Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
I. THE OBJECT OVER WHICH ANGELS REJOICE.
1. A sinner. Vile, apostate, rebellious man.
2. A sinner in a particular state of mind. A sinner that repenteth. What is repentance? It is a state of mind adapted to our condition: such a disposition as is suited to our state. It is an affecting discovery of our situation, our wants, our danger. It is a bewailing of our sad condition. With an almost broken heart the sinner comes to the Saviour's feet, crying, with emotions of heart never before felt, with emotions which no language can fully express — "O save me, I have sinned, I have sinned! O save me, or I perish!"
II. THE GROUNDS OF THIS STRANGE JOY.
1. We may trace it to love. Love, when fixed on a right object, and exercised in a right manner, is a source of happiness. It is so on earth; and love makes heaven chiefly what it is as a world of joy.
2. Another ground of this joy of angels over a repenting sinner is their delight in the Divine glory.
3. They behold in the repentance of a sinner the advancement of the great work of grace, and receive in him a new pledge of its final accomplishment.
III. THE PROBABLE REASONS FOR WHICH OUR LORD HAS MADE US ACQUAINTED WITH IT.
1. It was no doubt to vindicate His own conduct in calling and saving heinous transgressors.
2. It shows us that there is something in repentance which is pleasing to God — that there is something in repentance of an excellent character.
3. These things are recorded to comfort and encourage the broken heart.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.