05 March 2014

An Eternal Welcome

Bishop Handley Moule's commentary on Romans from a century ago, though a bit overly Keswick-ish at times, might be the most beautifully written commentary I have ever come across, on any book.

Here's a snippet from his comment on Romans 3:23-24:
In the discovery of your necessity, and of Christ as the all-in-all to meet it, you see with little need of exposition the place and power of faith. It means, you see it now, simply your reception of Christ. It is your contact with Him, your embrace of Him. It is not virtue; it is absolutely remote from merit. But it is necessary; as necessary as the hand that takes the alms, or as the mouth that eats the unbought meal.

The meaning of justification is now to you no riddle of the schools. Like all the great words of scriptural theology it carries with it in divine things the meaning it bears in common things, only for a new and noble application; you see this with joy, by the insight of awakened conscience. He who "justifies" you does exactly what the word always imports. He does not educate you, or inspire you, up to acceptability. He pronounces you acceptable, satisfactory, at peace with Law.

And this He does for Another's sake; on account of the Merit of Another, who has so done and suffered as to win an eternal welcome for Himself and everything that is His, and therefore for all who are found in Him, and therefore for you who have fled into Him, believing.

So you receive with joy and wonder "the righteousness of God," His way to bid you, so deeply guilty in yourself, welcome without fear to your Judge. . . .

The harlot, the liar, the murderer, are short of the glory of God; but so are you. Perhaps they stand at the bottom of a mine, and you on the crest of an Alp; but you are as little able to touch the stars as they. So you thankfully give yourself up, side by side with them, if they will come too, to be carried to the height of divine acceptance, by the gift of God, "justified gift-wise by His grace."
--H. C. G. Moule, The Epistle to the Romans (London: Pickering & Inglis, 1902), 96-97

Who knew one was allowed to write commentaries like that!

1 comment:

Ray Ortlund said...

My dad put me onto Moule. I love his commentaries!