The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant - Commentary

...ually in the covenant through circumcision yet only one receives the blessings of the covenant. Nevertheless, the Lord of mercy, because of His great love for Abraham, chose to bless Ishmael, but not on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant. Examples could be multiplied of those who were physically in the covenant but did not share the blessings of the covenant because they did not walk in Abraham’s footsteps in faith (Jacob and Esau). I believe that this point is also stressed in Romans 9 when the apostle makes a case that the promises of God given to the Old Covenant people of God were not meant to be fulfilled in all of its members, but in the true people of God alone, i.e., the true Israel Of God. Galatians 4 makes an allegory of the account of Isaac and Ishmael and quotes Genesis 21:10 (Gal. 4:30) to the effect that natural Israel will not inherit the promises, but only the believers will.

The Purpose and Conditionality of the Covenant

Scripture gives us the goal of this covenant:

Gen. 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

This Scripture not only declares that the Lord chose Abraham for a reason (that reason was not in Abraham himself), but it also tells us that there is a certain conditionality involved in this covenant relationship. As we noted above concerning Genesis 17:6-8 about God’s sovereignty and will in the matter of the covenant and the promises, so we noted the conditionality of the fulfillment of these promises upon Abraham’s and his posterity’s obedience to the Lord’s command (Gen. 17:9-14). So here also we meet the same thing. God has chosen Abraham for the purpose that Abraham may teach his posterity about the way of God in doing what is good and righteous before the sight of God so that the Lord will bring His promises to pass. What if Israel remained hardhearted and disobedient? Will God honor those who despise Him (1 Sam 2:30)? Certainly not and we know of the many judgments that fell upon Israel for their disobedience. But the inheritance of the promises is dependent upon them doing that which is righteous and just before God according to His way. The same idea is also given to the child of the promise, Isaac –

Gen. 26:4-5 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

God will fulfill the promise because there was a condition met. This is not an unconditional covenant like the Covenant of Grace. Among other things, we see that the Abrahamic Covenant cannot be an administration of the Covenant of Grace, although it is gracious, as all the Lord’s covenants are. Even the covenant with Adam has grace in it as God is under no obligation to enter into a relationship with man and promise him great blessings. Yet this cannot properly be called an administration of the Covenant of Grace, at least not in 1689 Federalism. Furthermore, it is a breakable covenant and it administers curses to covenant breakers (Gen. 17:14), which the New Covenant is not and does not. All those belonging to Abraham who are not circumcised, have broken this covenant and fall under its curse, i.e., they are cut off from the covena...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

...d the resurrection of the just and unjust.

I hold to the Amillennial view of eschatology, therefore what is written here will reflect that eschatology. Basically, Amillennialism teaches that the thousand years of Revelation 20 are symbolic for the whole time between Christ’s Ascension and Second Coming. When He comes that will be the end of everything. The rapture, general resurrection and final judgment will take place, then God will usher in the World to Come. There are neither multiple resurrections nor multiple judgments. There are no 7 years of Great Tribulation. There are no two peoples of God, Israel and the Church. Rather, the Church is the Israel Of God. The promises of restoration and blessing pertain not to the Fallen World, but to the World to Come. We do not believe that the Bible teaches a golden age on this Fallen Earth.

In paragraphs 2-3 there is a case for Amillennial eschatology and a critique of Premillennialism throughout the sections.

§1 The Intermediate State

  1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
    1. Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Acts 13:36; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22[1]
    2. Gen. 2:7; James 2:26; Matt. 10:28; Eccles. 12:7
    3. Ps. 23:6; 1 Kings 8:27-49; Isa. 63:15; 66:1; Luke 23:43; Acts 1:9-11; 3:21; 2 Cor. 5:6-8; 12:2-4; Eph. 4:10; Phil. 1:21-23; Heb. 1:3,4:14-15; 6:20; 8:1; 9:24; 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11; 14:13; 20:4-6
    4. Luke 16:22-26; Acts 1:25; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:9

