The

Suretiship of Christ Opened

Or

Christís Obligations to His Father to work all our Works in us as well as for us.

Sermon IV

_______________________________

 

From

THE DISPLAY

OF

GLORIOUS GRACE

IN THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST,

OR

THE COVENANT OF PEACE OPENED

IN FOURTEEN SERMONS

LATELY PREACHED,

BY

Benjamin Keach

Psalms Lxxxix:34:

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is one out of my Lips.

Printed by S. Bridge

London

1689.

Sermon IV

 

The Suretiship of Christ Opened and Set Forth

 

Isaiah 54:10: Neither shall the Covenant of my Peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

Hebrews 7:22 by so much was Jesus made a Surety of a better Covenant;

Doctrine: That there is a Covenant made, or agreed on, and stands firm in the behalf of all Godís elect.

Introduction: I am, my brethren, a speaking concerning those Transactions betwixt God the Father, and God the Son, before the World began, about the bringing in, and the establishing of the Covenant of our Peace; in which Transactions I have showed you the Son of God was chosen Mediator, considered as God-Man, and as to that Office of His, we have spoken distinctly; but as He is Mediator, so you have heard he is Surety of the Covenant of Peace, and so more than a mere, or simple Mediator.

 

Since the Covenant of Peace so much depends upon the Suretiship of Christ, I shall here:

 

Show what Surety does import, or open that Relation;

Show what Christ was to do, and we were to receive as Christ is our Surety;

Show how His Suretiship differs from Suretiship among men;

Apply it.

What Suretiship does Import

 

A Surety is one who undertakes for others, wherein they are defective, really, or in

Reputation, in Latin, Sponsor side jussor; a Surety is one who engages to make Satisfaction for one, or more, or engages for others. Ruben became Surety to his Father Jacob, Gen. 43:9, to bring Benjamin again; and Paul for Onesimus, Philem. 18,19; If he hath wronged thee, or woeth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with my own hand, I will pay it. In this sense we take Christ to be a Surety. (Dr. Owen on Hebrews c. 72; page 221; Metaphors 2nd book, page 91.

 

it signifies like to give a Pledge, Isa. 36:8; 2 Kings 18:23; 3.

Also to strike hands, Proverbs 22:26;

Thus Christ is our Surety, i.e. He struck hands with God for us in this Covenant. I say a Surety is one who undertakes for one or mor5e persons whose credit is gone, or is not good; one not to be trusted, or whose Faithfulness, or ability is suspected.

 

2) Now, my brethren, when Man had broken the Law of the first Covenant, his Credit was gone or lost forever; God would not enter into Covenant any more with him without a Surety, He knowing that Man's inability and unfaithfulness in his fallen estate; therefore was graciously pleased to provide for us, or in our behalf, a Sponsor, or Surety; by so much was Jesus made a Surety of a better Covenant, Hebrews 7:22.

 

Christ Called a Surety

 

As Christ engaged to God for us, to satisfy for our sins, and to bring us into a state of grace, and peace with God, and preserve us in that state to the end, and to give security to the Covenant of Peace, which He is the Surety of, He is called a Surety.

 

Christ as the Testator

 

As Christ gives all good things, and divine blessings to us, He is called a Testator; for a Testator denotes one dying, making His Last Will and Testament firm; and bequeathing Legacies to His friends.

Some Deny This Truth but it is all of Christ

 

Some I know would not have Christ be a Surety of that Covenant that was made between God the Father and Himself; (which they call the Covenant of Redemption) but of the Covenant of Grace made with us. I know no ground for such a distinction (as I shall hereafter prove;). My Brethren, evident it is, that had not our Mediator engaged in this Covenant of Peace and Redemption for us, there had been no Covenant nor Peace for us at all. Because all depends on Christ and His Suretiship, or on Christís obligation to the Father for us. Nor did God ever manifest more rich Grace to us, than he did in providing of such a Surety for Man.

