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the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Job 25

Expositor's Dictionary of TextsExpositor's Dictionary

Verses 1-6


Job 25:4

Conversion is a human act. It is the turning of the sinner in will and in act to his God. Justification is a Divine act, or rather a series of acts. Man turns, but it is only God who justifies.

I. It is plain that when summoned to and standing before God's judgment-seat, no sorrow, however deep and real, for the past; no promise, however reliable, for the future, will suffice us. Plainly, then, the justification of the sinner is not an act of his own. It is God that justifieth. We cannot, as innocent, claim justification; but we may, as guilty, crave pardon. He can forgive us our sins. He can acquit us for the sake of another, not our own. This is what God's justification in the first instance means. It is pardon, it is remission of sins.

II. Then comes the difficult question: How can God's mercy be reconciled with His justice? How can God justly pardon sinners? That was a truth hidden from the ages and generations, and revealed to us in Jesus Christ. We are justified freely by God's grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Thus, sinful in ourselves, we are justified in Christ, as joined to Christ, as part of Christ. The justification of man is thus the Divine acquittal of man for the Son of Man's sake. God accepts us in His Beloved Son, who for our sins deserved to be rejected.

III. But we must not stop here. God's purpose, God's redeeming and sanctifying work, for and in us all has this great end and aim to make us holy. Human happiness, apart from holiness, is not God's purpose. Holiness, without happiness, is indeed, though men do not realize it, a practical impossibility. God regards us as part of the new creation. He pardons us for the sake of Him to Whom we are united. We are taught that justification, like sanctification, is a work of the Spirit of God. God's mercy is man's only plea. Death is sin's wages. Eternal life is God's gift.

F. Watson, The Christian Life Here and Hereafter, p. 15.

Job 25:5-6

The penitential tone of all Christian devotion bears witness to the conscious depth of the moral life, to the beauty of God's holiness that makes a blot of our saintliest light ('beholding the moon and it shineth not'). In all things, the sense of shortcoming has pervaded the consciousness of modern times.


Reference. XXV. 13. W. Sinclair, Words from St. Paul's, p. 32.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Job 25". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/job-25.html. 1910.
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