Monday, November 12, 2007

Guiltless in the sight of God

As soon as a repenting sinner is justified, remember, he is justified for all his sins. Here stands a man all guilty. The moment he believes in Christ, his pardon at once he receives and his sins are no longer his; they are cast into the depths of the sea. They were laid upon the shoulders of Christ, and they are gone. The man stands a guiltless man in the sight of God, accepted in the beloved. “What!” say you, “do you mean that literally?” Yes I do. That is the doctrine of justification by faith. Man ceases to be regarded by divine justice as a guilty being; the moment he believes on Christ his guilt is all taken away. But I am going a step further. The moment the man believes in Christ, he ceases to be guilty in God’s esteem, but what is more, he becomes righteous, he becomes meritorious, for, in the moment when Christ takes his sins he takes Christ’s righteousness, so that, when God looks upon the sinner who but an hour ago was dead in sins, he looks upon him with as much love and affection as he ever looked upon his Son. He himself has said it — “As the Father loved me, so have I loved you.” He loves us as much as his Father loved him.

From a sermon entitled "Justification By Grace," delivered April 5, 1857.

Photo by James Jordan ; some rights reserved.

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