 

Christ is the Trusted Testator

 

God said (speaking of the Covenant of Grace) My mercy will I keep for him for ever, and my covenant shall stand fast with him; I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the People; Psa. 89:28; Psa. 89:89. Christ is One Who is able to perform and do all His Pleasure, One Whom He can trust, Who neither lacks ability nor faithfulness.

 

3) A Surety commonly engages for one Party, even for him whose credit is suspected or who being poor, the creditor will not, nor cannot Trust him . The Lord Jesus is only a Surety for us unto God, not for God to us, for God hath no need of any to engage, or be a Surety for Him. He never failed any of His Creatures. He broke not His Covenant with Man, but Man with Him; because they continued not in my Covenant, I regarded them not, saith the Lord; See Dr. Owen on Hebrews 7:22; page 225. Therefore God will not treat nor tread with any Man any more without such a Mediator and Surety as Christ Is. Therefore, I am not of his opinion who says, that "That the Suretiship of Christ was, that sinners might be induced to give God credit, and that He might have a responsible party to deal with. For this is to cast contempt upon the Holy and Faithful God, as if He is not to be trusted in, without He gives us good security, that He will not fail nor deceive us.

To Establish and Give Stability and Security

 

4) The end of Suretiship among Men is to give stability and security in case of Bonds or Covenants. This is so that such Bonds or Covenants may be firm and sure. To this end did Christ become the Surety of this Covenant of Peace, Grace, and Redemption. My brethren, this Covenant depends upon the Suretiship of Jesus Christ, upon whose undertakings and security

God promised and covenanted with Him, to be our God again, and to give to us all that good which was in His heart to bestow upon His Elect from everlasting.

These Things were to Be Done

 

There being such things requisite to be done in order hereunto, which God well knew we were not able to perform, i. e. the satisfaction of His justice, or payment for all our debts, and victory over all our enemies, and that this Covenant might not be broken, as the first was; My Covenant shall stand firm in him; Psa. 89:28.

 

Free and Voluntary Obligation

 

5) Suretiship imports that the obligation be free and voluntary, for the Law forces none to be a Surety, or to engage for others. My brethren, though God did chose Jesus Christ to be the Surety of this Covenant for us, yet Christ as a most free and voluntary act on His part, undertook that office. For that Law we had broken, laid no obligation on him, nor was He under any necessity of Nature to undertake herein, because He was the Son of God, but this choice is ascribed wholly to His infinite love and goodness. It is a Sovereign act of His own free grace to undertake for man, and not for angels, and also only for some of the lost Sons of Adam, and not for all. No man takes my life from me, but I lay it down freely; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. John 10:18. Lo, I come in the volume of the Book, it is written of me to do thy will, O God; Hebrews 10:5,7.

 

Union of Parties or Assumption of the Condition of the Debtor.

 

6) Suretiship imports not only a voluntary obligation for others, or for another; but also union of parties, or assumption of the condition of that Person or Debtor. In a Law sense it denotes a Federal or Law Union, the Surety and the Debtor are but one party; yet not so, but that it is the surety who pays, it is his money, not the debtorís. My brethren, Christ, by virtue of His Suretiship, did not only take our Sins upon Him, but also our nature, and put Himself in our law place. He took our condition upon Him; He was made of a woman, made under the Law to redeem them; Galatians 4:4.

 

Objection

 

I know it is objected, If Christ and the elect are but one Party, and that His righteousness be ours, i. e. imputed to us, or that He did, and suffered all in our stead, then we are own Saviors; we are Mediators, as having a Mediatorís righteousness. Clarkson, page 248.

 

Answer:

 

This (as one well observes) follows not; for they may as well argue that the Debtor is the surety, because his Suretyís Payment is accepted for Him.

 

Objection:

 

Again, they object, If Christ our Surety and we are one, and that His Righteousness is ours, then we are as righteous as Christ is.

Answer:

 

They may as well affirm the Bankrupt is as rich as his Surety, because his Surety pays his debts.

 

A Surety Engages for Criminals

 

7) A Surety does not only engage for Debtors, but also sometimes for Criminals. Those for which Christ became Surety for in the Covenant of Peace, to reconcile to God, and to redeem some sin and hell, were Criminals, and not only debtors; we all deserved death, but were under the Sentence thereof.

