- Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; Isa. 53:4, 6, 10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.
- The “agent in this great work”:
- Heb. 5:6-7; Matt. 3:17; John 4:34; 6:38; 17:4; Luke 2:49.
- The Incarnation:
- John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 3:16 KJV; Heb. 2:13-14.
- His Sacrifice:
- Heb. 9:14; Rev. 1:5; Eph. 5:25-26; Dan. 9:26 KJV [“but not for himself”]; John 17:19; Rom. 5:6; John 1:29; Isa. 53:7; John 10:17-18; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2; 1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 1:3; Matt. 26:28.
- His Intercession:
- Ps. 2:8; John 14:2-3; Heb. 9:11-12, 24; 1 John 2:1-2; John 17:9; 11:42; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:33-34; John 17:24; Heb. 10:14.
- The Incarnation of the Son:
- Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35.
- The Sacrifice of the Son:
- Heb. 9:14; Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 3:18.
- The Resurrection of the Son:
- Rom. 8:11.
Some of the proof-texts provided may be strange and that’s why they have to be read as Dr. Owen explains them and thereby we will be able to see the reasonableness of using these references. I have tried to provide most, if not all, the references he provides.
We see that in this inquiry, Dr. Owen tries to establish the purpose and work of the Trinity in the plan of redemption. Thereby we can establish what the purpose of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique role in the work of redemption, to the glory of the Triune God.
In chapters 7-9 of the first book, Dr. Owen deals with a most important and neglected point about this discussion, namely, the relation of the intercession of Christ to His sacrifice. For whom does Christ intercede? We Calvinists argue that He only intercedes for the elect and that His intercession is perfect and accomplishes that which is its purpose. The problem for the non-Calvinist position of the atonement is that His intercession is explicitly connected to His sacrifice. In other words, those for whom Christ died are the same group for whom He intercedes. This is problematic as it is obvious that not everyone is or will be enjoying the benefits of redemption. There are those who will eternally be damned and not taste redemption. Moreover, there are those who have never heard of Christ’s sacrifice (supposedly) on their behalf. In their case, therefore, the sacrifice of Christ is meaningless and cannot be applied to them apart from faith.
When Owen speaks of Christ’s offering, or as he calls it by a not-so-common word—oblation—he has in mind both the passive and active obedience of Christ. He writes:
By his oblation we do not design only the particular offering of himself upon the cross an offering to his Father…but also his whole humiliation, or state of emptying himself, whether by yielding voluntary obedience unto the law, as being made under it, that he might be the end thereof to them that believe, Rom. 10:4, or by his subjection to the curse of the law, in the antecedent misery and suffering of life, as well as by submitting to death, the death of the cross: for no action of his as mediator is to be excluded from a concurrence to make up the whole means in this work. (book I, chap. 6)
His intercession is not only His appearance before the Father on our behalf for the applying of the benefits of redemption, but also His exaltation and resurrection.
Neither by his intercession do I understand only that heavenly appearance of his in the most holy ...