The bodies of men after death return to dust (Gen. 3:19), the original substance, but their souls...having an immortal subsistence (i.e., a state of existence)...neither die nor sleep and immediately return to God (Eccles. 12:7). Our bodily death is not the cessation of our life. When our bodies die, our souls immediately return to God Who gave them. There is no period between our physical death and our returning to God. After our last breath, we immediately return to God. There is no period of waiting or soul sleep. But this returning to God of our souls does not mean we remain with God. Only the souls of the righteous now having been made perfect...are received into paradise, where they are with Christ (Heb. 12:23; Phil. 1:21-23). What a blessing and a privilege to be with Christ for all eternity. The One Whom we love and adore and to behold His face is the greatest blessing which we can imagine. We will likewise behold the face of God in light and glory, no longer afraid or trembling at His sight or in fear of our lives because of His glory. The souls of the righteous await in heaven the redemption of their bodies (Rom. 8:23) at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The souls of the wicked on the other hand are cast into hell where they are in torment and utter darkness and await the judgment of the great day (Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:9). The word “hell” in this context is not really accurate as Hell describes the place of torment after the resur...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary

...his in no way diminishes the fact that the Sabbath is a creation ordinance for all men.

The chief sign according to Exodus 31:13 is “a reminder that the covenantal relationship that Jehovah had established with their fathers and with them was a relationship that had sanctification as its central feature.”[90] This covenantal relationship between God and His people which the Sabbath signifies, is because of God’s sanctifying work. We are to know God, through the Sabbath, as our Sanctifier. The Sabbath, as a visible sign, was given to always remind Israel Of God their Sanctifier. He has set us apart as He has set apart the Sabbath day for His worship. In Ezekiel 20:12, 20, we also read of the Sabbath being a sign of sanctification and a sign that they are God’s people. The Sabbath was instituted on the seventh day, but came with force as a sign of the Mosaic covenant. Ezekiel 20 is “teaching that the Sabbath was given to Israel at the Exodus for the first time as a covenant sign.”[91] Iain Campbell says that the heart of the matter is that “Israel was to keep days and specific years, holy, sanctifying them as a sign that God was the one making Israel holy. There is an intimate link between Sabbath observance and God’s sanctifying work in his people.”[92]Based on these two verses, Dr. Martin writes:

From the parallelism of these verses [Ezk 20:12, 20] we may deduce that the covenant relationship expressed in the words “I am the Lord your God” includes also the commitment “I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” The Sabbath was meant to be a reminder of these truths.[93]

After the general apostasy of humanity from the commandments of God and the fourth commandment in particular, Dabney observes the importance of the Sabbath as a sign:

To understand this “sign” we must remember that all the world except the Hebrews had gone off into idolatry, neglecting all God’s laws and also the proper observance of his Sabbath. The covenant which Israel made with him was, to be separate from all the pagans and to obey his law, so neglected by them. Now, the public observance of the Sabbath gave the most obvious, general, visible sign to the world and the church of this covenant, and of the difference between God’s people and pagans. Hence it was eminently suitable as a sign of that covenant.[94]

The Seventh-Day Sabbath Pointed To Christ

The Sabbath moreover was a sign of a greater reality, namely, rest in Christ. The seventh-day Sabbath under the Old Covenant pointed toward spiritual rest in Christ. The Israelites were eagerly expecting to enter the Promised Land and thus into their rest. In some places, the idea of rest and entering the land is connected together (e.g. Deut. 12:9; Josh. 1:13). Their rest in part consisted in receiving the Promised Land, but this was not what the Sabbath was pointing to ultimately. As we have argued above, the Sabbath was first of all given to Adam and for him to keep. It was not given first in Exodus 16 or on Sinai. Therefore, Adam had an obligation to keep the Sabbath holy, following his Maker’s example. The Lord told Him to obey Him, otherwise he will die (Gen. 2:16-17). He had to toil in his state of probation, however long that was designed to be, and after passing God’s test, he would have entered and shared into God’s rest, too. He would have entered into God’s Sabbath rest. God rested from His work of creation since the seventh day and had Adam obeyed God in his time of probation, he would have shar...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary

... suffering for His sake (e.g., Rom. 8:18, 21, 29).