 

The Evangelist renders the Words, sins, and debts promiscuously, as Like 11:4; compared with Matthew 6:12. The Laws of some countries admit of a Surety for a Criminal, that is, that one man shall die for another. Thus did Christ obey the Law for us, and die for us; He was made a cruse for us; gave himself for us; His life a ransom for us; The just for the unjust; made sin for us. This all proves He was a Surety for condemned criminals, and so died in our stead, to satisfy the law and justice of God. What the Law could not do, God sent His own Son, i.e. we could not keep it perfectly, nor satisfy for the beach of it, therefore Christ died not only nostro bono, for our good and profit, as the Socinians and our Work-Mongers say, but nostra vice, in our room. Christ died for His Church, for His elect, as He died not for the Holy Angels, yet He died for their good, and the whole creation in some sense. He is the Head and confirmer of the Angels, anti; is instead, the sufferings of the saints are for the good the church, but they are not substituted to obey and die in the stead of others. A Surety to obey and die for others, as one has abundantly proved, so to obey and die in their stead or room. See Grotius de factiss act; Roth. Treas. On the Covenants, part 2, chapter 2. See Justification only upon a Satisfaction, on page 124-146.

 

8) A surety having paid all, and fully satisfied for Debtors; it follows, that neither the Creditor, nor the Law can exact Satisfaction of the Debtors, and also that the Debtors for whom satisfaction is made, shall be delivered out o Prison, and be actually discharged and acquitted according to the Time and Terms agreed on between the Creditor, and the Surety.

 

God will not, cannot in point of Justice and Righteousness exact satisfaction of any sinners for whom Christ became a Surety, and hath saved. They cannot suffer in hell, but hall all in due time be actually discharged and acquitted, and the Law sentence taken off of them. No sooner are their eyes opened, or they are illuminated by the Spirit but they plea that their Surety had paid all for them. He has paid their debt of perfect obedience and has also born all that Vindictive Wrath and Vengeance that was due to them for their sins, Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification; the Lord laid on Him the iniquities of us all. I Peter 2:24, Isa. 53:6-8.

 

Why Christ Became Our Surety

 

Because His love and bowels were such to Godís elect, His love constrained Him thus to do.

Because He would readily comply with His Fatherís Will, Design and Purpose herein, which was to exalt His infinite grace and divine goodness to mankind.

It was to raise the honor, or cause all the divine attributes to shine forth in their equal glory, and meet together in His work and undertakings as Mediator and Suretiship, in sweet harmony.

Because He would magnify Godís Law, and make it honorable, but more of this hereafter.

Because He knew God would not otherwise enter into a Covenant of Peace, to save lost sinners. Man being weak and unable to answer what both Law and Justice required, in order to our Peace and Reconciliation with God. Whatsoever the Law exacted on us, He engaged and condescended to do as our Surety; He promised and struck hands to satisfy whatsoever the Law, I say, could demand of Godís elect. See Hebrews 9:15; Rom. 3:25; Hebrews 10:5,7; Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:3-7.

 

What Christ was to do, and what we receive by His

Mediation and Suretiship.

 

What Christ as our Surety engaged to God to do for us?

First, whatsoever Christ as Mediator covenanted with the Father to do, that He considered as the Surety of the said Covenant and engaged to perform.

To vindicate the honor of God in all the Perfections of His nature, particularly to preserve the justice and veracity of God, and the sanction of His holy law.

He engaged as the Surety of the Covenant to restore to man, or to all Godís Elect, that righteousness which man lost, that as we were made sinners by Adamís disobedience, so by Christís obedience we should all be made righteous; that as the sin of the first Adam was imputed to our condemnation, so Christís righteousness, as our covenanting Head, might be imputed to all His seed, and all this according to the contrivance of Godís infinite wisdom, and to answer the design, purpose, and proposal of God the Father, in the Council of Peace.

