Imputed Righteousness, a Cause for Happiness

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that “Christ is made unto us righteousness,” we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ hath done it all. On the cross he said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” You will not find on this side heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought–“Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love him and serve him, seeing that I am saved by his merits?” “The love of Christ constraineth us,” “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.” -Charles Spurgeon

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Sibbes: Christ’s Fullness of the Spirit vs. Ours

“And therefore he must needs have the Spirit in greatest abundance. His fullness of the Spirit is as the fullness of the fountain; ours is but as the fullness of the cistern. He hath grace in the spring; we have it but in the conduit. His graces are primitive; ours derivative. We have nothing but what we have received. Therefore it is said, ‘He hath the oil of gladness poured upon him above his fellows,’ Ps. 45:7.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom: The Excellency of Gospel above the Law

Kinds of Apostasy

“We make a distinction between de facto apostasy and de jure apostasy, between formal and material apostasy. Formal apostasy is when the church clearly and unequivocally denies an essential truth of the Christian faith. De facto apostasy is apostasy at a material or practical level, where the creeds are still intact but the church doesn’t believe the creeds anymore. The church undermines the very creeds that they say that they believe.” -R.C. Sproul, What is the Church?

The Difference Between Regeneration and Glorification

“the beginning of the Christian life is a new birth, not an immediate creation of the full grown man. But although the new life has not yet come to full fruition, the Christian knows that the fruition will not fail; he is confident that the God who has begun a good work in him will complete it unto the day of Christ; he knows that the Christ who has loved him and given Himself for him will not fail him now, but through the Holy Spirit will build him up unto the perfect man. That is what Paul means by living the Christian life by faith.” -J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

Machen: To Make Faith Merely Practical Is To Make it a Pathology

“Faith is the opinion that some person will do something for you. If that person really will do that thing for you, then the faith is true. If he will not do it, then the faith is false. In the latter case, not all the benefits in the world will make the faith true. Though it has transformed the world from darkness to light, though it has produced thousands of glorious healthy lives, it remains a pathological phenomenon. It is false, and sooner or later it is sure to be found out.” -J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism