Owen, Of Communion With God, File 14
    (... continued from File 13)

     Chapter 6. Of communion with Christ in purchased grace - 
                Purchased grace considered in respect of its 
                rise and fountain - The first rise of it, in the 
                obedience of Christ - Obedience properly 
                ascribed to Christ - Two ways considered: what 
                it was, and wherein it did consist - Of his 
                obedience to the law in general - Of the law of 
                the Mediator - His habitual righteousness, how 
                necessary; as also his obedience to the law of 
                the Mediator - Of his actual obedience or active 
                righteousness - All Christ's obedience performed 
                as he was Mediator - His active obedience for us 
                - This proved at large, Gal. 4: 4, 5; Rom. 5: 19; 
                Phil. 3: 10; Zech. 3: 3-5 - One objection re-
                moved - Considerations of Christ's active 
                righteousness closed - Of the death of Christ, 
                and its influence into our acceptation with God - 
                A price; redemption, what it is - A sacrifice; 
                atonement made thereby - A punishment; satisfac-
                tion thereby - The intercession of Christ; with 
                its influence into our acceptation with God.

        Our process is now to communion with Christ in purchased 
    grace, as it was before proposed: "That we may know him, and 
    the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of is 
    sufferings, and be made conformable to his death," Phil 3: 10.
        By purchased grace, I understand all that righteousness 
    and grace which Christ has procured, or wrought out for us, 
    or does by any means make us partakers of, or bestows on us 
    for our benefit, by any thing that he has done or suffered, 
    or by any thing he continueth to do as mediator: - First, 
    What this purchased grace is, and wherein it does consist; 
    Secondly, How we hold communion with Christ therein; are the
    things that now  come under consideration.
        The First may be considered two ways: - 1. In respect of
    the rise and fountain of it; 2. Of its nature, or wherein it
        1. It has a threefold rise, spring, or causality in
    Christ: - (1.) The obedience of his life. (2.) The suffering
    of his death. (3.) His continued intercession. All the actions
    of Christ as mediator, leading to the communication of grace
    unto us, may be either referred to these heads, or to some
    things that are subservient to them or consequent of them.
        2. For the nature of this grace wherein we have communion
    with Christ, flowing from these heads and fountains, it may be
    referred to these three: - (1.) Grace of justification, or
    acceptation with God; which makes a relative change in us, as
    to state and condition. (2.) Grace of sanctification, or
    holiness before God; which makes a real change in us, as to
    principle and operation. (3.) Grace of privilege; which is
    mixed, as we shall show, if I go forth to the handling
        Now, that we have communion with Christ in this purchased
    grace, is evident on this single consideration, - that there
    is almost nothing that Christ has done, which is a spring of
    that grace whereof we speak, but we are said to do it with
    him. We are "crucified" with him, Gal. 2: 20; we are "dead"
    with him, 2 Tim. 2: 11; Col. 3: 3; and "buried" with him, Rom.
    6: 4; Col. 2: 12; we are "quickened together with him," Col.
    2: 13; "risen" with him, Col. 3: 1. "He has quickened us
    together with Christ, and has raised us up together, and made
    us sit together in heavenly places," Eph. 2: 5, 6. In the
    acting of Christ, there is, by virtue of the compact between
    him as mediator, and the Father, such an assured foundation
    laid of the communication of the fruits of those acting unto
    those in whose stead he performed them, that they are said, in
    the participation of those fruits, to have done the same
    things with him. The life and power of which truth we may have
    occasion hereafter to inquire into: -
        (1.) The first fountain and spring of this grace, wherein
    we have our communion with Christ, is first to be considered;
    and that is the obedience of his life: concerning which it
    must be declared, - [1.] What it is that is intended thereby,
    and wherein it consisteth. [2.] What influence it has into the
    grace whereof we speak.
        To the handling of this I shall only premise this
    observation, - namely, that in the order of procurement, the
    life of Christ (as was necessary) precedeth his death; and
    therefore we shall handle it in the first place: but in the
    order of application, the benefits of his death are bestowed
    on us antecedently, in the nature of the things themselves,
    unto those of his life; as will appeal; and that necessarily,
    from the state and condition wherein we are.
        [1.] By the obedience of the life of Christ, I intend the
    universal conformity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he was or
    is, in his being mediator, to the whole will of God; and his
    complete actual fulfilling of the whole of every law of God,
    or doing of all that God in them required. He might have been
    perfectly holy by obedience to the law of creation, the moral
    law, as the angels were; neither could any more, as a man
    walking with God, be required of him: but he submitted himself
    also to every law or ordinance that was introduced upon the
    occasion of sin, which, on his own account, he could not be
    subject to, it becoming him to "fulfil all righteousness,"
    Matt. 3: 15, as he spake in reference to a newly-instituted
        That obedience is properly ascribed unto Jesus Christ as
    mediator, the Scripture is witness, both as to name and thing
    Heb. 5: 8, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience,"
    etc.; yea, he was obedient in his sufferings, and it was that
    which gave life to his death, Phil. 2: 8. He was obedient to
    death: for therein "he did make his soul an offering for sin,"
    Isa. 53: 10; or, "his soul made an offering for sin," as it is
    interpreted, verse 12, "he poured out his soul to death," or,
    "his soul poured out itself unto death." And he not only
    sanctified himself to be an offering, John 17: 10, but he also
    "offered up himself," Heb. 9: 14, an "offering of a sweet
    savour to God," Eph. 5: 2. Hence, as to the whole of his work,
    he is called the Father's "servant," Isa. 42: l, and verse 19:
    and he professes of himself that he "came into the world to do
    the will of God, the will of him that sent him;" for which he
    manifests "his great readiness," Heb. 10: 7; - all which
    evince his obedience. But I suppose I need not insist on the
    proof of this, that Christ, in the work of mediation, and as
    mediator, was obedient, and did what he did willingly and
    cheerfully, in obedience to God.
        Now, this obedience of Christ may be considered two ways:
    - 1st. As to the habitual root and fountain of it. 2dly. As to
    the actual parts or duties of it: -
        1st. The habitual righteousness of Christ as mediator in
    his human nature, was the absolute, complete, exact conformity
    of the soul of Christ to the will, mind, or law of God; or his
    perfect habitually inherent righteousness. This he had
    necessarily from the grace of union; from whence it is that
    that which was born of the virgin was a "holy thing," Luke 1:
    35. It was, I say, necessary consequentially, that it should
    be so; though the effecting of it were by the free operations
    of the Spirit, Luke 2: 52. He had an all-fulness of grace on
    all accounts. This the apostle describes, Heb. 7: 26, "Such an
    high priest became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate
    from sinners." Every way separate and distant from sin and
    sinners he was to be; whence he is called "The Lamb of God,
    without spot or blemish," 1 Pet. 1: 19. This habitual holiness
    of Christ was inconceivably above that of the angels. He who
    chargeth his angels with folly," Job 4: 18; "who putteth no
    trust in his saints; and in whose sight the heavens" (or their
    inhabitants) "are not clean," chap. 15: 15; always embraceth
    him in his bosom, and is always well pleased with him, Matt.
    3: 17. And the reason of this is, because every other
    creature, though never so holy, has the Spirit of God by
    measure; but he was not given to Christ "by measure," John 3:
    34; and that because it pleased him that in him "should all
    fulness dwell," Col. 1: 19. This habitual grace of Christ,
    though not absolutely infinite, yet, in respect of any other
    creature, it is as the water of the sea to the water of a pond
    or pool. All other creatures are depressed from perfection by
    this, - that they subsist in a created, dependent being; and
    so have the fountain of what is communicated to them without
    them. But the human nature of Christ subsists in the person of
    the Son of God; and so has the bottom and fountain of its
    holiness in the strictest unity with itself.
        2dly. The actual obedience of Christ, as was said, was his
    willing, cheerful, obediential performance of every thing,
    duty, or command, that God, by virtue of any law whereto we
    were subject and obnoxious, did require; and [his obedience],
    moreover, to the peculiar law of the mediator. Hereof, then,
    are two parts: -
        (1st.) That whatever was required of us by virtue of any
    law, - that he did and fulfilled. Whatever was required of us
    by the law of nature, in our state of innocence; whatever kind
    of duty was added by morally positive or ceremonial
    institutions; whatever is required of us in way of obedience
    to righteous judicial laws, - he did it all. Hence he is said
    to be "made under the law," Gal. 4: 4; subject or obnoxious to
    it, to all the precepts or commands of it. So, Matt. 3: 15, he
    said it became him to "fulfil all righteousness," - "pasan
    dikaiosunen", - all manner of righteousness whatever; that is,
    everything that God required, as is evident from the
    application of that general axiom to the baptism of John. I
    shall not need, for this, to go to particular instances, in
    the duties of the law of nature, - to God and his parents; of
    morally positive [duties], in the Sabbath, and other acts of
    worship; of the ceremonial law, in circumcision, and
    observation of all the rites of the Judaical church; of the
    judicial, in paying tribute to governors; - it will suffice, I
    presume, that on the one hand he "did no sin, neither was
    guile found in his mouth;" and on the other, that he
    "fulfilled all righteousness:" and thereupon the Father was
    always well pleased with him. This was that which he owned of
    himself, that he came to do the will of God; and he did it.
        (2dly.) There was a peculiar law of the Mediator, which
    respected himself merely, and contained all those acts and
    duties of his which are not for our imitation. So that
    obedience which he showed in dying was peculiarly to this law,
    John 10: 18, "I have power to lay down my life: this
    commandment have I received of my Father." As mediator, he
    received this peculiar command of his Father, that he should
    lay down his life, and take it again; and he was obedient
    thereunto. Hence we say, he who is mediator did some things
    merely as a man, subject to the law of God in general; so he
    prayed for his persecutors, - those that put him to death,
    Luke 23: 34; - some things as mediator; so he prayed for his
    elect only, John 17: 9. There were not worse in the world,
    really and evidently, than many of them that crucified him;
    yet, as a man, subject to the law, he forgave them, and prayed
    for them. When he prayed as mediator, his Father always heard
    him and answered him, John 11: 41; and in the other prayers he
    was accepted as one exactly performing his duty.
        This, then, is the obedience of Christ; which was the
    first thing proposed to be considered. The next is, -
        [2.] That it has an influence into the grace of which we
    speak, wherein we hold communion with him, - namely, our free
    acceptation with God; what that influence is, must also follow
    in its order.
        1st. For his habitual righteousness, I shall only propose
    it under these two considerations: -
        (1st.) That upon this supposition, that it was needful
    that we should have a mediator that was God and man in one
    person, as it could not otherwise be, so it must needs be that
    he must be holy. For although there be but one primary
    necessary effect of the hypostatical union (which is the
    subsistence of the human nature in the person of the Son of
    God), yet that he that was so united to him should be a "holy
    thing," completely holy, was necessary also, - of which
        (2dly.) That the relation which this righteousness of
    Christ has to the grace we receive from him is only this, -
    that thereby he was "hikanos" - fit to do all that he had to
    do for us. This is the intendment of the apostle, Heb. 7: 26.
    Such a one "became us;" it was needful he should be such a
    one, that he might do what he had to do. And the reasons
    hereof are two: -
        [1st.] Had he not been completely furnished with habitual
    grace, he could never have actually fulfilled the
    righteousness which was required at his hands. It was therein
    that he was able to do all that he did. So himself lays down
    the presence of the Spirit with him as the bottom and
    foundation of his going forth to his work, Isa. 61:1.
        [2dly.] He could not have been a complete and perfect
    sacrifice, nor have answered all the types and figures of him,
    that were complete and without blemish. But now, Christ having
    this habitual righteousness, if he had never yielded any
    continued obedience to the law actively, but had suffered as
    soon after his incarnation as Adam sinned after his creation,
    he had been a fit sacrifice and offering; and therefore,
    doubtless, his following obedience has another use besides to
    fit him for an oblation, for which he was most fit without it.
        2dly. For Christ's obedience to the law of mediation,
    wherein it is not coincident with his passive obedience, as
    they speak (for I know that expression is improper); it was
    that which was requisite for the discharging of his office,
    and is not imputed unto us, as though we had done it, though
    the "apotelesmata" and fruits of it are; but is of the nature
    of his intercession, whereby he provides the good things we
    stand in need of, at least subserviently to his oblation and
    intercession; - of which more afterward.
        3dly. About his actual fulfilling of the law, or doing all
    things that of us are required, there is some doubt and
    question; and about it there are three several opinions: -
        (1st.) That this active obedience of Christ has no farther
    influence into our justification and acceptation with God, but
    as it was preparatory to his blood-shedding and oblation;
    which is the sole cause of our justification, the whole
    righteousness which is imputed to us arising from thence.
        (2dly.) That it may be considered two ways: - [1st.] As it
    is purely obedience; and so it has no other state but that
    before mentioned. [2dly.] As it was accomplished with
    suffering, and joined with it, as it was part of his
    humiliation, so it is imputed to us, or is part of that upon
    the account whereof we are justified.
