He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:…
I. THE APOSTATE TREADS UNDER FOOT THE SON OF GOD. The expression is metaphorical, and presupposeth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and affirmeth that He, though the Son of God, is trodden under foot. To tread a thing under foot is —
1. To undervalue it, if it be of any worth.
2. To vilify it.
3. To vilify it very much.
4. To express this contempt by casting it upon the ground and trampling upon it, which is the greatest debasement, and is sometimes an expression of utter detestation.Thus Jezebel was thrown down upon the earth, and trampled upon by Jehu's horses. To vilify and debase things that are base is no fault; and to despise unworthy men is tolerable; but the apostate undervalues the Son of God; and the greater His dignity, the greater the indignity. He is not mere man, though man, yet as man the best of men; for He is the Son of God, and that not any kind of son, but the only begotten and beloved Son of God, the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person; and so the Son of God, that He is God. Thus neither the Person and Deity of Christ, nor His natures, nor the personal union of them, nor His transcendent gifts, nor His heavenly wisdom, nor His glorious works, nor His rare virtues, nor His great work of expiation, nor His glory and power; which He enjoys at the right hand of God, could anyways move him; but he debaseth Him that was higher than the heavens, as low as the dust under his feet; yet this debasement was only an act of his base mind, but could not in the least degree obscure the excellency of Christ, This is the first aggravation of apostasy.
II. HE COUNTETH THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, WHEREBY HE WAS SANCTIFIED, AN UNHOLY THING.
1. By the blood understand the sacrifice of Christ, so much magnified in the former chapter; for it is that blood by which Christ, entering the holy place of heaven, obtained eternal redemption; that blood which purgeth the conscience from dead works to serve the living God; that blood which confirmed the everlasting covenant, in which respect it is called the blood of the covenant. This covenant is called the covenant of grace, wherein God promiseth remission of sins, and the eternal inheritance of glory, upon condition of repentance and faith in Christ. And it is called the blood of this covenant because upon it the covenant was grounded, and by virtue of it all the promises thereof are made effectual.
2. This was the blood by which this apostate, upon his receiving the knowledge of the truth, was sanctified. For —
(1) This blood, as offered and accepted of God, made his sin remissible.
(2) Upon the profession of his faith his sin was, at least conditionally, pardoned and purged.
(3) So long as he continued in his profession, and so far as he proceeded according to certain degrees in faith and the profession of it, so far he might be said to be in a state of justification, and not only to justification, but sanctification.
3. Yet this sanctifying blood the apostate counts unholy or common. To be common blood may be understood —
(1) Such as hath no expiating and purging power.
(2) Such as is no better than the blood of bulls and goats sacrificed.
(3) Such as differs not from the blood of other men.
(4) Such as is the blood of a malefactor, guilty and vicious person, and that is impure and unholy blood. So that the apostate, though he had received some kind and measure of sanctification from it, yet ascribed no more virtue and excellency to it than to common blood; denied the sanctifying power of it, nay, did account it unholy. Yet you must note, that though it be so vile in his conceit, yet it is really in itself the only sanctifying blood to all such as do sincerely believe. This is the second aggravatior,.
III. THE APOSTATE DOTH DESPITE UNTO THE SPIRIT OF GRACE.
1. This Spirit is not the spirit of man, neither is it any angel, nor any created person of substance; but it is an uncreated Spirit, the Spirit of God, so as that it is God; therefore the perfections and operations of God are predicated of it.
2. This Spirit is said to be the Spirit of grace. Thus He may be called in opposition to the spirit of bondage and fear, which is the spirit proper to the law. For the Spirit by the law, which had no expiation for sin, no promise of power to keep it, nor of pardon if transgressed, could work nothing but fear, which was a continued slavery. The Spirit of the gospel, which is the Spirit of Christ, promised and given in the gospel, is a Spirit of comfort and confidence.
3. They do despite unto this Spirit. In this despite there are injury, reproach, contempt; and the greater the person to whom the despite is done, the more heinous it is. This here meant is not done to man, but God; because done to that Spirit which is so the Spirit of God, that He is God. This is committed —
(1) By resisting the sanctifying power of God.
(2) By undoing all that God, by His Spirit, had done in him for his salvation.
(3) By accounting the gifts, notions, motions of this Spirit, the works, delusions, and impulses of the devil; and that not only in himself, but in others sanctified by this Spirit, and endued with His gifts. This is a sin against God the Father, who loved us, and sent Christ to redeem us; against God the Son, who had shed His precious blood for the expiation of our sins; against God the Holy Ghost, who had begun the work of sanctification and consolation in us.
Parallel VersesKJV: He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: