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Joy in Believing.

Joy in Believing.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

JAMES ALEXANDER, D.D.



ROMANs V. 11. — "And not only so, but we also joy in God,
tbrough our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received
the atonement."

JAMES ALEXANDER, D.D.



ROMANs V. 11. — "And not only so, but we also joy in God,
tbrough our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received
the atonement."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 02, 2013
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JOY I BELIEVIG.JAMES ALEXADER, D.D.ROMAs V. 11. — "And not only so, but we also joy in God,tbrough our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now receivedthe atonement."If you will take the trouble to look at tlieargument whicli runs like a strong threadthrough all the preceding verses, you will seethat our apostle goes on w^ith a chain or seriesof assertions, uttered in the name of renewedpersons. For example, verse 1, " We havepeace with God through our Lord JesusChrist ; " verse 2, " We have access by faith un-to this grace wherein w^e stand ; " " we rejoicein hope of the glory of God ; " verse 3, " We joy[glory] in tribulations also;" verse 9, "Weshall be saved from wrath through him ; " verse10, " We shall be saved by his life." These are258 JOY I BELIEVIG.glorious asseverations, containing tlie whole of our redemption ; but before going into anotherdivision of the discourse, as he does in the 12thverse, instituting his immortal parallel betweenthe first Adam and the second Adam, betweenthe offence and the grace, between condemna-tion and salvation, he utters a burst of satisfac-tion, as he surveys the goodly prospect, andthus expresses the joy of a soul which acceptsChrist : " And not only so, but we also Joy inGod, through our Lord Jesus Christ, throughwhom we have now received the atonement."Our margin says reconciliation, and in thissense the word atonement was doubtless em-ployed. The same Greek word is elsewheretranslated reconciliation. The joy here spokenof is that high exulting joy, when the soul is
 
lifted up with complacency in the blessing pos-sessed. It is the word employed to signify aproud joy, such as brooks no silence or conceal-ment, but would fain cry aloud, clap the hands,and shout : '' We exultingly rejoice and gladlyglory in God." This joy is founded on a facthere recorded, " By whom we have now receivedthe atonement or reconciliation." "We, i. e., be-JOY I BELIEVIG. 259lievers, have received the reconciliation. Thisis a summing up of all the bright and stupen-dous things contained in the foregoing versesof this chapter. All comes to this, We are re-conciled, and hereupon the great joy. It is mydesign to draw your thoughts to this subject :THE JOY OF THE SOUL WHICH EECEIVES THE EE-COCILIATIO. And we shall find it best toview the experience doctrinally, and the doc-trine experimentally. Then is experience safe,and zeal not without knowledge, when it isdistinctly authorized by definite statements of theological truth ; and then is doctrine effica-cious, savoury, and fruitful, when it entersinto the emotions of the heart, the testimoniesof the conscience, and the determinations of the will. You almost anticipate the divisionforced on us by this exposition of the words.We must consider : I. The fundamental truth," We have received the atonement." II. Theemotion resting on it, " We joy in God throughour Lord Jesus Christ."I. The FUDAMETAL Truth, We have re-ceived the atonement^ or reconciliation. This is260 ^^^ ^^ BELIEVIG.the corner-stone of theology, so far as regardspersonal salvation. To be reconciled was the
 
great thing about v^hich there were suspense andwonder in the universe. All the Gospel, thegood news, the glad tidings, is in this one word.Reconciliation, This is the message, sent bythe word of preaching to be believed, that Godis reconciled ; and he that believes this is saved.In all this it is implied that there was a differ-ence or alienation. This controversy must besettled before any amity can take place betweenthe contracting parties. The problem was, howGod could be just, and yet justify the ungodly.This is a difficulty very lightly treated by thosewho have low thoughts of God's holiness and justice, and consequently slight thoughts of sin,its guilt, wrath, and punishment. All this ar-gument of Paul, and the uniform current of Scripture, go to show that there was wrath tobe removed. Many deny this altogether, re-move from God every thing punitive and vindi-catory, and bring in the whole human race asalready objects of God's favour. But all theprevious parts of this epistle represent sinnersas justly exposed to the anger of the righteousJOY I BELIEVIG. 2(51Judge. Vain are all attempts to show thatthe only reconciliation needed was the reconcili-ation of the human soul to God. The Scrip-tures most clearly and repeatedly show thatGod must be reconciled to us. We are to bebrought near by an expiatory w^ork, a sacrifice,a vicarious obedience, a propitiation, or what issummarily named an atonement. Whatevermay be the precise rendering of the word here,we must admit that all reconciliation grows outof atonement. And as this is true in respect of the nature of God, and the demands of his law,so it is strikingly true of the soul's experience.Conscience is a stern and mighty vindicator of the claims of divine justice. Working in allmen, but most mightily in those who haveChristian light, Conscience assures the sinnerthat he is lost. The law of commandments isapplied to the heart and life. ow the inward

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