Of Christ the Mediator (eBook)

by Thomas Goodwin

in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.—2 COR. 5:18, 19.

The exposition of the words of the text.—What is the great design of the gospel.—The excellency of the knowledge of it.—The highest attainment is to see the gospel in its original, those eternal transactions between God the Father and God the Son for the salvation of man.

THESE words do summarily tell us what is the argument of that great mystery of the gospel, as it concerneth sinners, viz., reconciliation. Therefore he styles it the ‘ministry of reconciliation:’ that is the title he gives the doctrine of it; and withal further explains this, ‘To wit,’ says he, ‘that God was in Christ, reconciling the world;’ and so the foot of the angels’ evangelical song, wherein they sung forth the main end of Christ’s nativity, was reconciliation: Luke 2:14, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.’ This reconciliation consists of two parts, peace and good will.

The full scope of the words you may conceive, as I have cast them into this frame; and withal, what also is the sum of all the discourse upon them.

First, The word reconcile imports the whole of mankind to have been once created in an estate of amity and friendship with God. For to reconcile, is to make friends again, and argues former friendship. And this sets and limits the subject of these eternal transactions between God the Father and the Son, to have been man considered as fallen.

And secondly, the whole lump of man being fallen off from God into a deep rebellion, and become of the devil’s side and faction, God, who is infinite in love and rich in mercy, bearing everlasting and secret good will to some of these now become rebels, in all ages hath maintained certain lieger ambassadors in the world, to treat with this rebellious rout, and to conclude a peace betwixt them and him: 2 Cor. 5:20, ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God;’ and hath furnished them (as all other ambassadors use to be) with a large and gracious commission, the title of which is, ‘The ministry of reconciliation;’ ‘And hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,’ ver. 18. The sum of which commission hath these two principal parts.



BOOK I: God the Father's eternal counsel and transaction with Christ, to undertake the work of redemption for man, considered as fallen 

CHAPTER I: Exposition of the words of the text. Design of the gospel. Excellency of the knowledge of it. The highest attainment to see the gospel in its original

CHAPTER II: Some observations premised. To the Father the reconciliation is made, and to him the affair is chiefly attributed

CHAPTER III: What as to our salvation was done by God the Father from all eternity. Meaning of that phrase, 'God was reconciling us in Christ.' God's resolution and purpose to reconcile some of the fallen sons of men to himself. His motives. His love in thus designing salvation to us magnified by several considerations

CHAPTER IV: God, in pursuance of his design to save sinners, exercised his wisdom to contrive the fittest means of accomplishing it. Though God might have pardoned sin without satisfaction, yet he would not; and the reasons of it

CHAPTER V: Necessary that a full and complete satisfaction should be made, which we being unable to pay, divine wisdom thought of another person to undertake, and to do it for us. God's justice contented with this commutation of the person

CHAPTER VI: Difficulty to find out a person of strength equal to so high an undertaking. Neither angels nor men could have found out a fit person. God manifest in the flesh for redemption of man, a mystery above all the thoughts of angels or men, and worthy only of God's wisdom to find out

CHAPTER VII: A greater difficulty to overcome, how to give him for us. The depths of God's love here seen, as of his wisdom before. Free choice that he made thus of his Son to be a redeemer. Appointed his Son to death for us

CHAPTER VIII: Christ's acceptance of the terms which God the Father propounded to him. His willingness in the undertaking, whence it proceeded. The elect redeemed by Christ first God the Father's, and by him given to Christ to save them

CHAPTER IX: Upon Christ's accepting this agreement, God the Father engages to bestow all the blessings which he should purchase to those redeemed by him. All these blessings promised to us in Christ from all eternity

CHAPTER X: Reason that all these blessings are said to be given to us of pure grace.

CHAPTER XI: Upon the conclusion of this covenant of redemption, the greatest joy in heaven. 

