Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
I. THE CLASS REPRESENTED AS BEING SPECIALLY EXCITED BY THE EMOTION OF JOY OVER A SINNER'S REPENTANCE. "The angels of God" — uncorporeal, immaculately holy, composed of various orders, active messengers of God to men.
II. Why do the angels rejoice when a sinner repents?
1. Because true repentance culminates in that holiness of heart and life which is the chief glory of the angels.
2. Because the moral character of a sinner's influence is for ever changed by his conversion.
3. By repentance and conversion a sinner escapes eternal retribution for his sins, and secures moral fitness for eternal life.
III. WHAT LESSONS DO WE LEARN FROM THESE FACTS?
1. That we manifest the spirit of the angelic race when we labour to lead sinners to Christ and rejoice over their conversion.
2. That the preaching with which the angels sympathize is of that type best calculated to bring sinners to repentance.
3. The appalling peril of a sinner over whose repentance no angels have rejoiced. Sin has but one logical issue — eternal death. Give the angels a chance to rejoice to-day over your repentance.
(S. V. Leach, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.