Westminster Confession 8.5-6

westminster2The results of Jesus work as Mediator and Surety of God’s covenant are wonderful and that’s what section 5 emphasizes.  Because he obeyed perfectly and through the eternal Spirit offered himself up a sacrifice to the Father he satisfied God’s justice on our behalf AND purchased for us an eternal inheritance in the Kingdom of heaven.

Satisfying God’s justice and wrath on our behalf leads to our sins being forgiven and us being reconciled to God.  You might say this aspect of his work overcomes the negative consequences of our sin.  Obeying perfectly unto death leads to the reward of an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of heaven not just for himself but for those he represents.  Adam failed to obey and secure an eternal inheritance from himself and his decedents and instead disobeyed bringing condemnation.  But Christ paid the penalty for Adam’s sin on his people’s behalf AND obeyed perfectly securing that reward (Romans 5:19).  So Christ brings us all the way to glory by his work on our behalf as our representative, our mediator and surety of the covenant.  Salvation is indeed by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!!!

Section 6 reminds us that the work of Christ of obedience and suffering was not actually completed until his incarnation, yet the blessing of God have always and only been given through Christ by the covenant of grace.  Old Testament believers received forgiveness, reconciliation, eternal life and every other blessing based on what Christ would do on their behalf.  They experienced ahead of time the benefits of Christ’s mediation and work as surety.

We see for instance that animal sacrifices were made to make atonement for the peoples sin and yet Romans 3 tells us that God left the sins committed at that time unpunished.  It was only with the coming of Christ that atonement was truly made, and God’s justice and wrath were satisfied in him.  Before his coming and the actual execution of his work the virtue, efficacy, and benefits of it were communicated through promises, types, and sacrifices.  These revealed and pointed to him as the redeemer who would come to bring victory over sin and Satan (Gen. 3:15) and to satisfy the justice and wrath of God as a sacrifice for sin.  In this sense he is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
Westminster Confession 8.5-6

V. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, has fully satisfied the justice of His Father;[34] and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for those whom the Father has given unto Him.[35]

VI. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect, in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.[36]


[34] ROM 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. HEB 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. EPH 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. ROM 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

[35] DAN 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. COL 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. EPH 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. JOH 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. HEB 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

[36] GAL 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. REV 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. HEB 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.