Christ a complete saviour (1)
Hebrews vii. 25.
Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
By Mr. JOHN BUNYAN,
Author of the Pilgrim's Progress, &c.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY T. JOHNSTON.
CHRIST A COMPLETE SAVIOUR.
Hebrews vii. 25.
Wherefore he is able alſo to ſave them to the uttermoſt that come unto God by him ſeeing he ever liveth to make interceſſion for them.
THE Apoſtle, in this chapter preſenteth us with two things that is with the greatneſs of the perſon, and of the prieſthood of our Lord Jeſus.
1. He preſenteth us with the greatneſs of his perſon, in that he preferreth him before Abraham, who is the father of all the faithful; yea in that he preferreth him before Melchiſedec who was above Abraham, and bleſſed him who had the promiſe.
2. As to his prieſthood he ſheweth the greatneſs of that in that he was made a prieſt, not by the law of a carnal commandment but by the power of an endleſs life; not without, but with an oath by him that ſaid "The Lord ſware, and will not repent thou art a prieſt for ever after the order of Melchiſedec. Wherefore this man, becauſe he liveth ever, hath an changeable prieſthood." Now my text is drawn from this concluſion, namely, that Chriſt abideth a prieſt continually: "Wherefore he is able alſo to ſave to the uttermoſt them that come unto God by him ſeeing he ever liveth to make interceſſion for them."
In the words, I take notice of four things.
1. Of the Interceſſion of Chriſt: "He maketh interceſſion."
2. Of the benefit of his interceſſion "Wherefore he is able alſo to ſave to the uttermoſt," &c.
3. We have alſo here ſet before us. the perſons intereſted in this interceſſion of Chriſt, and they are thoſe "that come unto God by him."
4 We have alſo here the certainty of their reaping this benefit by him to wit, "Seeing he ever liveth to make interceſſion for them. —— "Wherefore he is able to ſave them to the utter moſt, that come into God by him ſeeing he ever liveth to make interceſſion for them.
1. We will begin with his interceſſion, and will ſhew you,
1. What it is.
2. For what he intercedes. And,
3 What is alſo to be inferred from Chriſt's making interceſſion for us. 1. I begin then with the firſt that is, To ſhew you what interceſſion i. Interceſſion is prayer; but all prayer is not interceſſion.——
Interceſſion, then is that prayer that is made by a third perſon about the concerns that are between two: And it may be made either to ſet them at a farther difference or to make them friends; for interceſſion may be made againſt, as well a for a perſon or people: "Wot ye not what the Scripture faith of Elias how he made interceſſion to God againſt Iſrael?" But the interceſſion that we are now to ſpeak of is not an interceſſion againſt but an interceſſion for a people: "He ever liveth to make interceſſion for them." The highprieſts were ordained for, and not to be againſt the people: "Every high prieſt taken from among men is ordained for men, in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the ſins of the people;" or that he may offer both gifts and ſacrifices for ſin. This, then, is interceſſion: and the interceſſion of Chriſt is to be between two, between God and man, for man's good And,
2 It extendeth itſelf unto theſe:
1ſt. To pray that the elect may be brought all home to him, that is, to God.
2dly To pray that their ſins committed after converſion, may be forgiven them.
3dly To pray that their graces which they receive at converſion, may be maintained and ſupplied, 4thly To pray that their perſons may be preſerved unto his heavenly kingdom.
This is the interceſſion of Chriſt, or that for which he doth make interceſſion
1ſt He prays for all the elect that they may be brought home to God. and ſo into the unity of the faith &c This is clear, for that he faith. Neither pray I for theſe alone." that is, for thoſe only that are convertved," but for them alſo that ſhall believe on me through their word:" for all them that ſhall, that are appointed to believe; or a you have it a little above for all them which thou haſt given me." And the reaſon is for tha he hath paid a ranſom for them. Chriſt, therefore, when he maketh interceſſion for the ungodly, (and all the unconverted elect are ſuch) doth but petitionanily aſk for his own his purchased ones thoſe for whom he died before, that they may be ſaved by his blood.
2dly, When any of them are brought home to God, he yet prays for them; namely, that the ſins which through infirmity they after converſion commit, may alſo be forgiven them.
