Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

28. observes that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; pointing at the time when he bore the sins of many; it was when he was offered up a saaifice to make atonement for them; and the apostle Peter observes where he bore them; Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree! 1 Pet. ii. 24. He bore them in his own body, in the body of his flesh; when that was offered once for all; and on the tree, upon the cross, when he was crucified on it. Now his bearing sin, supposes it was upon him; there was no sin in him, interently, in his nature and life; had there been any, he would not have been a fit

person to take away sin, to expiate it, and make satisfaction for it; he was manifested to take away our sins; that is, by the sacrifice of himself; and in him is no sin, 1 John iii. 5. and so a fit sacrifice for it: but sin was upon him, it was put upon him, as the sins of Israel were put upon the scape-goat, bv Aaron, Sin was put upon Christ by his divine Father; no creature could have done it neither angel nor men; but the Lord hath laid on him, or made to meet on him, the iniquity of us all, Isai. liii. 6. not a single iniquity, but a whole mass and lump of sins collected together, and laid, as a common bu:den, upon him; even of us all, of all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles; for Christ became the propitiation, or made satisfaction, for the sins of both; 1 John ïi. 2. This phrase, of laying sin on Christ, is expressive of the imputation of it to him; for as it was the will of God, not to impute the trespasses of his elect to themselves; it was his pleasure they should be imputed to Christ, which was done by an act of his own; For he hath made him to be sin for us; that is, by imputation, in which way we are made the righteousness af God in him; that being imputed to us by him, as our sins were to Christ: the sense is, a charge of sin was brought against him, as the surety of his people; he was numbered with the transgressors; bearing the sins of many, he was reckoned as if he had been one, sin being imputed to him; and was dealt with, by the justice of God, as such; sin being found on him, through imputation, a demand of satisfaction for sin was made; and he answered it to the full. All this was with his own consent; he agreed to have sin laid on him, and imputed to him, and a charge of it brought against him, to which he engaged to be responsible; yea, he himself took the sins of his

peopie on him; so the evangelise Matthew has it; Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses, chap. viii. 17. as he took their nature, so he took their sins, which made his flesh to have the likeness of sinful flesh, though it really was not sinful.

What Christ bore, being laid on him, and imputed to him, were sins, all sorts of sin, original and actual; sins of every kind, open and secret, of heart, lip, and life; all acts of sin committed by his people; for he has redeemed them from all their iniquities; and God, for Christ's sake, forgives all trespasses; his blood cleanses from all sin, and his righteousness justifies from all; all being imputed to him, as that is to them: all that is in sin, and belongs to sin, were bore by himn; the turpitude and filth of sin, without being defiled by it, which cannot be

[ocr errors]

separated from it; and the guilt of sin, which was transferred to him, and obligo ed to punishment; and particularly the punishment itself, sin is often put for the punishment of sin, Gen. iv. 13. Lam. v. 7. aud is greatly meant, and always included, when Christ is said to bear it; even all the punishment due to the sins of his people; and which is called, the chastisement of our peace, said to be upon him, Isai. liii. 5. that is, the punishment inflicted on him, in order to make peace, reconciliation, and atonement for sin. Bearing sin, supposes it to be a burden; and, indeed, it is a burden too heavy to bear by a sensible sinner: when sin is charged home upon the conscience, and a saint groans, being burdened with it, what must that burden be, and how heavy the load Christ bore, consisting of all the sins of all the elect, from the beginning of the world to the end of it? and yet he sunk not, but stood up under it, failed not, nor was he discouraged, being the mighty God, and the Man of God's right-hand, made strong for himself: and he himself bore it; not any with him, to take any part with him, to help and assist him; his shoulders alone bore it, on which it was laid; and his own arm alone brought salvation to him. And he bore it, and bore it away; he removed the iniquity of his people in one day; and that as far as the East is from the West: and in this he was typified by the scape-goat, on whom were put all the iniquities, transgressions, and sins, of all the children of Israel, on the day of atonement, and which were all borne by the scape-goat to a land not inhabited, Lev. xvi. 21, 22. Aaron was also a type of Christ, in bearing the sins of the holy things of the people of Israel, when he went into the holy place, Exod. xxviii. 38. And the sin offering was tvpical of the sacrifice of Christ, which is said to bear the iniquities of the congregation, and to make atonement for them, Lev. X. 17.

11. The form and manner in which Christ made satisfaction for sin, is expressed by dying for sin, that is, to make atonement for it; and for sinners, that is, in their room and stead, as their substitute.

