Journal – August 1, 2021
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
GOD’S SUPREME REVELATION (Part 1)
Vs. 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. God the Father, by way of eminency was the peculiar author of both law and gospel; and the Apostle proceeds at once to give various instances of the difference there was between the law and the gospel as to their revelation from God. He spoke in time past, that is “of old, formerly;” this denotes some space of time, which comprises the whole space of time from the giving out the first promise unto that end which was put to all revelations of public use under the Old Testament. But more especially the Apostle hath respect unto the period commencing with the giving of the law by Moses in the wilderness. He had no contest with the Jews about the first promise, and the service of God in the world built thereon, nor about their privilege as they were the sons of Abraham; but only about their present church privilege and claim under the law of Moses. He spoke in time past unto the fathers: that is to the faithful of theJudaical church, from the days of Moses unto the ceasing of prophecy in the days of Malachi.
But in these last days, God has spoken to us. These last days have special reference to the last days of the Judaical church and state, which were then drawing to their period and abolition. This was the time when God specially spoke by His Son. That is the time intended by the Apostle is clear if we consider to whom God spoke; He hath spoken unto us, that is the members of the Judaical church who lived in the days of the personal ministry of Christ, and afterwards under the preaching unto that day (ch2:3). The Jews were very apt to think that if they had lived in the times of the former prophets, and had heard them delivering their message from God, they would have received it with cheerful obedience. But the Apostle reminds them that in the revelation of the gospel, God had spoken to themselves, the very thing they so much desired.
In former days God spoke to them at various times and various ways that is by many parts. God gradually implemented one thing after another, as the Church could bear the light of them. There were four principal times in which God spoke: 1. Unto Adam, in the principal of the Seed; subservient to this were the particular revelations made to Seth, Enos, Enoch, Lamech, and others before the flood. 2. Unto Noah after the flood, in the renewal of the covenant and establishing of the Church in his family; subservient to which were the revelations made to Melchisedec and others before the call of Abraham. 3. Unto Abraham, in the restriction of the promise to his seed, confirmed in the revelations made to Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and others of their posterity. 4. Unto Moses, in the giving of the law and the erection of the Judaical church in the wilderness; unto which there three principal subservient revelations; to David and Solomon, which was particularly designed to perfect the revelation of the will of God concerning the Old Testament worship; to the prophets, after the division of the kingdom unto the captivity; and to Ezra, with the prophets that assisted in the reformation of the church after its return from Babylon. In opposition to this gradual revelation, the Apostle intimates that now, by Jesus the Messiah, God had at once begun and finished the revelation of His will, according to their own hope and expectation.
But God spoke not only at various times, but in various ways. Now this hath respect to the various ways God had of revealing Himself to the prophets; by dreams, visions, inspirations, voices, angels, every way, with an equal evidence of being from God. Also, to the way of His dealings with the fathers by the prophets; by promises, by threats, by gradual discoveries of His will, by special messages, by public sermons, and the like. In opposition to this the Apostle intimates that the revelation of God and His will by Christ was accomplished in one way only, and in one manner only, namely by His preaching the gospel, who was anointed by the Spirit without measure.
Vs.2a Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son. The last difference or instance in the comparison insisted on by the Apostle is this: that of old God spoke “in the prophets,” but now “in the Son.” The prophets were but instruments to give out what they had received from God. The Word of the Lord was “in the hand” of this or that prophet. That which made any revelation to be prophecy was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which implanted in the minds of the prophets, and gave forth by their tongues or pens, that which God would utter in them and by them. In answer unto this speaking of God in the prophets, it is asserted that in the revelation of the gospel, God spoke “in His Son.” This is the main hinge in which all the arguments in the Apostle due turn. There is a difference in the Son of God revealing the will of God in His Divine Person to the prophets and the Son of God incarnate revealing the will of God immediately to the Church. This is the difference that is insisted upon by the Apostle. The principal comparison is between God speaking in Moses and God speaking through Christ. (See chapter 3:5-6). The just privileges belonging to Moses above all other prophets lay in three things: 1. He was the law giver or mediator by whom God gave that law, and revealed that worship in the observation of which the very being of the Judaical church did consist of; 2. That God dealt with him in a. more familiar and clear manner as to the way of His outward dealing than with any other prophet; 3. In that the revelation made unto him concerned the ordering of the whole house of God, when the other prophets were employed only about some particulars built on his foundation.
But the revelation of the mind of God in and by the Son, is compared with and preferred before that of Moses, and that because:
- The Lord Jesus Christ, by virtue of the union of His Person was from the womb filled with a perfection of gracious light and knowledge of God and His will.;
- The commission, mission, and furnishing of the Son as incarnate and Mediator, with abilities for the declaration of the mind and will of God unto the Church, were particularly from the Father. For the whole work of mediation, He received command from His Father, and what He should speak, according to which command He wrought and taught. That “blessed tongue of the learned,” whereby God spoke in Him and by Him the refreshing word of the gospel unto poor weary sinners, was the gift of His Father;
- That Jesus Christ in His Divine nature as He was the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father, not by a voluntary communication, but eternal generation, had a omnisciency of the whole nature and will of God, as the Father Himself hath, their will, and wisdom being the same;
- The Lord Jesus Christ discharged the office and work of revealing the will of His Father in and by His human nature, that nature wherein He dwelt among us; “for although the Person of Christ—God and Man—was our Mediator, yet His Human nature was that wherein He discharged the duties of His office;
- The human nature of Christ, as He was in it “made of a woman, made under the law,” was from the instance of its union the Power of the Son of God “a holy thing”—“Holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners”—and radically filled with all that perfection of habitual grace and wisdom which was or could be necessary in the discharge of that whole duty which owed unto God;
- There was a peculiar endowment with the Spirit, without and beyond the bounds of all comprehensible measures, that He was to receive as the great Prophet of the Church, in whom the Father would speak and give out the last revelation OF Himself.
In these and many other things of the like importance, had the Father speaking in the Son the preeminence above His speaking to Moses and the prophets.
- That the authority of God speaking in and by the penmen of Scriptures is the sole bottom and foundation of our assenting unto them with faith divine and supernatural;
- God’s gradual revelation of Himself, His mind and will to the Church, was a fruit of infinite wisdom and care towards His elect;
- We may see the absolute perfection of the revelation of the will of God by Christ and His apostles, as to every end and purpose whatever for which God ever did or ever will in this world reveal Himself, or His mind and will. Having declared the Son to be the immediate revealer of the gospel, the Apostle now proceeds to declare His glory and excellency—both that which He had in Himself before He entered upon the office of Mediator, and that which He received upon His investiture with that office.
“Prove it” Catechism Question 108
Q: Who are to be baptised?
A: Believers only.
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. . .