Galatians 3:29 tells us that we are children of Abraham based on the fact that we are in Christ. As Gentiles that he was largely writing to, it would have been crazy to say that non-Jews are children of Abraham. But that is not so with Christ. As He was a true Jew, so whoever is in Him, i.e., whoever is represented by Him, is also a Jew through Him. All Christians are children of Abraham not because they are physical descendants of Abraham, but because they are united to Christ, the true child of Abraham, and through Him, they are also children of Abraham. It is in light of this that Paul calls believers the Israel Of God in Galatians 6:16. This is likewise the case of the believers, both Jewish and Gentile being the Israel Of God. As they are in Him who is the Servant of the LORD in Isaiah, who is called Israel (Isa. 41:8; 49:1-7), so likewise as they were through Him children of Abraham, they are also the Israel Of God. This is also seen from Ephesians 2:11ff, where we are told that believing Jews and believing Gentiles, have become one new man. That would be the New Israel or Spiritual/True Israel. We were made citizens of “the commonwealth of Israel” in Christ (Eph. 2:12-13, 19).

From Ephesians 2, Paul continues the discussion underhand concerning believing Jews and Gentiles. In Ephesians 3:6, Paul speaks of a mystery, something that was hidden, but now revealed. This mystery is the fact that the believing Gentiles belong to the same body as the believing Jews, that is, they belong to the commonwealth of Israel. They belong to Abraham to whom the promises of God were made concerning having offspring as the stars of heaven. The believing Gentiles will inherit along with the believing Jews the promises made to Israel in the OT as all the promises of God find their Yes (fulfillment) in Him and His body (2 Cor. 1:20).

Our inheritance consists of us obtaining eternal life, the New Heavens and New Earth, i.e., the consummated Kingdom of God—the New Jerusalem. Becoming spiritual Jews in Christ. Becoming the Israel Of God in Christ. Becoming co-heirs in everything that Christ has inherited from the Father. Glory to the God Who has planned this from long ago and purposed to bless us, undeserving sinners in the Beloved. 

§6 The virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages

  1. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, 1 in and by those promisestypes, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head; 2 and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to-day and for ever. 4
    1. Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 4:1-9
    2. Gen. 3:15; 1 Peter 1:10-11
    3. Rev. 13:8
    4. Heb. 13:8

The price of redemption was paid by Christ...after His incarnation, at the cross (Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5). But this does not mean that its effect did not apply to those who were in happy communion with God. In fact, chapter 7:3 it is said of the Covenant of Grace that “it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality”. This is the covenant of salvation by Christ. Chapter 7:2 says the following about this “covenant of grace, wherein he ...

A Review of O. Palmer Robertson's The Israel of God


The Israel Of God:

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By O. Palmer Robertson

O. Palmer Robertson. The Israel Of God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Pub. 2000)

For those who have come out of Dispensationalism or want to know what covenant theologians believe about Israel, this is the book. This is a book which deals with the place and identity of Israel in the plan of God. In six chapters Dr. Robertson discusses different topics regarding Israel from its identity to its future.

Overall, I found this to be a very helpful and edifying book. The Bible and the truths of the New Covenant were the interpreting lens for everything. We do not look to outside events and force those within the Bible.

The Occasion for the Book

In the Introduction Dr. Robertson begins with a quotation from Bill Clinton when he was the president of the USA, about Israel:

“'If you abandon Israel, God will never forgive you' ... it is God's will that Israel, the biblical home of the people of Israel, continue for ever and ever.” So spoke the President of the United States in a speech delivered before the Israeli Knesset assembled in Jerusalem. He was recalling with apparent approval the words of his desperately ill pastor. He concluded the speech by saying, “Your journey is our journey, and America will stand with you now and always.” (p. 1)

It seems that this and such mindset was the driving force behind writing this book. The book is not polemic, but rather, it simply presents what the Bible as a whole teaches on some topics related to the Israel Of God. It is obviously against Dispensationalism by its adherence to Covenant Theology, but it does not attack Dispensationalism directly. Its purpose is to set a positive case on what the Bible says without really engaging with the other side.

Its Land

The first chapter is dedicated to the Land of Israel. This is a hot issue nowadays. I will be the first to tell you that I hate politics and I don’t want to do anything with it and there is a lot of politics involved with Israel in the Middle East. I am not interested in political discussions. I am a theology nerd. I am interested in the theological claim of the land and God’s plan with the Jews.

Dr. Robertson argues that the “concept of a land that belongs to God’s people originated in Paradise” (p. 4). Adam was told to work the land and multiply. That was the original ideal plan if the Fall had not taken place. Then the whole earth would have been God’s land and God’s temple. The land being a sanctuary is another aspect. This is why the Lord God tells Israel that “I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev 26:11-12). God places His sanctuary among His people like He did with the Tabernacle and Temple. This concept of the sanctuary of God among His people had its fulfillment in Jesus Christ of Whom it is written that He “tabernacled” among us (John 1:14). But it will also have its ultimate fulfillment on the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev 21:1-5).

An important aspect which Dr. Robertson highlights is the fact that the land actually belongs to the Lord. As Leviticus 25:23 puts it, “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.” The land is the Lord’s and the people of Israel are merely strangers and sojourners in the land with Yahweh. He gi...

Review of Dean Davis' The High King of Heaven on Amillennialism

...dom of the Father, but unlike the first stage of the Kingdom, it is without any trace of evil. This is the World to Come, this is the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Here I think we see clearly two stages of the Kingdom, the first wherein it is spiritual and side by side existing with the Kingdom of the Evil One, then second stage wherein all evil is removed and the cosmos is transformed.

The New Covenant Hermeneutic

This indeed is the Master Key. Here is the best portion of the book, this goes deep into the proper interpretation of Old Testament prophecies. This also builds upon the foundation laid previously of the two staged Kingdom and its people, the Israel Of God and not Israel after the flesh. The people of the New Covenant, both Jew and Gentile believers in Christ.

The NCH is concerned chiefly with the interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom prophecies. These are prophecies like Ezekiel 36-37 and Jeremiah 31-33 where Israel is promised eschatological restoration. These are not simple kingdom prophecies or prophecies about the Messiah which did indeed come to pass very literally.

Part 3 of the book is dedicated to the interpretation of OTKP in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah using the New Covenant Hermeneutic.

Dean introduces us to 7 important principles for properly interpreting the Old Testament (Kingdom Prophecy).

  1. Literal
    1. Regular OT narrative is to be taken literally. When the Bible speaks of Adam, Abraham, Noah and the Flood, these are literal, true and historical things.
  2. Ethical
    1. The OT is a revelation of God’s good pleasure and His will toward His creatures. Therein is contained His will of precept, what He commands and desires from us.
    2. "Thus, for the apostles, all OT indicatives contain imperatives—Gospel imperatives—that NT revelation alone can bring out into the full light of day.” Page 230
  3. Typological
    1. According to our Lord, the Scriptures testify of Him (Jn 5:39; Lk 24:25-27), thus we should be able to find Him (and His covenant people) in shadow and type (1Cor 15:45-47; Col 2:17; Heb 8:4-5; 9:11-12; 10:1)
  4. Eschatological
    1. Having learned from explicit and clear NT teaching about the nature of the Kingdom of God and its twofold stages, we interpret OTKP according to it. We don’t posit a time between the present age and the age to come otherwise known as the Millennial Kingdom for these OTKP to be fulfilled.
    2. They are to be fulfilled in the two stages of the Kingdom. 1) The Kingdom of the Son and 2) The Kingdom of the Father.
    3. Typology is inseparable here and OTKP is to be interpreted as speaking of the NT people of God, Jews and Gentiles.
  5. Covenantal
    1. When we read of the New Covenant, restoration, giving of a new heart we believe that they’re speaking of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, with the people of God, Jew and Gentile believers.
    2. There are two ways to read OTKP covenantally:

i.“The contrasting mode of covenantal reading is very valuable, since it highlights and magnifies the true greatness of the New Covenant, a greatness that consists in the fact that it is none other than the Eternal Covenant; the one true redemptive plan that God conceived in eternity past, veiled in OT times, and unveiled in these last days through his Son, so that now and forevermore, his people may worship him in spirit and truth (John 1:14, 17, 4:23-24).” Page 236

ii.In the Comparative Reading we look for the infe...

