Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
I. WHO REJOICE?
1. God the Father.
2. The Son of God.
3. The blessed angels.
II. WHY DO THEY REJOICE?
1. God the Father rejoices —
(1) Because His eternal purposes of grace, and His engagements to His Son, are then fulfilled.
(2) Because bringing sinners to repentance is His own world.
(3) Because it affords Him an opportunity to exercise mercy, and show His love to Christ by pardoning them for His sake.
(4) Because it gratifies Him to see them escape from the tyranny, and from the consequences of sin.
2. The Son of God rejoices —
(1) Because He has given them their life.
(2) Because in repenting they begin to return His love, and acknowledge the wisdom of His dispensations.
3. The angels rejoice —
(1) Because God rejoices.
(2) Because it is their disposition to rejoice in the happiness of others.
(3) Because God is glorified and His perfections are displayed in giving repentance and remission of sins.Inferences:
1. From this subject we infer the incalculable worth of the human soul.
2. From this subject we infer that the consequence of dying in an impenitent state will be unspeakably dreadful.
3. From this subject we infer that all who repent will certainly persevere and be saved. Suppose, for one moment, that such may fall and perish? Would God, would Christ, would angels then rejoice to see sinners repent?
4. What an astonishing view does this subject give us of the benevolence of angels. Though they are perfectly happy, and though our character and conduct must to them appear inconceivably hateful, yet they forget themselves to think of us; they forget their own happiness to rejoice in ours.
5. From this subject we may learn whether we are prepared for heaven. We presume none will deny that preparation for heaven implies something of a heavenly temper. If, then, we are thus prepared we have something of such a temper. Like the angels, we are pleased with God's sovereignty, and rejoice when sinners repent. We desire and pray that the kingdom of God may come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(E. Payson, 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.