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14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.


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14 Who gave himself for us. This is another argument of exhortation, drawn from the design or effect of the death of Christ, who offered himself for us, that he might redeem us from the bondage of sin, and purchase us to himself as his heritage. His grace, therefore, necessarily brings along with it “newness of life,” (Romans 6:4,) because they who still are the slaves of sin make void the blessing of redemption; but now we are released from the bondage of sin, in order that we may serve the righteousness of God; and, therefore, he immediately added, —

A peculiar people, zealous of good works; by which he means that, so far as concerns us, the fruit of redemption is lost, if we are still entangled by the sinful desires of the world. And in order to express more fully, that we have been consecrated to good works by the death of Christ, he makes use of the word purify; for it would be truly base in us to be again polluted by the same filth from which the Son of God hath washed us by his blood. 255255     “Christ expiated sin, not encouraged it; he died to make your peace, but he died to make you holy; ‘to purify a people to himself,’ (Titus 2:14.) The ends of Christ’s death cannot be separated. He is no atoner, where he is not a refiner. It is as certain as any word the mouth of God hath spoken, that ‘there is no peace to the wicked,’ (Isaiah 48:22.) A guilty conscience, and an impure, will keep up the amity with Satan and enmity with God. He that allows himself in any sin deprives himself of the benefit of reconciliation. This reconciliation must be mutual; as God lays down his wrath against us, so we must throw down our arms against him. As there was a double enmity, one rooted in nature, another declared by wicked works; or rather, one enmity in its root, and another in its exercise, (Colossians 1:21,) so there must be an alteration of state, and an alteration of acts.” — Charnock.




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