And not only so, but we also joy in God
Something seems here to be understood, and which is to be supplied thus; not only we are saved by his life, and from wrath through him; not only are we reconciled to God by his Son, and Spirit; not only Christ has died for us while sinners and ungodly; not only do we glory in tribulations, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God: "but we also joy in God"; himself, as our covenant God and Father in Christ, as the God of all grace, peace, and salvation; in his perfections, as engaged on our side, and as glorified in our salvation; in the purposes of God, and his covenant transactions with his Son, as they are made known in the everlasting Gospel; in all his providential dispensations, which are mercy and truth; and in our being of him in Christ, and Christ's being made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; in all the blessings of grace we receive from him, the glory of which is his due; and in his sight and presence, and in the enjoyment of him. The means by which saints come at this joying and glorying in God, is
through our Lord Jesus Christ;
not the light of nature, nor the law of Moses, nor any works of righteousness done by men, nor through angels or saints, but Christ, and him only; for it is only in and through him that God is their covenant God and Father; by him only have they the agreeable view of his glorious perfections; in him only all his purposes and promises have their fulfilment; it is by his hands, and through his blood, that all the blessings of grace are conveyed to them; their access to God is only by him; and by him they give the praise and glory of every mercy to him. And the ground of this joy is the expiation of sin by Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement;
atonement is not made, but received by us; which denotes the application of the atoning blood and sacrifice of Christ to the conscience, the Spirit's witness of interest in it, and the office of faith, as a recipient of it: it is not faith, nor anything else of the creature's, that makes the atonement, only Christ; but faith receives it from him, and by him; which, as it is the ground of present joying in God, so it is the foundation of hope of future glory: the word "now" refers to the Gospel dispensation. The poor Jews are at the utmost loss about atonement: sometimes they tell F3 us it is by confession, repentance, and good works; sometimes by beneficence and hospitality F4; sometimes they say their captivity is their atonement F5; and, at other times, that death expiates all their sins F6. Blessed be God for the atoning sacrifice of Christ!
F3 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 85. 2. & 86. 1. Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 2. Zohar in Gen. fol. 107. 1.
F4 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 27. 1. & Roshhashana, fol. 18. 1, & Yebamot, fol. 105. 1.
F5 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 16. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 37. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Teshuba, c. 2. sect. 4.
F6 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 1. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 38. 2. T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 28. 1. & Yoma, fol. 42. 1. Gloss in ib.