Monday, March 21, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress: The Just God Justly Justifies

Can you sing with our good friend Hopeful, O' for a 1000 Gallons of Blood to Spill...please read on for explanation.

Fearful of falling asleep in the Enchanted Ground, Christian and Hopeful discuss Hopeful's conversion. Christian now directs Hopeful to explain specifically how the Gospel effected his Spirit, "
This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed. But tell me particularly what effect this had upon your spirit."

Hopeful answers firstly:
It made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all the righteousness thereof, is in a state of condemnation.

The secondly:

"It made me see that God the Father though he be just, can justly justify the coming sinner."

Great sentence, the JUST GOD can JUSTLY JUSTIFY the COMING-SINNER! How can this be? How can God be JUST and YET JUSTIFY JUSTLY THE UNJUST?

For answer to this we look back in the conversation where first we see a number of scriptures linked together naturally by Hopeful as he lays out the Gospel he was bidden to believe:
" I thought, I saw the Lord Jesus looking down from heaven upon me, and saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31. But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner: and he answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Cor 12:9. Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing? And then I saw from that saying, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” John 6:35, that believing and coming was all one; and that he that came, that is, that ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, he indeed believed in Christ. Then the water stood in mine eyes, and I asked further, But, Lord, may such a great sinner as I am be indeed accepted of thee, and be saved by thee? And I heard him say, “And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. Then I said, But how, Lord, must I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be placed aright upon thee? Then he said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim 1:15. He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. Rom 10:4, and chap. 4. He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. Rom 4:25. He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Rev 1:5. He is the Mediator between God and us. 1 Tim 2:5. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. Heb 7:25. "

"From all which I gathered, that I must look for righteousness in his person, and for satisfaction for my sins by his blood: that what he did in obedience to his Father’s law, and in submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself, but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful."


3) He did what he did in obedience to his Father's law.

4) Submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself but for the one who believe on HIM....and be thankful.

BUT WAIT... there is more. Not only in the short space of our story do we have the GOSPEL succinctly stated, Penal Substitutionary Atonement wonderful described, biblical support detailed, but there is more......

NOW is the sanctifying power of the GOSPEL on display as Hopeful further describes the effects upon his soul.
"It made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came a thought into my heart before now that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ. It made me love a holy life, and long to do something for the honor and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus. Yea, I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus."

Bunyan I love you, I love you for the beautiful description, instruction, and counsel which again and again and again and again once more you pour into my ears and which by grace is sinking all the way down into my heart.
The effect of the gospel upon my soul is:
1) Make me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life.
2) Confounds me with a sense of mine own ignorance.
3) So great does the gospel show me the BEAUTY of Jesus Christ.
4) It makes me to LOVE a HOLY Life,
5) And puts in me to LONG to do for the HONOR and GLORY of the LORD JESUS.
6) Longing... IF only I had 1000 gallons of blood, I COULD spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.

The gospel has sanctifying power. Look not to the law for enablement and promise, it's not there. The gospel is the power of God unto Salvation. Rom 1:16.

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