This is ſhewed us by the interceſſion of the high prieſt under the law, that was to bear away the iniquities of the holy things of the children of Israel; yea, and alſo by his atonement for them that ſinned; for that it is ſaid, "And the prieſt ſhall make an atonement for him for the ſin which he hath ſinned, and it ſhall be forgiven him."
This alſo is intimated even where our Lord doth make interceſſion, ſaving "I pray not that thou ſhouldeſt take them our of the world, but that thou wouldeſt keep them from the evil." That Chriſt prayed that the converted ſhould be kept from all manner of commiſſion of ſin, muſt not be ſuppoſed for that is the way to make his interceſſion at leaſt in ſome things, invalid and to contradict himſelf; "For faith he I know thou heareſt me always." But the meaning I pray that thou wouldeſt keep them from ſoul-damning deluſions ſuch alſo unavoidably ſuch, alſo that thou wouldeſt keep them from the ſoul deſtroying evil of every ſin of every temptation. Now thus he doth by his prevailing and pardoning grace.
3dly. In his interceſſion, he prayeth alſo, that thoſe graces which we receive at converſion. may be maintained and ſupplied This is clear where he faith, "Simon, Simon, Satan has deſired to have you that he might fiſt you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith ſail not." Ay may ſome ſay he is ſaid to pray here for the ſupport and ſupply of faith; but doth it therefore follow, that he prayed for the maintaining and ſupply of all our graces? Yes, in that he prayed for the preſervation of our faith he prayed for the preſervation of all our graces; for faith is the mother-grace, the root-grace, the grace that hath all others in the bowels of it, and that from which all others flow; yea, it is that which gives being to all our other graces, and that by which all the reſt do live. Let then faith be preſerved, and all graces continue and live, that is, according to the preſent ſtate, health and of faith, So, then Chriſt prayed for the preſervation of every grace when he played for the preſervation of faith That text alſo is of be ſame tendency, where he faith Keep through thine own name thoſe whom then halt given me." Keep them in thy fear in the faith in he true religion, in the way of life. by thy grace. by thy power, by thy wiſdom &c. This muſt be much the meaning of this place; and he that excludes this ſenſe will make but poor work of another expoſition.
4thly He alſo, in his interceſſion prayeth that our perſons be preſerved and brought ſafe unto his heavenly kingdom. And this he doth,
1ſt. By pleading intereſt in them.
2dly By pleading that he had given by promiſe, glory to them.
3dly. By pleading his own reſolution to have it ſo.
4thly, By pleading the reaſon, why it muſt be ſo.
1ſt, He prays that their perſons may come to glory, for that they are his, and that by the beſt of titles: "Thine they were, and thou gaveſt them me." Father, I will have them, Father, I will have them for they are mine: What is mine my wife, or my child, or my jewel, or my joy, ſure I may have it with me. Thus therefore he pleads, or cries in his terceſſion, that our perſons might be preſervedto glory: "They are mine, and thou gaveſt them, me."
2dly, He alſo pleads that he had given, given already, that is in the promiſe, glory to them; and therefore they muſt not go without it: ̊"And the glory which thou gaveſt me I have given them." Righteous men when they give a good thing by promiſe. they deſign the performance of that promiſe; nay, they more than deſign it, they purpoſe. they determine it. As Balaam ſaid of God in another caſe, "Hath he ſaid, and ſhall he not do it? Or hath he ſpoken, and ſhall he not make it good?" Hath Chriſt given us glory, and ſhall we not have it? Yea hath the Truth itſelf beſtowed it upon us, and ſhall thoſe to whom it is given, be yet deprived thereof?
3dly, He pleads, in his interceding that they might have glory, his own reſolution to have is ſoː "Father, I will that thoſe whom thou haſt given me be with me where I am."—— Behold ye here he is reſolved to have it ſo; it muſt be ſo ; it ſhall be ſo; I will have it ſo. We read of Adonjah, that his father never denied him any thing. He never ſaid to him, Why haſt thou done ſo? Indeed he denied him the kingdom for his brother was heir of that from the Lord. How much more will our Father let our Lord Jeſus have his mind and will in this, ſince he alſo i as willing to have it fo, as is the Son himſelf? " Fear not, little ſtock it; is your Father's good pleaſure to give you the kingdom." Reſolution will drive things far eſpecially reſolution to do that which none but they that cannot hinder ſhall oppoſe. Why, this is the caſe, the reſolution of our interceſſor is that we be preſerved to glory: yea and this reſolution he pleads in his interceſſion: Father, I will that thoſe which thou ha given me be with me where I am, &c. Muſt it not therefore now be ſo?
