« AnteriorContinuar »
fect observance, or compliance, with all the precepts of God's law, for us, as our substitute.-Again he is said to be, “ The end of the law for righteousness, tu every one that believeth.” Rom. x. 4.- And in " Gal.- iv. 4. God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." These and such like scriptures, point out the personal, or active righteousness of Christ; and shew that his cbedience was not for himself, but for us, in the capacity of a surety and substitute. For if he did not pay the debt of obedience to the law of God for us ; if he did not do this as our substitute, we might, with as inuch propriety, expect to be made righteous by the obedience of Gabriel, as by the obedi. ence of Christ.
But this is not all that the righteousness of Christ consists in, or comprizes. His sufferings and death constitute a principal part of it. We read of being justified by his blood ; - of being reconciled to God by his death ; -and of his tasting death for every man. From these scriptures, we learn, that he endured the curse, and suffered the penalty of the law for us, as well as obeyed the precept. In doing both these, he became a complete Saviour, answering our
death ; From these curse, and sell as obey,
of the law.curse, and we learning
debt of duty to the preceptive, and paying our debt of punishment to the penal part of the law of works.--I say the perceptive and penal: for you must know, that on the fall of man and the breach of the covenant of works, we became subject to a double debt; a debt of duty and a debt of punishment. And both of these must be paid, before God could be just and the justifier of the believing soul.
I would further observe, that this righteousness is also called “ The righteousness of God, without the law, and an imputed righteousness, without works." I mention this to shew, that this righteousness, by which we are justified, is not only a quite different thing from our obedience, or good works; but that we are pardoned and accepted of God, neither in whole, nor in part, by any thing we can do, to merit or deserve the same: and therefore our justification is to be attributed wholly, entirely and exclusively, to the sole merits of Christ's obedience and sufferings.
The sum of what I have written on this point, is, that the righteousness of God, or Christ, is the sole meritorious cause of our justification. That this righteousness consists in the obedience and sufferings of Christ; or his active and passive obedience.
He, for us, fulfilled the law, and endured the penalty. I say, he did all this, not for himself, but wholly for us, as our surety and substitute.--This is a matter of the greatest importance. It is one of the most distinguishing excellencies of the christian religion. It is the article with which the church stands or falls. Take this away, and you destroy the whole gospel, and sap the foundation of all our hope, in time and eternity. It ought, therefore, to be carefully studied, rightly understood, and closely and invariably adhered to. I am your Friend, &c.
.: D. JARRATT.
Of that Faith, by which we are JUSTIFIED,
and the Place it has in JUSTIFICATION.
June 19, 1790.
GREAT things are spoken of the righteousness of God, in the Bible, and
too much cannot be said in favor of it. It is the sure foundation, and it is sufficient to cancel the greatest and most numerous offences ; and to justify the greatest, as well as the smallest sinner.
But it may be inquired, is there nothing to be done, on our part, in order to our being justified through this righteousness ? Undoubtedly there is. Faith is required ; and it is of such indispensible necessity, that without faith, Christ will profit us nothing. “ He that beleiveth shall be saved ;-and he that believeth not, shall be damned.” And hence we find, that this righteousness is frequently called the righteousness of faith. It is so called in Philipians üii. 9. 6 Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness, which is by the faith of Jesus Christ; the righte. ousness which is of God, by faith.” And sometimes faith is said to be imputed for righteousness. These, and other scriptures of like import, shew that faith is intimately concerned in justification, by Christ's righteousness; and has a peculiar concurrence therein. In one sense faith may be called the condition of pardon and acceptance with God. Not the meritorious condition or deserving cause : for it belongs only to
the righteousness of Christ to merit or de. serve these. Yet it has pleased God, so to constitute the covenant of grace, as to make faith of such importance, that, without it, we cannot be justified or saved. See John iii. 36. “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” But there are so many scriptures, which speak of being justified, by faith in the blood of Christ; and by believing in Christ, that it would be needless to enlarge. I therefore pass on to what I principally intend in this letter. And that is, to shew what that faith is, by which we are justified; and to point out the particular place faith holds in our justification.
I have frequently heard faith spoken of, in a manner very unintelligible to nie. And yet, if we could be content with a plain scriptural definition of it, I think there would not be much difficulty in discovering both its nature and office. I don't mean here to speak of faith, in general, as it has the whole word of God for its object; nor as it is an instrument, by which a justified person grows in grace; but merely as it has Christ for its object, and is the instru.