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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 274

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Isaiah 22, 23

Chapter 22
* Verses 1-7  The siege and taking of Jerusalem.
* Verses 8-14  The wicked conduct of its inhabitants.
* Verses 15-25  The displacing of Shebna, and the promotion of Eliakim, applied to the Messiah.

Chapter 23
* Verses 1-14  The overthrow of Tyre.
[NOTE:  Tyre was the mart of the nations. She was noted for mirth and diversions; and this made her loath to consider the warnings God gave by his servants.]
* Verses 15-18  It is established again.


Ephesians 3

* Verses 1-7  The apostle sets forth his office, and his qualifications for it, and his call to it.
* Verses 8-12  Also the noble purposes answered by it.
* Verses 13-19  He prays for the Ephesians.
* Verses 20-21  And adds a thanksgiving.

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Ephesians 2 Extended

Commentary

Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses and sins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon a corpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is now fled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man.
But if we viewed things aright, we should be far more affected by the thought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin is a state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves to Satan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition which there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men.
From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been most prone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, being naturally children of disobedience, are also by nature children of wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly for that grace which will make them, of children of wrath, children of God and heirs of glory!
God’s eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us. That love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. Every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God. He saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus.
Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God. He lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace.
Sinners roll themselves in the dust. Sanctified souls sit in heavenly places. They are raised above this world by Christ’s grace. The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy.
Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us. Therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power.
It was his purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our good conversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can from Scripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency to evil. All who do so, are without excuse.

~  Matthew Henry

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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 273

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Isaiah 19, 20, 21

Chapter 19
* Verses 1-17  Judgments upon Egypt.
* Verses 18-25  Its deliverance, and the conversion of the people.

Chapter 20
* Verses 1-6  The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia.
[NOTE:  Isaiah was a sign to the people by his unusual dress, when he walked abroad. He commonly wore sackcloth as a prophet, to show himself mortified to the world. He was to loose this from his loins; to wear no upper garments, and to go barefooted. This sign was to signify, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians should be led away captives by the king of Assyria, thus stripped.]

Chapter 21
* Verses 1-10  The taking of Babylon.
* Verses 11-12  Of the Edomites.
* Verses 13-17  Of the Arabs.


Ephesians 2

* Verses 1-10  The riches of God’s grace towards men, shown from their deplorable state by nature, and the happy change Divine grace makes in them.
* Verses 11-13  The Ephesians called to reflect on their state of heathenism.
* Verses 14-22  And the privileges and blessings of the gospel.

[Read expanded notes here.]

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Ephesians Extended

Comments

All Christians must be saints. If they come not under that character on earth, they will never be saints in glory. Those are not saints who are not faithful, believing in Christ, and true to the profession they make of relation to their Lord.

By grace, understand the free and undeserved love and favor of God. Those graces of the Spirit come from it. By peace, all other blessings, spiritual and temporal, the fruits of the former.

No peace without grace. No peace, nor grace, but from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Even the best saints need fresh supplies of the graces of the Spirit, and desire to grow.

Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable, and without which we cannot but be so. This was from the choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be made holy by separation from sin, being set apart to God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, in consequence of their election in Christ.

All who are chosen to happiness as the end, are chosen to holiness as the means. In love they were predestined, or foreordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. The reconciled and adopted believer, the pardoned sinner, gives all the praise of his salvation to his gracious Father.

His love appointed this method of redemption, spared not his own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was rich grace to provide such a surety as his own Son, and freely to deliver him up. This method of grace gives no encouragement to evil, but shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. The believer’s actions, as well as his words, declare the praises of Divine mercy.

~  Matthew Henry

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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 272

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Isaiah 16, 17, 18

Chapter 16
* Verses 1-5  Moab is exhorted to yield obedience.
* Verses 6-14  The pride and the judgments of Moab.

Chapter 17
* Verses 1-11  Syria and Israel threatened.
* Verses 12-14  The woe of Israel’s enemies.

Chapter 18
* Verses 1-7  God’s care for his people; and the increase of the church.

[NOTE:  This chapter is one of the most obscure in Scripture, though more of it probably was understood by those for whose use it was first intended, than by us now. Read more here.]


Ephesians 1

** This epistle was written when Paul was a prisoner at Rome. The design appears to be to strengthen the Ephesians in the faith of Christ, and to give exalted views of the love of God, and of the dignity and excellence of Christ, fortifying their minds against the scandal of the cross. He shows that they were saved by grace, and that however wretched they once were, they now had equal privileges with the Jews. He encourages them to persevere in their Christian calling, and urges them to walk in a manner becoming their profession, faithfully discharging the general and common duties of religion, and the special duties of particular relations.

* Verses 1-8  A salutation, and an account of saving blessings, as prepared in God’s eternal election, as purchased by Christ’s blood.
* Verses 9-14  And as conveyed in effectual calling: this is applied to the believing Jews, and to the believing Gentiles.
* Verses 15-23  The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God’s powerful working in them.

[Read expanded notes here.]

