5th April 2020
“And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the son abideth ever.” John 8:35
It is the irreversible blessing of a son, that he is never to be turned out of the house, that the union between the Parent and the child can never be broken, but that he is to reign with Christ through the ages of one everlasting day. This is a sweet consolation to God’s family that “the son abideth ever.” How often is a child of God exercised, whether he shall abide for ever, whether he may not draw back to perdition, whether some temptation may not overtake him whereby it shall be made manifest that he is nothing but a deceiver and deceived! But the Lord himself says, “the son abideth ever;” let him be but a babe, let him have but the first beginning of spiritual life in his soul, he “abideth ever;” he has the same interest in the affections of the Father, is a fellow-heir with Christ, and has a title to the same inheritance as those who are of longer standing, and those who are his elders in age.
But sometimes the son may get tired of the restraint of his Father’s house. God is a wise Parent as well as a kind one. He will treat his children with the most tender kindness and intimacy, but he will never allow them to be guilty of disrespect towards him. Sometimes, then, the sons get weary of their Father’s house; they are like the younger son in the parable, when he asked his father to give him his portion, and when he had got it he went away into a far country, away from his father’s house, from under his father’s roof, and wasted it in riotous living. This is where many of God’s children get. There is a restraint in God’s house, where the soul is not really blessed with the personal and present enjoyment of gospel truth, and restraint being ever irksome, the vain, idolatrous heart thinks it can derive some pleasure from the world which is not to be found under the roof of the Father. And, therefore, he gradually withdraws his steps from his Father’s house, seeks to derive some pleasure from the things of time and sense, erects some idol, and falls down to worship it. But notwithstanding all this, “the son abideth ever.” The Father of all his people in Christ does not disinherit his dear children; and though earthly parents may disinherit theirs, God’s family are never cast out of the inheritance. The true-born Israelite who had waxed poor and sold himself unto the stranger was to obtain his freedom in the year of jubilee (Leviticus 25:47, 54), and to return to his own house and his own estate. So the son who has departed from his Father’s house, and sold himself under sin, and become a slave to that cruel taskmaster, when the year of jubilee comes, the year of restoration, and the silver trumpet is blown, shakes off his shackles and fetters, casts aside the livery of servitude, returns to his Father’s house, and is received with joy beneath his Father’s roof. O what a meeting! The forgiving Parent, and the disobedient child! The Father dissolved in tears of affection; the child dissolved in tears of contrition! Whatever, then, be our wanderings of heart, alienation of affection, and backsliding of soul; however we may depart from God, so far as we are sons, we shall “abide in the house for ever,” and possess an “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for those that are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” And it will be our mercy to abide in the house below as members of the family, without departing from it, until reunited to the family above, “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.”
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869