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Thomas Adams on John 3:16

February 28, 2008

Adams:

Take the sum of this application. We have heard much of God’s Son, and of his dearness to the Father. Now join with it another text; “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” John iii. 16. Here meditate, wonder, and weigh the sentence; who, what, how, to what end. Who Loved? God; that made us his friends by creation; whose enemies we made ourselves by prevarication. What did he love? The world; a bad world , a mad world, a blind world, a bloody world; that hated him and all his, John xv. 19. It was no wonder that he should love the angels, for they serve him; or the very reasonless creatures, for they obey him; but that he should love the rebellious and hateful world, this is boundless mercy! How did he love it? So that he gave his only begotten Son. If, like Gideon, he had had threescore and ten sons, Judg. viii. 30, it had been much to part with one of them; but his only Son! Jacob rent his clothes, and went mourning in sackcloth many days, for losing one son of twelve, Gen. xxxvii. 34. Even a harlot pitied the fruit of her womb, and her bowels yearned upon her son; “O lord, give her the living child, and in nowise slay it,” 1 Kings iii. 28: but God gave the only Son his love. To what end? That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life! Where observe two things; the felicity that is gotten, and the facility to get it. The felicity consists of two things; deliverance, and an inheritance. He shall not perish; there is the deliverance. He shall have everlasting life; there is the inheritance. For the facility; it is not to keep the law, but only to believe. Lord, what is man, that thou shouldst so regard him? Psal. viii. 4. Yea, that to regard him, thou didst not regard thyself? It is reported of a great soldier, that the very jingling of his spur was a terror to his enemies. So the very sound of this text makes all the devils in hell roar, all the foes of man’s salvation to quake. This is the Christian’s armoury, that tower of David, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men,” Cant. iv. 4. If thy conscience be assaulted with guiltiness of thy sins, remember first that this Christ his only Son. If Satan now object, Yes, but he gave him only for the holy and just; answer, Nay, he so loved the world; mundum immundum: mundum, therefore mundanum: he gave him not for the righteous, but for sinners. I am of that number, therefore I have my part in that favour. Paul says, “Put on the whole amour of God,” Eph. vi. 1; and, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom. xiii. 14. In the one place, all those pieces of armour is but the Lord Jesus taken asunder; in the other, the whole armour is but the Lord Jesus put together. “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry,” Psal. ii. 12. To make peace with the Father, kiss the Son. “Let him kiss me,” was the church’s prayer, Cant. i. 2: let us kiss him, that be our endeavour. Indeed, the Son must first kiss us by his mercy before we can kiss him by our piety Lord grant us these mutual kisses interchangeable embraces now, that we may come to the plenary wedding supper hereafter; when the choir of heaven, even the voices of angels, shall sing epithalamiums, nuptial songs at the bridal of the spouse to the Lamb.

Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 179.

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