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who was a special figure and type of Christ. The prophets. Hence God gave Elija a coinmission to go and anoint Eli. sha to be prophet in his room, 1 Kings xix. 16. As oil strengthened and suppled the joints, and made them agile and fit for exercise, so it denoted a designation and fitness in a person for the function to which he was appointed. Thus Christ, because he was not to be a typical Prophet, Priest, or King, was not typically, but spiritually anointed; not with a sacramental, but real unction; not of men, but immediately of God. There are two things implied in the anointing of Christ.
(1.). It implies the Father's sitting and furnishing him with all things necessary, that he might be a complete Redeemer to his people. As God gave him a body and human nature, that he might be capable to suffer ; so he filled and reple. nished his soul with all the gifts and graces of his Spirit. Hence it was promised of old concerning him, that the Spirit of the Lord should rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord The Psalmist tells us, thiat he was fairer than the sons of men, and grace was poured into his lips. He, received not the Spirit by measure,' but was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. All this was the Father's work, and therefore he saith, · Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth, Isa. xlii. 1.
(2.) It implies the Father's giving him a commission to redeem poor sinners from hell and wrath. He was invested with a fulness of authority and power for this very end. And therefore in scripture he is said to be sealed, as having his commission under the great seal of Heaven. Hence he says, Isa Ixi. 1.
• The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me,' &c. Every thing that Christ did in bringing about the redemption of an elect world, was given him in commission. His coming to the world in the fulness of time was by the order and appointment of the Father. So he shews, John viii. 42. I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.' The business on which he came was determined by Heaven. Soin the text it is said, God sent forth kis Son, made of a woman, to redeem them that were under the law, &c. His death and bloody sufferings, which were the
price of man's redemption, and the ransom of their souls, were enjoined by the Father. Hence says he, John x. 18. • This commandment, (vizi relating to laying down his life,) have I received of my Father.'
Secondly, We may consider his office and work in the general. He is called the Mediator, which properly signifies a midsman, that travels betwixt two persons who are at variance to reconcile them. Now, Christ is Mediator, (1.) In respect of his person, being a middle person betwixt God and man, participating of both natures. (2.) In respect of his office; being a middle person dealing betwixt God and man, in the offices of a Prophet; Priest, and King. Which will be more particularly illustrated in the sequel.
He is the Redeemer. To redeem is to buy a thing again; as the nearest a-kin was to buy again the mortgaged land, and so to rescue and deliver from poverty, and misery; and bondage: This is the import of the word in the original. The elect are the redeemed : it is all they, and they only, as was proved before.
This redemption imports, (1.) That the elect were first the Lord's by creation, his property, and bound to serve and obey him. (2.) That they were sold, and in a state of bondage, in their natural condition, slaves to sin and Satan, the captives of the mighty; prisoners to the law, and obnoxious to the justice of God. (3.) That they are recover. ed or redeemed from this state of vassalage, captivity and slavery, by the Lord Jesus Christ. And they are redeemed by him two ways.
1. By price or purchase, laying down his life a ransom for them. He came to "give his life a ransom for many,' Matth. XX, 28; that is to die in the stead of his people. His life intervened as a price to obtain their redemption. Hence is that note in the song of the redeemed, Rev. v. 9.
Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. They were fallen under the dominion of Satan, and liable to eternal death, and could not obtain their liberty by éscape, or by mere force and power ; for they were arrested and detained prisoners by order of divine justice : so that till God the Supreme Judge was satisfied, there could be no discharge. Now, the Lord Jesus Christ hath procured their deliverance by his death and bloody sufferings. Hence the apostle says, Col. i. 14. “We have redemption through his VOL. I.
blood, even the forgiveness of sins. No less than the precious blood of Christ, who was God and man in one person, could be a sufficient price for the redemption of poor captivesinners.
2. By power and conquest. By his death on the cross he spoiled principalities and powers. And he manifested this power in his ascension ; for when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive: And in the day of power he redeems his people from the slavery of sin and Satan, the curse of the law, from the sting of death, and the wrath of God; and puts them in possession of a full salvation.
The former, viz. redeeming by price or purchase, Christ doth as a Priest, the latter as a Prophet and King. Both were absolutely necessary : for without a ransom justice would not quit us nor let us go; and without overeoming or conquering power, the elect, while slaves to sin and Sa tan, will not quit their master, nor accept of liberty.
