Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not relying on my own purity

We differ also from those who place reliance upon moral virtues and spiritual excellencies, and even from those who would have us found our hope upon certain graces supposed to be the works of the Holy Spirit. Had we been the most courageously honest, had we been the most chastely pure, had we never offended against the law of man in any respect whatever, if we could say with the apostle “as touching the law blameless,” and if, like the young man in the gospel narrative, re could say of the commandments, “All these things have I kept from my youth up,” yet would we count our virtues and obediences to be but dross that we might win Christ and be found in him, not having our own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

We dare not hope to be acceptable with God because of anything good that is in us by nature, or may be infused into us by grace: we are accepted in the Beloved, and apart from him we look not to be found acceptable. Even what the Holy Ghost works with us does not furnish us with any merit which we can plead, for it is a gift of grace, and no part of our justifying righteousness. We rest upon Jesus Christ crucified, and not upon our faith, our repentance, our prayers, our conquests of sin, our likeness to Christ. Right away from anything that comes from us or to us we look to Jesus, who is all our salvation, the Alpha and Omega, the author and the finisher of faith.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Salvation By Faith And The Work Of The Spirit," delivered April 11, 1876. Image by wildxplorer on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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