« AnteriorContinuar »
are justified, our hearts also are puii&ed. Acts xv. 9, Purifying their hearts by faith?
Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.
Q. 1. How many ways may we be said to be the children of God?
A. We are the children of God, 1. By regeneration. 2. By adoption, whereby we differ, 1. From Christ, who is God's son'by eternal generation; 2. From the angels who are God's sons by creation.
Q. 2. What is it for men to adopt children?
A. Men adopt children when they take strangers, or such as are none of their own children, into their families and account them their children; and accordingly do take care for them as if they were their own.
Q. 3. What is it for God to adopt'children?
A. God doth adopt children when he taketh them which are strangers, and by nature children of wrath, into his family, and receiveth them into the number, and giveth them a right to all the privileges of the sons and daughters of God. Eph. ii. 3, And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Eph. ii. 19, Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. 2 Cor. vi. 18, And I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Q. 4. Is there any motive in any of the children of men, to induce God to adopt them, as there is in those that are adopted by men?
A. There is neither beauty, nor any lovely qualification, nor any thing in the least, to move and incline God to adopt any whom he doth adopt, but it is an act only of his free grace and love. 1 John iii. 1, Behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!
Q. 5. Are all the children of men the adopted children of God.
A. No: only such persons are adopted as do believe in Christ. John i. 12, As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that'believe on his name. Gal iii. 26, For ye are all the children'of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
Q. 6. What are those privileges which the adopted children of God have a right unto .'
A. The privileges which the adopted children of God have a right unto, are, 1. God's fatherly protection of them from temporal and spiritual evils. Psalm exxi. 7, The Lord shall preserve them from all evil. 2 God's fatherly provision of all needful things, both for their soul and body. Psalm xxxiv. 10, They that seek the Lord, shall not want any good thing. 3. God's fatherly correction of them. Hch. xii. 6, For whom he loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 4. God's audience and return to their prayers. 1 John v. 14, 15, And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hcareth us, whatever ive ask we know that we have the petitions we desired of him. 5. A sure title to the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. Rom. viii. 17, And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man, after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Q. 1. Wherein doth sanctification differ from justification and adoption?
A.-Sanctification doth differ from justification and adoption, in that, 1. Justification and adoption are acts of God without us: sanctification is a work of God within us. 2. Justification and adoption do make only a relative change: sanctification doth make in us a real change. 3. Justification and adoption are perfect at first: sanctification is carried on by degrees unto perfection.
Q. 2. Whose work is the work of sanctification I
A. 1. Though we be the subjects of sanctification, yet we are not the authors and efficient causes of our sanctification: we can defile ourselves, but we cannot cleanse and renew ourselves. 2. Sanctification is the work of God which is wrought by his Spirit. 2 Thess. ii. 13, God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit.
Q. 3. Is there no desert of the grace of sanctification in any of the children of men before they are sanctified?
A. No: for all the children of men are by nature wholly polluted with sin, and it is wholly of God's free grace that any of them are sanctified.
Q. 4. Wherein doth our sanctification consist?
A. Our sanctification doth consist in our renovation after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. Col. iii. 10, Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that crea^ ted him. Eph. iv. 24, And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Q. 5. What is the subject of our sanctification?
A. The subject of our sanctification is our /whole man, understanding, will, conscience, memory, affections, which all are renewed and changed in regard of their qualifications; and all the members of our body, which are changed in regard of their use, being made instruments of righteousness.
Q. 6. Wherein is our sanctification begun?
A. Our sanctification is begun in our regeneration and effectual calling ; wherein our minds are first enligh* tened and our wills renewed, and the habits of alLgraces are infused.
Q. 7. How is our sanctification carried on?
A. Our sanctification is carried on by degrees, as God doth bless his providences, especially his ordinances, through them to communicate farther measures of his spirit and grace.
Q. 8. Wherein is our sanctification perfected?
A. Our sanctification is perfected in our glorification, when we shall be made perfectly free from sin, and fully conformable unto the image of God.
Q. 9. What are the parts of sanctification?
A. There are two parts of sanctification: 1. Mortification, whereby we are enabled to die more and more unto sin. Rom. vi. 11, Reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin. 2. Vivification, whereby we are enabled to live unto righteousness. Rom. vi. 13, Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Q. 1. How many sorts of benefits are there which do belong to those which are justified, adopted and sanctified?
A. There are three sorts of benefits which do belong unto those which are justified, adopted and sanctified; namely, 1. Benefits in this life. 2. Benefits at death. 3. Benefits at the resurrection.
Q. 2. What are the benefits which belong to justified, adopted and sanctified persons in this life?
A. The benefits which belong to justified persons in this life, are five: IV Assurance of God's love. 2. Peace of conscience. 3 Joy in the Holy Ghost. 4. Increase of grace. 5. Perseverance in grace to the end. Rom. v. 1,2, 5, Being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Philip. i. 6, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Q. 3. What are the benefits that do accompany and flow from the sight and sense of justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which do accompany and flow from the sight and sense of justification, adoption and sancti'fication, are assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in t!,e Holy Ghost.
Q. 4. May not any unjustified and unsanctified persons attain any of these benefits?
A. Unjustified persons may some of them have a presumptuous confidence of God's love, but not real assurance; they may have a carnal security, and false peace, but no true spiritual peace; they may have a carnal joy, or ungrounded spiritual joy, but no sound spiritual and heavenly joy of the Holy Ghost; these benefits are given only unto such as are truly justified, adopted and sanctified.
Q. 5. Whence is it that all that are justified, adopted, and sanctified, do not attain these benefits ?
A. Because all have not a sight and sense of their justification, adoption and sanctification, but are under doubts, and therefore fear that God doth hate them, and not love them; therefore they have troubles of conscience instead of peace, and sorrow in spirit instead of the joy of the Holy Ghost.
Q. 6. How may a child of God get a sure evidence of his justification and adoption?
A. A child of God may get a sure evidence of his justification and adoption by his sanctification.
Q. 7. What is a sure evidence of sanctification?
A. A sure evidence of sanctification is increase of grace.
Q. 8. What are the benefits which accompany and flow from the being of justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which accompany and flow from the being of justification, adoption and sanctification, are, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Q 9. Do all truly justified, adopted and sanctified persons increase in grace?
A. 1. All truly justified, adopted and sanctified per