John 1:29, 'takes away the sin of the world'

...g daily sacrifice made atonement for the iniquities done in the night; and the evening sacrifice made atonement for the iniquities that were by day:''
  • and in various things they were typical of Christ, as that they were lambs of the first year, which may denote the weakness of the human nature of Christ, which had all the sinless infirmities of it; they, were also without spot, signifying the purity of Christ's human nature, who was holy and harmless, a lamb without spot and blemish; these were offered as a sacrifice, and for the children of Israel only, as Christ has given himself an offering and a sacrifice to God, both in soul and body, for the sins of the mystical Israel Of God, the Israel whom God has chosen for himself, whether Jews or Gentiles; for Christ is the propitiation for the sins of both: and these were offered daily, morning and evening; and though Christ was but once offered, otherwise he must have often suffered; yet as he has by one offering put away sin for ever, so there is a perpetual virtue in his sacrifice to take it away, and there is a constant application of it for that purpose; to which may be added, that these lambs were offered with fine flour, oil and wine, for a sweet savour to the Lord; denoting the acceptableness of the sacrifice of Christ to his Father, to whom it is for a sweet smelling savour, Eph 5:2. And Christ is styled the Lamb "of God", in allusion to the same, whom the Cabalistic Jews {e} call the secret of the mystery, and כבשי רחמנא, "the Lambs of God"; because God has a special property in him; he is his own Son; and because he is of his providing and appointing, as a sacrifice for sin, and is acceptable to him as such; and to distinguish him from all other lambs; and to give him the preference, since he does that which they could not do, "taketh away the sin of the world": by the "sin of the world", is not meant the sin, or sins of every individual person in the world; for some die in their sins, and their sins go before hand to judgment, and they go into everlasting punishment for them; which could not be, if Christ took them away: rather, the sin which is common to the whole world, namely: original sin; but then it must be observed, that this is not the only sin Christ takes away; for he also takes away actual sins; and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read in the plural, "the sins of the world"; and also that this he takes away, only with respect the elect; wherefore they are the persons intended by the world, as in Joh 6:33, whose sin, or sins, Christ takes away: and a peculiar regard seems to be had to the elect among the Gentiles, who are called the world, in distinction from the Jews, as in Joh 3:16, and the rather, since the lambs of the daily sacrifice, to which the allusion is, were only offered for the sins of the Jews: but John here signifies, that the Lamb of God he pointed at, and which was the antitype of these lambs, not only took away the sins of God's people among the Jews, but the sins of such of them also as were among the Gentiles; and this seems to me to be the true sense of the passage. The phrase "taking away sin", signifies a taking it up, as Christ did; he took it voluntarily upon himself, and became responsible to divine justice for it; and also a bearing and carrying it, for taking it upon himself, he bore it in his own body on the tree, and carried it away, as the scape goat did under the law; and so likewise a taking it quite away: Christ has removed it...

  • 1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 12: Of Adoption - Commentary

    ...e glory of His holy Name and the praise of His grace. It was God’s purpose that we would be redeemed and cleansed from sin so that we would be adopted into His fold through Christ (Gal. 4:4-5). Through Christ we are made heirs of God’s promises, we are made true children of Abraham through faith and thus the Abrahamic promises have their fulfillment in the Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ (Gal. 3:29; 2 Cor. 1:20). As Christ is the rightful heir of everything (Heb. 1:2), so we who are in the Son are heirs to what the Lord Jesus is an heir. We are co-heirs with the Lord (Rom. 8:17). In and through Christ we are made the true Israel Of God (Gal. 6:16). The Lord says that He is the True Vine (John 15:1-2), which was a clear picture of Israel (e.g. Hos 10:1) and that we are in Him. If Jesus is the true Israel and we are in Him, then we are the Israel Of God, Jewish and Gentile believers in the Messiah, not unbelieving ethnic Jews.

    The Liberties and Privileges

    With our adoption into God’s family, we by amazing grace receive abundant privileges and graces, which we could have never deserved.

