Now John pronounces upon them a sweet benediction, one very similar to that found in the other apostolic writings, but nevertheless full of sweet comfort when rightly understood and meditated upon.  He first wishes upon us grace from the Father and Christ.  Grace is that unmerited favor of God, whereby He chose to save us, designed the means, sent Christ to accomplish it, and then the Holy Spirit to seal and apply it; and all this in spite of our undeservedness.  When God looked upon us in our sin, we were like Israel, as portrayed in that prophecy of Ezekiel, filthy and loathsome, cast out naked and bare, wallowing in our own blood.  He saw us, and instead of turning away from us and leaving us to the condemnation we so richly deserved, He looked upon us, and said unto us, “Live.”  We were violators of His holy law, subject to wrath and condemnation.  We lived in anger and malice, hateful and hating one another.  We worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.  We loved ourselves more than we loved God and our fellow men.  We defaced by sin that image of God which He had imprinted upon us in the original creation.  Yet, in spite of this, the God of all grace appeared to us, quickened us when we were dead in trespasses and sins, and made us heirs to a kingdom, and inheritors of the righteousness which is of faith.  Moreover, He sustains us in our earthly pilgrimage, forgiving us when we fail, strengthening us to fight His battles, and hearing us when we cry out to Him for forgiveness and for help in time of need.  What a comfort it is, not only that such a man as John would wish grace upon the elect lady and her children, but that God is so willing to bestow His grace upon the unworthy!

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