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it will experience deliverance from the thraldom and guilt of sin, or, in the language of Scripture, ihe forgiveness of sins.
Psal. xxxiv. 18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalm cii. 17. He [the Lord) will regard the prayer
shall be written for the generation to come.
Isaiah lvii. 15. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Matt. xxi. 22. All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Luke xviii. 1. And he [Jesus] spake a parable unto them, to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint [Then follows (v. 2-5) the parable of the widow and unjust judge, after which our Saviour proceeds] 6. Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8. I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.
Col. i. 14. In whom [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
60th Q.-Does this forgiveness of sins flow from any merit in man, or from good works done by him?
A.-Certainly not, he is indebted for it solely to the mercy of God in Christ.
See the Proofs to the next Answer.
6 1st Q. Is not this what is sometimes called Justification ? .
A.-Yes, because the sinner's past transgressions being forgiven, he feels himself justified, through Christ, from the guilt he had imbibed by his former sins, so that they no longer impede his advancement towards that sanctification or justification * which constitutes the perfection of the Christian progress.
Rom. iii. 22. There is no difference: 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 21. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: 25. Whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
Eph. i. 7. In whom we have the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
Eph. ii. 4. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great Jove wherewith he loved us, 5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).
Rom. vi. 22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemna.' tion to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. i
* Justification as applied to the pardon of sin is used in a legal sense, but as applied to sanctification it is used in its strict and proper sense, which signities being made just or holy. For a full and clear explication of this important subject see Barclay's Apology, Prop. vii, on Justification.
624 Q.--Are we thus justified by our own righteousness ?
A.-We can have no righteousness of our own as creatures; but by the new birth, or regeneration, we are made one with Christ, as the branch with the vine ; so that his obedience and righteousness, his death, sufferings, and victory, become ours, not by an outward imputation, but by a real inward participation of his divine nature and righteousness; by which as we are sanctified, so are we justified.
Isaiah lxiv. 6. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
John xv. 4. As the branch cannot bear fruit of it. self, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5. I am the vine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John xvii. 20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: 21. That they all may be one, as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us.
1 John ii. 29. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
Rom. v. 17. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abund. ance of grace, and of the gift-of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous,
Rom. X. 3. For they [Israel] being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
1 Cor. i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteous. ness, and sanctification, and redemption : 31. That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
2 Cor. v. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Titus iii. 5. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; 6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
63d Q.-Should not the soul press after a further attainment in holiness, notwithstanding it may have known its sins forgiven ?
A.-Certainly it should, for though, in the state already described, it becomes a child of God, yet that state is comparable to infancy, in which the soul is inexperienced in the many snares and wiles of the enemy; but if it maintain the watch and persevere in its course, it will, after many conflicts and probations, arrive at the state of a young man in Christ, and obtain the victory over the wicked one..
1 John ii. 12. Lwrite unto you, little children, bem cause your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake..
Mark xiii. 37. What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.
1 Cor. ix. 24. Know ye not that they which run in à race, run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. 25. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things: Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.
Phil. iii. 8. I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all things.. 11. If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead: 12. Not as though I had already attained ; either were already perfect. 13. But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14. I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ..
2 Peter iii. 17. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Eph. vi. 10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
1 John ii. 14. I have written unto you, young nen, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
64th Q.-May not the soul which thus obtains the victory over sin, attain to a state of perfection, or freedom from sin ?
A.--Yes, for as the soul advances to a state of maturity in Christ, righteousness or holiness becomes, as it were, the element in