Tag Archives: Law

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Christians Continuance In The Law.

“Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”- Jam_1:25.

It is of ‘blessedness’ that the apostle is speaking here; the blessedness of doing, not of believing, or rather, of doing as the result of believing. Paul dwells on the latter, James on the former. Both are to be kept in view. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven (Psa_32:1); and blessed is he ‘that believeth’ (Luk_1:45; Joh_20:29). But blessed also are ‘they that do His commandments’ (Rev_22:14); blessed are ‘they that keep His testimonies’ (Psa_69:2); blessed is the man ‘that delighteth greatly in His commandments’ (Psa_62:1). Let us see the apostle’s statement here.

I. The law-This is the Hebrew torah, the Greek nomos, the Latin lex, and the English law; all of them expressive of two great ideas,-a superior that instructs and enjoins, an inferior that learns and obeys. It touches our minds as instruction; and our wills as precept. Through these two it touches or operates upon our life. In some parts it touches more the former, as in the psalms, in others our wills, as in the ten commandments, though sometimes it is mixed, as in Proverbs and the prophets. We do not take up the question whether ‘law,’ as used by James, refers exclusively to the Sinaitic code. We affirm, however, that it includes these, as is evident from Jam_2:8; Jam_2:12; Jam_4:2, where two of the ten are specified, and the summary of the law is given, ‘the royal law.’ Plainly, then, the apostle refers to the moral law in his epistle. If any one say that James was writing to Jews, we answer, (1) Paul, writing to Gentiles, uses law in reference to the ten commandments (Rom_13:8-10). (2) This makes no difference, for they were believing Jews, members of the body of Christ.

II. The perfect law.-By this we understand the same as in Rom_7:12 : ‘The law is holy (as a whole), and the commandment (each of its commandments) holy, and just, and good.’ It is altogether ‘perfect,’ complete in all its parts; not reduced, or narrowed, or modified; fully unfolded; more fully now than ever; established (Rom_3:31); not destroyed; fulfilled by Christ, and to be fulfilled by us as His disciples. The law is now expanded to the uttermost, and exhibited in all its parts; held forth in all its fullness. Never was its excellence and righteousness seen so gloriously. Some of the excellent names applied to it are,-(1) spiritual, Rom_7:14; (2) holy, Rev_7:16; (3) just, ib.; (4) good, ib.; (5) fiery, Deu_33:2; (6) perfect, Psa_19:7. The 119th Psalm is full of expressions denoting in manifold ways its excellence and glory; its entire and divine perfection.

III. The law of liberty.-It is only bondage to the unforgiven. To those in reference to whom its penalty has ceased, it is a law of liberty. Obedience to it is true liberty. The greater the obedience, the greater the liberty. Disobedience is bondage. ‘I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts’ (Psa_119:45). Twice over in James it is called the law of liberty; for the law, fulfilled in Christ, and presented to us in the gospel, though unchanged and unmodified, is a law of liberty. In obeying it we are enjoying and exercising true freedom.

IV. We are to look into it.-This means stooping down so as to gaze closely into, as in 1Pe_1:12. We are to study the law, the whole law. It will unfold its riches to us. There is no terror in it now to make us shrink back. It smiles on us. Let us hide it in our hearts. Thus David speaks: ‘I will meditate in Thy precepts’ (Psa_119:15); ‘In His law doth he meditate day and night’ (Psa_1:2). ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things’ (Psa_119:18). ‘Thy servant did meditate in Thy statutes’ (Psa_119:23). Psa_119:30; Psa_119:40; Psa_119:48; Psa_119:71; Psa_119:78; Psa_119:93-95; Psa_119:97; Psa_119:99; Psa_119:131; Psa_119:148. In the cross we see the law magnified and made honourable; let us then study it as thus illustrated and interpreted by the cross. The cross is a magnifying glass for revealing the breadth and purity of the law, yet with all that could terrify us taken away.

V. We are to continue in it-Looking and study is not enough. We are to abide in it, be molded thereby. ‘I do not forget Thy law’ (Psa_119:153). ‘I will have respect unto Thy statutes continually’ (Psa_119:117; Psa_119:112; Psa_119:102; Psa_119:93; Psa_119:83). It is not a look, nor even a compliance, nor many compliances; it is a continuing in the law that is enjoined on us. Steep yourself in its spirit; abide in it (Pro_28:4). ‘Thy law is within my heart’ (Psa_90:8).

