John 8* The Pharisees and the adulteress. (1-11) Christ's discoursewith the Pharisees. (12-59)1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused theprisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal ofthe Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, andyet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame thefaults of others, are especially concerned to look tothemselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christattended to the great work about which he came into the world,that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but tosave. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, byshowing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing themtheir sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convinceand convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate'soffice. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than theymeet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take thatupon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent heraway, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those whohelp to save the life of a criminal, should help to save thesoul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christdoes not condemn. Christ's favour to us in the forgiveness ofpast sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more. 12-16 Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, andChrist is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens thewhole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What adark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it bewithout Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those whofollow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be leftwithout the truths which are necessary to keep them fromdestroying error, and the directions in the way of duty,necessary to keep them from condemning sin. 17-20 If we knew Christ better, we should know the Fatherbetter. Those become vain in their imaginations concerning God,who will not learn of Christ. Those who know not his glory andgrace, know not the Father that sent him. The time of ourdeparture out of the world, depends upon God. Our enemies cannothasten it any sooner, nor can our friends delay it any longer,than the time appointed of the Father. Every true believer canlook up and say with pleasure, My times are in thy hand, andbetter there than in my own. To all God's purposes there is atime. 21-29 Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if theydie in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world,but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that hisdoctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste.But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to thegrace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ's gracewill be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit ofChrist's grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us fromsin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine isgiven, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say,Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, anexcellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannotacknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will notthis suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honourhim as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of theworld, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall knowby their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he alwaysspake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed thehighest honours to himself. 30-36 Such power attended our Lord's words, that many wereconvinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged themto attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey hiscommands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing,they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of hisword and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strengthlay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feelno other grievances than those that molest the body, anddistress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their libertyand property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, ordamage done to their houses, and they understand you very well;but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and libertyby Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and thehazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange thingsto their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man whopractised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which wasthe case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers usfreedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makesfree are really so. But often we see persons disputing aboutliberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinfullust. 37-40 Our Lord opposed the proud and vain confidence of theseJews, showing that their descent from Abraham could not profitthose of a contrary spirit to him. Where the word of God has noplace, no good is to be expected; room is left there for allwickedness. A sick person who turns from his physician, and willtake neither remedies nor food, is past hope of recovery. Thetruth both heals and nourishes the hearts of those who receiveit. The truth taught by philosophers has not this power andeffect, but only the truth of God. Those who claim theprivileges of Abraham, must do Abraham's works; must bestrangers and sojourners in this world; keep up the worship ofGod in their families, and always walk before God. 41-47 Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murderthemselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends toruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of everykind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by hiscalling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin.He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, withwhom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The speciallusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of themind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice,enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, hereunderstand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of menby Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and whichthe Jews opposed. 48-53 Observe Christ's disregard of the applause of men. thosewho are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. Godwill seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In theseverses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness ofbelievers. We have the character of a believer; he is one thatkeeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of abeliever; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though nowthey cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet theyshall shortly be where it will be no more forever, #Ex 14:13|. 54-59 Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour.Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Suchas know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are puttogether, #2Th 1:8|. All who rightly know anything of Christ,earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawnof the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see hisrising. "Before Abraham was, I AM." This speaks Abraham acreature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might hemake himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, #Ex3:14|; it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and theLast, ever the same, #Re 1:8|. Thus he was not only beforeAbraham, but before all worlds, #Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1|. As Mediator,he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lambslain from the foundation of the world, #Re 13:8|. The LordJesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, andRedemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died byfaith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesusfor blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power hepassed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what weknow and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham'sfaith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when theSaviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies,and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.
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