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The Biblical Illustrator II Cor 5

The Biblical Illustrator II Cor 5

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 12, 2011
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THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR II COR 5CHAPTER V.Veb. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of tWs tabernacle weredissolved. — The certain knowledge of the future : — 1. The description which theapostle makes of the present state in which we now are. 2. His description of the<3HAP. v.] II. CORITHIAS. 213future state, in which the faithful shall be hereafter. 3. The certainty of thathappy state. The one habitation is certain as the other. But what certainty isihere of such things, may some say ? May we not abuse ourselves, if we look forthat which no man ever saw ? Is not this to build castles in the air ? The apostleanswers to such surmises, here, in my text : " We know that we have a building of God," cfec. We have solid grounds for this persuasion that it amounts to aknowledge. I. He saith it was a thing known ; a matter that was demonstrableBY PROPER ARGUMETS. It was not a probable opinion, but an undoubtedconclusion.There were sound arguments which led them to this unmovable belief. What wereIhey ? 1. For they knew that Jesus their Master, who made discovery of thesethings to them, had certain knowledge of them himself, and could not deceivethem. He was not like to many idle persons, who draw maps of such territories asthey never saw. 2. They knew likewise that this person, who could not butspeak the truth, had promised to purified souls, that they should see God (Matt.V. 8). How can we behold, then, the glory of God, unless all our powers bemigntily widened beyond the highest of our present conceptions. 3. Of thischange they saw an instance in our Lord Himself. 4. Accordingly they knew thatHe did ascend up to heaven forty days after His resurrection (Acts i. 10, 11). 5.For they knew withal that their very bodies should be made like unto His (Johnxvii. 24). 6. And this truly they knew, as well as anything else, that He lives forevermore, and can make good His kind intentions and gracious promises (Rev. i.18).7. Especially they knew by the change that He had wrought in their souls that Hecould easily do as much for their bodies. It was no harder for Him to give aluminous body than it was to illuminate their minds ; to turn this earthly houseinto an heavenly than to fill the spirits of common men with the spirit and wisdomof God. 8. To conclude, they knew likewise there had been some alterationalready made, upon occasion in the body of some of them, and that others also
felt an higher elevation of their soul. As for the body, St. Stephen's face was seenas it had been the face of an angel (Acts vi. ult.). Let us believe the testimony of men so well assured. For to think that there is no habitation for us in theheavens, because we were never there, is as foolish as if a man that had neverstirred beyond the door of his cottage should imagine that all the goodly buildingslie hears of at London are but so many clouds in the air, and have no real being.Let us but a httle awaken our souls to look beyond this house of clay. II. It isCOSIDERABLE THE THAT THIS WAS A MATTER GEERALLYKOW ; A THIG WHEREITHEY WERE ALL AGREED. They had a knowledge and not a mere opinion. Andyetan opinion that is not private, but common, carries no small authority with it. Weare all very much overawed by that which is universally received. They were allsatisfied that this was the very truth of God, there was no dispute or divisionamong them about this doctrine. It was the common faith of God's elect ; thecommon hope of their heavenly calling, and, in one word, the common salvation•{Titus i. 1, 2, 4 ; Eph. iv. 4 ; Jude 3). It was not the belief of St. Paul alone. Thisshows that they had no superficial thoughts of the life to come, but that they wereexceeding serious in the beUef of it. III. They knew these things so clearlythat THEY MADE THEM THE AIM TO WHICH THEY DIRECTED ALLTHEIR DESIRES ADEDEAVOURS. This particle "for " sends our thoughts back to the words before,andgives us an account of that character which we there find of the Apostles of ourLord, who " looked not at the things which were seen, but at the things which werenot seen." They were so persuaded of this happy state hereafter that it was alwaysin their eye. They slighted and trod upon all other things in compare with this.A great token of the sincerity of their belief ; for otherwise they would not havebeen so foolish and unthrifty as not to have made some present temporal benefit of that great knowledge and power wherewith they were endowed. IV. But more thanthis ; they were so sure of this building of God in the heavens that they endured.all sorts of miseries and pains in this life merely in expectation op it. v.They were so sure of this that it seemed to them as if they had this house notMADE with hands I PRESET POSSESSIO. They spcak as men that belong totwocountries, and have estates in this and in another kingdom. Such men say, "Wehave a building." Though they cannot dwell in both their houses at once, yet theycall them both theirs. They had a right and title to it. They had good deeds and
evidences to show for it, which proved that it was settled on them by the wUl andtestament of Jesus Christ their Lord and Master, to which they had the witness olthe Spirit in their hearts. They might challenge it as their own, and lay hold oneternal life, which words instruct us that we must work in this earthly housewhereiu214 THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR. [chap, v^we dwell. We are in a place of labour and not of idleness and sport. {Bp.Patrick.) The nature of asmrance and the way to attain it : — I. I am to open to-TOU THE BEAUTY AD PROPKIETY OF THE SEVERAL METAPHORSHERE USED. II. I AMOW TO SHOW YOU THE FORCE OF THE APOSTLE's ARGUMET THATTHE ASSURACE OFETERAL GLORY IS THE BEST SUPPORT UDER ALL TEMPORALCALAMITIES. FOT thiS-reason we faint not, for we know that if this earthly house of our tabernacle weredissolved we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in theheavens. 1. This assures the soul that all the afflictions of this mortal Ufe are butlight and transient, and when longest and heaviest, if once compared with thateternal weight of glory which succeeds them are as nothing. 2. During the presentshort space of suffering this assured hope of a blessed immortality revives andentertains the soul with the most delightful views of it. 3. This assurancecontributes further to the support of the afflicted mind as it disposes it to a meek and quiet resignation to the will of God. III. To make some general observationsO THE DOCTRIE OF ASSURACE, WHICH IS FOUDED O THEWORDS OF THE TEXT. 1. Iobserve that an assurance of heaven is attainable in this life. 2. I would observethat it is not easily nor suddenly to be attained. It requires much labour, self-denial, and vigilance. 3. I would further observe that there is no small danger of mistaking in this matter. Mention some of those sources from which falseassurance arises. (1) It is often the effect of wrong notions in religion, such as theJews had, who must needs think themselves the favourites of heaven, because theywere the children of Abraham. (2) A too sanguine and confident temper of mindoften betrays men into these false hopes. (3) This false assurance often flowsfrom gross ignorance, even when there is little or no bigotry or superstition in the

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