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§  3. Its Objects.

As to the objects of Christ’s intercession, the Lutherans make a distinction between his intercession as general and special. He intercedes generally for all men, and specially for the elect. The former is assumed on the authority of Luke xxiii. 34, where Christ is represented as praying for his murderers, saying, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” It is said to be due to the intercession of Christ that the wicked are not immediately cut off; that they have the Gospel preached to them, and every opportunity afforded them of returning unto God. That there is, however, an intercession of which the people of Christ alone are objects, Lutherans themselves are constrained to admit, as our Lord Himself says: “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.” (John xvii. 9, 20.) So far as the intercession of Christ is part of his official work as the High Priest of our profession, He intercedes only for those who accept Him as their priest, and whom He represents in the covenant of redemption. This follows from the nature of his office as Priest, from his own express declaration, and from the fact that his intercession is certainly efficacious. Him the Father heareth always. If He interceded for all, all would certainly be saved.

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