Monday, February 23, 2009

We dread no more the wrath of God

For despite all the outcry of modern times against that doctrine, it is written in heaven and is a sure and precious truth to he received by all the faithful, that we are justified by faith through the righteousness of Christ Jesus imputed to us. See what Christ has done in his living and in his dying, his acts becoming our acts and his righteousness being imputed to us, so that we are rewarded as if we were righteous, while he was punished as though he had been guilty.

This justification then comes to sinners as an act of pure grace, the foundation of it being Christ’s righteousness. The practical way of its application is by faith. The sinner believeth God, and believeth that Christ is sent of God, and takes Christ Jesus to he his only confidence and trust, and by that act he becomes a justified soul, It is not by repenting that we are justified, but by believing; it is not by deep experience of the guilt of sin; it is not by bitter pangs and throes under the temptations of Satan; it is not by mortification of the body, nor by the renunciation of self; all these are good, but the act which justifieth is a look at Christ. We, having nothing being nothing boasting of nothing, but being utterly emptied, do look to him whose wounds stream with the life-giving blood, and as we look to him, we live and are justified by his life. There is life in a look at the crucified One, and life in the sense of justification. He who a minute before was in himself a condemned criminal fit only to be taken to the place from whence he came and to suffer divine wrath, is at once, by an act of faith made an heir of God, joint heir with Jesus Christ, taken from the place of condemnation and put into the place of acceptance, so that now he dreads no more the wrath of God; the curse of God cannot touch him, for Christ was made a curse for him, as it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

From a sermon entitled "Justification And Glory," delivered April 30, 1865. Image by Flemming Christiansen under Creative Commons License.

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