Seeing man was a rebel, and in arms against God, and filled with rage and madness, and having enmity in his mind against God, Being alienated from the life of God, Rom. 8:7; Jesus Christ, as our Surety, engaged to change the hearts of all He undertook for, and bring them to accept of the terms of Peace with God through the blood of His Cross, I say, He engaged to God to bring home all whom the Father gave unto Him. Hence, He says, Them I must bring, and shall hear my voice, John 10:16. He must bring them because of the Covenant He had made with God the Father, and upon the consideration of that obligation, He laid Himself under as their Surety. He must circumcise our hearts to love the Lord our God, for Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God, I Peter 3:18.

 

From hence it appears that Christ, by virtue of these articles of Peace, as our Surety, engaged to open Blind eyes, and to bring the Prisoners out of the Prison-House, and to set at liberty those who were first bound; or to set at liberty those who were bound, or by the Blood of His Covenant, to send the Prisoners out of the Pit, where there was no water; for this was agreed should be the effects of His undertakings. See Zech. 9:11, Luke 4: 18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath Anointed me to preach the Gospel to the Poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to Preach deliverance to the Captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them who were bruised. He engaged to take away the heart of Stone, and to give us a Heart of flesh to give a New heart, for this the Father promised in the Covenant, and what He promised, Christ engaged to do for us. Without almighty power this cannot be done, He works all our works in us and for us. He engaged to subdue Satan, and divest him, that strong Man Armed of all his power.

 

Christís Engagements for the Elect

 

In a word, Christ, as the Surety of this Covenant engaged to renovate our hearts, regenerate our souls, or to create the image of God again in us. And from His fullness, we should all receive grace for grace, that in Him should all fullness dwell; John 1:16; Col. 1:19.

 

 

To preserve us in the state of Grace

 

Jesus Christ as our Surety engaged to make good another Article in this Covenant, which was to preserve all His people in a state of grace. He engaged not only to bring us into a state of grace, but also to preserve us in the state, or to preserve grace as a vital principle in our souls.

 

That as all the promises of God are made to us in Christ, so Christ has engaged that we should preserve in grace and holiness, and that we shall never finally depart from God any more; He who hath began a good work in you, will perform it to the Day of Christ; Phil 1:6. It is not said, He will finish it, but He will perform it, which denotes His Covenant, as when a Faithful Man has engaged to do a piece of Work, we say, He will perform it, He will bring forth judgment unto victory.

Christís Performance within us and unto us.

 

According to His Promises and Covenant, Christ will strengthen our faith, and increase it.

He will subdue our iniquities, He will subdue our iniquities, thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea, thou wilt perform thy truth to Jacob.

He will support and succor us under all temptations, thus He has promised and He is faithful, therefore He will do it, I Cor. 10:13; no Temptation had befallen you, but such that is common to men, and God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able.

To comfort us in all our Sorrows, I will not leave you comfortless, &c.

To help us under all our afflictions, Reproaches, Losses and persecutions, all these are covenant blessings, and therefore promised to us.

To enable us to perform acceptably all Holy Duties, for without Him we can do nothing.

To make us fruitful, and so to abide unto the end; I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; the righteous shall flourish like a Palm-tree; those who are planted in the House of the Lord shall flourish in the Courts of our God, they shall still bring forth fruit in Old age, they shall be fat and flourishing. John 15:16; Psa. 92; 12, 13.

 

All this God has promised to us by virtue of Christís undertaking for us as our Surety.

 

Grace First Promised to Christ Jesus

 

For the grace by which all this is done, was promised first to Christ. He is filled full of grace, as our Head of influence. He has engaged to God for us to act, and influence us with that grace which He so received. He does perform in us what measure and manner He pleases, though or by virtue of that union we have with Him, and by the constant communication of fresh supplies from Himself. Therefore it is added, to show that the Lord is upright, and that there is no unrighteousness in Him, verse 14.

 

All Promised by God the Father and Made Good To us by Christ as our Surety

 

Brethren, pray consider this well, that all Grace and Spiritual blessings whatsoever which we receive, is all promised to us by God the Father, and made good to us through Christís Mediation, and undertakings, as our Surety: For all the promises of God in Him, are Yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the Glory of God the Father; 2 Cor. 1:20.

