Behold and Be Changed – Amen!

Thomas Goodwin:    “That as a glass in itself is but an empty thing, unless the objects to be seen in it be directly placed before it, and by light discovered in it, a glass represents nothing to us; and such I confess the gospel is in itself, a mere verbal representation; but to believers, the saints in the text, the Spirit of the Lord joins with these words, presents Christ by a secret, hidden, and unheard of act to the eye of faith in the preaching or reading of it, opens heaven, and causes the glory of Christ to shine as present in it in a lively, real manner. And so it follows in that 2 Cor. 3:18, ‘We all behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, even as by the Spirit of the Lord;’ and lastly, which is the strangest of all the rest, ‘are changed into the same image.’ That whereas a man may look long enough upon other pictures, though never so rich and glorious, and go away as he comes, his countenance no whit altered; but this is such a representation as, by beholding of it, we are changed into the same image, and the riches of Christ are made ours; which riches are ‘Christ in you,’ says the text; the strangest glass and picture that over yet was seen in the world.”

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THE “Gospel” is the Image!

Thomas Goodwin:    “Now, as Christ is thus in regard of his person and works the liveliest image and representation of God’s glorious riches, which is otherwise invisible; so is the gospel the image of Christ, who otherwise should be invisible to us in this life. When he dwelt with men, the apostles and believers who saw and heard him and his works, saw his glory then, ‘as of the only begotten Son of God,’ John 1:14. But Christ was to be taken up to glory, John 16:7, ‘It is necessary that I go away.’ And though we shall see him when we are taken up also; see his glory which he had before the world was, John 17:24, yet how should believers do in the mean time to see him, and the riches of God’s glory in him?

Therefore hath God framed and revealed the doctrine of the gospel, in the preaching of which, Gal. 3:1, Christ is said to be evidently set forth or pictured, proegrafh, before our eyes. And as he is the liveliest image of God, so the gospel is the liveliest representation of Christ that could possibly be made, for it is a glass, 2 Cor. 3:18, and a glass is the liveliest way of representing things absent that over could be invented, not in dead and lifeless colours only, which pictures only do. And indeed it is a middle way of representing a man, from that either when we see his person directly before our eyes, or when we see his picture drawn in colours; for though it be less clear and perfect than seeing the man himself, yet is more lively than all the pictures in the world; for quod videtur in speculo non est imago, it is more than a bare image which is seen in a glass, even the person himself, though by a reflex and reverberated species, that is his likeness beaten back again to the eyes, which otherwise when we behold him face to face is received more directly; and therefore is a more obscure and imperfect way of seeing a man than to see him face to face, as the apostle says, 1 Cor. 13:1, 2, as in heaven we shall do Christ, yet in the mean time this puts down all the pictures in the world. And such is the knowledge of Christ under and by the gospel, in comparison of that knowledge which was had of him under and by the ceremonial law, Heb. 10:1, which he calls the ‘shadow,’ those representations under the gospel, ‘the image of good things to come;’ which the apostle calls but a shadow of him, Col. 2:17, drawn in wan and lifeless colours, and of that sight and knowledge we shall have of him in heaven, when we shall see him as he is; this knowledge of him in the glass of the gospel is as a middle way of seeing him between both, less lively than the one, yet infinitely more bright and real than the other, even as I said before, that the image of God in Christ which shineth in his works of mediation is a middle image or representation between that which shone in Adam and that which is substantial in his person.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAPTISMAL DEBATE

Finished reading Believer’s Baptism:

  • A rather extensive definition of the traditional Baptist argument is capitulated.
  • So too a fair presentation is made of the standard Paedoist rationale.
  • Neither of which I personally believe to entirely suffice.
  • As for the Baptist…there seems to be a preoccupation with relating New Covenant membership and election, all the while never once mentioning (that I can recall) the distinction between the New and Eternal covenants, resulting in a denial of clear apostolic thought regarding the reality of false brethren/teachers/prophets/apostles being within the fold, hence a mixed people, which in turn relates to their strained definition of what the church is and how to maintain its purity by determining at what age a believer ought to be baptized.
  • As for the Paedoist…there’s the preoccupation with relating the Abrahamic covenant entirely with the New, as if there wasn’t in Christ’s fulfillment of the former sufficient cause for seeing the latter as defining the people under it in a significantly different manner, wherein the principle of covenant-by-pedigree is absolved.