Isaiah 61

* The Messiah, his character and office. (1-3) His promises of

the future blessedness of the church. (4-9) The church praises

God for these mercies. (10,11)

1-3 The prophets had the Holy Spirit of God at times, teaching

them what to say, and causing them to say it; but Christ had the

Spirit always, without measure, to qualify him, as man, for the

work to which he was appointed. The poor are commonly best

disposed to receive the gospel, #Jas 2:5|; and it is only likely

to profit us when received with meekness. To such as are poor in

spirit, Christ preached good tidings when he said, Blessed are

the meek. Christ's satisfaction is accepted. By the dominion of

sin in us, we are bound under the power of Satan; but the Son is

ready, by his Spirit, to make us free; and then we shall be free

indeed. Sin and Satan were to be destroyed; and Christ triumphed

over them on his cross. But the children of men, who stand out

against these offers, shall be dealt with as enemies. Christ was

to be a Comforter, and so he is; he is sent to comfort all who

mourn, and who seek to him, and not to the world, for comfort.

He will do all this for his people, that they may abound in the

fruits of righteousness, as the branches of God's planting.

Neither the mercy of God, the atonement of Christ, nor the

gospel of grace, profit the self-sufficient and proud. They must

be humbled, and led to know their own character and wants, by

the Holy Spirit, that they may see and feel their need of the

sinner's Friend and Saviour. His doctrine contains glad tidings

indeed to those who are humbled before God.
4-9 Promises are here made to the Jews returned out of

captivity, which extend to all those who, through grace, are

delivered out of spiritual thraldom. An unholy soul is like a

city that is broken down, and has no walls, like a house in

ruins; but by the power of Christ's gospel and grace, it is

fitted to be a habitation of God, through the Spirit. When, by

the grace of God, we attain to holy indifference as to the

affairs of this world; when, though our hands are employed about

them, our hearts are not entangled with them, but preserved

entire for God and his service, then the sons of the alien are

our ploughmen and vine-dressers. Those whom He sets at liberty,

he sets to work. His service is perfect freedom; it is the

greatest honour. All believers are made, to our God, kings and

priests; and always ought to conduct themselves as such. Those

who have the Lord for their portion, have reason to say, that

they have worthy portion, and to rejoice in it. In the fulness

of heaven's joys we shall receive more than double for all our

services and sufferings. God desires truth, and therefore hates

all injustice. Nor will it justify any man's robbery to say, it

was for burnt-offerings; and that robbery is most hateful which

is under this pretence. Let the children of godly parents be

such, that all may see the fruits of a good education; an answer

to the prayers for them, in the fruit of God's blessing.
10,11 Those only shall be clothed with the garments of

salvation hereafter, that are covered with the robe of Christ's

righteousness now, and by the sanctification of the Spirit have

God's image renewed upon them. These blessings shall spring

forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the earth. So duly, so

constantly, and with such advantage to mankind, will the Lord

God cause righteousness and praise to spring forth. They shall

spread far; the great salvation shall be published and

proclaimed, to the ends of the earth. Let us be earnest in

prayer, that the Lord God may cause that righteousness to spring

forth among us, which constitutes the excellence and glory of

the Christian profession.

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