        (3dly.) That this obedience of Christ, being done for us,
    is reckoned graciously of God unto us; and upon the account
    thereof are we accepted as righteous before him. My intendment
    is not to handle this difference in the way of a controversy,
    but to give such an understanding of the whole as may speedily
    be reduced to the practice of godliness and consolation; and
    this I shall do in the ensuing observations: -
        [1st.] That the obedience that Christ yielded to the law
    in general, is not only to the peculiar law of the mediator,
    though he yielded it as mediator. He was incarnate as
    mediator, Heb. 2: 14; Gal. 4: 4; and all he afterward did, it
    was as our mediator. For that cause "came he into the world,"
    and did and suffered whatever he did or suffered in this
    world. So that of this expression, as mediator, there is a
    twofold sense: for it may be taken strictly, as relating
    solely to the law of the mediator, and so Christ may be said
    to do as mediator only what he did in obedience to that law;
    but in the sense now insisted on, whatever Christ did as a man
    subject to any law, he did it as mediator, because he did it
    as part of the duty incumbent on him who undertook so to be.
        [2dly.] That whatever Christ did as mediator, he did it
    for them whose mediator he was, or in whose stead and for
    whose good he executed the office of a mediator before God.
    This the holy Ghost witnesseth, Rom. 8: 3, 4, "What the law
    could not do, in that it was wreak through the flesh, God
    sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for
    sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the
    law might be fulfilled in us;" because that we could not in
    that condition of weakness whereinto we are cast by sin, come
    to God, and be freed from condemnation by the law, God sent
    Christ as a mediator, to do and suffer whatever the law
    required at our hands for that end and purpose, that we might
    not be condemned, but accepted of God. It was all to this end,
    - "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in
    us;" that is, which the law required of us, consisting in
    duties of obedience. This Christ performed for us. This
    expression of the apostle, "God sending his own Son in the
    likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the
    flesh;" if you will add to it, that of Gal. 4: 4, that he was
    so sent forth as that he was "hupo nomou genomenos", made
    under the law," (that is, obnoxious to it, to yield all the
    obedience that it does require), comprises the whole of what
    Christ did or suffered; and all this, the Holy Ghost tells us,
    was for us, verse 4.
        [3dly.] That the end of this active obedience of Christ
    cannot be assigned to be, that he might be fitted for his
    death and oblation. For be answered all types, and was every
    way "hikanos" (fit to be made an offering for sin), by his
    union and habitual grace. So that if the obedience Christ
    performed be not reckoned to us, and done upon our account,
    there is no just cause to be assigned why he should live here
    in the world so long as he did, in perfect obedience to all
    the laws of God. Had he died before, there had been perfect
    innocence, and perfect holiness, by his habitual grace, and
    infinite virtue and worth from the dignity of his person; and
    surely he yielded not that long course of all manner of
    obedience, but for some great and special purpose in reference
    to our salvation.
        [4thly.] That had not the obedience of Christ been for us
    (in what sense we shall see instantly), it might in his life
    have been required of him to yield obedience to the law of
    nature, the alone law which he could be liable to as a man;
    for an innocent man in a covenant of works, as he was, needs
    no other law, nor did God ever give any other law to any such
    person (the law of creation is all that an innocent creature
    is liable to, with what symbols of that law God is pleased to
    add). And yet to this law also was his subjection voluntary;
    and that not only consequentially, because he was born upon
    his own choice, not by any natural course, but also because as
    mediator, God and man, he was not by the institution of that
    law obliged unto it; being, as it were, exempted and lifted
    above that law by the hypostatical union: yet, when I say his
    subjection hereunto was voluntary, I do not intend that it was
    merely arbitrary and at choice whether he would yield
    obedience unto it or no, - but on supposition of his
    undertaking to be a mediator, it was necessary it should be
    so, - but that he voluntarily and willingly submitted unto,
    and so became really subject to the commands of it. But now,
    moreover, Jesus Christ yielded perfect obedience to all those
    laws which came upon us by the occasion of sin, as the
    ceremonial law; yea, those very institutions that signified
    the washing away of sin, and repentance from sin, as the
    baptism of John, which he had no need of himself. This,
    therefore, must needs be for us.
        [5thly.] That the obedience of Christ cannot be reckoned
    amongst his sufferings, but is clearly distinct from it, as to
    all formalities. Doing is one thing, suffering another; they
    are in diverse predicaments, and cannot be coincident.
        See, then, briefly what we have obtained by those
    considerations; and then I shall intimate what is the stream
    issuing from this first spring or fountain of purchased grace,
    with what influence it has thereinto: -
        First, By the obedience of the life of Christ you see what
    is intended, - his willing submission unto, and perfect,
    complete fulfilling of, every law of God, that any of the
    saints of God were obliged unto. It is true, every act almost
    of Christ's obedience, from the blood of his circumcision to
    the blood of his cross, was attended with suffering, so that
    his whole life might, in that regard, be called a death; but
    yet, looking upon his willingness and obedience in it, it is
    distinguished from his sufferings peculiarly so called, and
    termed hiss active righteousness. This is, then, I say, as was
    showed, that complete, absolutely perfect accomplishment of
    the whole law of God by Christ, our mediator; whereby he not
    only "did no sin, neither was there guile fold in his mouth,"
    but also most perfectly fulfilled all righteousness, as he
    affirmed it became him to do.
        Secondly, That this obedience was performed by Christ not
    for himself, but for us, and in our stead. It is true, it must
    needs be, that whilst he had his conversation in the flesh he
    must be most perfectly and absolutely holy; but yet the prime
    intendment of his accomplishing of holiness, - which consists
    in the complete obedience of his whole life to any law of God,
    - that was no less for us than his suffering death. That this
    is so, the apostle tells us, Gal. 4: 4, 5, "God sent forth his
    Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that
    were under the law." This Scripture, formerly named, must be a
    little farther insisted on. He was both made of a woman, and
    made under the law; that is, obedient to it for us. The end
    here, both of the incarnation and obedience of Christ to the
    law (for that must needs be understood here by the phrase
    "hupo nomou genomenos", - that is, disposed of in such a
    condition as that he must yield subjection and obedience to
    the law), was all to redeem us. In these two expressions,
    "Made of a woman, made under the law," the apostle does not
    knit his incarnation and death together, with an exclusion of
    the obedience of his life. And he was so made under the law,
    as those were under the law whom he was to redeem. Now, we
    were under the law, not only as obnoxious to its penalties,
    but as bound to all the duties of it. That this is our being
    "under the law," the apostle informs us, Gal. 4: 21, "Tell me,
    ye that desire to be under the law." It was not the penalty of
    the law they desired to be under, but to be under it in
    respect of obedience. Take away, then, the end, and you
    destroy the means. If Christ were not incarnate nor made under
    the law for himself, he did not yield obedience for himself;
    it was all for us, for our good. Let us now look forward, and
    see what influence this has into our acceptation.
        Thirdly, Then, I say, this perfect, complete obedience of
    Christ to the law is reckoned unto us. As there is a truth in
    that, "The day thou eatest thou shalt die," - death is the
    reward of sin, and so we cannot be freed from death but by the
    death of Christ, Heb. 2: 14, 15; so also is that no less true,
    "Do this, and live," - that life is not to he obtained unless
    all be done that the law requires. That is still true, "If
    thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," Matt. 19:
    17. They must, then, be kept by us, or our surety. Neither is
    it of any value which by some is objected, that if Christ
    yielded perfect obedience to the law for us, then are we no
    more bound to yield obedience; for by his undergoing death,
    the penalty of the law, we are freed from it. I answer, How
    did Christ undergo death? Merely as it was penal. How, then,
    are we delivered from death? Merely as it is penal. Yet we
    must die still; yea, as the last conflict with the effects of
    sin, as a passage to our Father, we must die. Well, then,
    Christ yielded perfect obedience to the law; but how did he do
    it? Purely as it stood in that conditional [arrangement], "Do
    this, and live." He did it in the strength of the grace he had
    received; he did it as a means of life, to procure life by it,
    as the tenor of a covenant. Are we, then, freed from this
    obedience? Yes; but how far? From doing it in our own
    strength; from doing it for this end, that we may obtain life
    everlasting. It is vain that some say confidently, that we
    must yet work for life; it is all one as to say we are yet
    under the old covenant, "Hoc fac, et vives:" we are not freed
    from obedience, as a way of walking with God, but we are, as a
    way of working to come to him: of which at large afterward.
        Rom. 5: 18, 19, "By the righteousness of one the free gift
    came upon all men unto justification of life: by the obedience
    of one shall many be made righteous," saith the Holy Ghost. By
    his obedience to the law are we made righteous; it is reckoned
    to us for righteousness. That the passive obedience of Christ
    is here only intended is false: -
        First, It is opposed to the disobedience of Adam, which
    was active. The "dikaioma" is opposed "paraptomati", - the
    righteousness to the fault. The fault was an active
    transgression of the law, and the obedience opposed to it must
    be an active accomplishment of it. Besides, obedience placed
    singly, in its own nature, denotes an action or actions
    conformable to the law; and therein came Christ, not to
    destroy but to fulfil the law, Matt. 5: 17, - that was the
    design of his coming, and so for us; he came to fulfil the law
    for us, Isa. 9: 6, and [was] born to us, Luke 2: 11. This also
    was in that will of the Father which, out of his infinite
    love, he came to accomplish. Secondly, It cannot clearly be
    evinced that there is any such thing, in propriety of speech,
    as passive obedience; obeying is doing, to which passion or
    suffering cannot belong: I know it is commonly called so, when
    men obey until they suffer; but properly it is not so.
        So also, Phil. 3: 9, "And be found in him, not having my
    own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is
    through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God
    by faith." The righteousness we receive is opposed to our own
    obedience to the law; opposed to it, not as something in
    another kind, but as something in the same kind excluding that
    from such an end which the other obtains. Now this is the
    obedience of Christ to the law, - himself thereby being "made
    to us righteousness," 1 Cor. 1: 30.
        Rom. 5: 10, the issue of the death of Christ is placed
    upon reconciliation; that is, a slaying of the enmity and
    restoring us into that condition of peace and friendship
    wherein Adam was before his fall. But is there no more to be
    done? Notwithstanding that there was no wrath due to Adam, yet
    he was to obey, if he would enjoy eternal life. Something
    there is, moreover, to be done in respect of us, if, after the
    slaying of the enmity and reconciliation made, we shall enjoy
    life: "Being reconciled by his death," we are saved by that
    perfect obedience which in his life he yielded to the law of
    God. There is distinct mention made of reconciliation, through
    a non-imputation of sin, as Ps. 32: 1, Luke 1: 77, Rom. 3: 25,
    2 Cor. 5: 19; and justification through an imputation of
    righteousness, Jer. 23: 6, Rom. 4: 5, 1 Cor. 1: 30; - although
    these things are so far from being separated, that they are
    reciprocally affirmed of one another: which, as it does not
    evince an identity, so it does an eminent conjunction. And
    this last we have by the life of Christ.
        This is fully expressed in that typical representation of
    our justification before the Lord, Zech. 3: 3-5. Two things
    are there expressed to belong to our free acceptation before
    God: - 1. The taking away of the guilt of our sin, our filthy
    robes; this is done by the death of Christ. Remission of sin
    is the proper fruit thereof; but there is more also required,
    even a collation of righteousness, and thereby a right to life
    eternal. This is here called "Change of raiment;" so the Holy
    Ghost expresses it again, Isa. 61: 10, where he calls it
    plainly "The garments of salvation," and "The robe of
    righteousness." Now this is only made ours by the obedience of
    Christ, as the other by his death.
        Objection. "But if this be so, then are we as righteous as
    Christ himself, being righteous with his righteousness."
        Answer. But first, here is a great difference, - if it
    were no more than that this righteousness was inherent in
    Christ, and properly his own, it is only reckoned or imputed
    to us, or freely bestowed on us, and we are made righteous
    with that which is not ours. But, secondly, the truth is, that
    Christ was not righteous with that righteousness for himself,
    but for us; so that here can be no comparison: only this we
    may say, we are righteous with his righteousness which he
    wrought for us, and that completely.
        And this, now, is the rise of the purchased grace whereof
    we speak, the obedience of Christ; and this is the influence
    of it into our acceptation with God. Whereas the guilt of sin,
    and our obnoxiousness to punishment on that account, is
    removed and taken away (as shall farther be declared) by the
    death of Christ; and whereas, besides the taking away of sin,
    we have need of a complete righteousness, upon the account
    whereof we may be accepted with God; this obedience of Christ,
    through the free grace of God, is imputed unto us for that end
    and purpose.
        This is all I shall for the present insist on to this
    purpose. That the passive righteousness of Christ only is
    imputed to us in the non-imputation of sin, and that on the
    condition of our faith and new obedience, so exalting them
    into the room of the righteousness of Christ, is a thing
    which, in communion with the Lord Jesus, I have as yet no
    acquaintance withal. What may be said in the way of argument
    on the one side or other must be elsewhere considered.
        (2.) The second spring of our communion with Christ in
    purchased grace, is his death and oblation. He lived for us,
    he died for us; he was ours in all he did, in all he suffered.
    I shall be the more brief in handling of this, because on
    another design I have elsewhere at large treated of all the
    concernments of it.
        Now, the death of Christ, as it is a spring of that
    purchased grace wherein we have communion with him, is in the
    Scripture proposed under a threefold consideration: - [1.] Of
    a price. [2.] Of a sacrifice. [3.] Of a penalty.
        In the first regard, its proper effect is redemption; in
    the second, reconciliation or atonement; in the third,
    satisfaction; which are the great ingredients of that
    purchased grace whereby, in the first place, we have communion
    with Christ.
        [1.] It is a price. "We are bought with a price," 1 Cor.
    6: 20; being "not redeemed with silver and gold, and
    corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ," 1
    Pet. 1: 18, 19: which therein answers those things in other
    contracts. He came to "give his life a ransom for many," Matt.
    20: 28, - a price of redemption, 1 Tim. 2: 6. The proper use
    and energy of this expression in the Scripture, I have
    elsewhere declared.
        Now, the proper effect and issue of the death of Christ as
    a price or ransom is, as I said, redemption. Now, redemption
    is the deliverance of any one from bondage or captivity, and
    the miseries attending that condition, by the intervention or
    interposition of a price or ransom, paid by the redeemer to
    him by whose authority the captive was detained: -
        1st. In general, it is a deliverance. Hence Christ is
    called "The Deliverer," Rom. 11:26; giving himself to "deliver
    us," Gal. 1: 4. He is "Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath
    to come," 1 Thess. 1: 10.
        2dly. It is the delivery of one from bondage or captivity.
    We are, without him, all prisoners and captives, "bound in
    prison," Isa. 61: l; "sitting in darkness, in the prison
    house," Isa. 42: 7, 49: 9; "prisoners in the pit wherein there
    is no water," Zech. 9: 11; "the captives of the mighty, and
    the prey of the terrible," Isa. 49: 25; under a "captivity
    that must be led captive," Ps. 68: 18: this puts us in
    "bondage," Heb. 2: 15.
        3dly. The person committing thus to prison and into
    bondage, is God himself. To him we owe "our debts," Matt. 6:
    12, 18: 23-27; against him are our offences, Ps. 51: 4; he is
    the judge and lawgiver, James 4: 12. To sin is to rebel
    against him. He shuts up men under disobedience, Rom. 11:32;
    and he shall cast both body and soul of the impenitent into
    hell-fire, Matt. 10: 28. To his wrath are men obnoxious, John
    3: 36; and lie under it by the sentence of the law, which is
    their prison.
        4thly. The miseries that attend this condition are
    innumerable. Bondage to Satan, sin, and the world, comprises
    the sum of them; from all which we are delivered by the death
    of Christ, as a price or ransom. "God has delivered us from
    the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom
    of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his
    blood," Col. 1:13,14. And he "redeems us from all iniquity,"
    Tit. 2: 14; "from our vain conversation," 1 Pet. 1:18,19; even
    from the guilt and power of our sin; purchasing us to himself
    "a peculiar people, zealous of good works," Tit 2:14: so dying
    for the "redemption of transgressions," Heb. 9:15; redeeming
    us also from the world, Gal. 4: 5.
        5thly. And all this is by the payment of the price
    mentioned into the hand of God, by whose supreme authority we
    are detained captives, under the sentence of the law. The debt
    is due to the great householder, Matt. 18:23,24; and the
    penalty, his curse and wrath: from which by it we are
    delivered, Rev. 1:.5.
        This the Holy Ghost frequently insists on. Rom. 3:24,25,
    "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption
    that is in Christ Jesus; whom God has set forth to be a
    propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his
    righteousness for the remission of sins:" so also, 1 Cor. 6:
    20; 1 Pet. 1: 18; Matt. 20: 28; 1 Tim. 2: 6; Eph. 1: 7; Col.
    1:13; Gal. 3: 13. And this is the first consideration of the
    death of Christ, as it has an influence into the procurement
    of that grace wherein we hold communion with him.
        [2.] It was a sacrifice also. He had a body prepared him,
    Heb. 10: 5; wherein he was to accomplish what by the typical
    oblations and burnt- offerings of the law was prefigured. And
    that body he offered, Heb. 10: 10; - that is, his whole human
    nature; for "his soul" also was made "an offering for sin,"
    Isa. 53: 10: on which account he is said to offer himself,
    Eph. 5: 2; Heb. 1: 3, 9: 26. He gave himself a sacrifice to
    God of a sweet-smelling savour; and this he did willingly, as
    became him who was to be a sacrifice, - the law of this
    obedience being written in his heart, Ps. 40: 8; that is, he
    had a readiness, willingness, desire for its performance.
        Now, the end of sacrifices, such as his was, bloody and
    for sin, Rom. 5: 10; Heb. 2: 17, was atonement and
    reconciliation. This is everywhere ascribed to them, that they
    were to make atonement; that is, in a way suitable to their
    nature. And this is the tendency of the death of Christ, as a
    sacrifice, atonement, and reconciliation with God. Sin had
    broken friendship between God and us, Isa. 63: 10; whence his
    wrath was on us, John 3: 36; and we are by nature obnoxious to
    it, Eph. 2: 3. This is taken away by the death of Christ, as
    it was a sacrifice, Dan. 9: 24. "When we were enemies, we were
    reconciled to God by the death of his Son," Rom. 5: 10. And
    thereby do we "receive the atonement," verse 11; for "God was
    in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to
    them their sins and their iniquities," 2 Cor. 5: 19-21: so
    also, Eph. 2: 12-16, and in sundry other places. And this is
    the second consideration of the death of Christ; which I do
    but name, having at large insisted on these things elsewhere.
        [3.] It was also a punishment, - a punishment in our
    stead. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised
    for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon
    him," Isa. 53: 5. God made all our iniquities (that is, the
    punishment of them) "to meet upon him," verse 6. "He bare the
    sins of many," verse 12; "his own self bare our sins in his
    own body on the tree," 1 Pet. 2: 24; and therein he "who knew
    no sin, was made sin for us," 2 Cor. 5: 21. What it is in the
    Scripture to bear sin, see Deut. 19: 15, 20: 17; Numb. 14: 33;
    Ezek. 18: 20. The nature, kind, matter, and manner of this
    punishment I have, as I said before, elsewhere discussed.
        Now, bearing of punishment tends directly to the giving
    satisfaction to him who was offended, and on that account
    inflicted the punishment. Justice can desire no more than a
    proportional punishment, due to the offence. And this, on his
    own voluntary taking of our persons, undertaking to be our
    mediator, was inflicted on our dear Lord Jesus. His
    substituting himself in our room being allowed of by the
    righteous Judge, satisfaction to him does thence properly
        And this is the threefold consideration of the death of
    Christ, as it is a principal spring and fountain of that grace
    wherein we have communion with him; for, as will appear in our
    process, the single and most eminent part of purchased grace,
    is nothing but the natural exurgency of the threefold effect
    of the death of Christ, intimated to flow from it on the
    account of the threefold consideration insisted on. This,
    then, is the second rise of purchased grace, which we are to
    eye, if we will hold communion with Christ in it, - his death
    and blood- shedding, under this threefold notion of a price,
    an offering, and punishment. But, -
        (3.) This is not all: the Lord Christ goes farther yet; he
    does not leave us so, but follows on the work to the utmost.
    "He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification."
    He rose again to carry on the complete work of purchased
    grace, - that is, by his intercession; which is the third rise
    of it. In respect of this, he is said to be "able to save them
    to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever
    liveth to make intercession for them," Heb. 7: 25.
        Now, the intercession of Christ, in respect of its
    influence into purchased grace, is considered two ways: -
        [1.] As a continuance and carrying on of his oblation, for
    the making out of all the fruits and effects thereof unto us.
    This is called his "appearing in the presence of God for us,"
    Heb. 9: 24; that is, as the high priest, having offered the
    great offering for expiation of sin, carried in the blood
    thereof into the most holy place, where was the representation
    of the presence of God, so to perfect the atonement he made
    for himself and the people; so the Lord Christ, having offered
    himself as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God, being sprinkled
    with his own blood, appears in the presence of God, as it were
    to mind him of the engagement made to him, for the redemption
    of sinners by his blood, and the making out the good things to
    them which were procured thereby. And so this appearance of
    his has an influence into purchased grace, inasmuch as thereby
    he puts in his claim for it in our behalf.
        [2.] He procureth the holy Spirit for us, effectually to
    collate and bestow all this purchased grace upon us. That he
    would do this, and does it, for us, we have his engagement,
    John 14: 16. This is purchased grace, in respect of its
    fountain and spring; - of which I shall not speak farther at
    present, seeing I must handle it at large in the matter of the
    communion we have with the Holy Ghost.

    Owen, Of Communion With God
    (continued in File 15...)

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