 

 

All from the Father, through Christ by the Holy Spirit

 

I say that that Mutual Covenant between God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, makes all Covenant blessings and promises sure to us. All promises are from the Father, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit.

 

Christ received the Spirit without measure upon His covenanting with the Father, and He engaged to send the Spirit to be the Almighty Agent to do all things for us. For, as he purchased the Spirit for us, so He has asked it of the Father, and still (as our Surety and Advocate) He intercedes with the Father for us, that we may receive a gracious Measure thereof, I John 14:16: I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter.

 

The Father Promised to Christ the Holy Spirit and an Eternal and Enduring Seed

 

The Father, upon Christís Suretiship, promised to Him that His Spirit shall never depart from Him, nor His Seed, Isa 60:21: As for Me, this is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my Words which I have put into thy Mouth, shall never depart out of thy Mouth, nor out of the Mouth of thy Seed, nor out of the Mouth of thy Seedís Seed, from hence forth and for ever.

Christ Confirms us unto the End

 

Christ has engaged to confirm us to the end. This He undertook as our Surety, it was Godís

Promise to Him, He shall see His Seed. This was promised to Him upon what he was to do, and suffer. Christ, I say, has engaged as our Surety to confirm us, Who shall confirm you to the end? God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the Fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. I Cor. 1:9. Jesus Christ, by virtue of this Covenant, was to have many Companions or fellow Heirs of Glory, and Godís calling us, this is the first foundation Act in God, of performance of this Covenant with Christ, and to us in Him. The Father is as much bound and obligated to keep us, as Christ is. Why, because of that Price He has received for us by Christ, which He accepted of in this Covenant of Peace.

 

Christ was obligated as our Surety, not to lose one of them which the Father gave unto Him,

And this is the Fatherís Will that sent me, That of all which He has given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last Day; John 6:39. This is as if our Lord should have said, The Fatherís will and Covenant made with me is, That I should not lose one of His elect.

 

The Fatherís Promises to His Son

 

The Father (as Charneck observes) promised three things to the Son in this Covenant, upon what He was to do and suffer:

His Assistance;

That He should have a Seed which He should See; (and a Spouse-REP)

He promised Eternal Glory to Him and to all them in Him.

 

His Assistance

I. His assistance; the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him; the Spirit of Wisdom, and understanding; the Spirit of Counsel and Might; the Spirit of Knowledge, and of fear of the Lord; Isa. 11:2. Behold my Servant that I uphold, mine Elect in whom my Soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon Him, Isa. 42:11. Well and what had Christ engaged to do? He shall bring judgment to the Gentiles. A bruised Reed shall he not break; and the smoking flax shall he not quench; He shall bring forth Judgment and Truth, verse 3. I, the Lord, have called thee in Righteousness, and will uphold thine Hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the People, for a Light of the Gentiles. That is the Surety of My Covenant. To open Blind Eyes, &c., He shall feed in the Strength of the Lord, in the Majesty of the Name of the Lord His God. Mich. 5:4. He shall cry unto me, Thou are my Father, My God, and the Rock of My Salvation.

 

A Seed

 

II. God Promised Him a Seed.

 

A numerous Seed; as the Dew of the Morning in Abundance upon the Flowers and Plants; fear not for I am with thee, I will bring thy Seed from the East, and gather thee from the West; Psa. 110:3. I will say to the North, Give up; and to the South; Keep not back; Bring my Sons from afar, and my Daughters from the Ends of the Earth. Isa. 43:5,6.

A Perpetual Seed, or a Seed that shall endure for ever; His Seed will I make to endure for ever, and His Throne as the Days of Heaven, My covenant I will not break, Psa. 89:2-4.

 

Great Glory and an Eternal Kingdom

 

III. The Father Promised Him great Glory, and an eternal Kingdom.. Ask of me, I will give Thee the heathen for thine Inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy Possession; behold My Servant, He shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled and made very high; Psa. 2:8. I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the Strong, because He poured out His soul unto Death, Isa. 53:13. All power is given to m in heaven and earth, Matt. 28:18. He shall strike through Kings, in the Day of His wrath, Psa. 110:5,6. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the Angels for the suffering of death, crowned with Glory and Honor, Hebrews 2:9,10. And He shall bring all His to glory also, For it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to Glory, to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through sufferings. As the Father promised this to Him, and to us in Him, so He as our Surety engaged to bring it to pass, or to make it good unto us.

