« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
comprehends all the rest as mediate ones' For look, as the branch, immediately upon its union with the stock, hath communion with the stock, in all that is in it: so the believer uniting with Christ, hath communion with him; in which he launcheth forth into an ocean of happiness, is led into a paradise of pleasures, and has a faving interest in the tri a/ure-hid in the field of the gospel, the u: searchable riches of Chrift. As soon as the believer is united to Chrift, Chrift himself, in whom all fulness dwells, is his, Cant. ii. 16. My beloved is mine, and I am his. And, how mall he not with him freely give us ALL things??? Rom. vii. 32 " Whether Paul, or Apolos, or Cephas, or the world, “ or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, ALL are " yours;” 1 Cor iii 22. Thus communion with Christ is the great comprehensive blessing, necessarily flowing from our union with him. Let us now consider the particular benefits flowing from it, before. mentioned.
The First particular benefit that a sinner hath by his union with Christ is Justification; for being united to Christ, he hath communion with him in his righte' usnefs, i Cor. i. 30. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness.” He stands no more condemned; but justified before God, as being in Christ, Rom. viii. I “ There is therefore now no condemnation to « them which are in Christ Jesus.". The branchés hereof are pardon of sin, and personal acceptance..
11, His fins are pardoned, the guilt of, then is removed. The bond obliging him to pay his debt, is cancelled God the Father takes the i pen, dips it in the blood of his Son, crofseth the finner's accounts, and blotteth them out of his debt-book. The sinner, 'out of Christ, is bound over to the wrath of God: he is under an obligation in law, to go to the prison of hell, and there to ly till he has paid the utmost farthing. This ariseth from the terrible sanction with which the law is fenced, which is no less than death, Gen. i 17. So that the finner paising the bounds assigned him, is as Shemei, in another case, a man of death, 1 Kings ii. 42. But now, being united to Christ, God faith, Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ranfum, Job xxxiii. 24. The fentence of condemnation is reversed, the be. liever is, abfolved, and set beyond the reach of the condemning law. His lins, which fometimes were set before the Lord, Psal. xc. 8. fo that they could not be hid, God now takes and casts them all h-hind his back, Iía. Xxxvii. 17. Yea, he casts them into the depths of the fea, Micah vii. 19. What falls into a brook may be got up again ; but what is cast into the sea cannot be recovered. Ay, but there are some : Thallow places in the sea : true, but their fins are not cait in thire, but into the depths of the sea ; and the depths of the sea are devouring depths, froin whence they shall never come forth again But, what if they do not sink? He will cast them in with force ; so that they thall go to the ground, and sink as lead in the mighty waters of the Redeemer's blood. They are not only forgiven, but forgotten,
Jer. xxxi. 34. “ I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember « their fins no more." And tho? their after fins do, in themselves, deferve eternal wrath,'and do actually make them liable to temporal strokes, and fatherly chastisements, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace, Pfal. lxxxix. 30.-33. Yet they can never be actually liable to cternal wrath, or the curse of the law; for they are dead to the law in Chriq. Rom. vii 4. And they can never fall from , their union with Chrift; nor can they be in Chrifi, and yet under condemnation, Rom viii. 1. “ I here is therefore now no condemna. , « tion to thein which are in Christ Jefus." This is an inference drawn froin that doctrine of the believer's being dead to the law, delivered by the Apostle, chap. vii. 1-6. As is clear from the 2d, 3d, and 4th verses of this viii. chap. And in this respect, the justisied man is “ the blessed man, unno whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity," Pfal. xxxii. 2. As one who has no design to charge a debt on another, sets it not down in his count-book.
2dly, The believer is accept as righteous in God's sight, 2 Cor. V 21 For he is " found in Christ, not having his own righteoufness, « but that which is through the faith of Chrilt, the righteousness “ which is of God by faith,” Phil. i.g. He could never be accepted of God, as righ:cous, upon the account of his own righteousness : because, at belt, it is but imperfect; and all righteousness, properly su called, which will abide a trial before the throne of God, is perfect. The very name of it implies perfection: for unless a work be perfectly conform to the law, it is not ri;ht, but wrong: aid so cannot make a man righteous before God, whose jud ment is according 10 truth, Yet if justice demand a righteousnels of one that is in Christ, upon which he may be accounted righieous before the Lord: Surely fall such an one fay, In the Lord have I right cousness, Isa. xiv 24. The law is fulfilled, its commands are obeyed, its fanction is satisfied. The believer's Cautioner has paid the debt. It was exacted, and he answered for it.