1. By dying for the sins of his people; this the apostlc represents as the first and principal article of the christian faith, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, 1 Cor. xv. 3. according to the scriptures of the Old Testament, which speak of Christ being cut off, in a judicial way, by death, but not for himself, for any sin of his own; and of his being wounded, bruised, and stricken, but not for his own transgressions and iniquities; but as wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and stricken for the transgressions of his people, Dan. ix. 26. Isai. liii. 5–8. that is, wounded and bruised unto death, and strick. en with death; which death was inflicted on him as a punishment for the sins of his people, to expiate them, and make atonement for them; being laid on him, and bore by him : the meaning of the phrases is, that the sins of his people were the procuring and meritorious causes of his death ; just as when the apostle says, for which things sake; that is, for sins betore mentioned; the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, Col. ij. 6. the sense is, that sins are the procuring, meritorious causes of the wrath of God, being stirred up, and poured

down upon disobedient sinners: so, in like manner, when Christ is said to be delivered into the hands of justice and death, for our offences; the sense is, that our offences were the meritorious cause why he was put to death, he bearing them, and standing in our room and stead; as his resurrection from the dead, having made satisfaction for sins, was the meritorious and procuring cause of our justification from them; as follows, and was raised again for our justification, Rom. iv. 25. The Socinians urge, and insist upon it, that the particle for, used in the above phrases, signifies not the piocuring, meritorious cause, but the final cause of Christ's death; which they say was this, to confirm the doctrines and practices he taught, that men, by obedience to them, might have the forgiveness of their sins: which is a doctrine very false; for though Christ did, both by the example of his life, and by his sufferings and death, confirm the truths he taught, which is but what a martyr does ; and that though through the grace of God, his people do obey from the heart the dotrines and ordinances delivered to them; yet it is not by their obedience of faith and duty, that they obtain the forgiveness of their sins; but through the blood of Christ, shed for many, for the remission of sins.

2. By dying for sinners, as their substitute, in their room; so the several Greek particles, arti, UT EG, negi, used in this phrase, and others equivalent to it, signify a surrogation, a substitute of one for another; as in divers passages in the New Testament; see Matt. ii. 21. and v. 38. and in various writers, as has been observed by many, with full proof and evidence, and most clearly in the scriptures, where Christ's sufferings and death ale spoken of as for others; thus Christ his life a ransom for many, in the room and stead of many, Matt. xx. 28. so he himself is said to be artiautpov, a ransoin for all, in the room and stead of all his people, Jews and Gentiles. The prophecy of Caiaphas was, That one man should die for the people, in the room and stead of them, John xi. 50. Christ died for the ungodly, in the room and stead of the ungodly; While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, in our room and stead, kom. v. 6–8. Again, Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, in the room and stead of the unjust, 1 Pet. iii. 18. Some observe that these phrases only mean, Christ died for the good of men: that Christ became a surety for good to his people, and has obtained good for them, by performing his suretyshipengagements, is certain; yet this good he has obtained by obeying, suffering, and dying, in their room and stead: thus that the blessing of Abraham, even all the spiritual blessings of the everlasting covenant, might come upon the Gentiles, through Christ, he was made a curse for thein, in their room; he bore the whole curse of the law for them, as their substitute, and so opened a way for their enjoyment of the blessings, or good things, in the covenant of

grace;

and that sinners might be inade the righteousness of God in him, or have his righteousness imputed to them for their justification; he was made sin for them, had their sins laid on him, and imputed to him, as their substitute ; and was made a sacrifice for sin in their room and stead, to make atonement for it; see Gal jii.

gave

13, 14. 2 Cor. v. 21. This is the greatest instance of love among men, that a man lay down his life va ep, for, in the room and stead ot, his friend, John xv. 13. and such was the love of Christ to his church, that he gave, delivered himself to death up abras, for her, in her room and stead, Eph. v. 25.

V. The effects of satisfaction made by Christ, or the ends that were to be, and have been answered by it.

1. The finishing and making an entire end of sin; this was Christ's work assigned him in covenant, and asserted in prophecy; and which was done when be made reconciliation or atonement for sin, Dan. ix. 24. nor that the being of sin was removed thereby; for that remains in all the justified and sanctified ones, in this life, but the damning power of it; such for whom Christ has made satisfaction, shall never come into condemnation, nor be hurt of the second death, that shall have no power over them; sin is so done, and put away, and abolished, by the sacrifice of Christ for it, that no charge can ever be brought against his people for it; the carse of the law cannot reach them, nor light upon them; nor any sentence of condemnation and death can be executed on them; nor any punislument indicted on them; they are secure from wrath to come. Sin is so finished and made an end of, by Christ's satisfaction for it, that it will be seen no more by the eye of avenging Justice; it is so put away, and out of sight, that when it is sought for, it shall not be found; God, for Christ's sake, has cast it behind his back, and into the depthis of the sea.

11. In virtue of Christ's satisfaction for sin, his people are brought into an open state of reconciliation with God; atonement being made for their sins, their persons are reconciled to God, and they are admitted into open favour with him; and he declares himself pacified towards them, for all that they have done, Ezek. xvi. 63.

u. Sın being atoned for, and made an end of, an everlasting righteousness is brought in, with which God is well-pleased; because by it his law is magnified and made honourable: all its demands being fully answered, by Christ's obey ing its precepts, and bearing its penalty; which righteousness God so approves of, that he imputes it to his people, without works; and so it is unto all, and upon all, them that believe, as their justifying righteousness; which acquits them from sin, and enviles them to eternal life.

iv. Immunity from all evil; that is, from all penal evil, both in this life, and in that to come, is an effect of Christ's satisfaction for sin; since sin being removed by it, no evil can come nigh them; no curse attends their blessings; no wrath is in their amictions; all things work together for their good; it is always well with them in life, in all the circumstances of it; at death, they die in the Lord, in union to him, in faith, and hope of being for ever with him; and at judgment, the Judge will be their Friend and Saviour, and it will be well with them to all eternity; they will be eternally delivered from wrath to come.

v. With respect to God, the effect of Christ's satisfaction is the glorifying of his justice; for that end was Christ set forth to be the propitiation, or to make

atonement for sin; to declare the righteousness of God, to shew it in all its striciness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus; appear to be just in so doing; yea, all the divine perfections are glorified hereby; Rom. iii. 25, 26.

There are many objections made to this important doctrine, and article of faith; some of the principal of which are as follow.

1. It is suggested, as if the doctrine of satisfaction for sin to the justice of God, is inconsistent with the mercy of God, and leaves no room for that. But the attributes of mercy and justice, are not contrary to each other. They subsist and accord together, in the same divine nature; Gracious is the Lord, and righteous ; yea, our God is merciful, Psal. cxvi. 5. merciful, though righteous; and righteous, though gracious and merciful; see Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. and as, they agree as perfections in the divine Being; so in the exercise of them, they do not clash with one another, no, not in this affair of satisfaction; justice ber ing satisfied, a way is opened for mercy to display her stores.

2. It is objected, that pardon of sin, upon the foot of a full satisfaction for it, cannot be said to be free; but eclipses the glory of God's free grace in it: it is certain, that remission of sin is through the tender mercy of God, and is owing to the multitude of it; it is according to the riches of free grace, and yet through the blood of Christ: and both are expressed in one verse, as entirely agreeing together; In whom, Christ, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, aecording to the riches of his grace, Eph i. 7. the free grace of God is so far from being eclipsed, in the forgiveness of sin, through the satisfaction of Christ, that it shines the brighter for it; for consider, that it was the free grace of God which provided Christ to be a sacrifice for sin, to atone for it; as Abraham said to Isaac, when he asked, Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? My son, says he, God will provide himself a lamb for the burnt-offering ? so God of his rich

grace

and

mercy, has provided Christ to be an offering for sin; and grace appears more, in that it is his own Son, his only begotten Son, he provided to be the atoning sacrifice; it was grace that set forth Christ in purpose, proposed him in council and covenant, and sent him forth in time to be the propitiation for sin: it was grace to us that he spared him not, but delivered him up for us all: and it was grace in God to accept of the satisfaction made by Christ; for though it was so full and complete, as nothing could be more so; yet it would have been a refusable one, had he not allowed Christ's name to be put in the obligation: had it not been for the compact and covenant agreed to between them, God might have marked in strict justice, our iniquities, and insisted on a satisfaction at our own hands; he might have declared, and stood by it, that the soul that sinned, that should die: it was therefore owing to the free grace and favour of God, to admit of a Surety in our room, to make satisfac

and to accept of that satisfaction, as if made by ourselves. Moreover, though it cost Christ much, his blood, his life, and the sufferings of death, to make the satisfaction for sin, and to procure forgiveness by it; it cost us no

his

tion for

us,

« AnteriorContinuar »