the civil magistrate’s punishing a malefactor for his
sin; so tile judges of Israel were directed, by various laws, to put away the
iniquity of Israel; as may be seen in the thirteenth chapter of Deuteronomy,
where mention is made of a false prophet, who, upon conviction, was to be
put to death; and it follows,
so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee
(

Deuteronomy 17:5).
Put the evil man away, and so put away the guilt of his sin from the nation,
on which it would have laid, had they not punished the man with death, as
the law required.
So, with regard to idolatry, and other sins. When a person was convicted
of idolatry, he was to be put to death (

Deuteronomy 17:5); and it
follows,
“so shalt thou put the evil away from among you”
(

Deuteronomy 17:7).
So the man that dealt presumptuously, and would not hearken nor submit
to the sentence of the court of judicature; he was to be put to death, that so
they might put away evil from Israel. Hence, you see, there is a sense in
which sin may be put away by man; the civil magistrate.
So also sin may be put away by heads of families: by not conniving at it, by
severely rebuking for it, and checking it. It was more than once suggested
by Job’s friends, when they thought him a had man, that he had connived at
sin in his family; hence says Zophar,
If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away; and let not wickedness
dwell in thy tabernacle (

Job 11:14)..13
What is meant by putting away sin is, not suffering wicked men to dwell in
his house. So likewise Eliphaz, says,
If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put
away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (

Job 22:23):
thou shouldest not connive at sin, but put it away. In this sense, sin may be
put away by man.
Also, as it respects the forgiveness of sin. One man may forgive another.
Good men ought to do it: as they have received pardon themselves, they
ought to forgive others, for Christ’s sake; nor can any expect forgiveness
at the hands of God, that will not forgive the iniquities of their fellow
Christians.
Ministers of the gospel, they are to remit sin; but this is to be understood
only declaratively, publishing the full pardon of sin to the Lord’s people:
otherwise, it is not in their power to forgive sin; they can do no more than
Nathan did. He does not say, “I have put away thy sin;” but the Lord, hath
put away thy sin. The utmost the ministers of the gospel can do, is to
declare, that whosoever believes in Christ, shall receive the remission of
sins. To attempt more than this, is Antichristianism: this is what Antichrist
assumes, and is a part of what is delivered by that mouth which speaketh
blasphemies (

Revelation 13:5).
It is the Lord’s act, and his only, to put away sin in that sense which has
been considered. It is his prerogative, against whom it is committed, whose
righteous law is broken; and who is that Law-giver, who is able both to
save and to destroy. The word used in the Hebrew language for
forgiveness of sin signifies, a lifting of it up. Now this is what God only
can do. Sin is such a heavy thing, God only could lift it up, and put it upon
his Son; and he only can lift it up from the conscience of a sinner laboring
under a sense of it. A man himself cannot do it; and all the friends he has in
the world cannot lift it up from the conscience, when it lies heavy there. It
is God’s work; all that man can do will not move it. Neither the blood of
bulls nor of goats, under the legal dispensation, could take away sin. All
humiliation, repentance, tears, duties, and the like, cannot take away sin;
no, it is the Lord alone that must do it: souls, therefore, are directed to him
for the putting it away. He does (as before observed) put words in their
months, and bids them say,
Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously (

Hosea 14:2)..14
This is God’s act, and it is a past act too; so Nathan speaks of it as such,
“the Lord hath put away thy sin.” He does not say the Lord will, but the
Lord hath put away thy sin. Forgiveness of sin is a past act.; it was made in
eternity, as it respects a non-imputation of it; and, as it regards the
removing and putting it upon Christ, this is God’s act; and this is a past act
of sovereign mercy, an act of special grace and abundant goodness. Yea, I
may add, it is an act of justice, as it is founded on the blood, righteousness,
and sacrifice of Christ;
if we confess our sins, he is .faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (

1 John 1:9).
Now I am to observe,
II. That those whose iniquities the Lord puts away, shall not die. This
may, in a sense, respect a corporal death, which David might be in some
fear of; for the sin he had committed required such a death. He had shed
blood; and it is said,
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed
(

Genesis 9:6).
The sin of adultery, which he had been guilty of, demanded death;
The man that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the
adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death
(

Leviticus 20:10).
Now though David, being in so high a station as he was, and so greatly
esteemed of the people, might have nothing to fear from a court of
judicature, or of being called to account, or dealt with according to the
rigor of the law of God, yet he might be in fear that God would, by his own
hands, strike him dead, as he did Nadab and Abihur, Corah, Dathan, and
Abiram, or Annanias in the New Testament; for though the magistrate
might not do it, he knew God could do it, and he might think he would do
it; therefore, says Nathan, “The Lord hath put away thy “sin, thou shalt not
die,” a corporal death.—I do not see there is any reason to omit this sense.
And we may observe, the Lord’s people, though they do indeed die a
corporal death, good men, as well as bad men, “Our fathers, where are
they?” yet those from whom God hath put away their sins, do not die this.15
death as a penal evil. Though they die, they do not die under the curse; the
sting of death is taken away, and death is a blessing to them.
Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord (

Revelation 14:13).
But this may rather have reference to spiritual and eternal death. Those
whose iniquities the Lord has put away shall not die a spiritual death: they
may be in such circumstances as look like it; things that remain may seem
ready to die; they may reckon themselves as free among the dead; but true
grace cannot die, it is an immortal seed, a well of living water, springing
up unto everlasting life (

John 4:14). Nor shall such persons die the
second death; that shall have no power over them:
whosoever believeth in me (says Christ) shall never die; believest
thou this? (

John 11:26).
Those, whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are put away, in the sense
we have been speaking of, they shall never die an eternal death—But, to
draw to a conclusion,
A soul that is made sensible of sin, whose conscience is burdened with it,
and wants to have it removed, and to be comforted, let such make their
application to God; for it is he only that can put away sin. And when souls
are brought to a true sense of sin, make an ingenuous confession of it, and
have true repentance unto life that needs not to be repented of, these have
a great deal of reason to hope and believe that God will put away their sins;
that he will manifest his pardoning grace unto them, as he did to David.
When he owned he had sinned, then he had a message brought him from
the Lord, by one of his servants; “The Lord hath put away thy sin, thou
shalt not die.”
And when souls are favored after this manner, with applications of
pardoning grace and mercy to them, what obligations do they lay under to
love the Lord, who has shewn so much love to them. What reason have
they to be thankful unto him, and with David, to call upon their souls, and
all that is within them, to bless his holy name, who has forgiven them all
their iniquities, who hath redeemed their life from destruction, and
crowned them with loving kindness and tender mercies.

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