    His name

    We have God’s name upon us. The book of Revelation describes the believers as having the Father’s name upon their foreheads in contrast to those who have the mark of the Beast on their forehead (Rev. 3:12; 14:1; 22:4). To have His name upon us means that we belong to Him. We are His possessions. We are His children. He lays His claim especially upon us. We are welcomed into His family and the Lord Jesus, our precious and loving Savior, becomes our elder brother (cf. Rom. 8:29). In fact, the Father has predestined us to be like His beloved Son (Rom. 8:29). It is the Father’s desire that the Lord Jesus be an elder brother among many more who are conformed into His character and image. We will be spotless and pure just like our Elder Brother.

    Our being adopted as children of God is a great demonstration of God’s love for us (1 John 3:1). That we should be loved and cared for by Him is a great privilege and a marvelous grace, instead of rightly receiving the punishment that we deserve for our sins. We were previously children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), but now we are the sons and daughters of the living God (Rom. 9:26).

    Receive the Spirit and Sealed by Him

    Not only do we receive the Spirit when we believe, but we are sealed and protected by the same Spirit until our salvation is complete–until the day when we rise again (Eph 1:13-14). The Spirit is called the “Spirit of adoption” (Rom. 8:15). It is through Him that we are adopted into God’s family and become children of God. It is thanks to His powerful and sovereign working that we are regenerated and brought into the fold of Christ. It is through the Spirit who is in us, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, that we are made able to love God and pray to God. It is the Spirit who regenerates us and thus brings us into God’s family (John 3:5-8; 6:63; Titus 3:5). It is through the Spirit that we realize that we are children of God and address God as our “Abba” (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:4-5; Matt. 6:9). Through the Spirit who indwells us, we have access to the throne of God (Eph. 2:18; Heb. 4:16). Through the Spirit, we may go to God at any time we need Him. Through the Spirit of God, we are always “connected” to God. In fact, the Spirit helps us in our pitiful prayers (Rom. 8:26-27).

    Pitied, Protected, Provided For

    The Lord is compassionate toward us as we are His childr...

    1 John 2:2, 'for the sins of the whole world'

    ...of such different service. The Mediator of intercession, the Advocate for us, is the Mediator of redemption, the propitiation for our sins. It is his propitiation that he pleads. And we might be apt to suppose that his blood had lost its value and efficacy if no mention had been made of it in heaven since the time it was shed. But now we see it is of esteem there, since it is continually represented in the intercession of the great advocate (the attorney-general) for the church of God. He ever lives to make intercession for those that come to God through him. 4. By the extent of his plea, the latitude of his propitiation. It is not confined to one nation; and not particularly to the ancient Israel Of God: He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only (not only for the sins of us Jews, us that are Abraham's seed according to the flesh), but also for those of the whole world (v. 2); not only for the past, or us present believers, but for the sins of all who shall hereafter believe on him or come to God through him. The extent and intent of the Mediator's death reach to all tribes, nations, and countries. As he is the only, so he is the universal atonement and propitiation for all that are saved and brought home to God, and to his favour and forgiveness.

    We Have An Advocate With The Father

    My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,  Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

    Often critics seem to ignore or miss the significance of 1 John 2:1. Who's advocate is the Lord Jesus? For whom is He interceding? Are we seriously gonna say that He intercedes for those who are in Hell? How about those whom He knows they're never going to repent and receive Him? Are we really going to say that Christ fails in His intercession? I dare not say such thing to the mighty finished work of the Lord Jesus, when He said "it is finished!" He meant it.

    For whom does Christ intercede?

    Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

    Heb 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

    Heb 9:24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

    1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    From these verses and the context of these it seems clear that Christ intercedes for His sheep just like He did in John 17. He expressively said that He was not praying for the world, but those whom the Father has given Him (John 17:9). The Lord was praying for those on whose behalve His work was done. For those whom He will lay His life for. If He would not even pray for them why would anyone think that He went on the cross for them to take away their sins or 'try' to save them?

    This content is taken from this document

     [1] ESV Study Bible, 2008 (Crossway). Taken from the Online Version at

     [2] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible 2010, Crossway. Taken from the online version at

     [3] HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible®) Study Bible 2010, Holman Bible Publishers. Taken from the online version...