This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series: The Fountain of Life (Flavel)
- The excellency of knowing Christ crucified
- Christ’s primeval glory
- Christ’s wonderful person
- Christ’s humiliation in his incarnation
- Christ’s humiliation in his life
- Christ’s prayer for his people
- The Lord’s Supper
- Christ’s illegal trial and condemnation
- The nature of Christ’s death
- ‘Father, forgive them’
- Flavel on Jesus’ cry of dereliction
- “It is finished”
- ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’
- The resurrection of Christ
- The ascension of Christ
- Christ’s exaltation
What is implied here?
1. That the soul outlives the body. The house in which it dwelt falls into ruins, and it seeks a new home with God.
2. That the soul’s true rest is in God. During this earthly pilgrimage, we long to be with God, Psa 73:25.
3. That the soul is of great value. We commit our dead bodies to our friends; let our living souls be kept safe by God.
4. That a great change comes upon us at death. Earthly objects fade from sight; the soul turns from them all, and casts itself upon God.
5. That the atonement is to be utterly rested upon. It is an awesome thing to fall into God’s hands otherwise, Heb 10:31.
6. That faith is excellent and efficacious. Faith is the soul’s pilot, when in utter distress; when it departs the body; until it lands safe upon the the shore of glory. Then faith is turned into sight.
What encouragement have we to commit our souls at death into God’s hands?
1. The God to whom the soul commits itself is its Creator, 1 Pet 4:19. This is no consolation to those still in their sins, Isa 27:11, but grace brings us back into a favourable relationship with our Maker.
2. The gracious soul has been redeemed by God; it has been bought at a great price, 1 Pet 1:18f; cf Psa 31:5.
3. The gracious soul has been renewed by God. It was created once, then it was re-created, Eph 2:10. This was the purpose of the Holy Spirit in coming down from heaven.
4. The gracious soul has been sealed by God. The soul that has been so favoured as to receive the pledge of glory, 2 Cor 1:22, can be sure that it will not be rejected by God at death.
5. The gracious soul is in covenant with God, and rests on the divine promises, Jn 14:4; Heb 13:5.
6. The gracious soul sustains many intimate and loving relations to the God the into whose hands it commits itself at death. It is his spouse, his child, his friend, a member of his body, and as such will not be forsaken.
7. The gracious soul derives confidence from the unchangeableness of God’s love, Jn 13:1.
1. Dying believers are thus encouraged to commit their souls into God’s hands at death. But what of unbelievers? They, too, will fall into God’s hands, but with a very different outcome. They will fall, not into hands of mercy, but hands of justice.
2. God will graciously keep what we commit to him at death; let us keep what God commits to us while we live. Let us keep his truth, that he may keep our souls, Rev 3:10; 2 Tim 2:12. Take care that earthly blessings do not prove a hindrance to spiritual well-being.
3. Believers can commit their souls to God at death; therefore they can commit all lesser things to him also. If we can trust him with our souls, we can trust him for our daily bread.
4. If our privilege is to commit our souls to God at death, then what a precious thing is faith. Our union with Christ, Eph 3:17; our communion with God, Heb 11:6; our reasons for joy, 1 Pet 1:8; our inward renewal, 2 Cor 4:18, are all ours by faith.
5. Since the souls of dying believers commit themselves to God, then let not those who remain sorrow as those who have no hope. A loved one is removed from your embrace; but consider into whose arms he has been commited.
6. See that your souls be such as may be committed in God’s hands at the last hour. God is just and holy: to that your soul is holy, Heb 12:14; 1 Jn 3:3.
(Based on Flavel, The Fountain of Life, 436-448)