« PreviousContinue »
have nothing, yet ye possess all things, viz. in Christ; ye have them in the promise, Col. ii. 10. · Ye are complete in him.'
(2.) Resolutely set about every duty in the faith of the pro, mise. It will be too hardy to venture on the least without it; and the hardest and most difficult may be ventured on with it, 2 Tim. ii. 1. God calls his people to no duty, but what the covenant has furniture for in the promise. And in the faith of it the weak is made strong, and without it the proud helpers stoop.
(3.) Resist temptations in the faith of the promise. The least of them is able to lay us by, if the Lord do not stand by us: the shock of the most violent of them may be endured, and one come off safe, if encountered in the faith of the promise, Eph. vi. 16. It is the promise in the hand of faith that keeps the tempted safe, and makes his resistance successful.
(4.) Bear crosses, trials, and afflictions, in the faith of the promise, Psal. xxvii. 13. There is no getting forward to heaven, but by the way of the cross: these deep waters must needs be swimmed through ; but the faith of the promise will bear up the head, and keep from sinking. It will bring in comfort from the covenant, when other streams are dried.
Lastly, Die in the faith of the promise, Heb. xi. 13. That is the last battle to be fought: and then the time draws near of the full accomplishment of the promise to the Lord's people; and that is a special season of exercising faith on the promises.
3dly, and lastly, Walk suitably to the administration of the covenant, which is a most happy one, as being lodged by the Father in Christ's hand. And,
(1.) Go to Christ for all you need. To whom should we go but to him, since he is Administrator of the covenant, and all is in his hand? Whether you need light, life, strength, or whatsoever is necessary for time or eternity, go to him for it.
(2.) Be obedient to his laws, the laws of the covenant. If he administers the covenant to you effectually to your salvation, he is your King and Lord, and ye must receive the law at his mouth, Psal. cxix. 6. (3.) Submit to the discipline of the covenant, If ye meet with crosses, afflictions, and trials, take them kindly, blessing God that they are not curses, effects of revenging wrath.
(4.) Believe that all ye meet with is well ordered. It is So, for it is the product of the wisdom of the great Administrator of the covenant.
(5.) Lastly, Do your endeavour amongst all, as ye have access, to advance the covenant; that those who are without, may be brought in; and that those who are within, may be edified. For Christ is to administer the covenant to whosoever of mankind sinners will receive it.
Thus, by the mercy of God, I have travelled through this subject, the covenant of grace, and laid before
and laid before you the principal things relating to it; having formerly treated of the covenant of works. In the first covenant, see your misery; in this see the remedy, and apply it by believing You have here had the mystery of salvation by Christ opened up at large. May the Lord himself open your understandings to understand it, and your hearts to receive it; and save you from slighting it: for so it will be a witness against you.
OF CHRIST THE ONLY REDEEMER OF GOD'S ELECT.
GAL. iv. 4, 5.-When the fulness of the time was come, God
sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
E are now to speak of the Mediator of the new co
venant, Jesus Christ, and to consider our Redeemer in his person, offices, and states. As to the first of these, it is plainly taught in the text.
In the former chapter, and in the first part of this, the apostle insists upon the church's freedom from the Mosaic dispensation, which was a very toilsome and burdersome service. This he illustrates by the similitude of a pupil and his tutors, ver. 1, 2. and then he applies it in the following verse, (1.) To the church's bondage under the Old Testament dispensation, when she was in her infant state, kept in subjection under that rigid and strict administration, which served for a rudiment, whereby she was instructed for the most part by resemblances taken from earthly things. (2.) To her freedom from that bondage under the New Tes. tament, in the words of our text. Where we have,
1. The season in which this freedom or redemption was brought about: When the fulness of the time was come, sayo the apostle, God wrought this deliverance for his people in the time that he had pitched and resolved upon, as the most fit and proper for it.
2. We have the means of this deliverance, namely Christ's incarnation, and manifestation in the flesh; God sent forth his own Son, made of a woman. He sent his own Son into the world, the second person of the glorious and adorable Trinity, who was incarnate in a miraculous way, being conceived in the womb of a virgin, without the company of a man,
3. We have the condition in which Christ came ; made under the law. Being made flesh, he subjected himself to both the precepts and curse of the law. He fulfilled all righteousness, and gave complete satisfaction to all the demands of the law in the holiness and integrity of his life, and he bore the punishment threatened for sin, in the bloody and cruel sufferings which he endured in his death.
