Luke 1:71-75. That we should be saved from our enemies Spiritual as well as temporal, invisible as well as visible; and from the hand of all that hate us From Satan and his angels, and all adverse power, and especially from our sins. This certainly was the mind of the Spirit that now inspired Zacharias, as appears by the whole tenor of Scripture; but whether he fully understood his own words is impossible for us to say. It is certain the older prophets, in some cases, did not fully understand the prophecies which they themselves uttered. See 1 Peter 1:10-11. To perform the mercy Thus he speaks because our redemption and salvation have their origin in the divine mercy, that is, in his compassion for us in our fallen state, and in his free, gratuitous grace, and goodness toward us. The original expression, ποιησαι ελεος μετα τον πατερων ημον , literally signifies, to exercise, or show, mercy toward or with, our fathers. Dr. Campbell translates the verse, In kindness to our forefathers, and remembrance of his holy covenant; the tenor of which covenant was, that Abraham’s spiritual seed, being delivered from their enemies by the Messiah, should, under his government, worship and serve God acceptably through all generations. The oath which he sware to our father Abraham By which oath he confirmed the fore-mentioned covenant, that, as the apostle observes, by two immutable things, God’s promise given in the covenant, and oath, in either of which, much more in both, it was impossible for God to lie, all that should truly embrace the covenant, by complying with the conditions of it, in repentance, faith, and new obedience, might have strong consolation in life, in death, and for ever. That he would grant unto us For the salvation here mentioned is his free, undeserved gift; that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Especially our spiritual enemies, the devil, the world, and the flesh, the guilt, and power, and consequences of our sins, (the Messiah being therefore called Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins, Matthew 1:21,) we might serve him Might worship and glorify him, in and with our body and spirit, which are his; without fear Not without a reverential fear of God, or filial fear of offending him; a watchful fear of our enemies, or a jealous fear of ourselves, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, we should come short of it, in which senses, blessed is the man that feareth always; but without any slavish fear of God, or that spirit of bondage from which the spirit of adoption is given to deliver true believers, Romans 8:15; Gal 4:5-7 ; 2 Timothy 1:7; and without any tormenting fear of death, or of any suffering antecedent to death, which we may be called to pass through; to deliver us from which fear Christ assumed our flesh and blood, Hebrews 2:14-15. In holiness Toward God, in devotedness to his glory, conformity to his image, subjection to his authority, and obedience to his will; and righteousness Toward our fellow-creatures, that is, in the continual exercise of truth, justice, mercy, and charity; before him Conscious we are in his presence, and under the continual notice of his eye, setting him always before us, and aiming to please him in every temper, word, and work, in all our desires and designs, our cares, labours, and pursuits. Here, then, we have the substance of God’s great promise, that, if we embrace and live up to our privileges, as true believers in Christ, we shall be always holy, always useful, always happy; that, being delivered from Satan and sin, from every uneasy, from every unhappy and unholy disposition and affection, we shall joyfully love and serve God in our whole spirit and conduct, and that not only on sabbath days, or times of peculiar solemnity and devotion, but all the days of our life, and every hour of every day; whatsoever we do in word or deed, and doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God, even the Father, through him. This is the great gospel salvation prepared before the face of, and free for, all people, Luke 2:30-31.
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