4thly. He alſo in the laſt place in this his interceſſion urges a reaſon why he will have it ſo namely, "That they may be hold my glory which thou halt given me; for thou lovedit me before the foundation of the world."
And this is a reaſon to the purpoſe. It is as if he had ſaid. Father. theſe have continued with me in my temptations, theſe have ſeen me under all my diſadvantages, theſe have ſeen me in my poor, low, contemptible condition, theſe have ſeen what ſcorn reproach, ſlanders and diſgrace I have borne for thy ſake in the world; and now I will have them alſo to be where they ſhall ſee me in thy glory. I have told them that I am thy Son and they have believed that; I have told them that thou loveſt me, and they have believed that; I have alſo told them that thou wouldſt take me again to glory, and they have believed that: but they have not ſeen my glory, nor can they but be like the Queen of Sheba, they will but believe by the halves, unleſs their own eyes do behold it. Beſides, Father, theſe are they that love me, and it will be a great increaſe of their joy if they may but ſee me in glory; It will be as an heaven to their hearts, to ſee their Saviour in glory:" I will therefore, that thoſe which thou haſt given me be with me where I am that they may behold my glory." This therefore, is a reaſon why Chriſt Jeſus, our Lord, intercedes to have his people with him in glory.
3. I come now to the third thing namely, To then you what is to be inferred from Chriſts making interceſſion for us.
1ſt, This is to be inferred from hence. That ſaints (for I will here ſay nothing of thoſe of the elect uncalled) do oft-times give occaſion of offence to God, even they that have received grace: For interceſſion is made to continue one in the favour of another, and to make up thoſe breaches that any time ſhall happen to be made by one, to the alienating of the affections of the other. And thus he makes reconciliation for iniquity. For reconciliation may be made for iniquity two ways: Firſt, By paying of a price. Secondly. By inſiſting upon the price paid for the offender, by way of interceſſion. Therefore you read that as a goat was to be killed, ſo his blood as by the prieſt to be brought within the veil, and in a way of inrerceſſion to be ſprinkled before and upon the mercy ſeatː "Then ſhall he kill the goat of the ſin offering that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil; and do with that blood at he did with the blood of the bullock, and ſprinkle it upon the mercy-ſeat and before the mercy-ſeatː and he ſhall make an atonement for the holy place, becauſe of the uncleanneſſes of the children of Iſrael, and becauſe of their tranſgreſſions in all their ſins. And ſo ſhall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation that remaineth among them in the midſt of all their uncleanneſſes." This way to be done as you ſee that the tabernacle which was the place of God's preſence and graces might yet remain among the children of Iſrael, not withſtanding their uncleanneſſes and tranſgreſſion; This alſo is the effect of Chriſt's interceſſion; it is, that the ſigns of Gods preſence and his grace might remain among his people, not withſtanding they have by their tranſgreſſions ſo often provoked God to depart from them.
2dly, By Chriſt's interceſſion I gather, that awakened men and women, ſuch as the godly are, dare not, after offence given come in their own names to make unto God an application for mercy. God, in himſelf, is a conſuming fire, and ſin has made the beſt of us as ſtubble is to fire. Wherefore they may not they cannot, they dare not approach Gods preſence for help, but by and through a mediator and interceſſor. When Iſrael ſaw the fire, the blackneſs and darkneſs, and heard the thunder and lightning, and the terrible ſound of the trumpet, they ſaid to Moſes "Speak thou unto us and we will hear: Bet let no: God ſpeak with us, leſt we die." Guilt, and a ſenſe of the diſparity that is betwixt God and us, will make as look out for one that may lay his hand upon us both, and that may ſet us right in the eyes of our Father again. Thus, I ſay, I infer from the interceſſion of Chriſt. For, if there had been a poſſibility of our ability to have approached God with advantage without it, what need had there been of the interceſſion of Chriſt?
