by Thomas Watson
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (v.9)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
“They shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
How Christians should bring up their children
12. And lastly, if we are children of God, we shall never finally perish (John 5:24; 10:28). Those who are adopted—are out of the power of damnation. ‘There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ’ (Romans 8:1). Will a father condemn his own son? God will never disinherit any of his children. Earthly fathers may disinherit for some fault. Reuben for incest lost his birthright (Genesis 49:4). What is the reason parents disinherit their children? Surely this, because they can make them no better. They cannot make them fit for the inheritance. But when we are bad—our heavenly Father knows how to make us better. He can make us fit to inherit. ‘Giving thanks to the Father who has made us fit for the inheritance’ (Colossians 1:12). Therefore it being in his power to make us better, and to work in us fitness for the inheritance, certainly he will never finally disinherit.
Because this is so sweet a privilege, and the life of a Christian’s comfort lies in it, therefore I shall clear it by arguments that the children of God cannot finally perish. The curse of hell and damnation is cut off. Not but that the best of God’s children have that guilt which deserves hell—but Christ is the friend at court, who has purchased their pardon. Therefore the damning power of sin is taken away, which I prove thus:
The children of God cannot finally perish, because God’s justice is satisfied for their sins. The blood of Christ is the price paid not only meritoriously—but efficaciously for all those who believe. This being the ‘blood of God’ (Acts 20:28), justice is fully satisfied and cannot condemn those for whom this blood was shed, and to whom it is applied. Jesus Christ was a substitute. He stood bound for every child of God as a surety. He said to justice, ‘Have patience with them and I will pay you all’, so that the believer cannot be liable to wrath. God will not require the debt twice, both of the surety and the debtor (Romans 3:24, 26). God is not only merciful in pardoning his children—but righteous, ‘He is just to forgive’ (1 John 1:9). It is an act of God’s equity and justice—to spare the sinner when he has been satisfied in the surety.
A damnatory sentence cannot pass upon the children of God, because they are so God’s children, as also they are Christ’s spouse (Canticles 4:11). There is a marriage union between Christ and the saints. Every child of God is a part of Christ. Now, shall a member of Christ perish? A child of God cannot perish—unless Christ perishes. Jesus Christ who is the Husband, is the Judge, and will he condemn his own spouse?
Every child of God is transformed into the likeness of Christ. He has the same Spirit, the same judgment, the same will. He is a living picture of Christ. As Christ bears the saints’ names upon his breast, so they bear his image upon their hearts (Galatians 4:19). Will Christ allow his own image to be destroyed? Theodosius counted them traitors, who defaced his image. Christ will not let his image in believers be defaced and rent. He will not endure to see his own picture take fire. The sea has not only stinking carrion—but jewels thrown into it—but none of God’s jewels shall ever be thrown into the dread sea of hell.
If God’s children could be capable of final perishing, then pardon of sin is no privilege. The Scripture says, ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven’ (Psalm 32:1). But what blessedness is there in having sin forgiven, if afterwards a final and damnatory sentence should pass upon the heirs of promise? What is a man the better for the king’s pardon—if he were condemned after he were pardoned?
If the children of God should be finally disinherited, then the Scripture could not be fulfilled which tells us of glorious rewards. ‘Truly there is a reward for the righteous’ (Psalm 58:11). God sweetens his commands with promises. He ties duty and reward together. One part of the Word carries duty in it, and another part of the Word carries reward. Now if the adopted of God should eternally miscarry, what reward is there for the righteous? And Moses was deceived, in looking to the ‘recompense of the reward’ (Hebrews 11:26). And so by consequence there would be a door opened to despair.
By all which it appears that the children of God cannot be disinherited or reprobated. If they should lose eternal happiness—then Christ would lose his purchase and would die in vain.
Thus we have seen the glorious privileges of the children of God. What an encouragement is here to true religion! How may this tempt men to turn godly! Can the world vie with a child of God? Can the world give such privileges as these? Can the world do that for you, which God does for his children? Can it give you pardon of sin and eternal life? Is not godliness gain? What is there in sin that men should love it? The work of sin is drudgery—and the wages death! Those who see more in sin, than in the privileges of adoption—let them go on and have their ears bored to the devil’s service