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Dignities.

Dignities.

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Published by glennpease
BY T. LEWIS


" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are
the children of God : and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ." — Rom. viii. 16, 17.

" And hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and his
Father."— Rev. i. 6.
BY T. LEWIS


" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are
the children of God : and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ." — Rom. viii. 16, 17.

" And hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and his
Father."— Rev. i. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 16, 2013
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01/29/2014

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DIGITIES.BY T. LEWIS" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we arethe children of God : and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God,and joint-heirs with Christ." — Rom. viii. 16, 17." And hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and hisFather."— Rev. i. 6.In the preceding Lecture we reviewed that classof Privileges which may be characterized as Deliv-erances, when the sinner, through faith in Christ,is accepted and justified before God. The state of things with him is then changed ; he becomes abeliever, and enters on the possession of great andmanifold blessings. In other words, he is investedwith privileges of an order high and rich be-yond conception. It is impossible for us to embracethe whole, or even to come near to a just estimateof their number ; yet it may be profitable to makea selection of them for devout meditation and study.With this view, we now proceed to consider themore*c?M^ec^ Privileges of Believers, as including theirDignities, their Rights and Liberties, theirConsolations, their Heavenly Inheritance, andtheir Securities.DIGITIES. 43I. Their Dignities.Entering on tliis class of Christian Privileges, weare forcibly reminded of that gracious declaration,^''My thoughts are not rjour thoughts ; neither areyour ways my ways, saith the Lord : for as the
 
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my wayshigher than your ways, and my thoughts than yourthoughts." A guilty criminal — a rebel against hisPrince — one who has been righteously condemned,and on whom has passed the sentence of death, willthink himself sufficiently happy, if a free pardon beobtained, and his life given him. He expects not tobe admitted to the embrace of his sovereign, andelevated to rank and honour. This is not the man-ner of man. Enough, in such a case, if the crimi-nal escape condign punishment, and be set at large.But herein has the goodness of God infinite pre-eminence. His thoughts and ways towards hiscreatures are like himself, and worthy of his revealedcharacter. His works of grace especially are, indegree and excellence, far beyond all created powerto emulate. They are of a nature that could noteven be anticipated by beings like ourselves, norcan they be fully appreciated when declared. Inrecovering sinners, the grace of God stops not atremission of sins. It is not content with staying thepunitive hand of justice, it gives them also the handof friendship and favour ; it not only frees themfrom the rags of filth and wretchedness, but arraysthem in the best robe, and adorns them with badges44 CHRISTIA PRIVILEGES.of distinction; it does not satisfy itself with merelydelivering from going down to the pit, but rejoicesover them, to raise them to dignities, honours, andnear relationship to God. If we be asked to whathonours, to what relationship to God believers areraised; we answer, on scriptural authority, that theyare made — the Sons of God — Heirs of God, andJoint -HEIRS with Christ — Kings and PriestsUTO God. We say, then, that believers, or Chris-tians, are made — 
 
1. The Sons of God.To this dignity they are raised by an act of adoption; and this term is not simply a theological,it is a scriptural one. But there are two kinds of adoption: the one, general, relating to the visibleChurch, or to that indefinite number of mankindacknowledged of God as his worshipping people ;the other, special, relating only to a sinner's accep-tance with God, and his introduction to the privi-leges of his family through Christ. The first allu-sion we meet with in Scripture to the former, orgeneral kind of adoption, is the announcement atthe birth of Enos, Adam's grandson, when we aretold, " Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord," or, as it may be better rendered, "tocall themselves hy the name of the LorcV^ From thisannouncement, we learn that, in the midst of thegeneral apostacy, the knowledge and worship of thetrue God was retained in the family of Seth.Among the people of his line existed the Church;DIGITIES. 45and tliey are, no doubt, the same class of men whoare afterwards spoken of under the title of the" sons of God." We recognise this mode of adop-tion also in the covenant which God made withAbraham and his posterity, saying, "I will takeyou to me for a people, and I will be to you a God."Hence Moses, in his instructions to the people atlarge, thus addresses them, " Ye are the children of the Lord your God;" and this honourable distinc-tion is repeatedly ascribed to them under the OldTestament dispensation. But general adoption,such as this, was outward and indefinite in its cha-racter, indicating only the members of a visible

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