Abſalom durſt not approach no not the preſence of his fa her by himſelf, without a mediator and interceſſor; wherefore he ſends for Joab to go to the king. and make interceſſion for him. Alſo Jacob durſt not go upon that errand himſelf, but by the mediation of another. Sin is a fearful thing, it will quaſh and quell the courage of a man, and make him afraid to approach the preſence of him whom he has offended, though the offended is but a man. How much more then ſhall it discourage a man, when once loaden with guilt and ſhame from attempting to approach the preſence of a holy and ſin-revenging God, unleſs he can come to him through and in the name of an interceſſor. But here now is the help and comfort of the people of God. There is to help them under all their infirmities, an Interceſſor prepared and at work: He ever liveth to make interceſſion.
3dly, I alſo infer from hence. That ſhould we, out of an ignorant boldneſs and preſumption, attempt when we have offended by ourſelves to approach the preſence of God, he would not accept us. He told Eliphaz ſo. What Eliphaz thought, or was about to do, I know not; but God ſaid unto him, "My wrath is kindled againſt thee, and againſt thy two friends; for you have not ſpoken of me the thing that is right, as my ſervant Jacob hath. Therefore, take unto you ſeven bullocks and ſeven rams, and go to my ſervent Job, and offer up for yourſelves that is by him a burn offering; and my ſervant Job ſhall pray for you, for him will I accept; leſt I deal with you after your folly in that ye have not ſpoken of me the thing that is right, like my ſervant Job.'—— See here, an offence i a bar and an obſtruction to acceptance with God but by a mediator, but by an interceſſor. He that comes to God by himſelf, God will anſwer him by himſelf; that is, without an interceſſor: And I will tell you ſuch are not like to get any pleaſant or comfortable anſwer: "I will anſwer him that ſo cometh, according to the multitude of his idolsː And I will ſet my face againſt that man, and will make him a ſign and a proverb; and I will cut him off from the midſt of my people: And ye ſhall know that I am the Lord.
He that intercedes for another with a holy and juſt God, had need to be clean himſelf, leſt he, with whom he ſo buſieth himſelf. ſay to him Firſt clear thyſelf. and then come and ſpeak for thy friend. Wherefore this is the very deſcription of this our High Prieſt and bleſſed Interceſſor: "For ſuch an High Prieſt became us who is holy harmleſs undefiled, ſeparare from ſinners and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as thoſe high-prieſts. to offer up ſacrifices, firſt for his own ſins,' &c. Had we not had ſuch an Interceſſor, we had been in a very poor caſe; but we have one that becomes us, one that fits us to the purpose one againſt whom our God hath nothing can object nothing; one in whoſe mouth no guile could be found.
4thly. Since Chriſt is an Interceſſor, I infer, that he has where withal in readineſs to anſwer to any demands that may be pronounced by him that hath been by us offended in order to a renewing peace and letting out that grace to us that we have ſinned away, and yet have need of. Oft times the offended faith to the interceſſor, Well, thou comeſt to me about this man, what itereſt he has in thee is one thing, what offence he has committed againſt me is another. I ſpeak now after the manner of men. Now, what can an interceſſor do, if he is not able to anſwer this queſtion? But, if he be able to anſwer this queſtion that is, according to law and juſtice n queſtion but he may prevail with the offended, for him for whom he makes interceſſion.
Why, this is our caſe; to be ſure thus far we have offended a juſt and holy God, and eſus Chriſt is become our Interceſſor. He knows full well. that for our parts, if it would ſave us from hell, we cannot produce, towards a peace with God, any thing that can by law and juſtice be eſteemed worthy; therefore he makes interceſſion. It follows therefore, that he hat wherewith of his own, to anſwer every reaſonable demand. Hence it is ſaid that he has gifts as well as ſacrifice for ſin: "Every high prieſt is ordained to offer gifts and ſacrifices: wherefore it is of neceſſity, that this man have ſomewhat a ſo to offer" And here obſerve, that the apoſtle ſpeaks here of Chriſt as in heaven, there miniſtering in the ſecond part of his offer, "For if he were on earth, he ſhould not be a prieſt." Theſe gifts, therefore, and this ſacrifice, he now offereth in heaven by way of interceſſion, urging and pleading as an interceſſor the valuableneſs of his gifts, for the pacifying of that wrath that our Father hath Conceived againſt us, for the diſobedience that we are guilty of: A gift in ſecret pacifieth anger, and a reward in the boſom ſtrong wrath." What gifts theſe are, the Sciptures everywhere teſtifies: He gave himſelf he gave his life, he gave his all for us.