This redemption of elect souls was agreed upon by the Father and the Son in the covenant of grace from eternity. It was first proclaimed to fallen man in the first promise, Gen. iii. 13. that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent;' it was shadowed forth under the Old Testament by sacrifices, burnt-offerings, &c; the price was actually paid on the cross, when he made peace through the blood thereof, Col. i. 20; and the powerful delivery is made in the conversion of the elect, the day of God's power, when the captives are delivered, their chains knocked off, and they are rescued from the miserable bondage in which they lay. And although Christ's blood was not actually shed under the Old Testament, yet the elect, during that dispensation were delivered by the same redemption which we are now partakers of, Heb. xi. 39, 40.
Thirdly, That Jesus Christ, and he only, is the Redeemer promised as the true Messiah, is evident, in that all the things that are the marks and characters of the Redeemer agree to him, and him only. He was to be of the tribe of Judah, and of the house of David, to be born of a virgin, to be Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature and on our side, to be born in Bethlehem, to make a mean appearance, to be despised and rejected of men, to be crucified on an accursed tree, to be buried in a grave, to rise again the third day, to ascend into heaven, and sit at the right hand of God, till bis enemies be made his footstool. It is evident from comparing
the Old Testament with the New, that all these characters agree to Jesus Christ, and him only; and none other but one who possessed these characters could be our Redeemer.
II. Our next business is to illustrate this grand truth, That Jesus Christ, being the eternal Son of God, became man.
First, Christ is the eternal Son of God. And in this he differs from all God's other sons.
1. From angels, who are called the sons of God,' Job xxxviii. 7. They were filled with joy, and shouted with a triumphant voice, when they saw the power, wisdom and goodness of God, appearing so illustriously in the work of creation, when God laid the foundations of the earth. Now, the angels are called the sons of God. -- (1.) Because they had their whole being from him. They are his sons by creation ; in which sense also Adam is called the son of God, Luke iii. 38.
(2.) Because of their great and mighty power. Hence they are styled 'principality, and power, and might, and do- , minion,' Eph. i. 31. They are like him in power and dignity.
(3.) Because they serve him as sons, cheerfully, willingly, and readily. They do not obey as slaves, or servants, or the best of servants; but they obey as children. They go his errands with a filial cheerfulness and delight. A son honoureth his father,' saith the Lord. It should be the temper and disposition of every son to do so. This is not only the disposition of angels, but they have actually done it, and may say unto God, as the elder brother is brought in saying in the parable, Luke xv. "Lo these many years have we been with thee,' even ever since the creation of the world,
and have never transgressed nor neglected thy command, ments at any time.'
(4.) Because of the great privileges which God bestows upon them. He uses them as his sons and children. They are his courtiers, and near to his person, and always sur, round his throne, and behold his face. They are continu. ally under the meridian beams of his ravishing and life. giving countenance.
(5.) Because of their likeness to God in essence. He is a spirit, an incorporeal and immaterial being, and angels are spiritual and incorporeal substances. Though the difference between God and them be as great as can be conceived, yea truly inconceivable; God being the creating spirit, and they
created spirits ; God being an infinite spirit, and they but finite ones; yet the angels bear a resemblance to God in their essence, as well as in their qualifications, and may upon that account also be called the sons of God: but they are only the sons of God by creation : Whereas Christ is his Son bý an eternal and ineffable generation. Christ alone is the Son of God by nature.
2. Believers are called the sons of God, John i. 12. And they are so by adoption and regeneration, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18, Believers differ from the angels in this; for they do not stand in need of regeneration, or any gracious change to be wrought in them: for as they were created holy and pure beings, so they have continued in that integrity and holiness with which they were made, and have not lost it: and therefore Christ is no Redeemer to them.
3. Christ differs both from angels and saints in this, that he is the eternal and only begotten Son of God, as the scripture verifies, Matth. iii. 17. and xvii. 5.
Now, that the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, is the eternal Son of God, or was begotten of the Father from all eternity, is clear from the holy scriptures; for to divine revelation alone are we indebted for the knowledge of this important truth. To this end let us consider, Psal. ii. 7. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. This passage is applied to Christ in several places of the New Testament. The word, this day,' doth not denote a certain time when this generation began, but is used to express the eternity thereof. And that which is eternal is expressed by that term, to shew and hold forth unto us, that all things past and to come are present with God in regard of his eternity. There is no succession in eternity, no yesterday nor to-morrow; but it is all as one continued day or moment, without any succession or change. Therefore the generation of the Son being eternal, it is rightly designed by this term. And although in this and the following verses we have a declaration of God's decree and appointment concerning the advancement of Christ to his Mediatory throne and kingdom; yet in this verse, the generation of the Son is not mentioned as a part of that decree, but only as the ground and foundation thereof. For unless Christ had been the Son of God by eternal generation, he could not have been our Mediator and Redeemer; nor could he have obtained a throne and kingdom as such.