by Thomas Ridgley
They who are elected to salvation, are chosen in Christ. It is expressly said, 'He hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world.' We are not to suppose that the apostle intends hereby, that we are chosen for the sake of Christ, as though any of his mediatorial acts were the ground and reason of our being chosen. Election is an act of sovereign grace, or is resolved into the good pleasure of the will of God, and is not to be accounted a purchased blessing. When we speak of the work of the Mediator, with relation to it, it is to be considered as a means ordained by God, to bring his elect to salvation, rather than the foundation of their election. This proposition necessarily follows the former; for if they who are chosen to the end, are chosen to the means, Christ's mediatorial acts being the highest and first means of salvation, God's eternal purpose respects these, as subservient to salvation.
There are some very considerable divines who distinguish between our being chosen in Christ as a Head, and our being chosen in him as a Redeemer. They conclude, that there are two distinct relations in which the elect are said to stand to Christ, both of which are mentioned by the apostle, when he says, 'Christ is the Head of the church, and the Saviour of the body,'d and also when he says, 'He is the Head of the body the church, and hath made peace through the blood of his cross.' They add, that the elect are considered as his members, without any regard had to their fallen state; and that the blessings involved in this are such as render their condition more honourable and glorious, than it would have been had they been considered only as creatures, without any relation to him as their Head. This Headship of Christ they extend not only to men, but to the holy angels, whom they suppose to be chosen, in this respect, in Christ, as well as men; and they say that it is owing to this that they have the grace of confirmation conferred upon them. It follows, also, that Christ would have been the Head of the election of grace, though man had not fallen, and that our fallen state rendered that other relation of Christ to his elect necessary. Hence, as chosen to salvation, they are chosen in him as a Redeemer, designed to bring about this great work for them, and, for this end, set up 'from everlasting.'f
This distinction of Christ's double relation to the elect, is, doubtless, designed by those who adopt it to advance his glory. Yet it remains a matter of doubt with me, whether Christ's Headship over his church be not a branch of his mediatorial glory; and if so, it will be very difficult to prove that a Mediator respects any other than man, and him more particularly considered as fallen. Accordingly, God designed by the work of mediation, not to advance him to a higher condition than what was merely the result of his being a creature, but to deliver him from that state of sin and misery into which he foresaw that he would plunge himself. Hence, in considering the order of God's eternal purpose relating to the salvation of his people, we must suppose that he first designed to glorify all his perfections in their redemption and salvation. In order to this he foreordained, or appointed, Christ to be their great Mediator, in whom he would be glorified, and by whom this work was to be brought about. He appointed him to be their Head, Surety, and Redeemer, first to purchase salvation for them, and then to make them meet for it, in the same order in which it is brought about by him in the execution of his purpose. Thus, as the glory of God, in the salvation of the elect, was the end, Christ's redemption was the means more immediately conducive to it. Accordingly, Christ is said to be foreordained to perform those offices which he executes as Mediator. And as, when he was manifested in the flesh, he did all things for his people which were necessary to bring them to glory, he is, in God's purpose, considered as the great Mediator, by whom he designed this work should be brought about. Hence, when he is set forth in the gospel as a propitiation for sin, the apostle seems to speak of his being such, as the result of God's purpose. His words are, 'Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.'h The Greek word translated 'set forth,' properly signifies, as is observed in the marginal reference, 'foreordained.' Accordingly, we must consider him as from all eternity, in God's purpose, appointed to be the federal Head of those who are said to be chosen in him, and to have all the concerns of the divine glory relating to their salvation committed to his management.
Ridgley, T. (1855). A Body of Divinity