Hebrews 13:21,22     

 
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


No. 1

 
There is an analogy between the works and the word of God.  If we consider the creation, the vastness of the whole, and the unsuitableness and relation of the several parts strike us with an impression of his immensity and his manifold wisdom.  At the same time his hand is seen and acknowledged by an attentive mind in the smallest of his works.  The more we examine them, the more we discover of the finger of God.  Not only the glory of the sun, but the structure of a plant or an insect, bear the impression of divine power and a wisdom which may well fill us with astonishment and reverence.  So his wisdom is displayed not only in the whole compass and connection of the Scripture, but there is a fullness and a beauty often in a single text, which the application of our utmost industry to the end of our lives, could not fully discover if we were to attend to nothing else, It is our duty and great advantage to aim at a comprehensive knowledge of the whole.  At the same time he has favoured us with many summaries of the Gospel doctrine, which in a few verses, sometimes in a few words, comprise the substance of all that we are taught more largely elsewhere, as it were in miniature.  This is a condescension to our weakness, and should be a spur to our meditation.
 
Of this kind is the prayer in my text, which shows us not only the fullness of the Apostle’s heart, but the fullness of the Scripture phrase.  A close examination of these two verses, might lead us to speak of everything relative to the faith, experience and practice of a Christian, and furnish a minister with subjects to the end of his life.  I do not mean to treat it in such an extensive view, but neither shall I be able to confine what I may offer from it within the compass of a single sermon.  I may say this is one of the wells of salvation; may the Lord open it for us – enable us to drink of the water of life freely.
 
We make take notice of:
 
1. The title by which God is addressed – the God of peace
2. What is ascribed to him – the bringing Christ from the dead
3. His character – the Great Shepherd
4. The manner - by the blood, etc
5. The petition, twofold:
    make you perfect
    working in you
6. The conclusion – an act of praise, to him be the glory, etc.
 
1. The title: the God of peace
  Many of the Lord’s titles are taken from the effects of his goodness to his creatures.  So he is called the God of grace, of comfort, of hope.  The ground of reason is the same in all.  He is the author and fountain of all grace, hope and comfort, and so likewise of peace.
  1.1 He designed the plan and provided the means of our peace, according to his eternal purpose.  There is no peace to the wicked, that is not in themselves, not while under the influence of the carnal mind.  Yet we are all by nature wicked.  But it was the Lord’s pleasure that rebels should obtain peace.  This was the song and the wonder of angels, On earth, peace.  For this purpose:
    1.1.1 He gave his Son. He is our peace.
    1.1.2 He sends his Gospel – the Gospel of peace.
  1.2 It intimates the full and complete satisfaction of God in the work of Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, every demand satisfied, every perfection glorified, and such an abundant [provision] opened for goodwill to mankind, that now he takes his title from hence and is revealed as the God of peace.  You that are seeking him by Christ need not be afraid, he is the God of peace, more ready to receive, than you to come.
  1.3 He bestows peace.  I create the fruit of the lips; peace to him that is afar off. [1] And he only can do it.  Till he speaks Ministers speak in vain. He gives peace by faith, Romans 5:1. [2]  Let is consider the branches:
    1.3.1 peace with God
by nature we are at war, he with us and we with him.  All the evils and miseries we feel and fear are tokens of his displeasure – and our spirits and conduct show our enmity, especially when he touches us closely either by his word or providence.  Now this war ceases when we believe.
      ??* He is at peace with us.  No more condemnation.  Though perhaps the comfort of it is not yet known.  He then supports and teaches, and blesses the soul with spiritual blessings.
      * The enmity on the sinner’s part is [ended] and he is made willing to serve and love the Lord.
    1.3.2 peace of conscience
Many are in a safe state before they know it assuredly in themselves – but in due time he will show it them.  From hence flows:
      * a peaceful frame of mindWhere sin is pardoned, all is well –not that there will be no exercises or distresses, but there is a ground of peace in the heart, and in proportion as faith and grace grow, it has power to rule in the heart, as is expressed [in] Colossians 3:15. [3]
      * a disposition of peace towards othersThe Lord’s peace sweetens the spirit and subdues selfishness.  By nature we are hateful and hating one another. [4]
 
Try yourselves by these things.
Sinners, can you be content to remain at war with the God of peace?
 

Endnotes:
 
1. Isaiah 57:19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.
2. Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
4. Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.


Source:
Cowper & Newton Museum, ms 714(11), N32

Marylynn Rouse, 01/05/2019