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" He shall be a Vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work." - 2 Tim. 2:21
There is somewhat very expressive in the title:— ' Vessels of Mercy.' For what is a vessel? Nay, it can be no other than a mere receiver. For the very designation of it is to this office, and to this office only. It is pre-supposed to be formed for this purpose, and no other, having nothing in itself; and, after all, can have nothing more than what it receives. And what can more aptly be chosen to represent the church of Christ ? She is a vessel indeed unto honour, when sanctified and made meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work; but in herself still only a vessel to receive. " For," as the Holy Ghost by Paul unanswerably reasons, " who maketh thee to differ from another ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive ?" 1 Cor. 4:7
--- Robert Hawker
NO FEAR OF DEATH
" Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15). It is only because of the substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ that believers may face death without fear. Death, the penalty of sin, has already been endured for us by the Savior. In fact, rather than us dying, the Savior said to Martha, in John 11:26, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?" When believers pass from this life, they "sleep in Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 4:14); the soul goes to paradise and the body sleeps in the dust, awaiting a glorious resurrection. "Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the everlasting dawn has finally arrived. Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied" (Matthew Henry). It doesn’t matter where you die, when you die or how you die; all that is important is to die in Christ.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
Jehovah’s Prerogative and His Love to put away the sins of His People
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)
In order to do this, he took off all the sins of his people from them, and put them upon Christ: transferred them all upon him; so, saith the Scripture, the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:6). And so made him sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This mystery and wonder of divine grace is emblematically held forth to us by the High Priest putting all the iniquities and all the transgressions of the children of Israel upon the head of the scape goat. It is said, And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send them away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness; and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited(Lev. 16:21, &c.). Now just so, Jehovah put all the sins of his people upon his Son, who agreed to it, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself: as it is said, Once, in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Heb. 9:26). To put away sin, to abolish it, to make it null and void, as the word signifies, so that it shall have no power to condemn those for whom Christ suffered: hence there is said to be no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus(Rom.8:1). Yea, Christ, by the sacrifice of himself, has so put away sin, that it shall be no more. It is finished;the body of sin is crucified and destroyed (Rom. 6:6): and it is put at a distance, removed from them; the Lord removed the iniquity of that land in one day(Zech. 3:9). The iniquities of all his people in that one time, when Christ bore their sins in his own body on the tree, and made full satisfaction to divine justice for them, were removed as far as the East is from the West, to the utmost distance; signified by the scape goat bearing the sins of Israel into the wilderness, and a land uninhabited: removed so as not to be seen by the avenging eye of God's justice. Having regard to this work of Christ, God sees no iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel (Num. 23:21): when their sins are sought for, they shall not be found, because he has pardoned those whom he hath reserved (Jer. 1:20); which is the same thing as putting away sin.He has cast them behind his back, and into the depths of the sea, so as never to be remembered any more; that is to say, never to be charged upon them. They are justified by Christ's righteousness and satisfaction, from all things from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. All their iniquities are pardoned, they are justified, and so shall most certainly he glorified. These are the steps Jehovah has taken for the putting away the sins of his people.