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and defend his honor. Thus you have heard what his intercession is, and what benefits we receive by it. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.
THE SATISFACTION OF CHRIST.
THE FIRST EFFECT OF HIS PRIESTHOOD.
" Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a
curse for us.” Gal. 3: 13.
You have seen the general nature, necessity, and parts of Christ's priesthood, namely, oblation and intercession. Before
you leave this office it is necessary you should further take into consideration the principal fruits and effects of his priesthood; which are complete satisfaction, and the acquisition or purchase of an eternal inheritance. The satisfaction made by his blood is manifest. ly contained in the excellent scripture before us, wherein the apostle (having shown before, at verse 10, that whosoever "continueth not in all things written in the law, to do them," is "cursed") declares how, notwithstanding the threats of the law, a believer comes to be freed from its curse, by Christ's bearing that curse for him, and so satisfying God's justice, and discharging the believer from all obligations to punishment.
More particularly, in these words you have the belicver's discharge from the curse of the law, and the way and manner thereof displayed.
1. The believer's discharge; "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” The law of God hath three parts-commands, promises, and threatenings or curses. The curse of the law is its condemning sentence, whereby a sinner is bound over to death, even
the death of soul and body. The chain, by which it binds him, is the guilt of sin ; and from which none can loose the soul but Christ. This curse of the law is the most dreadful thing imaginable ; it strikes at the life of a sinner, yea, his best life, the eternal life of the soul: and when it hath condemned, it is inexorable, no cries nor tears, no reformation nor repentance can loose the guilty sinner; for it requires that which no mere creature can give, even an infinite satisfaction. Now from this curse Christ frees the believer; that is, he dissolves the obligation to punishment, cancels the hand-writing, looses all the bonds and chains of guilt, so that the curse of the law hath nothing to do with him for ever.
2. We have here the way and manner by which this is done; and that is by a full price paid, and paid in the room of the sinner, making a complete and full satisfaction. He pays a full price, every way adequate and proportionable to the wrong. So much this word, Enycpton, which we translate redeemed, imports; he hath bought us out, or fully bought us ; that is, by a full price. And as the price or ransom paid was full, perfect, and sufficient in itself; so it was paid in our room,
upon account : so saith the text, "Being made a curse for us;" the meaning is not, that Christ was made the very curse itself, changed into a curse ; any more than when the Word is said to be made flesh, the Divine nature was converted into flesh. The Divine nature assumed or took flesh; and so Christ took the curse upon him. self; therefore it is said, "He was made sin for us,
who knew no sin,” 2 Cor. 5:21, that is, our sin was imputed to our Surety, and laid upon him for satisfaction. And so this word uneg [for] implies a substitution of one in the place and stead of another. Now the price being full, and paid in lieu of our sins, and thereupon we fully redeemed or delivered from the curse, it follows, as a fair and just deduction, that,
The death of Christ hath made a full satisfaction to God
for all the sins of believers. "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,” saith the prophet, Isa. 53:7; or the words might be fitly ren. dered, it was exacted, and answered. So Col. 1: 14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin.” Here we have the benefit, namely redemption, interpreted by the phrase, " even the forgiveness of sins ;” and we have also the matchless price that was laid down to purchase it, the blood of Christ. So again, " By his own blood he entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Heb. 9:12. Here is eternal redemption, the mercy purchased : his own blood the price that procured it.
Now as this doctrine of Christ's satisfaction is so necessary, weighty, and comfortable in itself, and yet so much opposed and obscured by enemies of the truth, I shall show the nature of Christ's satisfaction, or what it is; then establish the truth of it, and prove that he made full satisfaction to God for our sins; and then apply it.
I. What is the satisfaction of Christ, and what doth it imply? I answer, satisfaction is the act of Christ, Godman, presenting himself as our surety, in obedience to God and love to us, to do and to suffer all that the law required of us : thereby freeing us from the wrath and curse due to us for sins.
1. It is the act of God-man; no other was capable of giving satisfaction for an infinite wrong done to God. But by reason of the union of the two natures in his wonderful person, he could do it, and hath done it for us. The human nature supplied what was necessary in its kind; it gave the matter of the sacrifice: the Divine nature stamped the dignity and value upon it, which made it an adequate compensation : so that it was the act of God-man; yet so that each nature retained its
own properties, notwithstanding their joint influence in producing the effect. If the angels in heaven had laid down their lives, or if the blood of all the men in the world had been shed by justice, this could never have satisfied: the worth and value of this sacrifice would still have been wanting. It was God that redeemed the church "with his own blood.” Acts, 20 : 28. If God redeem with his own blood, he redeems as God-man, without any dispute.
2. If he satisfy God for us, he must present himself before God, as our surety, in our stead, as well as for our good; else his obedience had availed nothing for us ; to this end he was made under the law,” Gal. 4:4, came under the same obligation with us, and that as a surety, for so he is called. Heb. 7: 22. Indeed his obe. dience and sufferings could be exacted from him upon no other account. It was not for any thing he had done that he became a curse. It was prophesied of him, "The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself," Daniel, 9:26; and being dead, the Scriptures plainly assert it was for our sins, and upon our account : so "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor. 15 : 3.
And it is well observed by divines, who vindicate the vicariousness and substitution of Christ in his sufferings, that all those Greek particles which we translate for, when applied to the sufferings of Christ, imply the meritorious, deserving, procuring cause of those sufferings. So you find, "He offered one sacrifice, unig Que apriwv, for sins.” Heb. 10:12.
Christ once suffered, regi, for sins.” 1 Peter, 3 : 18. He was delivered, 8ic, for our offences.” Rom. 4:25. "He gave his life a ransom, arth, for
.” Matt. 20:28. And some confi. dently affirm that this last particle is never used in any other sense in the whole book of God; as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," that is, one in lieu of
another. And indeed, this very consideration is that which supports the doctrine of the imputation of our sins to Christ, and of Christ's righteousness to us. Rom. 5:19. For how could our sins be laid on him, but as he stood in our stead? or his righteousness be imputed to us, but as he was our surety, performing it in our place? So that to deny Christ's sufferings in our stead, is to lose the corner-stone of our justification, and overthrow the very pillar which supports our faith, comfort, and salvation. Indeed if this had not been, he would have been the righteous Lord, but not "the Lord our righteousness," as he is styled, Jer. 33:16. So that it were but a vain distinction, to say it was for our good, but not in our stead; for had he not been in our stead, we could not have had the benefit.
3. The internal moving cause of Christ's satisfaction for us, was his obedience to God, and love to us. That it was an act of obedience is plain from Phil. 2:8, "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Now obedience respects a command, and such a command Christ received to die for us, as himself tells us, "I lay down my life of myself ; I have power to lay it down, and power to take it again: this commandment have I received of my Father.” John, 10:18. So that it was an act of obedience with respect to God, and yet a most free and spontaneous act with respect to himself. And that he was moved to it out of pity and love to us, we are assured : " Christ loved us, and gave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.” Eph. 5:2. Upon this Paul sweetly reflected, "Who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2: 20. As the external moving cause was our misery, so the internal was his own love and pity for us.
4. The matter of Christ's satisfaction was his active and passive obedience to all the law of God required. I know there are some that doubt whether Christ's active