Theſe gifts a he offered then up at the demand of Juſtice. on Mount Calvary, for us; do now he is in heaven. he preſenteth them continually before God. a gifts and ſacrifice, valuable, for the ſins for all the ſins we through infirmity do commit, from the day of our converſion to the day of our death. And theſe gifts are ſo ſatisfactory, ſo prevalent with God, that they always prevail for a continual remiſſion of our ſins with him. Yea they prevail with him for more than for the remiſſion of ſins; we have, through their procurement, our graces often renewed the devil often rebuked, the ſnare often broken guilt often taken away from the conſcience, and many a bleſſed ſmile from God, and love-look from his life creating countenance.
5thly. Since Chriſt is an Interceſſor, I infer, That believers ſhould not rest at the cross for comfort: Juſtification they ſhould look for there; and being juſtified by his blood, they ſhould aſcend up after him to the throne—— At the croſs you will ſee him in his ſorrows and humiliations, if his tears and blood; but follow him to where he is now. and then you ſhall ſee hin in his robes, in his prieſtly robes, and with his golden girdle about his paps. ——Then you ſhall ſee him wearing the breaſt-plate of judgement, and with all your names written upon his heart. Then you ſhall perceive that the whole family in heaven and earth is named by him, and how he prevaileth with God. the Father of mercies for you. Stand ſtill a while and liſten yea, enter with boldneſs into the holieſt and ſee you Jeſus as he now appears in he preſence of God for you; what work he makes again the devil and ſin, and death, and hell for you. Ah, it is brave following of Jeſus Chriſt to the holieſt, the veil is rent, you may ſee with open face a in a glaſs the glory of the Lord This then is our High-Prieſt thiſ is the interceſſion, theſe are the benefits of it. It lieth in our part to improve it; and wiſdom to do that, alſo cometh from the mercy feat or throne of grace, where he even our High Prieſt, ever liveth to make interceſſion for us. To whom be glory for ever and ever And thuſ I have ſpoken to the firſt thing, to-wit, Of the Interceſſion of Chriſt.
II. And now I come more particularly to ſpeak to the ſecond viz The benefits of his Interceſſion, namely, That we are ſaved thereby: "Wherefore he is able to ſave them, ſeeing he maketh interceſſion for them. He is able to ſave them to the uttermoſt."
In handling of this head I muſt ſhew you,
1. What the Apoſtle means here by ſave, Wherefore be is able to ſave.
2 What he means here by ſaving to the uttermoſt, He is able to ſave to the uttermoſt. 3. And then we ſhall do as we did in the foregoing, to-wit gather ſome Inferences from the whole, and ſpeak to them.
1. What doth the Apoſtle mean here by ſave, He is able to ſave them.
To ſave, may be taken two ways in the the general: I know it may be taken many ways; for there are many ſalvations that we enjoy, yea that we never knew of. nor can know, until we come thither where all ſecret things ſhall be ſeen and where that which has been done in darkneſs ſhall be proclaimed upon the houſe top.
But I ſay, there are two ways that this word may be taken:
1ſt, To ſave in a way of juſtifcation.
2dly, Or to ſave in a way of preſervation.
Now Chriſt ſaves both theſe ways but which of theſe, or whether both of them are intended in this place, of that I ſhall tell you my thoughts anoir; meanwhile I will ſhew you,
(1.) What it is to be ſaved in the firſt ſenſe.
(2.) And alſo how that is brought to paſs.
(1.) To be ſaved, is to be delivered from the guilt of ſin that is by the law, as it is the miniſtration of death and condemnation; or to be ſet free therefrom before God. This is to be ſaved; for he that is not ſet free there-, from whatever he may thick of himſelf or whatever others may think concerning him he is a condemned man: It faith not, he ſhall be, but, he is condemned already. The reaſon is, for that he has deserved the ſentence of the miniſtration of condemnation, which is the law, yea, that law has a ready arraigned, accuſed, and condemned him before God, for that it hath found him guilty of ſin. Now he that is ſet free from this, or a the phraſe is, being made free from ſin, that i, from the imputation of guilt there can to him be no condemnation, no condemnation to hell-fire; but the perſon thus made free, may properly be ſaid to be ſaved. Wherefore, a ſometimes it is ſaid, we ſhall be ſaved, reſpecting ſaving in the ſecond ſenſe, or the utmoſt completing of ſalvation; ſo, ſometimes, it is ſaid we are ſaved, as reſpecting our being already ſecured from guilt and ſo from condemnation to hell for ſin, and ſo ſet ſafe, and quit from the ſecond death before God.