VI. The blessedness of so doing-That man shall be blessed in the doing; not merely after the deed, but in the doing. In keeping Thy commandment there is great reward. ‘Great peace have they that love Thy law’ (Psa_119:165); that delight in the law (Psa_119:24; Psa_119:77). The apostle delighted in the law, found blessedness in keeping it. Obedience is blessedness. Each act of obedience is so. Fill the whole life with such acts, and you fill it with blessedness. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and each act is a flowing out of love to God and man. All acts of love are blessedness.

We are delivered from the law’s condemnation. We are ‘not under the law, but under grace.’ But shall we obey it the less? No, the more; for to this end we are delivered, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. The condemnation of the law is cancelled, that the righteousness of the law might be free to exhibit itself in us, who are still ‘under the law to Christ;’ for the law is still good, if a man use it lawfully.

 

 

From “Rylisms” by James Ryle

Uncovering Lost Secrets of True Success

“For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).

Nordstrom’s, one of the most successful retail companies in the world, hosted the top executives from J.C. Penny’s at a business luncheon held in the Nordstrom corporate offices. Penny’s, a company once at the forefront of commercial success, but whose profit margin had now been in steady decline for years, was in desperate need of some sound business advice.

During the lunch one of the execs from J.C. Penny asked his Nordstrom counterpart, “What is the secret of your company’s success?” It was an awkward moment, to say the least; for it is not always prudent to share company secrets with your potential competitors.

Nevertheless, after a slight pause and without saying a word, the Nordstrom executive got up from the table and walked out of the room. Moments later he returned with a large, old book and placed it on the table in front of his counterpart.

“This is the secret of our success,” he said. The Penney’s executive was dumbfounded when he saw that the book before him was a 100-year-old copy of the Franchise Manual for J.C. Penny’s!

Nordstrom was simply doing well what Penny’s had once done – but somewhere along the way had stopped doing. Nordstrom had found and followed the values and guidelines that Penny’s had lost.

When Joshua was divinely chosen to succeed Moses in leading the children of Israel into their Promised Land, God charged him with a single responsibility — “Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.” The charge was then followed by a powerful promise, which holds true even to this very day — “For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”

That’s the bottom line every man and woman seeks.

There is an ancient, time-tested and time-proven manual for success in life. It is the Bible, and we can advance our lives in ways that are pleasing to God and prosperous to ourselves by following the teaching of this Book — just as others have done who have gone before us.

Why not give it a shot and see what happens?

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Php_2:6-8

There could have been no restoration and no satisfaction to law and justice, but in the humiliation of the Son of God. The very necessity of the case demanded it. The Divine government had been dishonored-that dishonor could only be removed by the humiliation of one equal in dignity, holiness, and glory-even an infinite Being. The humiliation of every angel in heaven would not have effaced a single stain of its reproach, nor have restored a single beam of its glory. The law of God had been humbled-justice demanded, as a price of its reparation, the humiliation of the Lawgiver Himself. The incarnate God did humble Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Thus it was Jesus “restored that which He took not away.” He restored holiness to the law-satisfaction to justice-dignity to the Divine government-honor to God, and happiness and immortality to man. “Then I restored that which I took not away.” Oh, what stable foundation is thus laid for the full salvation of every believer.

