Subject of the text; the highest and most important that can engage our attention; that on which the wisdom, power, and goodness of Deity have been most prominently displayed; that which angels contemplate with delight; and that which is identified with all our hopes of solid happiness, either in this life, or that which is to come. Let us consider the passage as it stands before us. I. Salvation. II. Day of Salvation. III. The Attention it demands from us. "Behold, now is the day of salvation."
Salvation implies misery, or danger, or both of them; and includes deliverance from them. Man's state is both miserable and dangerous. He is a rebel, outlawed, under sentence of death. In addition to which, he is wretched, poor, diseased, ready to perish. His condition is one of extreme wretchedness and imminent peril.
The gospel salvation provides deliverance from the danger, and restoration from the misery. It announces pardon for his crimes, and a balm for all his maladies.
This salvation, which is the product of divine love, the effect of the Redeemer's death, and the work of the Holy Spirit, and which is received by faith—is,
1. Perfect in its nature.
It is adapted to our state, and commensurate with all our misery and crimes. It embraces both the body and the soul.
2. Present in its application.
Revealed now, offered now, must be received now.
3. Universal in its extent.
"Whosoever will, may come," &c. It is not God's will that any should perish, &c. Christ died for the world. Joh_3:16; 1Jn_2:2. And the gospel is to be preached through all the world to every creature. Mark xvi 16
4. Free in its communication Not bestowed in the way of human merit but without money and without price. Isa_55:1, &c.
5. Eternal in its duration.
Which shall endure forever. 2Ti_2:10; Heb_5:9; 1Pe_5:10; Joh_3:15; Joh_10:28; Rom_6:23
II. Day of Salvation.
This may refer generally to the world or specially to man. Let us consider it,
1. Generally to the world.
It includes the whole space of time, from the first promise to the end of the gospel age. First promise; the glimmering of light. Patriarchal age; the daybreak. Prophetical era; the morning. Christ's incarnation; the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, &c. Ours is necessarily the evening of this day 2. Specially to man.
Then it is the period of human life, a short, uncertain period—only time of light and exercise, which terminates in the night of death, and the darkness of the grave. Ecc_9:10.
III. The Attention it demands.
1. It has a claim upon our examination.
What are we doing? How do we stand in reference to God, salvation, death, and eternity?
It has a claim,
2. Upon our consideration.
"O that they were wise, that they knew this," &c. Deu_32:29; Isa_1:3; Eze_12:3; Hag_1:5.
3. Upon our faith.
Now we have the cross, the gospel, the instruction, the warrant, the promise—"He that believeth shall be saved."
4. Upon our diligence.
What have we to do? Soul to save—generation work—heaven to gain—to provide for eternity, &c. "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure." 2Pe_1:10; 2Pe_3:14.
(1) Let us be earnest in reference to this salvation ourselves. And, (2) Recommend it to the attention of all around us.