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Thomas Goodwin :: Section Four :: Chapter Three

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Section Four :: Chapter Three

Showing what evidence also Christ’s sitting at God’s right hand, having been our Surety, affords to our faith for justification.

2. Now then, in the next place for his being or sitting at God’s right hand, which is the second particular to be spoken of. As soon as Christ was carried into heaven, look, as all the angels fell down and worshipped him, so his Father welcomed him, with the highest grace that ever yet was shown. The words which he then spoke we have recorded in Psalm 110, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” You may by the way observe, for the illustration of this, how upon all the several parts of performance of his office, either God is brought in speaking to Christ, or Christ to his Father. Thus when he chose him first to be our Mediator, he takes an oath, “Thou art a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.” Again, when Christ came to take upon him our nature, the words he spoke are recorded, “Lo, I come to do your will, a body hast thou fitted me,” so Hebrews 10:5 out of Psalm 40. Likewise, when he hung upon the cross, his words unto God are recorded, Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” In like manner, when he rose again, God’s words used then to him are recorded, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” Psalm 2:7 (which place is expounded of the resurrection in Acts 13:33). Which is as much as if he had said, You never appeared like my Son until now; for whereas I chose a Son to be glorified with power and majesty, hitherto you have appeared only as “a son of man” (Enosh, sorry man); hitherto you have been made sin, and a curse; not like my Son, but has appeared “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” and of “a servant,” all besmeared with blood. Therefore this is the first day wherein I make account “I have begotten thee;” even now, when you first begin to appear out of that sinful hue and likeness of sinful flesh: now I own you for my Son indeed. And in him he owned us all thus at his resurrection. And then last of all, when he comes into heaven, the first word God speaks to him is, Son, “sit thou at my right hand;” you have done all my work, and now I will do yours…; (he gives him a Quietus est) rest here, “Sit here, until I make all your enemies your footstool.”

And now what say you, are you satisfied yet, that God is satisfied for your sins? What superabundant evidence must this Christ’s sitting at God’s right hand give to a doubting heart? It argues, first, that Christ, for his part, has perfectly done his work, and that there is no more left for him to do by way of satisfaction: this the word sitting implies. Secondly, it argues that God is as fully satisfied on his part: this his sitting at God’s right hand implies.

  • (1.) For the first; the phrase of sitting does betoken rest, when work is fulfilled and finished. Christ was not to return until he had accomplished his work, Hebrews 10:11. The apostle comparing the force and excellence of Christ’s sacrifice, with those of the priests of the old law, says that “those priests stood daily offering of sacrifices, which can never take sins away.” Their standing implied that they could never make satisfaction, so as to say, “we have finished it.” But Christ (says he in Hebrews 10:12), “after he had offered up one sacrifice forever, sat down.” Mark how he opposes their standing to his sitting down. He sat as one who had done his work. Thus, Hebrews 4:10, “he that is entered into his rest”—speaking of Christ, as I have elsewhere shown—“has ceased from his work, as God from his.”

  • (2.) Secondly this, his being at God’s right hand, as strongly argues that God is satisfied. For if God had not been infinitely well pleased with him, he would never have let him come so near him, much less have advanced him so high as his right hand. And therefore, in that place even now cited (Hebrews 10:10-12, compared with the former verses), this is alleged as an evidence that Christ had “forever taken sins away” (which those priests of the law could not do, who therefore often “offered the same sacrifice,” as Hebrews 10:11). That “this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God,” as thereby showing (and that most manifestly) that he had at that once offered up such a satisfactory sacrifice as had pleased God forever. And thereupon took up his place at God’s right hand as an evidence of it, so possessing the highest place in court. This setting him at God’s right hand is a token of special and highest favour. So kings, whom they were most pleased with, they did set at their right hands, as Solomon did his mother, in 1 Kings 2:19. And so Christ, the church his queen, Psalm 45:9, and it was a favour which God never after vouchsafed to any, Hebrews 1:13. “To which of all the angels did he say, Sit thou at my right hand?” Therefore in Philippians 2:9, it is not only said that he “exalted him,” but superexaltarit, “he highly exalted him,” so as never any was exalted; for he was “made thereby higher than the heavens.” Thus much for the first head.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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