BOOK II: The sole and peculiar fitness of Christ's person for the work of redemption

CHAPTER I: The fitness of Christ's person for the work of a Mediator, its influence to make it successful

CHAPTER II: Was necessary for our Mediator to be God

CHAPTER III: Of the three persons in the Godhead, the Son fittest to be Mediator

CHAPTER IV: Necessary our Mediator should be man; the angelical nature not proper for this work

CHAPTER V: That our Mediator should be both God and man in one person

CHAPTER VI: The two natures, the divine and human, how united into one person, Christ, God-man. The Son of God took our whole nature, both soul and body

CHAPTER VII: Fit that Christ should be such a man as to be like us in the matter and substance of his body, and like us in his production and birth. Reasons. Christ, though born of a woman, yet without sin. Why man, and of the Jewish nation


BOOK III: The fulness of abilities which are in Christ to accomplish the work of our redemption, which are impossible to be found in any other person

CHAPTER I: The all-sufficient abilities to accomplish our redemption, demonstrated from God the Father's calling him to it. From God's engaging also to furnish him with abilities. From Christ's undertaking it. From the greatness and excellency of his person. Reasons which induced God to fix on this way of salvation. Objection answered.

CHAPTER II: In Christ alone sufficient ability to take away sin. Weakness and insufficiency of any creature for this work proved by an enumeration of particulars. Blood of all sacrifices could not have such an efficacy. We were unable to satisfy God by any thing which we could suffer or do. All the saints as unable to help us in this case. Beyond the power of angels themselves

CHAPTER III: The most perfect creature could not be our redeemer. Utmost extent to which the power of any creature can reach

CHAPTER IV: Inability of the creature to redeem us demonstrated from the nature of the satisfaction

CHAPTER V: No creatures could make that satisfaction which an injured God required

CHAPTER VI: Christ hath made full reparation of all which was lost by sin. Glory of the law by him recovered. God's image restored

CHAPTER VII: Christ hath repaired the loss of honour which God sustained by sin. Satisfaction in point of honour, how to be measured

CHAPTER VIII: What Christ did for satisfaction brings more honour to God than ever sin had done dishonour. Glory which redounds to God from his assuming human nature, and in such a low condition, and meanest circumstances

CHAPTER IX: Christ's satisfaction not only a diminishing of his glory, but despoiling him of it. He did this willingly. His person the subject of this debasement

CHAPTER X: Greatness and supereminent worth of this satisfaction as performed by such a person

CHAPTER XI: There is all in the satisfaction made by Christ which justice can require. Pleas which may be framed against the sinner, all answered in what our Redeemer hath performed

CHAPTER XII: Pleas which the law can make against a sinner fully answered:

BOOK IV: Christ's willingness to the work of redemption from everlasting till he accomplish it

CHAPTER I: Two things to be considered in the obedience which Christ performed, the will and the deed. From all eternity he expressed his willingness to undertake the work

CHAPTER II: Renewed his consent as soon as he came into the world. His human nature from his first conception agreed to it. This apparent from Ps. 22

CHAPTER III: That appellation, Jesus the Nazarite, explained

CHAPTER IV: Nazarites of the law types of Christ

CHAPTER V: Christ how presignified as a Nazarite by these types. The parallel between him and Sampson

CHAPTER VI: Christ called a Nazarite though not born in that city

CHAPTER VII: Prophecy of Christ, Isa. 11:1, Jer. 23:5, and Zech. 3:8, fulfilled in Christ a Nazarite or inhabitant of that city

CHAPTER VIII: As Christ expressed his will and consent in the dedication of himself to the work, so shewed his willingness in all the parts of the performance

CHAPTER IX: Did not shrink at the approach of his greatest sufferings, his death: 

BOOK V: Christ's actual performance of our redemption. In the general he gave himself for us. The particular parts of our redemption are, That he was made sin and a curse; and by his death obtained a victory over Satan, whereby he delivers us from his slavery; and hath performed all righteousness which might answer the law for us. And that Christ, as our great Shepherd, takes care to preserve and secure us safe thus redeemed and freed by him

