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And this cleansing of our natures, persons, and duties, hath its whole foundation in the death of Christ. Hence our washing and purifying, our cleansing and purging, is ascribed to his blood and the sprinkling thereof. Meritoriously this work is done by the shedding of the blood of Christ; efficiently by its sprinkling. The sprinkling of the blood of Christ proceedeth from the communication of the Holy Ghost; which he promiseth to us, as purchased by him for us. He is the pure water, wherewith we are sprinkled from all our sins. That spirit of judgment and burning that takes away the filth and blood of the daughters of Sion. And this is the first thing in the grace of sanctification ; of which more afterward.
(2.) By bestowing cleanness as to actual grace. The blood of Christ in this purchased grace doth not only take away defilement, but also it gives purity; and that also in a threefold gradation.
[1.] It gives the Spirit of holiness to dwell in us; he is made unto us sanctification ; 1 Cor. i. 30. by procuring for us the Spirit of sanctification; our renewing is of the Holy Ghost who is shed on us through Christ alone; Tit. iii. 6. this the apostle mainly insists on; Rom. viii. to wit, that the prime and principal guilt of sanctification that we receive from Christ, is the indwelling of the Spirit, and our following after the guidance hereof. But what concerns the Spirit in any kind, must be referred to that, which I have to offer concerning our communion with him.
[2.] He gives us habitual grace; a principle of grace opposed to the principle of lust that is in us by nature. This is the grace that dwells in us; makes its abode with us; which, according to the distinct faculties of our souls wherein it is, or the distinct objects about which it is exercised, receiveth various appellations, being indeed all but one new principle of life. In the ủnderstanding it is light, in the will obedience, in the affections love, in all faith. So also it is differenced in respect of its operations; when it carries out the soul to rest oń Christ, it is faith ; when to delight in him, it is love ; but still one and the same habit of
grace. And this is the second thing.
[3.] Actual influence for the performance of every spiritual duty whatever. After the saints have both the former,
yet Christ tells them that without him “they can do nothing;' John xv. 5. They are still in dependance upon him for new influences of grace, or supplies of the Spirit; they cannot live and spend upon the old stock; for every new act they must have new grace ; he must work in us to 'will and to do of his good pleasure ;' Phil. ii. 13. And in these three thus briefly named consists that purchased grace in the point of sanctification, as to the collating of purity and cleanness, wherein we have communion with Christ.
3. This purchased grace consists in privileges to stand before God, and these are of two sorts; primary and consequential. Primary is adoption; the Spirit of adoption : consequential, are all the favours of the gospel, which the saints alone have right unto. But of this I shall speak when I come to the last branch of communion with the Holy Ghost.
These are the things wherein we have communion with Christ, as to purchased grace in this life. Drive them up to perfection, and you have that which we call everlasting glory; perfect acceptance, perfect holiness, perfect adoption, or inheritance of sons, that is glory.
Our process now, in the next place, is to what I mainly intend, even the manner how we hold communion with Christ in these things, and that in the order laid down, as,
1. How we hold communion with him, in the obedience of his life and merit of his death, as to acceptance with God the Father.
2. How we hold communion with Christ in his blood, as to the Spirit of sanctification, the habits, and acts of grace.
3. How we hold communion with him as to the privileges we enjoy. Of which in the ensuing chapters.
How the saints hold communion with Christ as to their acceptation with God.
What is required on the part of Christ, hereunto; in his intention ; in the declaration thereof. The sum of our acceptation with God, wherein it consists. What is required on the part of believers to this communion; and how they hold it with Christ. Some objections proposed to consideration: why the elect are not accepted immediately on the undertaking, and the death of Christ; in what sense they are so. Christ a common or public person. How he came to be so. The way of our acceptation with God on that account. The second objection. The necessity of our obedience stated; Eph. ii. 8.-10. The grounds, causes and ends of it manifested. Its proper place in the new covenant. How the saints in particular hold communion with Christ in this purchased grace. They approve of this righteousness; the grounds thereof. Reject their own; the grounds thereof. The commutation of sin and righteousness between Christ and believers ; some objections answered.
COMMUNION with Christ, in purchased grace, as unto acceptation with God, from the obedience of his life, and efficacy of his death, is the first thing we inquire into. The discovery of what on the part of Christ, and what on our part is required thereunto (for our mutual actings, even his and ours are necessary, that we may have fellowship and communion together herein), is that which herein I intend.
(1.) On the part of Christ, there is no more required but these two things.
[1.] That what he did, he did not for himself, but for us. [2..
] What he suffered, he suffered not for himself, but for
That is, that his intention from eternity, and when he was in the world, was, that all that he did and suffered, was and should be for us, and our advantage as to our acceptance with God; that he still continueth making use of what he so did and suffered, for that end and purpose, and that only. Now this is most evident.
[1.] What he did, he did for us, and not for himself. • He was made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons ;' Gal. iv. 4, 5. He was made under the law, that is, in that condition that he was obnoxious to the will and commands of it; and why was this? To what end ?
For himself? No, but to redeem us, is the aim of all that he did, of all his obedience and that he did. This very intention in what he did, he acquaints us with, John xvii. 19. for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they may be sanctified through the truth.' I sanctify myself,' dedicate and set myself apart to all that work I have to do. I came not to do my own will, I came to save that which was lost, to minister, not to be ministered unto, and to give my life a ransom, it was the testimony he bare to all he did in the world. This intendment of his is especially to be eyed ; from eternity he had thoughts of what he would do for us, and delighted himself therein. And when he was in the world, in all he went about, he had still this thought, this is for them, and this is for them, my beloved. When he went to be baptized, says John, 'I have need to come to thee, and comest thou to me?' Matt. iii. 14, 15. as if he had said, thou hast no need at all of it. But, says Christ, “Suffer us now for so it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness,'I do it for them who have none at all, and stand obliged unto all.
[2.] In what he suffered. This is more clear; Dan ix. 21, Messias shall be cut off,' and not for himself; and the apostle lays down this as à main difference between him, and the high-priest of the Jews, that when they made their solemn offerings, they offered first for themselves and then for the people; but Jesus Christ offereth only for others : he had no sin and could make no sacrifice for his own sin, which he had not, but only for others. He tasted death for all; Heb. ii. 9. ‘gave his life a ransom for many;' Matt. xx. 10. The iniquity of us all was made to meet on him ;' Isa. liii. 6. ‘he bare our sins, in his own body on the tree;' 1 Pet. ii. 24. loved his church and gave himself for it; Eph. v. 26. Gal. ii. 20. Rom. iv. 25. Rev. i. 5,6. Tit. ii. 14. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Isa. liii. 12. John xvii. 19. But this is exceeding clear and confessed, that Christ in his suffering and oblation, had his intention only upon the good of his elect, and their acceptation with God; suffering for us, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.'
To complete this communion on the part of Christ, it is required,
(1.) That there be added to what he hath done, the gos
pel tenders of that complete righteousness and acceptation with God, which ariseth from his perfect obedience and sufferings. Now they are twofold.
[1.] Declaratory, in the conditional promises of the gospel. John vii. 37. Matt. xi. 28. He that believeth shall be saved ;' Come to me and you shall have life;' • As the serpent was lifted up, &c.' Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe;' Rom. x. 4. and innumerable others. Now declaratory tenders are very precious; there is much kindness in them, and if they be rejected, they will be the 'savour of death unto death ;' but the Lord Christ knows that the outward letter, though never so effectually held out, will not enable any of his for that reception of his righteousness, which is necessary to interest them therein; wherefore,
[2.] In this tender of acceptation with God, on the account of what he hath done and suffered, a law is established, that whosoever receives it, shall be so accepted. But Christ knows the condition and state of his in this world. This will not do; if he do not effectually invest them with it, all is lost. Therefore,
(2.) He sends them his Holy Spirit to quicken them; John vi. 63. to cause them that are dead to hear his voice;' John v. 25. and to work in them, whatever is required of them, to make them partakers of his righteousness, and accepted with God. Thus doth Christ deal with his; he lives and dies with an intention to work out, and complete righteousness for them; their enjoying of it, to a perfect acceptation before God, is all that in the one and other he aimed at. Then he tenders it unto them, declares the usefulness and preciousness of it to their souls, stirring them up to a desire and valuation of it; and lastly, effectually bestows it upon them, reckons it unto them as theirs; that they should by it, for it, with it, be perfectly accepted with his Father.
Thus for our acceptation with God, two things are required.
1st. That satisfaction be made for our disobedience, for whatever we had done which might damage the justice and honour of God, and that God be atoned towards us, which could no otherwise be, but by undergoing the penalty of the law. This I have shewed abundantly is done by the death