John 8:41 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentIn the former verses the Jews made their boast that they were the children of Abraham: in these that they are the children of God. We have one Father, even God. This our Saviour disproves, telling them, that if God were their Father, they would love him, as proceeding from him by eternal generation; and in his office employed by him as Mediator. Also, if God were their father, they would understand him speaking from God; whereas now they were so transported with malice, that they could not endure his doctrine with patience, though it came from God. All which were undeniable proofs, that they were not the children of God.
Hence learn, That none can justly pretend any interest in God as his children, but they that love Christ, as being the express image of his Father's person, and do hear and receive his doctrine, as coming from God: this the Jews did not do; therefore, says Christ, they are not the children of God.
Observe farther, Having told them whose children they are not, our Saviour tells them plainly whose children they were, Ye are of your Father, the devil. This appears by their being actuated by him, by their resembling and imitating of him; their inclinations, dispositions, and actions, being all to fullfil the lusts of the devil. Now, as his servants we are, whom we obey; so his children we are, whom we resemble.
Learn hence, That men's sinful practices will prove them to be Satan's children, let their profession be what it will; if in the temper of their minds, and in the actions of their lives, there by a conformity to Satan's disposition, and a ready compliance with his temptations, they are certainly his children, what pretensions soever they make of being the children of God. None could pretend higher to the relation of God's children than the Jews did: yet, says Christ, Ye are the children of the devil, for his works ye do.
Note hence, That the devil hath the relation of a father to all wicked men: and this fatherhood doth not proceed from the act of the father, but of the children; for the devil doth not make wicked men his children by begetting them: but they make the devil their father, by imitating of him.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.