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Samuel Davies (1723-1761) on the Removal of Legal Obstacles

August 12, 2009

Davies:

2 Cor v. 20.–We then are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

…The introduction to this passage you find in the foregoing verses, God hath given to us (the apostles) the ministry of reconciliation; the sum and substance of which is, namely, “That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” As if he had said, “The great Sovereign of the universe, though highly provoked, and justly displeased with our rebellious world, has been so gracious as to contrive a plan of reconciliation whereby they may not only escape the punishment they deserve, but also be restored to the favor of God, and all the privileges of his favorite subjects. This plan was laid in Christ; that is, it was he who was appointed, and undertook to remove all obstacles out of the way of their reconciliation, so that it might be consistent with the honor and dignity of God and his Government. This he performed by a life of perfect obedience, and an atoning death, instead of rebellious man. Though “he knew no sin” of his own: yet “he was made sin,” that is, a sin-offering, or a sinner by imputation “for us,” that we might “be made the righteousness of God in him.” Thus all hindrances are removed on God’s part. The plan of a treaty of reconciliation is formed, approved, and ratified in the court of heaven; but then it must be published, all the terms made known, and the consent of the rebels solicited and gained. It is not enough that all impediments to peace are removed on God’s part; they must also be removed on the part of man; the reconciliation must be mutual; both the parties must agree. Hence arises the necessity of the ministry of reconciliation which was committed to the apostles, those prime ministers of the kingdom of Christ, and in a lower sphere to the ordinary ministers of the gospel in every age. The great business of their office is to publish the treaty of peace; that is, the articles of reconciliation, and to use every motive to gain the consent of mankind to these articles. It is this office St. Paul is discharging, when he says, We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Samuel Davies, “Sinners Entreated to be Reconciled to God” in Sermons on Important Subjects (New York: Robert Carter, 1845), 1:45, 55-56. [Italics original; underlining mine.]

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