CHAPTER I: God presently, on man's fall, making the discovery to him of a Redeemer, Adam transmitted the knowledge of him to his posterity, and he was accordingly proposed to the faith of the patriarchs

CHAPTER II: Christ gave himself for us to redeem us. What is implied in that expression. Greatness and value of such a gift. Christ giving himself a high testimony of his own peculiar love to us

CHAPTER III: Christ made sin and a curse for us. In what respect Christ was made sin for us. Uses

CHAPTER IV: How Christ made a curse for us. Suffered the curse of the moral law

CHAPTER V: Particulars of the curse which Christ endured. Infirmities which sin hath brought upon us. A painful, wretched life

CHAPTER VI: The sufferings of Christ immediately foregoing his crucifixion, described in an exposition of John 18:1–21

CHAPTER VII: Exposition of John 18:1–21 continued

CHAPTER VIII: Christ taken and bound as the victims used to be to the altar. Influence of this his binding on our being loosened from these chains of sin

CHAPTER IX: Peter's denial of Christ. An addition to his sufferings

CHAPTER X: Account of Christ's examination before Caiaphas

CHAPTER XI: The last sufferings of Christ coming to his death. Both the shame and torments to be considered

CHAPTER XII: The extremity of pain which Christ endured in his body. Harassed day and night, without a moment's rest. Crowned with thorns, torn with rods, and crucified

CHAPTER XIII: The greatest of all Christ's sufferings, those of his soul. Causes of those sorrows. Greatness of those sufferings. Wherein they did consist. How it could consist with his being the Son of God, to be forsaken of God, and to bear such extremity of his Father's wrath

CHAPTER XIV: Uses of Christ's being made sin and a curse for us

CHAPTER XV: Victory which Christ gained over Satan by his death

CHAPTER XVI: Christ's great concern and interest to destroy the power of Satan. Conquest which he had over him by his death, and his open and glorious triumph after the victory, expressed in Col. 2:15

CHAPTER XVII: The victory which Christ obtains over the devil, in us, and by us. First promise in Gen. 3. Believers, by the virtue and strength of Christ, conquerors over the devil. The several ages of Christians considered from 1 John 2:13, 14. By Christ believers prevail against Satan as to the accusations of them, which he brings before God. Christ and the saints at last defeat Satan's designs, as he is prince of this world

CHAPTER XVIII: Victory of Christ and his saints over the devil before and at the day of judgment

CHAPTER XIX: Christ's fulness for our justification. Wherein justification consists. The whole righteousness which is in Christ imputed to us

CHAPTER XX: The perfect holiness of Christ's nature imputed to a believer

CHAPTER XXI: Not only legal but evangelical righteousness excluded from bearing any part in justification. Phil. 3:9 explained

CHAPTER XXII: God appointed Christ to be the Great Shepherd. Care and diligence of Christ in discharge of this office:

BOOK VI: Of Christ our high priest as entered into the holy of holies in the heavens. How we are to treat and converse with God, and Christ Jesus under the notion of his being our high priest, and being entered into the holy of holies. And of our having liberty to enter thither to him, and to converse with him there through faith in prayer

CHAPTER I: Christ our great high priest, the greatness and excellency of his priesthood

CHAPTER II: The words of the text, Heb. 10:19–22, explained

CHAPTER III: Privilege of believers under the New Testament to enter into the highest heavens by faith, and with the apprehension of faith. Invitation so to do. Dispositions required to make them meet for such a heavenly converse

CHAPTER IV: Privilege of believers under the New Testament compared with those of believers under the Old Testament

CHAPTER V: A fair and open invitation to enter into heaven when we pray. In such a manner as those that are thither entered

CHAPTER VI: Particular invitements unto communion with God and Christ

CHAPTER VII: Exercise of faith in prayer

CHAPTER VIII: Another exercise of faith in prayer. The scapegoat

CHAPTER IX: Occasional sacrifices for particular sins

CHAPTER X: The general atonement made for all sins once a year: 


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