Luke 12* Christ reproves the interpreters of the law. (1-12) A cautionagainst covetousness The parable of the rich man. (13-21)Worldly care reproved. (22-40) Watchfulness enforced. (41-53) Awarning to be reconciled to God. (54-59)1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universalprovidence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when inperil, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty.Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of thesparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of thedisciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall beowned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. Todeter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways,we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they maythus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it,will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them,will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling,penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is fardifferent from the determined enmity that is blasphemy againstthe Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it willnever be repented of. 13-21 Christ's kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world.Christianity does not meddle with politics; it obliges all to dojustly, but wordly dominion is not founded in grace. It does notencourage expectations of worldly advantages by religion. Therewards of Christ's disciples are of another nature.Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against;for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of thisworld. The things of the world will not satisfy the desires of asoul. Here is a parable, which shows the folly of carnalworldling while they live, and their misery when they die. Thecharacter drawn is exactly that of a prudent, worldly man, whohas no grateful regard to the providence of God, nor any rightthought of the uncertainty of human affairs, the worth of hissoul, or the importance of eternity. How many, even amongprofessed Christians, point out similar characters as models forimitation, and proper persons to form connexions with! Wemistake if we think that thoughts are hid, and thoughts arefree. When he saw a great crop upon his ground, instead ofthanking God for it, or rejoicing to be able to do more good, heafflicts himself. What shall I do now? The poorest beggar in thecountry could not have said a more anxious word. The more menhave, the more perplexity they have with it. It was folly forhim to think of making no other use of his plenty, than toindulge the flesh and gratify the sensual appetites, without anythought of doing good to others. Carnal worldlings are fools;and the day is coming when God will call them by their own name,and they will call themselves so. The death of such persons ismiserable in itself, and terrible to them. Thy soul shall berequired. He is loth to part with it; but God shall require it,shall require an account of it, require it as a guilty soul tobe punished without delay. It is the folly of most men, to mindand pursue that which is for the body and for time only, morethan that for the soul and eternity. 22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give wayto disquieting, perplexing cares, #Mt 6:25-34|. The argumentshere used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God,which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in ourstate, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxiouspursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, illbecomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when wefrighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and putourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value thebeauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Letus then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christis our Master, and we are his servants; not only workingservants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait fortheir lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready toreceive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension toheaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and hisreturn to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time ofhis coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If menthus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for oursouls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man ofthe house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief wouldcome. 41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in hisword, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorantas not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and manythings to be right which he neglects; therefore all are withoutexcuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensationwould occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendencyof Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; butthe effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. Therewas to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that tookplace, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far differentfrom that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must enduresufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach thegospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We shouldbe zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions willbe stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yetsinners will be converted, and God will be glorified. 54-59 Christ would have the people to be as wise in theconcerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let themhasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If anyman has found that God has set himself against him concerninghis sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling theworld to himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and nowis our time.
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