The humiliation of the Redeemer opens a fountain of infinitely great and ever-glorious grace. Nothing could we have known of the glory of His person, nothing of the character of God, and all the things of His hidden love must have remained forever sealed, had He not so humbled Himself. His coming forth, invested not with the dazzling robes of His infinite Majesty, but wearing our degraded nature, descending to our state of deep abasement-yes, sinking infinitely deeper than we-throws open a treasury of grace as rich in its glory, and ample in its supply, as were the dark humiliation and deep poverty which made it ours. Here is glory springing from His abasement-it is the “glory of His grace;” “We beheld His glory, full of grace.” This fullness of grace in Jesus includes all that a poor sinner needs, all that a necessitous believer requires, all that the glory of God demanded. Here is the grace of pardon in all its fullness-the grace of justification in all its fullness-the grace of sanctification in all its fullness-the grace of consolation in all its fullness-the grace of strength in all its fullness. “It pleased the Father, that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Grace is poured into His lips, and gracious words proceed from His lips. Hearken! “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Hearken again! “Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Does He not bind up the broken heart? Does He not preach glad tidings to the meek? Does He not “satisfy the hungry soul, and satiate the weary soul with goodness”? Has He ever sent the poor empty away? Was He ever known to turn His back upon one humble comer drawing near, bowed with guilt, disconsolate with sorrow, oppressed with trial? Never! never! Oh, it is with infinite delight-delight, the depth of which we can form no conception-that He welcomes poor sinners. He thinks of His own humiliation for sin-He remembers His own sorrows and tears, agonies and death, and throwing Himself, as it were, into the very center of a bosom storm-tossed with godly grief, He seeks to soothe and hush it to a calm. And how does He allay the tempest? He pours the oil of His own love upon the waves; He sprinkles the conscience with that blood which cleanses from all sin, and bids the soul go in peace. Dear reader, where least we should have expected it, Jesus is set before us the “door of hope,” even in the deep valley of His humiliation. “I will give the valley of Achor for a door of hope.” The gospel of this precious promise is found in the wondrous theme we are now contemplating-the humiliation of the incarnate God. To that humiliation we must sink; into that valley we must descend. Convinced of sin-separated from all self-reliance and creature trust-emptied, humbled, laid low in the dust before God, we shall then find Jesus to be the “door of hope” set open for us in the deep and dark valley of our poverty, hopelessness, vileness, and abasement. Just the Door we need, is Jesus. A door to a Father’s forgiving heart, a door to God’s reconciled love; a door to the sweetest, closest, holiest fellowship and communion; a door into heaven itself; a door so wide, that the greatest sinner may enter-so free, that the penniless may come.

 

From “The Selected Writings of Joseph Philpot”

“Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”1Th_1:5

The Holy Spirit never comes into any poor sinner’s soul, except through the medium of the gospel of the grace of God. Have you ever considered that point? You are praying, perhaps, that the Holy Spirit would teach you, and be in you a Spirit of revelation, a Remembrancer, a Comforter, Instructor, and Teacher. You pray for his gifts, and graces, and sanctifying operations; but have you ever viewed these graces in connection with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Now, if you want the Holy Spirit to come into your soul, you must keep firm hold of the gospel; you must not run away from it to the law or to self; but keep firm, fast hold of it, so far as you have felt its power, and have a living faith in it.

If, then, you are tried, still hold the gospel. If Satan get you into his sieve, still hold the gospel. If in the furnace of affliction, still hold the gospel. If called on to wade through floods of sorrow, still hold fast the gospel. Let not Satan, if ever you have felt the power and the preciousness of the gospel, baffle you out of it, and drive you from it; but hold to the gospel, for it is your life. Indeed, where else will you find anything to suit your case if you are a poor, tempted, tried sinner? Will you go to the LAW, which can only curse and condemn you? Will you go to SELF? What is self? A heap of ruins. Where, then, will you go? After all, you must come to the gospel, if your soul is to be saved and blessed, and if you are to experience the consolations of the Holy Spirit, who alone can bless and comfort you.

I want, with God’s blessing, to impress this vital truth upon your conscience, that you may not be looking away from the gospel, and as Berridge says,”squint and peep another way,”but that you may keep your eyes firmly fixed on the gospel; for if you believe it, it can and will save your soul. Does not the Apostle say it is”the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes,”so that there is neither power nor salvation in anything else? Never, therefore, expect power, salvation, or comfort, but in, and by, and through the Holy Spirit preaching the gospel into your heart.

 

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all those who believe.” Rom_3:20-22

Thus does Paul triumphantly establish the perfect freeness and unconditional character of a sinner’s acceptance with God. By “the deeds of the law,” he has reference to those many and fruitless efforts to obey the law which men in a state of nature are found so zealously to aim at. Are you striving, dear reader, to conform to the requirement of this holy, this inflexible law of God? Let me assure you, that all these strivings, all these works, all this toiling, is worse than worthless in God’s holy sight; they are sinful-they proceed from an unregenerate nature, from an unrenewed, unsanctified heart-they flow not from faith and love; and therefore, the heart being thus a fountain of corruption, every stream that branches from it must partake of the foulness of the source from where it flows. Let the failure of the past suffice to teach you that this holy law you can never keep. Let your formal prayers, your lifeless religion, your vows forsworn, your resolutions broken, all confirm the solemn declaration of the apostle: “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight.” Again: “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Accompanied by the Spirit of God, it discloses to the soul the sinfulness of the heart and life, and brings it in guilty and self- condemned before God. Now, how is it possible that the law can ever be an instrument of life and an instrument of death to a sinner? It is utterly impossible that it can be. It never yet gave spiritual life to the soul-it never yet emancipated the soul from its thraldom-it never yet conducted it to Jesus-it never yet whispered liberty and peace. It can and does condemn-it can and does curse-and this is the utmost extent of its prerogative. Oh, then, resign all the hope you fondly cherish of life, peace, and acceptance by “the deeds of the law,” and betake yourself to Him who has, by His most precious blood, “redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.”

Having established the incapacity of the law to justify the sinner, the apostle then proceeds to unfold the glory, fitness, and freeness of that righteousness which can and does justify the soul before God. He takes up and argues two important points-the nature of the righteousness, and the instrument by which it is received. With regard to the first, he declares it to be “the righteousness of God”-and nothing but “the righteousness of God” can justify a soul in the sight of God. It must not be the righteousness of angels, nor the righteousness of Adam, nor the righteousness of Moses-it must be the righteousness of God in our nature. Away with every other refuge-away with every other covering; and let not the reader dream of entering with acceptance into the presence of a holy and heart-searching God, clad in any other righteousness than that which the adorable Immanuel wrought out. In this righteousness the believing sinner is safe, and safe forever; take him for a moment out of this righteousness, and he is lost, and lost for ever!

The instrument by which this divine righteousness is received is the second point established by the apostle. He clearly proves it to be by faith. Thus: “Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all those who believe.” How perfectly does this statement of the instrument or medium by which the blessings of pardon and justification are received into the soul harmonize with every other portion of God’s word! Thus, for instance-“By Him all that believe are justified from all things.”

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Oh see, disconsolate soul, the freeness of the gift! “To him that believes”-not to him that works, not to him that deserves, not to the worthy, but “to him that believes.” “Where is boasting, then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith (in Christ) without the deeds of the law.”

 

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes,” by Horatius Bonar

     Warning: This is a long post, but this subject isn’t talked about nearly enough…..Well worth reading!

 

The Righteousness Of God.

 

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.”- Rom_3:21.

It is of sin and righteousness that the apostle speaks so fully and so minutely throughout this whole epistle. Up to the verse from which our text is taken, he has been settling this point, that man is a sinner, and needs a righteousness, else he cannot stand before God. Circumcision cannot give a righteousness; it merely tells us that a righteousness is needed, no more. The law cannot give a righteousness; it is merely a declaration of what righteousness is, and that the unrighteous shall not stand before God. It condemns, it cannot justify. By the law is the knowledge of sin, and thus every mouth is stopped, and the whole world brought in guilty before God. But, notwithstanding this, there is a righteousness; a righteousness which meets the case of the unrighteous in every part; a righteousness which can reverse even the verdict of the law against the unrighteous; a righteousness on the footing of which we can stand with boldness in the presence of the holy God without either shame or fear. It is of this righteousness that he proceeds to speak in the words of our text. Let us hear what he affirms regarding it.

I. First, it is the righteousness of God. It is a divine, not a human righteousness. That righteousness which we had lost in Adam was, after all, but a human thing, finite hike him who lost it; but that which we gain is a divine righteousness, and by being divine, forms an infinite compensation for that which Adam lost for us; and we, in receiving it, are made partakers of a most glorious exchange. It is called the righteousness of God, because it is a righteousness provided by Him; a righteousness which was conceived by Him, set on foot, and carried out in every part by Him, entirely and by Him alone; a righteousness, in the providing of which we had nothing to do, even in thought or in desire, far less in execution; a righteousness, the origin and accomplishment of which are wholly and purely God’s, not man’s at all. Again, it is called the righteousness of God, because it is a righteousness founded on the sufferings of the Son of God. It behoved Him, who is the only-begotten of the Father to take flesh and suffer, ere the very first step towards the providing of that righteousness could be taken. And He has suffered, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; and thus the foundation of a divine righteousness has been laid. Again, it is called the righteousness of God, because it is a righteousness made up of time doings of the Son of God. It is not merely with His sufferings that this righteousness has to do, but it is with His doings as well. These two things enter into its composition, so that, without both of them, it would be imperfect. What He did on earth in magnifying the law and making it honourable; what He did on earth in obeying the Father’s will in every jot and tittle, makes up this righteousness. These doings of His were infinitely pleasing to the Father, infinitely glorifying to the Father’s holiness, and infinitely honouring to that law which our unrighteousness had violated and dishonoured.

Further, it is called the righteousness of God, because it provides such a compensation for human unrighteousness, that it not only takes it all away, but brings in a new and far higher and surer footing for the sinner to rest on. It introduces a new standing of acceptance, so that the man who becomes a partaker of this provided righteousness becomes divinely accepted, divinely righteous, divinely blessed. It is not a mere simple righteousness that God sets forth; it is a super abounding one, an infinite one, one which can leave no room for doubt on our part at all, one that is most amply sufficient to meet our case were we the very guiltiest on whom the sun has ever shone.

II. Secondly, it is a righteousness without the law. He does not mean that it is in any sense an unlawful righteousness,-a righteousness not based on law,-a righteousness, in providing which, law has been set aside in any sense; but it means a righteousness which, in so far as we are concerned, has nothing to do with law at all. It is not a righteousness which asks any doing, or working, or obeying, on our part, in order to complete it, in order to make it what it is-“the righteousness of God”; for did it require anything of this kind on our part, it would cease to be what it is here represented to be, “the righteousness of God,” and would become, to a large extent at least, “the righteousness of man.” This righteousness does not send us to the law in order to be justified; it does not throw us upon our own works, either in whole or in part; it proceeds from first to last upon such principles as these, announced elsewhere in this epistle, and in the Epistle to the Galatians: “By time deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.” And again, as it is written “To him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” In no sense, and at no time, does it say to us, “Do this, and thou shalt live; do this, and thou shalt be saved.” In no sense does it give us the idea of a thing far off, but of a thing nigh, at our very side; not of a thing to be toiled for, a thing to be waited for on our part. In no such sense has this righteousness anything to do with law, or with our doing of the law. For what is the whole of the Epistle to the Galatians but a protest against the idea that this righteousness of God has anything to do with the law, in so far as the sinner is concerned? In so far as God is concerned, in so far as the Son of God is concerned, it had everything to do with law; but in so far as we are concerned, it has nothing to do with it; it is a righteousness without the law. Let us, brethren, hold fast then this truth of the gospel, this foundation truth; righteousness without law, righteousness founded in no sense upon our keeping of the law; but wholly and absolutely upon this fact, that another has kept the law for us, and that other no less than the Son of God Himself.

III. Thirdly, This righteousness has been “manifested” acceptance. “Now,” he says, “the righteousness of God is manifested;” it has been clearly brought to light, so that there can be no mistake concerning it, and no mystery in it. It is not a thing hidden, wrapped up, reserved, held back, veiled from our view. It is a thing clearly brought out today, and shone upon by God’s own light, so that the difficulty seems to be, not how to see it, but how to miss seeing it, how to keep ourselves from apprehending it. It has been clearly manifested. God has been at infinite pains to bring it forward to view, both on our own account, and on account of Him whose righteousness it is. In every way He has sought to guard it against the possibility of being mistaken by man. In every way has He taken precautions against this being hidden from view, or darkened by the words of man’s wisdom. He has set this righteousness as a star in the firmament above us, that every eye may see it, that no mountains of earth may come between us and the heavenly vision; He has made it peculiarly bright, that every eye may be attracted to it. He has removed other stars from around it, that it may not be mistaken, but stand alone in its brilliance. It is to this star we point the eye of each sinner here; the Star of Bethlehem, the brightest in God’s firmament, the bright and morning star, the star which God has set there as His light to the world. He presents it to each one of you, that on recognizing it you may not walk in darkness, but have the light of life, and that, knowing it as it has been manifested, you may no longer stand in doubt as to your relationship with God, as to your personal acceptance. He so puts this righteousness at your disposal that you may come to Him in confidence, using it as if it were entirely your own.

IV. Fourthly, This righteousness is a righteousness “to which the law and the prophets bear witness.” By this expression, we understand the whole of the Old Testament. It is not something (he means to tell us) now come to light for the first time, not understood in the ages gone by; it is something which has been proclaimed from the beginning hitherto. To these oracles the eye of every saint, from Abel downward, has been directed; on this righteousness the feet of every saint from the beginning have stood; of this righteousness every prophet has spoken; to this righteousness every type has borne witness; and this righteousness every sacrifice has set forth. It is this Star which shone down upon the pilgrimage of Old Testament worthies, and in the light of which they walked. It is this Star which sheds light on every page of their history; it was to this Star that they, with one consent, age after age, pointed the eye of all around. They knew none but this; they cared for none but this; to them, as to those who believe now, Christ was “all and in all” On this righteousness they rested, in it they rejoiced. It is no new righteousness which we preach. It is no new foundation of which we tell. It is the old one, the well-proved one. It has been abundantly sufficient in past ages, and it has lost none of its efficiency now in these last days. It was enough for the saints in former ages, it is enough for us now. They who found salvation, ages and generations ago, found it here; and he who finds salvation now finds it also here.

V. Fifthly, This righteousness is a righteousness which is by the faith of Jesus Christ: “Even the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference.” He means to say by this expression, that it is a righteousness which comes to us by believing in Jesus Christ. It is not our faith that is our righteousness; it is not our act of believing that justifies. If your faith were your righteousness, then faith would be just reduced to the level of all other works, and would be itself a work. If it were our faith, our act of faith, that justified, then should we be justified by our own acts, by our own deeds. The expression, then “the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ,” means simply that it is a righteousness which passes over to us, and becomes available for us, by believing in Him whose righteousness it is; that is, by believing the Father’s testimony concerning Jesus Christ. It is by believing that we are identified with Him, so that His doing becomes our doing in the eye of God, and in the eye of the law; His suffering becomes our suffering; His fulfilling of the law becomes our fulfilling of the law; His obedience to the Father’s will is our obedience to the Father’s will. Such is the position into which we are brought by being made, in believing, one with Him. Thus “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ,” is presented to us, that in believing on Him, He may become ours. Righteousness is here laid down at our feet. It is there, whether we receive it or not. It is there, whether we believe it or not; whether we reject it or receive it. Your receiving it does not create it; your receiving it does not complete it; it is all created, it is all completed, it is all free, it is all at our feet, whether we take it or thrust it away; and our condemnation hereafter, if we be lost, will be not that there was no righteousness, not that we refused to complete a righteousness which had been begun, but that we rejected the righteousness which was completed, and which was so presented to us by God himself. It is in believing, or, as the apostle expresses it, by faith in Jesus Christ, that this righteousness, with all its privileges, and with all its results, passes over to us. For in believing, what are we saying but just this: “I have no works to bring to God; I am a sinner, but I take this work of the Son of God, and I ask to be dealt with by God according to its value, and just as if I had done the work, and not He.” Or, it is just as if we were saying, “I have no righteousness, seeing I am wholly a sinner; but I take this righteousness of the Son of God, and I draw near, expecting to be treated by God, just as if I and not He were the righteous person. I cannot present any suffering to Him in payment of penalty; bat I take this suffering of the Son of God, and I claim to have it reckoned to me as payment of my penalty.” Thus it is, “Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

VI. Sixthly, This righteousness is a righteousness for the unrighteous. It “is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” It is righteousness for the unrighteous. It is not righteousness for the good, but for the evil. It is not righteousness for the worthy, but for the unworthy. It is our unrighteousness that fits us for this righteousness. It is the evil that is in us that fits us for the excellency that is found in it. How foolish, then, to say as men, when convinced of sin, or when going back into former iniquity, are sometimes found saying, “I am too great a sinner to be for given.” Why, if you were not such a sinner, you would not need such a righteousness. It is the extent of your unrighteousness that fits you for a righteousness so infinite, so divine. If the righteousness were not the righteousness of God, if it were a human and not a divine righteousness, if finite and not infinite, your fear would be natural; but seeing it is divine not human, infinite, not finite, can anything be more foolish, more presumptuous, more profane, than to say, “My unrighteousness is too great for the righteousness of the Son of God”? This righteousness for the unrighteous is said by the apostle to be “unto all.” It is a righteousness which is like the sun in the heavens. It is one sun; yet it is enough for every one, it is free to every one. God works out a righteousness, and then sets it down on this fallen earth, that every one may avail himself of it. We are, therefore, not to say, Is this righteousness provided for this one or for that one, for many or for few? but there it is, there is the righteousness, go and take it. That is the gospel. Looking at the natural sun, do you ever think of asking, Is it for me, for this man or for that, the many or the few? You open your eye and enjoy its beams without asking any questions. Your making such inquiries would indicate a very unhealthy state of body; and so your asking such questions regarding God’s intention as proposed in this righteousness, indicates an unhealthy state of mind. To every sinner here, we preach the good news of this righteousness; a righteousness not only suitable and sufficient, but glorious and free; righteousness for the unrighteous; righteousness for the most unrighteous of the children of men.

Again, it is a righteousness which is “upon all them that believe”: It is “unto all”; but it is only “upon” them that believe. The moment that we believe through grace, we are accepted in the Beloved, redeemed from condemnation and from wrath. Till then the wrath of God abideth upon us. It is in believing that this righteousness is put upon us; and in believing what? In believing what God has testified concerning this righteousness, and concerning Him whose righteousness it is.

Again, the apostle affirms regarding this righteousness for the unrighteous, that “there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There is no difference as to its fitness for the sinner, whatever his sin may be; and there is no difference as to the fitness of the sinner for the righteousness. There is this twofold fitness: the fitness of the righteousness for the sinner, and the fitness of the sinner for the righteousness. “There is no difference”; there is no man more fit than another; all are equally fit or equally unfit, equally qualified or equally unqualified, for “all have sinned”; and it is this that brings down all to the same level, and down to this level it is that the righteousness comes. For it is not a righteousness which has only come down to a certain level,- which has lighted upon earth, but only upon some of its highest peaks; it is a righteousness which has come down to the very lowest valleys, a righteousness which may be found out without climbing, and even beside our very dwellings. No one, then, can say, “I deserve it, therefore it is for me”; and no one, on the other hand, can say, “I do not deserve it, therefore it is not for me.” There is no difference, for “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Thus it suits the case of all; so that no one can put it away, and say, “It does not suit my case, but it may suit others.” Nay, friend, if you are not an unrighteous man it will not suit you, I grant; but if you are an unrighteous man it must suit you. There is no question as to the kind of your unrighteousness, the length of time, the amount or degree; there is no question about that, the simple question is, Are you an unrighteous man? Then it suits your case. And it is a righteousness near to each one of you; it is not afar off: it is not in heaven above, so that you have to climb to the seat of God to obtain it; and it is not down so low that you must dig to earth’s center to find it: it is near, it is at your very side; and if you reject it, it cannot be because of its distance. God has brought it near. He ells you it is near. “I bring near my righteousness.” God says that; and who are you that you should say, It is far off? Nay, more, it is free,-“Without money and without price.” There is no payment asked; no payment can be taken. The very idea of payment is insulting to the righteousness, and insulting to Him whose righteousness it is. Yet many seek to buy it,-not perhaps by their gold and silver, but by other things equally worthless. Some would buy it by their penances and fastings, some by their confessions; some would buy it by their repentance, some by their prayers, some by their self-mortification and privations, some by their fair lives and excellent deeds.

It is righteousness for the unrighteous that we proclaim, the righteousness of God, a righteousness which has come down from heaven to earth on very purpose that it may be presented to you. It is God’s wish that you should take it. Do you refuse it? He hinders not. Where then lies the hindrance? In you, not in Him. The refusal will not be on His part; it must be on yours; and if you perish, you perish, not because He would not be reconciled to you, but because you would not be reconciled to Him; not because there was not a provided righteousness, but because you rejected it; not because there was not sufficient love in God to give you that righteousness, but because you willfully put away from you both the righteousness and the love.

 

 

 

From 2000 + Illustrations (Source Unknown)

     This is something that as a people, and as a country, we should give some thought to.  Definitely something to think about.

Extremes

Many times we are caught in the trap of running to extremes. God’s will has been revealed and needs to be understood the way God intended it to be.

The Pharisees had this problem. They even had everyday life defined to the point where it was hard for a person to live. On the Sabbath day, they had problems with different concepts such as “work.” On the Sabbath you were to cease from work, and the Pharisees decided to define what God intended by this. Here are a few examples:

  1. You could not turn over in bed more than seven times or that was considered work.
  2. If you wanted to borrow something from your neighbor, you could not put your hand through the threshold of the door to receive it, nor could the neighbor do that. This would be considered work. If you both met halfway, it was not considered work.

Jesus said in

Mat_15:6

, speaking to the Pharisees, “…And thus you invalidated the Word of God for the sake of your tradition.” For the sake of their definitions which they had made law, their extremes, they made void the Word of God. We laugh at the Pharisees and wonder how they could have been so ignorant. But if Jesus were here physically today, what would He say of us? Let us not run to extremes; let us seek what God intended and do it. Either extreme of a truth is no longer truth.