An Answer For All Your Sins

Christ Set Forth: As the Cause of Justification and as the Object of Justifying Faith I’m enjoying this new “Puritan Paperback”: Christ Set Forth by Thomas Goodwin.  Goodwin’s prose is a bit more difficult than other Puritans, but most of the time the depth is the beauty.  In one section of Christ Set Forth, Goodwin mentions the fact that Christ’s suffering atones for all of our sins – not just those big ones we recently committed, but even those we committed long ago (and try to forget about).  He also mentions that it is good for us not to just confess general sins and think that Christ died for those general sins, but confess specific ones and meditate on the fact that Jesus died for those specific ones as well.  If we consider this,

“Thus might we find out that in Christ’s suffering and satisfaction made, that would fitly answer to anything in our sins; and so thereby we should be more relieved.  And though the whole body of his sufferings do stand and answer for the whole bulk of our sinnings, yet the consideration of such particulars will much conduce to the satisfying of an humbled and dejected soul, about the particulars of its sinnings.”

“Therefore get your hearts and consciences directly and particularly satisfied in the all-sufficiency of worth and merit which is in the satisfaction that Christ hath made.  As it is a fault and defect in humiliation, that men content themselves with a general apprehension and notion that they are sinners, and so never become thoroughly humbled, so it is a defect in their faith that they content themselves with a superficial and general conceit, that Christ died for sinners, their hearts not being particularly satisfied about the transcendent all-sufficiency of his death.”

“And thence it is, that in time of temptation, when their abounding sinfulness comes distinctly to be discovered to them, and charged upon them, they are then amazed their faith nonplussed, as not seeing that in Christ which might answer to all their sinfulness.  But as God saw that in Christ’s death which satisfied him, so you should endeavor by faith to see that worth in it which may satisfy God, and then your faith will sit down as satisfied also. [You should aim to see] Christ’s righteousness, how in its fullness and perfection it answereth to all your sinfulness.”

Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth, p. 50-51.

shane lems

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