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1 believe that Christ lived to God, and died for sin, that I might die to sin, and live with God.
AND thus, by faith, I follow my Saviour from the womb to the tomb, from his incarnation to his 51death and passion, believing all that he did or suffered, to be for my sake: Jim Christ did not only take my nature upon him, but he suffered and obeyed; he underwent miseries, and undertook duties for me; so that not only his passive, but likewise his active obedience unto God, in that nature, was still for me. Not as if I believed, his duty as man was not God’s debt, by the law of creation; yes, I believe that he owed that obedience unto God, that if he had committed but one sin, and that of the lightest tincture, in all his lifetime, he would have been so far from being able to satisfy for my sins, that he could not have satisfied for his own: ‘For such an High-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needed not daily, as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifice first for his own sins, and then for the people’s.’9393 Heb. vii. 26, 27. So that if he had not had these qualifications in their absolute perfection, he could not have been our High-priest, nor by consequence, have made atonement for, nor expiated any sins whatsoever. But now, though both as man, and as God-man or Mediator too, it behoved him to be thus faithful and spotless; yet, as being God, coequal and co-essential with the Father, it was not out of duty, but merely upon our account, that he thus subjected his neck to the yoke of his own law; himself, as God, being the legislator or lawgiver, and so no more under it than the Father himself.
And hereupon it is, that I verily believe, that whatsoever Christ either did or suffered in the flesh, was meritorious; not that his life was righteous 52towards God, only that his death might he meritorious for us, (which I believe otherwise it could not have been,) but that his life was equally meritorious as righteous. So, that I believe my person is really accepted, as perfectly righteous, by the righteousness of his life imputed to me, as my sins are pardoned by God, for the bitterness of the death he suffered for them; his righteousness being as really by faith imputed to me, as my sins were laid upon him: as those are set upon his, so is that set upon my score; and so every thing he did in his life, as well as every thing be suffered in his death, is mine; by the latter, God looks upon me as perfectly innocent, and therefore not to be thrown down to hell; by the former, he looks upon me as perfectly righteous, and therefore to be brought up to heaven.
And, as for his death, I believe it was not only as much, but infinitely more, satisfactory to divine justice, than though I should have died to eternity. For, by that means, justice is actually and perfectly satisfied already, which it could never have been, for my suffering for my sins myself; for if justice by that means could ever be satisfied, if it could ever say, ‘It is enough;’ it could not stand with the same justice, now satisfied, still to inflict punishment, nor, by consequence, could the damned justly scorch in the flames of God’s wrath for ever. Neither did the death of my Saviour reach only to the condemning, but likewise to the commanding power of sin; it did not only pluck out its sting, but likewise deprive it of its strength; so that he did not only merit by his death, that I should never die for sin, but likewise that I should die to it. Neither did he only merit by his life, that I should 54be accounted righteous in him before God; but likewise that I should be made righteous in myself by God. Yea, I believe that Christ by his death hath so fully discharged the debt I owe to God, that now, for the remission of my sins, and the accepting of my person, (if I perform the condition he requires in his covenant,) I may not only appeal to the throne of grace, but likewise to the judgment-seat of God; I may not only cry, Mercy, mercy, O gracious Father, but, justice, justice, my righteous God; I may not only say, Lord, be gracious and merciful, but be just and faithful, to acquit me from that debt, and cancel that bond which my surety hath paid for me, and which thou hast promised to accept of; being ‘not only gracious and merciful, but just and faithful, to forgive me my sins, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.’9494 1 John, i. 9.
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