4. The freedom and deliverance itself: God sent forth his Son, thus qualified, ta redeem them that were under the law; that is, to free all the elect from the curse and punishment that was due to them for the transgression of it. Hence it is said, Gal. iij. 13. ! Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. He freed the whole church from that rigour and servitude under which she was as to her outward state. And hereby also was procared to believers the adoption of sons : by which we are to understand, not only the benefit of adoption itself, which was the privilege of believers under the Old Testament as well as now under the New, but also and chiefly a clearer manifestation of that privilege, and a more free use and fruition of it. They have now a more full and plentiful measure of the Spirit than believers had under the old Testament dispensation.
The doctrine arising from the text is,
Doct. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.'
In discoursing from this doctrine, I shall, 1. Shew that the only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Illustrate this grand truth, that Jesus Christ, being the eternal Son of God, became man.
III. Prove that Christ is God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person.
IV. Deduce some inferences.
1. I am to shew, that the only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, Let us consider the titles and names of our Redeemer.
1. He is called Lord, because of his absolute and universal sovereignty and dominion over all the creatures. He is Lord of all,' says the apostle, Acts x. 36. His dominion extendeth to all things in heaven, earth, and hell; He hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all,' Psal. ciii. 19, He is the sole monarch of the whole world, and all the princes and potentates in the earth are but his deputies and vicegerents. He is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, as the apostle justly styles him, 1 Tim. vi. 15, He hath a natural and essential right and authority over all things as he is God, equal with the Father; and he hath a delegated authority as Mediator. The government belongs to him originally as God, and derivatively as God-man, Me. diator. He holds his crown by immediate tenure from Heaven. He is declared to be King by the decree and appointment of the Father, Psal. ii. 6. God hath invested him with a royal authority over all the creatures. It is said, that'he hath put all things under his feet, and given him to be the Head over all things to the church,' Eph. i. 22. He rules from sea to sea, and to the ends of the earth, yea, to the utmost. bounds of God's creation. All the creatures are subject to his dominion, rational and irrational, animate and inani. mate, angels, devils, men, seas, storms and tempests, all obey him. But in a special manner he is King in Zion; he reigns and rules in the church, and sways his royal sceptre there. He is Lord of all the creatures by creation, of the elect by redemption, and of believers by their voluntary resignation and surrender of themselves unto him.
2. He is called Jesus, because he is the Saviour of the elect world, and delivers them from sin and wrath. This was declared by an angel to the virgin Mary before his conception in her womb, Luke i. 31. • Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus.” This was revealed to Joseph in a dream, Matth. i. 21. The name Jesus is there interpreted to signify a Saviour; and the angel of the Lord, a messenger sent from God, is the expositor. Christ was sent by his Father to be the Saviour of the elect. Now, a Saviour in the proper signification of the word, is one that delivereth from evil. Accordingly Christ not only saves his people from the worst of evils, but bestows upon them the greatest of good. He delivers them from the guilt, stain, and dominion of sin, the wrath of God, the malediction and accusations of the law, and eternal death and misery; and he gives them grace and righteousness, eternal life and glory. He is a Saviour to protect and defend, and a Saviour to bless and save them, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. He is the only Saviour of lost sinners, and there is no salvation bút through him, Acts iv. 12.
3. He is called Christ, because he was anointed unto his office by the Father. This title very fitly followeth the former.
Jesus iinplies his office in general, and Christ his designation or ordination to-his office. He is an anointed Saviour. This is frequently expressed in the scripture, Psal. xlv. 7. • God, thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' Isa. Ixi. 1. • The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek,' &c. Acts x. 38. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power. From all which places we see, that Christ's anointing is not to be understood literally, but by a trope and figure, the sign being put for the thing signified. Several persons were anointed of old, as wrestlers among the Gentiles; which may be applied to Christ, who was to conflict and wrestle with all the powers of hell and the world, with all the oppositions and difficulties that were in the way of man's salvation. But this term of anointing is rather taken from the customs of the ceremonial law. There were three sorts of persons commonly anointed among the Jews; as kings. Thus Saul, David, Solomon, &c. were anointed with material oil; and hence were called the Lord's anointed.-Priests. All the priest's that ministered in the tabernacle or temple were anointed, and chiefly the high priest,