 

Objection

 

If Jesus Christ entered into Bonds for Us, and that by virtue of the Sanction of the Law of Works, was obligated, as our Surety, to Suffer for our sins, does it not follow that he was Surety for the Covenant of Works? And how then it is said, He was Surety of a Better Covenant?

 

Answer

 

Though Christ was obligated, as our Surety, to fulfill the Covenant of Works, or of perfect obedience; yet He was not Surety of the Covenant of Works, because He did not undertake that we should perfectly keep the Law in our own Persons, which He just have done, that He been Surety of the Law of Works, but that he would keep that Law for us; and that therefore it was another and better Covenant.

 

The Covenant of Works was made between God and Man, without a Surety; the Covenant of Grace is made between God the Father and Jesus Christ as our Surety for us; therefore another and better Covenant.

 

No Covenant of Grace Between God and Man

 

These men plead for a Covenant of Grace made between God and us, distinct from the Covenant of Redemption, in which Christ, as our Surety, engaged that we shall keep the New Law of Faith, and sincere obedience. Christ has abolished the Law of perfect Obedience and merited this mild law, ect.

 

Answer

 

Though the Law as a Covenant of Works, do this and live, is taken away; yet as a Law or Rule of perfect Obedience, it remains forever, as the Reverend Mr. Cross has fully proved.

As to their New Law, it brings in Justification by Works; and such Works too that are attended with Sin or Imperfections, and therefore their Doctrine is to be abhorred. See Mr. Clarkís new book (Scripture Justification); but more of this hereafter.

 

IV. How that Christís Suretiship greatly differs from Suretiship among Men.

 

A Surety among men is not of the Creditorís but of the Debtorís procurement. But the Surety

of the Covenant of Peace was of Godís procurement, Who is Manís Creditor, or rather offended Creator. God as an Act of Infinite Wisdom, love and Mercy, found Him, I have found a Ransom.

 

Moreover, the Father chose Him, called Him, and anointed Him to be the Mediator and Surety of this Covenant, as hath been fully proved. Therefore it does not follow that so soon as our Surety struck Hands or just when He laid down the Price, all Godís elect must actually be acquitted.

 

For should a Creditor find a Surety for the Debtor, all must confess it is in his choice how and when the Debtor should be actually acquitted. Moreover, it is evident that we had no actual existence when Christ struck hands for us; besides, it was for such that He foresaw would fall under sin, wrath and commendation, and Christ did not become a surety to keep the elect from falling under wrath, and the sentence o death, but to recover them out of that state. Justification presupposes that we were once charged and condemned.

 

2. A Surety and Debtor among Men both enter in to the same Bond, and the Debtor is looked upon as the principal bondsman.

 

But Christís single bond, in this Covenant, is accepted for all. Here is a Change of Persons, God leaves out our Names, and puts in Christís name, that the Debt, Satisfaction and Curse might fall upon Him along. See Dr. Goodwin, a book entitled, Christ Set Forth.. He was made sin for usóChrist has redeemed us from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us; He was wounded for our Transactions, Gal. 3:13, Isa. 53:5.

 

And now Jesus Christ here by putting His name unto this bond, is become the principal Debtor, and is wholly obliged to pay and satisfy for all the sins of Godís elect. His Suretiship has swallowed up the offending Debtorís obligations to satisfy Law and Justice.

 

Objection: Does it not follow, we need to be concerned to keep or fulfill the Law?

 

Answer

 

We are not to be concerned to keep the Law, for to that end Christ kept it, i.e. not to be justified by it, for as it is removed; but the Moral Law, as a perfect Rule of Righteousness, obliges us to perpetual Obedience, it being so unchangeable a Law.

