Christian: How dost thou believe?
Ignorance: I believe that Christ died for sinners; and that I shall be justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of my obedience to his laws. Or thus, Christ makes my duties, that are religious, acceptable to his Father by virtue of his merits, and so shall I be justified.
Christian: Let me give an answer to this confession of thy faith.
1. Thou believest with a fantastical faith; for this faith is nowhere described in the word.
2. Thou believest with a false faith; because it taketh justification from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own.
3. This faith maketh not Christ a justifier of thy person, but of thy actions; and of thy person for thy action’s sake, which is false.
4. Therefore this faith is deceitful, even such as will leave thee under wrath in the day of God Almighty: for true justifying faith puts the soul, as sensible of its lost condition by the law, upon flying for refuge unto Christ’s righteousness; (which righteousness of his is not an act of grace by which he maketh, for justification, thy obedience accepted with God, but his personal obedience to the law, in doing and suffering for us what that required at our hands;) this righteousness, I say, true faith accepteth; under the skirt of which the soul being shrouded, and by it presented as spotless before God, it is accepted, and acquitted from condemnation.I would like to point out something I noticed reading this time through the Pilgrim's Progress. WE are now Almost at the end of the book. For from the Enchanted Ground we enter Beulah Land, and from Beulah Land we cross the river and enter the Celestial City. WE ARE ALMOST THERE! Only a few pages remain, only a short distance to go. Yet, I note, John Bunyan, our dreaming allegorist, has at the end of his book taken several occassions now to plainly assert the gospel of Jesus Christ who is himself our righteousness. Plainly and repeatedly in these last pages have we read of the Representative Office of Jesus Christ, of Jesus's own Righteousness imputed to us who believe. -- DOES THIS UNDERLINE FOR YOU, as it does for me, that we NEVER out grow the gospel. We never move beyond it. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation at the beginning of our walk and ongoing and even up to the very end as we cross the river to the Celestial City.
And so we should learn to, Preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday.