Saturday, October 26, 2013

Perfect Righteousness, not by works...

Antinomian: Well, sir, you have made it evident and plain, that Christ hath delivered all believers from the law, as it is the covenant of works; and that therefore they have nothing at all to do with it. 
Evangelist:  No, indeed; none of Christ's are to have anything to do with the covenant of works, but Christ only. For although in the making of the covenant of works at first, God was one party, and man another, yet, in making it the second time, God was on both sides:God, simply considered in his essence, was the party opposed to man; and God, the second person, having taken upon him to be incarnate, and to work man's redemption, was on man's side, and takes part with man, that he may reconcile him to God, by bearing man's sins, and satisfying God's justice for them. And Christ paid God 6 till he said he had enough; he was fully satisfied, fully contented, (Matt 3:17), "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Yea, God the Father was well pleased, and fully satisfied from all eternity, by virtue of that covenant that was made betwixt them. And thereupon all Christ's people were given to him in their election. (Eph 1:4) "Thine they were," 7 says Christ, "and thou gavest them me," (John 17:6).
And again, says he, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hands," (John 3:35); that is, he hath entrusted him with the economic and actual administration of that power in the Church, which originally belonged unto himself. And hence it is that Christ also says, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son," (John 5:22) So that all the covenant that believers are to have regard to, for life and salvation, is the free and gracious covenant that is betwixt Christ [or God in Christ] and them. And in this covenant there is not any condition or law to be performed on man's part, by himself; no, there is no more for him to do, but only to know and believe that Christ hath done all for him. 
Wherefore my dear Neophytus, to turn my speech particularly to you, [because I see you are in heaviness] I beseech you to be persuaded that here you are to work nothing, here you are to do nothing, here you are to render nothing unto God, but only to receive the treasure, which is Jesus Christ, and apprehend him in your heart by faith, although you be never so great a sinner; and so shall you obtain forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal happiness; not as an agent but as a patient, not by doing, but by receiving. Nothing here comes betwixt but faith only, apprehending Christ in the promise. This, then, is perfect righteousness, to hear nothing, to know nothing, to do nothing of the law of works; but only to know and believe that Jesus Christ is now gone to the Father, and sitteth at his right hand, not as a judge, but is made unto you of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Wherefore, as Paul and Silas said to the jailer, so say I unto you, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved"; that is, be verily persuaded in your heart that Jesus Christ is yours, and that you shall have life and salvation by him; that whatsoever Christ did for the redemption of mankind, he did it for you.
Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity

1 comment:

  1. Fisher---"A believer is altogether delivered from the law. A believer has no need of the law written with paper to be a rule of life to him. The love of Christ will make a Christian obey without the compulsion of law, will make him do so whether he will or not...";view=fulltext

    Thomas Boston--And now, knowing rightly how to distinguish between the law and the gospel, we must, in the fifth place, take heed that we break not the orders between these two in applying the law where the gospel is to be applied, either to ourselves or to others; for albeit the law and gospel, in order of doctrine, ARE MANY TIMES TO BE JOINED TOGETHER, yet, in the case of JUSTIFICATION, the law must be utterly separated from the gospel.

    —Thomas Boston, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Explication of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism