Goodwin on Intercession

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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
I couldn't decide between putting this here or in the Daily Devotional thread, but this ought to work.

I just wanted to share a very useful piece from Thomas Goodwin's Christ Set Forth on a "use" of Christ's Intercession. He acknowledges the frequent difficulty in our weakness of faith to see how we might derive benefit from that which is past: How can I pray that I might be elect, when such a decision is past? How can I approach a priest to offer sacrifice for me, when the priest has already offered it for his people? How do I know if I might have benefit from this? Thus, Goodwin sees in Hebrews 9.25 (Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them) a beautiful assurance from God: Christ saves through his continual present and future intercession all those that come unto God by him. Thus we have a present work of Jesus to which we can cling in the weakness and failings of our faith. It seems that Christ's intercession is too often an all-but forgotten part of Christ's work in teaching today: let's not forget the assurance that it brings, and this prop and support which God has provided in his wisdom for our faith, and apply it to us sinners inside and outside the church that we might draw them to Christ.

(By the way, if you don't know who Thomas Goodwin is, his works are absolutely priceless to the Christian)

Here is the most suitable object propounded unto it [faith], namely, Christ as Interceding; which work of intercession because it remains for Christ as yet to do for a soul that is to be saved, and which he is every day a doing for us; therefore it is more peculiarly fitted unto a Recumbent faith. For when such a soul comes and casts itself upon Christ, that thing in Christ which must needs most suit that kind of act is that which is yet to be done by Christ for that soul. Now for that soul to come to Christ to die for it, and offer himself a sacrifice (as sinners did use to come to the High Priest to sacrifice for them) this were bootless [that is, fruitless], for he hath at once done that already. And as for what is already past and done, such a believers faith is oftentimes exceedingly puzzled, what manner of act to put forth towards Christ about it: as (for example) when it is about to come unto God, and it hears of an Election of some unto salvation from all eternity made by him; because this is an act already past by God, the soul knows it to be in vain to cast itself upon God for election, or to come to him to elect and choose itself. And so in like manner, when the soul looks upon Christ's Death, because it is done and past, it knows not how to take it in believing, when it wanteth assurance that Christ died for it, (though it should come to Christ to be saved by virtue of his death.) But there is this one work that remains still to be done by him for us, and which he is daily a doing; and that is Interceding, for he lives ever to intercede or to pray for us in the strenght and merit of that his sacrifice once offered up. This therefore is more directly and peculiarly fitted unto a faith of recumbency, of, of coming unto Christ: the proper act of such a faith (as it is distinguished from Faith of Assurance) being a casting oneself upon Christ for some thing it would have done or wrought for one. Hence Intercession becomes a fit object for the aim and errand of such a faith, in this its coming to Christ as also (to be saved) is, it being a thing yet to be wrought and accomplished for me by Christ, is therefore a fit mark for such a faith to level at in its coming to Christ. Those acts of God which are past, Faith of Assurance doth more easily comply with: such a Faith takes in with comfort that Christ hath died for me, and so I certainly shall be saved: but so cannot this weak faith do: Come thou therefore unto Christ, as to save thee through his Death past, and by the merit of it, so for the present and for the time to come, to take thy cause in hand and to Intercede for thee: it is a great relief unto such a Faith (as cannot put forth Acts of Assurance, that what hath been done by Christ hath been done for it) that God hath left Christ this work yet to do for us.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
GOODWIN QUOTES:

And so Adam, in that his speech to Eve, uttered his faith in the promise made to her of her seed, and so in that respect Adam himself came in under her covenant.
Thomas Goodwin

Christ's riches are unsearchable, and this doctrine of the gospel is the field this treasure is hidden in.
Thomas Goodwin

I will begin first to search out this right by that magna charta, that great and faithful charter which was made to Abraham, the father of the faithful, in the name of all his seed.
Thomas Goodwin

It was both Abraham's and the Jews' privilege also that they should have this promise to all generations.
Thomas Goodwin

Judas heard all Christ's sermons.
Thomas Goodwin

Let us search into the records of Holy Writ, if out of this their great charter, there be not a seal grant of a lesser, though like privilege, and this by virtue of Christ, in that we have the honour to be accounted Abraham's seed as truly as they.
Thomas Goodwin

My brethren, when God first began to love you, He gave you all that He ever meant to give you in the lump, and eternity of time is that in which He is retailing of it out.
Thomas Goodwin

The children of believing parents, at least their next and immediate seed, even of us Gentiles now under the gospel, are included by God within the covenant of grace.
Thomas Goodwin

We have the promise of God's being our God, and of the blessing by Christ for ourselves, as we are Abraham's seed, yet take the whole promise collectively made to him and us.
Thomas Goodwin

We were not fathers also to convey the promise, as Abraham was; nor although the promise, as collectively taken, had belonged to us, as to Abraham it did.
Thomas Goodwin

The above quotes can be found HERE

Another excellent Goodwin site is Here
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Just an extra encouragement for those who are unfamiliar with Goodwin -- here is a quote from J.I. Packer:

[Alexander] Whyte called Goodwin, "the greatest pulpit exegete of Paul that has ever lived," and perhaps justly; Goodwin's Biblical expositions are quite unique, even among the puritans, in the degree to which the combine theological breadth with experimental depth. John Owen saw into the mind of Paul as clearly as Goodwin -- sometimes, on points of detail, more clearly -- but not even Owen ever saw so deep into Paul's heart.
And knowing how highly Packer thinks of Owen, this is certainly saying something.
 
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