Monday, February 25, 2008

Pardoned by God

Whom dost thou think Christ came to carry on his shoulders to heaven? Those that can walk there themselves? No, let them trudge their weary way: if they think they can go to heaven with their good works let them do so. One of two things, either you must be saved without deserving to be saved — saved by the works of another — or else you must keep the whole law, and so inherit heaven of your own right and patent. If, then, you are willing to come to Christ, just as you are without any preparation, but just simply as a sinner, then Christ has made atonement for you; your guilt is put away: God accepts you: you are a pardoned man. You may go out at yonder door and say in your heart, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we now have received the atonement.” As for holiness and good works, these shall come afterwards. Having believed in Christ, his Spirit shall be given, and you shall be zealous for good works. While the legalist is talking about them, you shall do them. What you could not do before, you shall do now. When you have given up all trust in yourself you shall become holy and pure, and the Spirit of God shall enter into you, and shall renew you. You shall be kept by the power of God till, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, you shall be presented before your Father’s face saved — saved eternally.

From a sermon entitled "The Cleansing of the Leper," delivered December 30, 1860. Flickr photo by Angela Sevin; some rights reserved.

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