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temember that that spotless robe will never be permitted to cover an unsanctified heart. Those only have reason to expect the benefit of it that are found in Christ; and if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.
But in what sense is this righteousness imputed to believers ? In this: All believers are forgiven and accepted, not for the sake of any thing in them, or of any thing that ever was, that is, or ever can be, done by them, but wholly and solely for the sake of what Christ hath done and suffered for them. I say again, not for the sake of any thing in them, or done by them, of their own righteousness or works: “ Not for works of righteousness which we have done, but of his own mercy be saved us.” “By grace ye are saved, through faith ; not of works, lest any man should boast;” but wholly and solely for the sake of what Christ hath done and suffered for us. We are “justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that in Christ Jesus." And this is not only the means of our obtaining the favour of God, but of our continuing therein. It is thus we come to God at first; it is by the same way we come unto him ever after. We walk in one and the same new and living way, till our spirit returns to God.
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Wesley's Sermons, vol. ii. p. 308. That justice, which is imputed to the believer, is in Christ by inbesion, in us by imputation. Our adversaries deny, that in scripture there is any mention made of this imputation : but what can be clearer than these ensuing places ? Rom. iv. 6.“ David calleth that man blessed, to whom God imputeth righteousness without works." Phil. iii. 8, 9. “ I account all things dung that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is by the faith of Christ,” that is, “ the righteousness which is of God by faith.” This is chiefly seen in that antithesis, whereby our sins are imputed to Christ and his justice imputed to us. 2 Cor. v. 21. “ He made that he should be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The papists also think it as absurd, that we should be justified by the justice of another; as if one should be
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culties of the soul shall be enlarged, and these curious matters shall be the objects of the mind's delightful contemplation throughout the
ages of eternity. We are looking for reasons, where we ought to look for facts: this is the effect of pride; we want to be wise above that which is written.
We have considered, in the preceding article, the great Redeemer as stepping forward between his people and the justice of God, and throwing over them a robe of righteousness, which covers them, or screens them from the punishment due to them for sin,
The great Judge of the court of heaven having accepted of this surety, will now pronounce them acquitted or justified in his sight. As it is written ;
There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Rom. viii. 1.
Whom he did foreknow, them he justified. Rom. viii. 30.
But ye are washed, but ye are justified, but ye are sanctified, in the name of the Lord Jesus. 1 Cor. vi. 11.
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Tit. iii. 7.
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me. Jer. xxxiii. 8.
For I will pardon them whom I reserve. Jer. 1. 20.
The grace which justifies a rebel man
O blessed state !
Q. If it be not for any inherent righteousness; how then ?
A. It is for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us; Rom. iv. 6.
Q. How is Christ's rigbteousness made ours?
Flavels Exposition of the Assembly's Catechism. The doctrine of justification makes a very distinguished figure in that religion which is from above, and is a capital article of that "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Far from being a mere speculative point, it spreads its influence through the whole body of divinity, runs through all Christian experience, and operates
every part of practical godliness. The importance of it is such, that a mistake here has a most malignant efficacy, and is attended with a long train of dangerous consequences. Nor can this appear strange, when it is considered, that the doctrine of justification is no other than the doctrine of “a sinner's acceptance with God." Being of such peculiar importance, it is inseparably connected with many other evangelical truths, the harmony and beauty of which we can never behold, while this is misunderstood ; till this appears in its glory, they will be involved in clouds and darkness,
The word justification is a forensic term, and signifies the declaring or pronouncing a person righteous, according to law. Justification is not the making a person righteous, by a real inherent change from sin to holiness, in which the nature of sanctification consists; but it is the act of a judge, pronouncing a person acquitted from all judicial charges.
That justification does not consist in a real change from sin to how liness, will further appear, from considering that justification is diametrically opposite to condemnation. Now the sentence of condemnation is never supposed to make the person criminal, on whom it is pronounced. There is no infusion of evil qualities into the cul.