Musings 94

Transgressions: Blotted out by Christ

First; Concerning the grace that the Lord is pleased to hold forth to his people here, namely, “The blotting out their transgressions and not remembering their sins.” First, let us consider what it is for the Lord to blot out transgressions; it is an usual phrase in the scripture, and imports much comfort in it. It is an allusion, or an allegorical expression; wherein the Lord is pleased to hold forth his love to man, after the manner of men; to set forth his carriage to men, according to theirs one to another. It is a phrase borrowed from the practice of men, that keep their debt-books, wherein they cuter, and record the several debts men owe them; that so, for the better helping of their memory, they may find what is due, and know what to demand and call for; I say, the Lord here speaking of “blotting out of transgressions,” hath reference to such debt books, wherein he hath recorded the several debts, or sins, which he enters as men commit them; now the blotting out is nothing else, but that, whereas there were such and such transgressions in the record of God, he draws a blot over them. And that he here hath reference to such kind of dealing, in blotting out transgressions, you may see clearly manifested unto you, in Colossians 2:14, where this phrase of blotting out, is explained: “You being dead in your sins, hath he quickened, together with Christ, having forgiven you all trespasses;” now, mark what follows: “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, and was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” what “the hand-writing of ordinances” there is, you may plainly perceive by the words going before, namely, “All our trespasses, and all our sins.” Now the taking away of sin, is called a “blotting it out,” and expressed thus; “The blotting out of the hand-writing that was against us,” because they were, as it were, written down; but the Lord hath razed and blotted them out. You are not to conceive that there are really such things with God, that he did indeed keep a book, and enter down in it all the several actions of men, and so calling men to account, will open it, and will read out the several firings there written; but the phrase is only an allusion spoken for our better capacity. And, for this cause, you shall find the scripture frequently makes mention of such books God hath. When the seventy disciples came to Christ, rejoicing that the devils were made subject unto them, he replies, “Rejoice not that the devils are made subject unto you, but rejoice, rather, that your names are written in the book of life.” Here is a book, and the names of the disciples written in it; but, if you will mark Revelation 20:12, you will find, there is not only the book of life, but other books besides, out of which the dead, both small and great, were judged, according to their works that they had done; as if he had said, besides the book of life, there is the book of works, wherein the several actions of men are recorded, by which, at the great day, men are to be judged as they are found in them; according to the several debts that are therein, they are to receive their sentence. Mark, now, for the better apprehension of our weak capacity, the Lord hath taken up such a kind of illustration of his dealing with men; namely, by recording our debts in books; yet, he tells us for our comfort, that, though there be such books, we need not fear; though they shall be opened, yet whatsoever was written in them, in reference to us, is all crossed and blotted out; and, when we come to account, there shall be nothing reckoned unto us, as a fault (Jude 1:24.).         (Tobias Crisp, taken from

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