My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear with which he feared me, and was afraid before my name.…
"Turn many away from iniquity." Believers are a spiritual priesthood, separated and sanctified, and placed among the unregenerate for their salvation. The saved are to save others.
I. THE NATURE OF THIS WORK. Men naturally live in iniquity. Moral crookedness is innate. Salvation alone brings uprightness. This is confirmed by human consciousness, human confessions, human history, and Divine declarations. This makes the work of the Church difficult. It seeks to deliver men —
1. By the Persuasive power of holy living.
2. By the preaching of the Gospel.
3. By its philanthropic enterprises.
4. By its power to bring down the Holy Spirit upon men through prayer.
5. By all its institutions and ordinances. In this work the Church will need
(1) Much Divine power and wisdom.
(2) Great self-denying zeal.
(3) The attracting energy of Christian love.
(4) Much persevering activity.Those who turn most away from iniquity give the surest proof that they are called to the Divine order of the priesthood.
II. THIS WORK STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE. Iniquity abounds. The duty of the Church is imperative.
III. THIS WORK MAY BE SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED. Wonderful is the influence which one man can exert upon another for good. God works with those that work for Him. Before the emotions awakened by the love of the cross iniquity appears in its true light, and the sinner turns away from it with loathing.
IV. THIS WORD IS GLORIOUS IN ITS RESULTS.
1. It saves men from the misery of eternal ruin.
2. It furthers the sublimest purposes of God in the redemption of mankind.
3. It brings to those who engage in it the sweetest satisfaction and delight.
4. It increases the joy of Christ, angels, and men.
5. It ensures to the workers themselves an eternal reward.Those whom they have blessed by the deliverance of the Gospel will bless them for ever.
(W. Osborne Lilley.)
Parallel VersesKJV: My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.