 

3. Among men, when the Surety makes a full satisfaction for Debtors, the said Debtors cannot be said to receive their release or discharge, as an act of grace and favor, but as an act of justice only. But Jesus Christ, in the Covenant of Peace, makes full satisfaction for us, and yet we receive our release and discharge as an act of grace and favor alone.

 

In that God and not we found the Surety, which was an act of His own sovereign grace, He being wholly at liberty, whether He would save man or not. So that our discharge though the satisfaction of Christ, must needs primarily and originally flow out of pure grace, love, favor and pity of God to us.

Because the Surety, being the only Begotten Son of God, it is a farther demonstration of infinite love and favor to us. That God should substitute Him in our stead, and dispense with the rigorous action of satisfaction from us, and take it from our surety, as put in our law place shows this love more fully.

Because God, that He might work about our discharge in a way of grace and mercy, to the honor of His justice, made His own Son a sacrifice for our sins.

Because that interest we have in that redemption, pardon, peace and reconciliation by Christís undertakings, is freely bestowed on us, as an act of Godís sovereign grace and goodness. For as Christ purchased all grace for us, so as an act of Godís favor and Christís purchase and merits, He gives us the Spirit and Faith, in order to our actual interest in all covenant blessings. So that all though it all is in a way of justice as to Christ, yet it is all in a way of mercy and free-grace as to us.

In that God accepted of Christ as a Surety for us who deserved no pity, we having willfully forfeited our vast inheritance, and were become His vile enemies, and rebels against Him.

Because Christ became our Surety, from whom He could expect no after recompense or satisfaction for that vast sum He laid down for us, He never expected any recompense from us for the debt paid.

Because we are not only pardoned and have peace, but also by Christís undertaking, we are raised to great honor. O what grace, love and divine goodness is here!

 

Usages

 

Admiration.

What hath God done? What hath Christ done for us? What love is this?

Christ knew before He became our Surety that the whole payment would fall upon Him, yet He struck hands.

O what exemption and discharge have we hereby from the Law and Justice of God? The Law, as our Husband, is dead, and we are dead to it. That cruel Husband has no ore power over us, though as a law or rule or righteousness, it still commands us, yet it cannot kill us, curse us, nor condemn us to eternal burning.

Bless God for Jesus Christ as our Surety. What a sweet covenant is this, that we are brought into. How sure are all Covenant Mercies? What riches, glory and power is in Christ the Mediator? As thou has given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou has given him, John 17:10.

We shall forever abide in this Covenant. Our Surety has engaged to keep us, that we shall never break Covenant with God any more, so as to lose our Inheritance.

How easy has God made the terms of peace as to us, since Christ is obliged to work all our works in us, as well as for us?

 

Good News for Poor Sinners

What Good News is here for broken sinners, those who lie condemned by the covenant of works? O sue out your pardon by taking hold of Christ.

 

Reproof

 

How does this again tend to reprove such who turn the Gospel-Covenant, or Covenant of Peace, into a law, with the sanction of rewards for obedience and threatenings for disobedience; denying that Christ stood in our Law-place, to do and suffer for us, or to keep the Law of perfect Righteousness, in point of Justification, and to die in our stead?

 

Why will Men stand upon their own Legs? Proud men would vain live of himself, or have whereof to glory, but not before God, or in Christ Jesus. He would have God take his cooper, and refuse His own most pure Gold.

 

Why will they seek relief other ways than by the Surety and Mediator of the Covenant? Can our imperfect righteousness or sinful duties justify us at Godís Bar? Will they dare to plead it at death?

Trial

 

Is Grace given to you? Have you Union with Christ? Have you a new heart? Do you truly and savingly know the Lord? Then you are brought into the Bonds of the Covenant of Peace.

 

Consolation.

If you are once in Covenant, you are forever in Covenant, and all Covenant-Blessings, even all things that are therein promised to Christ, as your Surety shall be given to you.

 

With this I conclude the second thing, under the second General Head, That the Terms proposed in the Covenant of Peace between the Father and the Son, were agreed to, and of Christís Work, as Mediator and Surety therein, I have endeavored to clear to the weakest capacity.