(2) Now, ſaving thus comes to us by what Chriſt did for us in this world by what Chriſt did for us as ſuffering for us. I ſay, it comes to us thus; that is it comes to us by grace, through the redemption that is in Chriſt. And thus to be ſaved, is called juſtification to life, becauſe one thus ſaved is, as I ſaid acquitted from guilt, and that everlaſting damnation to which for ſin, he had made himſelf obnoxious by the law.
Hence we are ſaid to be ſaved by the death of Chriſt juſtified by his blood, and reconciled to God by the death of his Son; all which muſt reſpect his offering of himſelf on the day he died and not his improving his ſo doing n a way of interceſſion; becauſe in the ſame place the Apoſtle reſerveth a ſecond or an additional ſalvation, and applieth that to his interceſſion: Much more then being now, or already juſtified b his blood. we ſhall be ſaved from wrath through him." That is, through what he will further co for us: "For it when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by death of his Son, much more, being reconciled that is by his death we ſhall be ſaved by his life" his interceſſion, which he ever liveth to complete.
See here, we are ſaid to be juſtified, reconciled already, and therefore we ſhall be ſaved, juſtified by his blood and death, and ſaved through him by his life.
Now the ſaving intended in the text is ſaving in this ſecond ſenſe; that is a ſaving of us by preſerving us, by delivering of us from all thoſe hazards that we run betwixt our ſtate of juſtification and our ſtate of glorification. Yea, ſuch a ſaying of us, as we that are juſtified need, to bring us into glory. Therefore,
2dly. When he faith, "He is able to ſave, ſeeing he ever liveth to make interceſſion," he acteth ſaving to ſaving; ſaving by his life, to ſaving by his death; ſaving by his improving of his blood, to ſaving by his ſpilling of his blood. He gave himſelf a ranſom for us, and now improves that gift in the preſence of God, by, way of interceſſion.
For as I have hinted before the high prieſts under the law, took the blood of the ſacrifices that were off red for ſin, and brought it with the veil and there ſprinkled it before a upon the mercy-ſeat, and by it made interceſion for the people, to an additional way ſaving them: the ſum of which Paul thus a plie to Chriſt when he faith. He can ſave, ſeeing be ever liveth to make interceſſion.
That alſo in he Romans is clear to the purpoſe. "Who is he that condemneth? It Chriſt that died." That is, Who is he that ſhall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect to condemnation to hell ſince Chriſt has take away the curſe. by his death from before God Then he adds that there is nothing that haſ yet happen to us, ſhall deſtroy us, ſince Chriſt alſo liveth to make interceſſion for us: "Who ſhall condemn? It is Chriſt that died; yea rather that is riſen again, who even is at the right hand of God, and maketh interceſſion for us."
Chriſt then by his death ſaved us as we are ſinners enemies and in a ſtate of condemnation by ſin; and Chriſt by his life ſaveth us, as conſidered juſtified and reconciled to God by his blood. So then, we have ſalvation from that condemnation that ſin had brought on us, and ſalvation from thoſe ruins that all the enemies of our ſouls would yet bring us unto, but cannot, which the interceſſion of Chriſt preventeth.
Chriſt hath redeemed us from the curſe of the law; whatever the law can take hold of, to curſe us for that Chriſt has redeemed us from, by being made a curſe for us. But this curſe that Chriſt was made for us, muſt be confined to his ſufferings, not to his exaltation; and conſequently, not to his interceſſion for Chriſt was made no curſe but when he ſuffered, not in his interceſſion So then, as he died he took away the curſe, and ſin, that was the cauſe whereof. by the ſacrifice of himſelf, and by his life his interceſſion, he ſaveth us from all thoſe hings that attempt to bring us again into that condemnation
The ſalvation then that we have by the interceſſion of Chriſt as was ſaid. I ſpeak row f them that are capable of receiving comfort and relief by this doctrine), is ſalvation that follows upon, or that comes after juſtification. We that are ſaved, as to juſtification of life, need yet to be ſaved with that which preſerveth to glory. For though. by the death of Chriſt, we are ſaved from the curſe of the law, yet attempts are made by many that we may be kept from the glory that juſtified perſons are ſigned for; and from thee we are ſaved by his interceſſion.