Thus the perfon united to Christ, is justified. You may conceive of the whole proceeding herein, in this manner. The avenger of blood pursuing the criminal, Christ, as the Saviour of loft finners, doth by the Spirit apprehend him, and draw him to himself; and he by Faith lays hold on Christ: fu the Lord our righteousnefs, and the unrighteous creature unite. From this union with Christ, results a communion with him, in his unfedrchable riches, and consequently, in his righteousness, that white raiment which he has for clothing of the naked, Rev. jii. 18. Thus the righteousness of Chrill becomes his: and because it is his by unquestionable title, it is imputed to him ; it is reckoned his, in the judgment of God, which is always according to the truth of the thing. And so the believing finner having a righteoufness which fully ániwers the demands of the law, he is par doned, and accepted as righteous, See isa. xlv. 22, 24, 25. Ron, iü. 24. and chap. v. i. Now he is a free man, W ko shall lay any thing to the
cts ii 25, meus Christ, who the duft of death; their soul
charge of these whoin God justifieth? Can justice lay any thing to their charge? No, for it is satisfied. Can the law ? No, for it has got all its demands of them in Jesus Christ, Gal. ii. 26. I am crucified with Christ. What can the law require more, after it has wounded their bead; poured in wrath, in full measure, into their soul; and cut off their life, and brought it into the dust of death; in so far as it has done all this to Jesus Christ, who is their Head, Eph. i. 22. their Soul, Acts ii, 25, 27, and their Life, Col. iii. 4. What is become of the finner's own hand-writing, which would prove the debt upon him? Christ has blotted it out, Col. ii. 14. But, it may be, justice may get its eye upon it again: no, he took it out of the way. But, О that it had been torn in pieces, may the finner say : yea. so it is; the nails chat pierced Christ's hands and feet, are driven through it, he nailed it. But what if the torn pieces be set together again? That cannot be; for he nailed it to his cross, and his cross was buried with him, but will never rise more, seeing Christ dieth no more. Where is the face-covering that was upon the condemned man? Christ has destroyed . it, Isa. xxv. 7. Where is death, that stood before the finner with a grim face, and an open mouth, ready to devour him? Christ has /wallowed it up in victory, ver. 8. Glory, glory, glory to him that thus loved us, and washed us from our (ins in his own blood!.
The second benefit flowing from the same spring of union with Christ, and coming by the way of justification, is Peace; peace with God, and peace of conscience, according to the measure of the sense the, justified have of their peace with God, Rom. v. 1. “ Therefore “ being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Chap. xiv. 27. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteouhess “ and peace, and joy in the Holy Gholt.” Whereas God was their enemy before, now he is reconciled to them in Christ; they are in a covenant of peace with him ; and as Abraham was, so they are the friends of God. He is well-pleased with them, in his beloved Son. His word, which spoke terror to them formerly, now speaks peace, if they rightly take up its language. And there is love in all his difpensations towards them, which makes all work together for their good: Their consciences are purged of that guilt and filthiness that sometime lay upon them: his conscience purifying blood streanis, through their sculs, by virtue of their union with him, Heb. ix. 14.. “How much " more Ball the blood of Chrift-purge your conscience from dead KG works, to serve the living God?" The bonds laid on their consciences, by the Spirit of God, acting as the spirit of bondage, are taken off, never more to be laid on by that hand, Rom. vii. 15. “ For " ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear." Hereby the conscience is quieted, as soon as the soul becomes conscious of the application of that blood; which falls out sooner or later, according to the ineasure of faith, and as the only wise God sees meet to time it, Unbelievers may have troubled consciences, which they may get quieted again : but alas! their consciences become peccecble, ere they
become pure; so their peace is but the feed of a greater horror and confusion. Carelesnefs may give ease for a while, to a sick confcience; men neglecting 'its wounds, they close again of their own accord,, before the filthy matter is purged out. Many bury their guilt in the grave of an ill memory: conscience (marts a little ; at length the man forgets his sin, and there is an end of it::but that is only an ease before death. Business, or the affairs of life, often give ease in this
cafe. When Cain is banilhed from the presence of the Lord, he falls ha building of cities. When the evil spirit came upon Saul, he calls
not for his Bible, nor for the priests to converse with him about his case; but for musick, to play it away. So many, when their consci. ences begin to be uneasy, they fill their heads and hands with business,
to divert themselves, and to regain éase at any rate. Yea, fome will of lin over the belly of their convictions, and so fome get ease to their her consciences, as Hazael gave to his matter, by stiffling himi Again '
the performing of duties may give some ease to a difquieted conscience; and this is all that legal professors have recourse to, for quieting of their consciences. When conscience is wounded; they will pray,
confess, mourn, and resolve to do so no more; and so they become | whole again, without any application of the blood of Christ, by faith. But they, whose consciences are rightly quieted : come for peace and purging to the blool of Sprinkling. Sin is a sweet morsel, that makes
God's elect fick souls, ere they get it vomited up. It leaves a fting beat hind it, which fome one time or other, will create them no little pain. : ef Elihu fhews us both the case and cure, Job xxxiii. Behold the
case one may be in, whom God has thoughts of love to. He darteth convictions into his conscience; and makes them stick so fast, that he cannot rid himself of them, ver: 16.“ He openeth the ears of men, " and sealeth their instruction,” his very body lickens, ver. 19. “ He " is chaftened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his
" bones with strong pain.” He loseth his stomach, ver. 20. “ His cell life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat." His body pines
away, so that there is nothing on him but skin and bone, ver. 21. “ His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen, and his bones
Is that were not feen, stick out." Tho' he is not prepared for death, he he has no hopes of life, ver. 22. “ His foul draweth near unto the 100 grave, and (which is the height of his misery) his life to the dea'
troyers:” he is looking every moment when devils, these destroyers, Rom. ix. II. these murderers, 'or man-Sayers, John viii. 44. will , come and carry away his soul to hell o dreadful cafe! yet there is
hope. God designs to ktp back his foul from the pit, 'ver. 18 altho' pes he bring him forward to the brink of it. Now, see how the sick man d is kred. The physician's art cannot prevail here: The disease lies die more inward, than that his medicines can reach it. It is foul-trouble
that has brought the body into this disorder, and therefore the reme. dies must be applied to the fick man's foul and conscience. The phylician for this case must be a spiritual physician; the remedies must
litors, whon Maaffenger of the au. He is
be spiritual, a righteousness, a rancom or atonement. Upon the appli.
pacified, and sweetly quieted: “ he thall pray upon God--and see his in * face with joy," which before he beheld with horror, ver. 26. That is a New Testament language, “ Having an High-prięít over the house of God," the thall draw near with a true heart, in full
him: Che pit: for applied to