Christ as our Surety

“O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!…  Lay down [a pledge] now, put me in a surety with Thee; who is he that will strike hands [in a contract] with me?”

Job 16:21; 17:3

“Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.  Mine eyes fail for thy salvation…”

Ps. 119:122-23

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

2 Cor. 5:21



Order of Contents

Articles  12+
Book  1
Latin  3





Rutherford, Samuel – Pt. 2, ch. 9, ‘…of the Place, Heb. 7:22, the Act of Suretyship…’, pp. 321-24 & 331-34  of The Covenant of Life Opened…  (Edinburgh, 1655)  See pt. 2, chs. 5-9 & 12 in general, as Rutherford terms the Covenant of Redemption, the ‘Covenant of Suretyship’.

Gouge, William – Commentary on Hebrews…  (London, 1655)

ch. 6, section 138, ‘Of God’s Oath, a Kind of Suretiship’
ch. 7, verse 32, section 93, ‘Of Christ as Surety’

Roberts, Francis – Mysterium & Medulla Bibliorum, the Mystery & Marrow of the Bible…  (London, 1657), bk. 4

ch. 6

Aphorism 2, Positions 3 & 4, pp. 1,589-98
Aphorism 3, pp. 1,607-09
Aphorism 4, pp. 1,641-43 & 1647-51

ch. 7, p. 1,677

Flavel, John – The Fountain of Life Opened…  (London, 1673)

8th Sermon, on 1 Tim. 2:5, pp. 84-89
12th Sermon, on Heb. 10:14, p. 145 (Thirdly)
14th Sermon, on Gal. 3:13, pp. 165-173
35th Sermon, on 19:30

Strong, William – A Discourse of the Two Covenants…  (London, 1678), Bk. 2

ch. 2, pp. 128, 136-39, 143, 152
ch. 3, pp. 161-62, 174

Strong (d. 1654) was an English, Independent divine.

Brown of Wamphray, John – ch. 14, ‘How Christ is our Surety, & what Mr. Baxter says as to this, is Examined’  in The Life of Justification Opened...  (d. 1679; Holland, 1695)

Ambrose, Isaac – bk. 3, ch. 2, section 3, p. 99, point 4  in Looking unto Jesus...  (d. 1664; London, 1680)

Owen, John

pp. 253-64  of ch. 8, ‘Imputation of the Sins of the Church unto Christ, Grounds of it. The Nature of his Suretyship. Causes of the New Covenant. Christ & the Church One Mystical Person; Consequents Thereof.’  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith through the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, Explained…  (London, 1677)

On ch. 7, verse 22, ‘By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament’  in Commentary on Hebrews  (London, 1680)

De Laune, Thomas – 2nd Head, ‘Christ a Surety’  in Tropologia, or, A Key to Open Scripture Metaphors…  (London, 1681)

De Laune (d. 1685) was a baptist.

Allinga, Petrus – 5th Point of Difference, ‘Whether Suretiship for the Sinner can have place before the Divine Tribunal?’  in The Satisfaction of Christ, Stated & Defended, Against the Socinians: in Two Parts  tr. Thomas Bell (d. 1692; Glasgow, 1790), pp. 62-72

Allinga (1658-1692) was Dutch reformed.

Alsop, Vincent – Letter 3, ‘Of Christ’s Being our Surety’  in A Vindication of the Faithful Rebuke to a False Report...  (London, 1698)



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – ch. 4. ‘The Nature of the Suretyship of Jesus Christ During the Old Testament’  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 4  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), Appendix: Administration of the Covenant of Grace in the Old & New Testaments, pp. 447-57

a Brakel (1635-1711) was a contemporary of Voet and Witsius and a major representative of the Dutch Further Reformation.

Witsius, Herman

The Economy of the Covenants Between God & Man…  (NY: 1798), vol. 1, bk. 2

ch. 4, ‘Of the Person of the Surety’, pp. 265-280
ch. 5, ‘Of the Suretiship & Satisfaction of Christ’, pp. 280-93

Concilliatory or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain...  tr. Thomas Bell  (Glasgow, 1807)

ch. 1, ‘Concerning the Translation of Sin to Christ’, with notes on this and other chapters by the translator, pp. 197-99, 203, 215, 272, 283-7, 312, 331.

The translator Bell (1733–1802) was a Scottish Relief Church minister, known as a theologian and translator.




Doolittle, Thomas – Captives Bound in Chains made Free by Christ their Surety, or the Misery of Graceless Sinners & their Recovery by Christ their Savior  (London, 1674)  106 pp.  ToC





Cocceius, Johannes –   A Sum of Theology Rehearsed out of the Scriptures  (Geneva, 1665)

34. Of the Mediator and Surety of the Testament, pp. 387-92
35. Of the Accomplishing [Effectu] of the Surety, pp. 392-93

Cocceius (1603-69).  This is not entirely recommended.  In order to further uphold Cocceius’s teaching that OT saints were yet liable to their guilt (sub reatus) before Christ’s atonement was made (contra the majority of the reformed), his followers, the Cocceians, argued that Christ was only a surety as a fidejussor, or a co-signer, rather than as an expromissor, or a full legal substitute.  For the majority defense of the latter, see our page, On the State of the Saints under the Old Testament.

Burman, Francis – 15. ‘Of the Surety of the Covenant of Grace’  in A Synopsis of Theology & Especially of the Economy of the Covenant of God…  (Utrecht, 1671), vol. 1, bk. 2, Locus 11, ‘Of the Constitution of the Covenant of Grace’, pp. 488-97

Burman (1628-79) was a Cocceian; see above on Cocceius.

Leydekker, Melchior

Bk. 4, ch. 7, ‘Of Jesus, the Surety’  in Of the Truth of the Reformed, or Evangelical, Religion  (Utrecht, 1688), pp. 447-57

Leydekker, who was Dutch reformed, argued against the Cocceians.

The Power of Truth, or Disquisitions on Some Controversies which are now Greatly Moved in Belgium, on the Economy of the Covenants of God…  (Utrecht, 1679), Bk. 2, ‘Of the Sponsor & the Sponsorship of the Covenant of Grace’

Controversy 1, ‘Whether the Sponsorship of Christ may have the Nature of a Co-Signer [Fidejussionis] under the Old Testament, but not the grounding of an Entire Legal Substitute [Expromissionis], so that Christ under the Old Testament ought to be Considered not so much as an Entire Legal Substitute, but a Co-Signer, even According to the Definition of a Co-Signer amongst Lawyers?  We Deny.’, pp. 72-106

Controversy 2, pp. 107-20

A Synopsis of the Controversies of the Covenant & Testament of God which are presently being Stirred in Belgium  (Utrecht, 1690), bk. 2, ‘Of the Sponsor & Surety of the Covenant of Grace’

Controversy 1, ‘Of the Nature of the Surety of Christ’, pp. 15-22

Controversy 2, ‘Of the Ground of God in Accepting a Surety’, pp. 22-25




Related Pages


The Offices of Christ

On Christ in the Old Testament & that He is the Messiah


On the Person of Christ, his Human & Divine Natures & the Hypostatic Union