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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 271

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Isaiah 13, 14, 15

Chapter 13
* Verses 1-5  The armies of God’s wrath.
* Verses 6-18  The conquest of Babylon.
* Verses 19-22  Its final desolation.

Chapter 14
* Verses 1-23  The destruction of Babylon, and the death of its proud monarch.
* Verses 24-27  Assurance of the destruction of Assyria.
* Verses 28-32  The destruction of the Philistines.

Chapter 15
* Verses 1-9  The Divine judgments about to come upon the Moabites.


Galatians 6

* Verses 1-5  Exhortations to meekness, gentleness, and humility.
* Verses 6-11  To kindness towards all men, especially believers.
* Verses 12-15  The Galatians guarded against the judaizing teachers.
* Verses 16-18  A solemn blessing.

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Isaiah 12 Extended

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

The song of praise in this chapter is suitable for the return of the outcasts of Israel from their long captivity. But it is especially suitable to the case of a sinner, when he first finds peace and joy in believing; to that of a believer, when his peace is renewed after corrections for backslidings; and to that of the whole company of the redeemed, when they meet before the throne of God in heaven.

The promise is sure, and the blessings contained in it are very rich. The benefits, enjoyed through Jesus Christ, call for the most enlarged thanksgivings. By Jesus Christ, the Root of Jesse, the Divine anger against mankind was turned away. He is our Peace.

Those to whom God is reconciled, he comforts. They are taught to triumph in God and their interest in him. I will trust him to prepare me for his salvation, and preserve me to it. I will trust him with all my concerns, not doubting that he will make all to work for good. Faith in God is a sovereign remedy against tormenting fears.

Many Christians have God for their strength, who have him not for their song; they walk in darkness. But those who have God for their strength ought to make him their song; that is, give him the glory of it, and take to themselves the comfort of it. This salvation is from the love of God the Father. It comes to us through God the Son; it is applied by the new-creating power of God the Spirit. When this is seen by faith, the trembling sinner learns to hope in God, and is delivered from fear.

The purifying and sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost often are denoted under the emblem of springing water. This work flows through the mediation of Christ, and is conveyed to our souls by means of God’s ordinances. Blessed be God, we have wells of salvation opened on every side, and may draw from them the waters of life and consolation.

In the second part of this gospel song, Isaiah 13:4-6, believers encourage one another to praise God, and seek to draw others to join them in it. No difference of opinions about the times and seasons, and other such matters, ought to divide the hearts of Christians. Let it be our care that we may be placed among those to whom he will say,

‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom
prepared for you from the beginning of the world.’

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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 270

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Isaiah 10, 11, 12

Chapter 10
* Verses 1-4  Woes against proud oppressors.
[NOTE:  These verses are to be joined with the foregoing chapter: Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree unrighteous decrees! And woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and enter them on record! But what will sinners do? Whither will they flee?]

* Verses 5-19  The Assyrian but an instrument in the hand of God for the punishment of his people.
* Verses 20-34  The deliverance from him.

Chapter 11
* Verses 1-9  The peaceful character of Christ’s kingdom and subjects.
* Verses 10-16  The conversion of the Gentiles and Jews.

Chapter 12
* Verses 1-6  This is a hymn of praise suited to the times of the Messiah.

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Galatians 5

* Verses 1-12  An earnest exhortation to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel.
* Verses 13-15  To take heed of indulging a sinful temper.
* Verses 16-26  And to walk in the Spirit, and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh: the works of both are described.

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One-Year Bible Reading Plan – Day 269

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Isaiah 7, 8, 9

Chapter 7
* Verses 1-9  Ahaz threatened by Israel and Syria; and is assured their attack would be in vain.
* Verses 10-16  God gives a sure sign by the promise of the long-expected Messiah.
* Verses 17-25  The folly and sin of seeking relief from Assyria are reproved.

[NOTE:  Ungodly men are often punished by others as bad as themselves. Being in great distress and confusion, the Jews gave up all for lost. They had made God their enemy, and knew not how to make him their friend. The prophet must teach them to despise their enemies, in faith and dependence on God.]

Chapter 8
* Verses 1-8  Exhortations and warnings.
* Verses 9-16  Comfort for those who fear God.
* Verses 17-22  Afflictions to idolaters.

Chapter 9
* Verses 1-7  The Son that should be born, and his kingdom.
* Verses 8-21  The judgments to come upon Israel, and on the enemies of the kingdom of Christ.


Galatians 4

* Verses 1-7  The folly of returning to legal observances for justification.
* Verses 8-11  The happy change made in the Gentile believers.
* Verses 12-18  The apostle reasons against following false teachers.
* Verses 19-20  He expresses his earnest concern for them.
* Verses 21-31  And then explains the difference between what is to be expected from the law, and from the gospel.

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Isaiah 6 Extended

Matthew Henry’s Comments

In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim. And the Divine glory filled the whole temple.

See God upon his throne. This vision is explained in John 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ’s glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open.

See God’s temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God’s temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart.

See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means “burners.” They burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God’s commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory.

This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ.

The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ’s satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching.

Those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.

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