Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peace by believing

Mountain Trail

Where then does lie the Christian’s conviction of his peace with God? Well it lies in this — that he is justified by faith. The process is plain.... Christ stood in my stead before God. I was a sinner doomed to die; Christ took my place; he died for me. Well, then, how can I perish? How can I be punished for offenses which have been punished already in the person of my substitute? God demands of me perfectly to keep his law. I cannot do it. Christ has done it for me — kept the law, magnified it, made it honorable. What more can God demand of me? I, a sinner, am washed in Jesu’s blood. I, guilty, am clothed in Jesu’s righteousness. You say “How? I cannot see it is so.” True, it is so by faith. God says that he who believes in Christ shall be saved — I believe in Christ; therefore I am saved. He says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” I believe on him; therefore I am not condemned. This is clear reasoning enough.

Very well then, the man who has believed in Christ has his sins forgiven, and the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, and therefore he is at peace with God. Now this is reasoning which no logic can gainsay. There is a rebel — first he is pardoned, next merit is imputed to him, and he is at peace with his lying, and a rebel no longer. There is a child; he has offended; his father takes him, accepts him for his elder brother’s sake, and he is at peace with his father. The thing is clear enough. Here is a reason for the hope that is within us, which we may give with meekness and fear, it is true, never with diffidence and timidity. We may venture to give it in the presence of the old dragon and defy him to break its force. We might give it even in the midst of a congregation of assembled demons, and defy them, if they can, to break its power. We may give it in the presence of the Eternal God, for he will never gainsay the word on which he has caused us to hope. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” It stands for ever. Stand here, and you stand so fast that no howling tempest of temptation can sweep you down.

From a sermon entitled "Peace By Believing." Flickr photo by Eric Ward; some rights reserved.

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