Understand Condemnation To Appreciate Grace

“Condemnation is a word of tremendous import, and the better we understand it the more shall we appreciate the wondrous grace that has delivered us from its power. In the halls of a human court this is a term which falls with fearful knell upon the ear of the convicted criminal and fills the spectators with sadness and horror. But in the court of Divine Justice it is vested with a meaning and content infinitely more solemn and awe-inspiring. To that Court every member of Adam’s fallen race is cited. ‘Conceived in sin, shapen in iniquity’ [Psalm 51:5] each one enters this world under arrest – an indicted criminal, a rebel manacled. How, then, is it possible for such a one to escape the execution of the dread sentence? There was only one way, and that was by the removal from us of that which called forth the sentence, namely sin. Let guilt be removed and there can be ‘no condemnation’ [Romans 8:1].

Has guilt been removed, removed, we mean, from the sinner who believes? Let the Scriptures answer: ‘As far as the east is from the west so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions’ (Isaiah 43:25). ‘Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back’ (Isaiah 38:17). ‘Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more’ (Hebrews 10:17).”

– Arthur W. Pink, Comfort for Christians, p.8-9

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The First Important Lesson

“The first important lesson which all need to learn is that we are sinners, and as such, unfit for the presence of a Holy God. It is vain that we select noble ideals, form good resolutions, and adopt excellent rules to live by, until the sin-question has been settled. It is of no avail that we attempt to develop a beautiful character and aim to do that which will meet God’s approval while there is sin between Him and our souls. Of what use are shoes if our feet are paralyzed. Of what use are glasses if we are blind. The question of the forgiveness of my sins is basic, fundamental, vital. It matters not that I am highly respected by a wide circle of friends if I am yet in my sins. It matters not that I have made good in business if I am an unpardoned transgressor in the sight of God. What will matter most in the hour of death is: Have my sins been put away by the blood of Christ?

– Arthur W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, p.14

There Is But One, Living, and True God

“There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.”

(Deut. 6:4; I Cor. 8:4, 6; I Thess. 1:9; Jer. 10:10; Job 11:7, 8, 9; Job 26:14; John 4:24; I Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15, 16; John 4:2 Luke 24:39; Acts 14:11, 15; James 1:17; Mal. 3:6; I Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23, 24; Ps. 90:2; I Tim. 1:17; Ps. 145:3; Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8; Rom. 16:27; Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 115:3; Exod. 3:14; Eph. 1:11; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; I John 4:8, 16; Exod. 34:6, 7; Heb. 11:6; Neh. 9:32, 33; Ps. 5:5, 6; Nah. 1:2, 3; Exod. 34:7.)

– The Westminster Assembly, Westminster Confession of Faith, p.24-26

He is Not a Half Savior

“He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord and making Him only a half Savior. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require: not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their ‘righteousness,’ but their ‘sanctification’ (1 Cor. 1:30). Let us hear what the Bible says: ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.’ ‘Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it.’ ‘Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ ‘Christ . . . bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.’ Christ ‘has . . . reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight’ (John 17:19; Eph. 5:25, 26; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Col. 1:22). Let the meaning of these five texts be carefully considered. If words mean anything, they teach that Christ undertakes the sanctification, no less than the justification, of His believing people. Both are alike provided for in that “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure,” of which the Mediator is Christ. In fact, Christ in one place is called ‘He who sanctifies,’ and His people ‘they who are sanctified’ (Heb. 2:11).”

– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.20