A man that muſt be eternally ſaved, is to e conſidered 1 As an heir of wrath. 2 As an heir of God.
An heir of wrath he is in himſelf by ſin; an heir of God he is by grace through Chriſt. Now, as an heir of wrath he is redeemed, and an heir of God he is preſerved. As an heir wrath he is redeemed by blood, and as an heir of God, he is preſerved by this interceſſion.
Chriſt, by his death to put me. I being reconciled to God thereby, into a juſtified ſtate; and God accepts me to grace and favour through him: but this doth not hinder but that all this notwithſtanding, there are that would fruſtrate me of the end to which I am deſigned by the reconciliation to God by redemption through grace; and from the accompliſhing of this deſign I am ſaved by the bleſſed interceſſion of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
Object 1. Perhaps ſome may ſay, we are not ſaved from all puniſhment of ſin, by the death of Chriſt; ſo not from all danger of damnation by the interceſſion of Chriſt:
Anſw. We are ſaved from all puniſhment in hell-fire by the death of Chriſt. Jeſus has delivered us from the wrath to come. So that as to this great puniſhment. God, for his ſake, has forgiven us all treſpaſſes. But we being tranſlated from being ſlaves to Satan, to be ſons of God, God relenteth yet this liberty in his hand to chaſtiſe us if we offend, as a father chaſtiſeth his ſon; but this chaſtiſement is not in legal wrath but in fatherly affection not to deſtroy us, but that ſtill we might be made to get advantage thereby, even be made partakers of his holineſs. that we might not be condemned with the world.
I come now to make ſome Application of this diſcourſe. And let me exhort you to the ſtudy of this as of other the truths of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. The prieſtly office of Chriſt, is the firſt and great thing that is preſented to us in the goſpel: namely, How that he died for our ſins, and gave himſelf to the croſs, that the bleſſing of Abraham might come upon us through him. But now, becauſe this, prieſtly, office of his is divided into two parts, and becauſe one of them, to wit this of his interceſſion is to be accompliſhed for us within the veil; therefore as we ſay among men out-of ſight out-of mind, he is too much, as to this, forgotten by us We ſatisfy ourſelves with the ſlaying of the ſacrifice; we look not enough after our Aaron, as he goes into the holieſt, there to ſprinkle the mercy ſeat with blood upon our account.
God forbid that the leaſt ſyllable of what (ſay. ſhould be intended by me or conſtrued by others, as if I ſought to diminiſh the price paid by Chriſt for our redemption in this world. But ſince his dying is hi laying down his price, and his interceſſion the urging and managing the worthineſs of it in the preſence of God againſt Satan there is glory to be found therein, and we ſhould look after him into the holy place. The ſecond part of the work of the high prieſts under the law had great glory, and ſanctity put upon it; for as much as the holy garments were provided for him to officiate in within the veil: alſo it was there that the altar ſtood, on which e offered incenſe Alſo, there was the mercy-ſeat and the cherubims of glory which were figures of the angels that love to be continually looking and prying into the management. Of this ſecond part of the prieſthood of Chriſt in the preſence of God. For altho themſelves are not the perſons ſo immediately concerned herein as we, yet the management of it, I ſay, with ſo much grace, and glory, and wiſdom, and effectualneſs that it is a heaven to the angels o ſee it! O to enjoy the odorous ſcent and sweet memorial, the heart refreſhing perfumes that aſcend continually from the mercy-ſeat to the above where God is! and alſo to behold how effectual it is to the end for which it is deſigned, is glorious!
Improve theſe doctrines to yourſelves and your acquaintances.
1. Improve them to your acquaintances by labouring to inſtill them upon their hearts by good and wholeſome words preſenting all to them with the authority of the Scriptures.
2. Labour to enforce theſe diſtillings upon them by ſhewing them by thy life the peace, the glorious effects that they have upon thy own ſoul.
Laſtly, Let this doctrine give thee boldneſs to come to God. If Chriſt be interceding in heaven, O then be thou a praying man on earth: yea take courage to pray. Think thus with thyſelf: I go to God to God before whoſe throne the Lord Jeſus is ready to hand my petition to him; ye, He ever lives to make interceſſion for me. This is a great encouragement to come to God by prayers and ſupplications for ourſelves and by interceſſions for our families, our neighbours, and enemies.
F I N I S.