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his holiness be vindicated by a perfect obedience. Again, God's infinite justice, which stands up for the penalty or threatening of the law, insomuch that none can approach to a just God, unless his justice be satisfied by a compleat sacrifice. Now, as our natural want of conformity to the law, makes the holiness of God stand in the way of our approach to him ; so our natural want of ability to give fatisfaction, makes the justice of God to be a bar against our approach. O who will draw this bar of God's injured perfections! 3. The bar of natural enmity and fin on our part, ija. lix. 2. Your iniquities have separated betwixt you and your God, so as we cannot approach to him. We are enemies to God by wicked works : This is a bar that cannot be broken, but by an Almighty arm. Thus I say, all mankind was barred out from the presence of God, there was no approaching to him. 2dly, I premise, That the work of him who shall approach to God, in our stead, and as our representative, must include the breaking of these bars. He that will engage to approach unto God as out head to bring us back to God, must engage to break those bars; and so, 1. To break the bar of a violated covenant of works. And accordingly, Christ comes, and by his obedience to the death, he magnifies the law and makes it honourable : The precept of the law that we had broken, he must fulfil, by obeying perfectly. The promise of eternal life which we had forfeited, we must recover by redeerning the forfeiture, bringing in everlafting righteousness: The threatning and penalty of eternal death he must endure, or the equivalent, by coming under the curse of the law. 2. To break the bar of God's injured perfections, by vindicating
the holiness of God, and satisfying the justice of God, that so these and the like injured attributes of the divine Majesty may not stand in the way : for, while they do, there is no approaching unto God. 3. To break the bar of man's natural enmity against God, otherwise he that engages himself to approach unto God, cannot bring us to God with him.
These things being premised, we may the more easily see what is the work that the Lord Jesus engaged his heart unto, in approaching unto God : He comes to God in our stead, who could not approach in our own persons : It is below the majesty of a great king to treat and transact immediately with a guilty rebel and traitor ; and so it is below the majesty of the great God, to transact immediately with wretched finners : And who then will approach? Therefore he transacts immediately with Christ, a person of equal dignity with himself as to his divine nature, and a person able to break all these bars, and so make an open door for himself as Redeemer, and then for all the redeemed at his back, to approach unto God as their eternal rest and happiness: And all this he does, by fulfilling the broken law; for he came to fulfill all righteousness by satisfying God's injured perfections, insomuch that God is well pleased for his righteousness fake, and by destroying man's natural enmity, insomuch that they are reconciled to God by the death of his Son.
But, more particularly, I would show here, (1.) What engagements Christ came under. (2.) What
proach did he make to God under these engagements. (3.) Under what considerations are we to view the God to whom he engages to approach.
approach did hem
(4.) In what station did he engage to approach unto
water; he engaged to lead captivity captive, to take the prey from the mighty, that the lawful captive might be delivered, Ifa. xlix. 24, 25. and so to restore the loft image of God upon man, and to make them partakers of the divine nature. And thus 4thly, He engaged not only to destroy fin and condemn it in the flesh, because it tended to destroy God's law, to darken his glory, and to strike at his being, as well as to ruin the finner ; but also to destroy death, and bring life and immortality to light : He engaged to come, that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly : And in all these Christ becomes engaged to the Father for our debt, for our duty, and for our safety. And as he became engaged to God for us, so he became engaged to us for God; that having engaged to God for our debt, we should be justified; having engaged for our duty, we should be sanctified ; and that having engaged for our safety, we should be glorified, and fafely brought to heaven; to be for ever with the Lord. 1. He engaged for our debt, that it should be paid every farthing, to the uttermost that the infinite holiness of God could command in the precept of the law, and to the uttermost that the infinite justice of God could demand in the threatning of the law; and so he is able to save to the uttermost, because he ever lives to make intercession upon the ground of that compleat payment that he made by his obedience unto death. "And here stands the ground of our justification before God; this ground he engaged to God for us to lay down, and
and he engages to us, that we shall be justified, saying, I will be merciful to their unrighteoufness, their sins and iniquities will I remember na
on his around he..
more. 2. He engaged not only for our debt, but
for our duty : having engaged to God to make a -purchase of all grace and holiness for us, he engages in his promise to us, to give us the new heart and the new spirit, to make us know the Lord, and to put bis spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes; to put his fear in our hearts, that we shall not depart from him; and consequently that we shall not fin the sin unto death, nor live and die under the power of fin ;, and that fin shall not have a final dominion 'over us; but that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus shall free us from the law of fin and death. And in consequence of these two engagements for debt and for duty. 3. He also engages for our safety, saying to the Father, I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither mell any pluck them out of my hand, John X. 28. He engages to the Father, that of all that he hath given him, he shall lose nothing, but shall raise it up again at the last day; and that ibey shall all be with him where be is, to behold bis glory. And hence issue all the · promises wherein alio he engages to us for God, such as, that he will save us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; and that though we may be sometimes carried captive of our enemies by constraint, yet that we shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and fit with him on his throne, even as he overcame, and is fet down with his Father cui his throne : And that no cross shall come, but what shall be for our advantage in the end, whatever for the present it seem to be to our sense ; but that all things mall work together for our good who love him, and are the called according to bis purpose.