Monday, 7 January 2013

Perfect Righteousness for Miserable Sinners

Many sinners think that, though they cannot present a perfect righteousness for God's acceptance, he will accept something less, since that is all they have to offer. So a life-long process of negotiation goes on. Sacraments and penances are traded as approximations to the perfect righteousness God requires. This is called a state of grace, and the hope is that the balance will come out in favour of righteousness in the end, so that the sinner can be justified.

But there is no need for this most uncertain process. There is no need for life-long doubt about acceptance before God through our own works. This is not the gospel, and these are not the terms on which God accepts needy sinners.

There is a way by which God provides and makes over to the sinner a perfect righteousness. The righteousness of his beloved Son Jesus Christ is imputed or reckoned to the sinner as the perfect covering for his naked soul. God now looks on him and sees, not the miserable sinner, but the perfect righteousness of his Son. This is called justification, and it never stands in doubt, because there is no doubt about the perfection that the Son of God rendered, in life and death.

This is the sweet comfort of the gospel, and once someone has tasted it, he has no appetite for anything else or anything less. Oh, acquire a taste for this gospel righteousness, and no cunning craftiness of man will satisfy the soul as a substitute product. Really taste and see this sweet truth that the Lord is gracious (1 Peter 2:3), and you will never go back to bitter human works for justification.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
                                            Charles Wesley

       

4 comments:

  1. So encouraging to read simple gospel. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Romans8:1 - why? Because we are in Him! Let us therefore fix our eyes upon Jesus, the perfector and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross Hebrews 12. Nothing in my hand I bring - simply to thy cross I cling. Thank you for taking the time to remind us of the peace and release that are ours because of our precious Saviour!

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. Love in Christ, Douglas

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  2. Further testimony on this wonderful theme, dear brother, are the words of David Dickson to John Livingstone who visited him during his last illness: 'I have taken all my good deeds, and all my bad deeds, and have cast them together in a heap before the Lord, and have fled from both to Jesus Christ, and in Him I have sweet peace.' - Colin

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    1. Dear Colin, That saying of Dickson is brilliant. I love it.

      I have been having a lot of trouble with hiccups, and the drug meant to cure it. Prayer would be very welcome.

      Warmest love in Christ,
      Douglas

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