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Knowing that we have the greatest news on earth should motivate us to get up and share, invite, and engage those who may not know Jesus. …
— Read on tabletalkmagazine.com/posts/2018/07/the-call-to-evangelism-made-simple/

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The Characteristics of the Overcoming Life

1. The Meaning of this life – An Exchanged Life, Not a Changed Life

Victory has to do with an exchanged life, not a changed life. Victory does not mean that one is changed, but rather that one is exchanged. 

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God. 

It is means that our life is exchanged. 

Our life is no longer in the realm of “I”; it has nothing to do with us anymore. It is not an evil “I” being changed to a good “I”.

The greatest mistake we make today is to think that victory involves progress and that defeat involves the absence of progress.  This is why we think that everything will be well if we do not lose our temper or if we have an intimate fellowship with Gid. We think that if we have these things, we will overcome. 

We have to remember that victory has nothing to do with us. We play no part in this victory. 

A man who has a bad temper and is morally corrupt needs to believe in the Lord Jesus. A man who has a good temper and is very moral also needs to believe in the Lord Jesus. 

It is not just ill-tempered and immoral ones who need victory; well-tempered and moral ones also need victory. 

Victory is Christ; it has nothing to do with us. 

If it is up to you, you could not make it. But if is up to Christ, He can make it. The question is whether it is you or Christ who overcomes. If Christ overcomes, it would not matter if you were ten times worse than you are now. 

What is victory? Victory is not you overcoming by yourself. It is Christ overcoming for you. 

Gal 2:20 it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. 

Christ’s meekness becomes my meekness. His holiness becomes my holiness. His prayer life becomes my prayer life. His fellowship with God my fellowship with God. 

There is no sin too great for me to overcome. There is no temptation too great for me and overcome. Victory is Christ; it is no longer I!

2. The Principle of this life – A Gift, not a reward

Victory is a gift; it is not a reward. 

A gift is a present; it is something freely given. What we receive as a result of work is a reward. What we freely receive without doing any work is a gift. 

It has nothing to do with what we have done, and we do not have to exert any effort to get it. The former requires our work; we must strive for it before we can have it. 

The overcoming life does not require our effort. 

1 Cor 15:57 thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory is something that God has prepared and given to us. Our victory comes to us free of charge; we do not have to earn it by our own effort. 

A great mistake is to think that salvation comes to us freely, while victory comes to us as a result of our own effort. 

We know we cannot trust in any merit or any work of our own for salvation. We simply need to come to the cross and receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior. This is the gospel. 

While we think that salvation does not require our works, we also think that we should have good works after we are saved. Even though we do not try to be saved through works, we try to overcome through works. 

Just as one cannot be saved through good works, one cannot overcome through good works. 

God says that we cannot have any good works at all. Christ has died for us on the cross, and he is living for us within us. 

We cannot do good. We cannot produce any amount of good.

Victory is a gift from him; it is something freely given to us!

1 Cor 15:56-57 speaks of sin, the law, and death. And God giving us the victory. 

Victory is a matter not only of overcoming sin, but also of overcoming the law and death. The redemption that God has prepared enables us to overcome not only sin but also the law, and it enables us to overcome not only the law but also death. 

The meekness of the Lord Jesus is yours for free. The holiness of the Lord Jesus is yours for free. The Lord’s prayer is yours for free. Everything of the Lord is yours for free. 

As soon as you received the Lord Jesus, all that is of the Lord’s becomes yours. 

You may think that you have to arrive in order to pray unceasingly. You may think that you have to strive for uninterrupted fellowship with God. 

You may think that you have to strive in order to control your temper. You can confess your sins, but you cannot stop from committing these sins. 

I have a gospel for you today! God has given you the holiness of the Lord Jesus for free, the endurance of the Lord Jesus for free, the perfection, the love, and the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus for free. 

God gives to you the intimate fellowship that Christ enjoys with God. He gives you the holy life that Christ lives, and He gives you the beauty of the perfection of Christ. 

These are gifts. If you tried to overcome by yourself, you could not change even if you tried for another twenty years, your temper would not change, and your pride would still be with you. 

This salvation makes Christ’s endurance your endurance. It makes Christ’s holiness your holiness, and Christ’s fellowship with God your fellowship with God. It makes all of Christ’s virtues your virtues. 

Have you ever seen a sinner trying to save himself with his works? 

You can tell him that he does not need to do anything because Christ has done it all. God has given him the Lord Jesus. All he has to do is receive Him. 

You do not need to do anything; Christ has done it all for you. God has given Christ to you. All you have to do is receive. Once you receive, you will overcome. 

Just as salvation does not depend on your work, because it is free grace from God, victory does not depend on your work, because it is free grace from God. 

Salvation does not require any of your own effort. Similarly, victory does not require any of your own effort. 

Romans 6:14 for sin will not lord it over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. 

Being under the law is for God to demand man to do something for God. Being under the law means for us to do something for God. 

Being under grace means that God is doing something for man, for us. 

If we have to do something for God, the result will be sin lording it over us. The wages of our work is the lording over of sin. If God is doing something for us, sin will not be able to lord it over us. 

Under the law, we work. Under grace, God works. When God works, sin will not lord it over us. When God works, there will be victory. 

Everything that comes as a result of our own effort is not victory. Victory is something that comes free. 

The principle of overcoming is the principle of grace; it is not the principle of reward. Once you receive this gift, every problem will be solved. 

3. The way to receive this life – obtained, not attained. 

To obtain is to acquire something. To attain is to go through a long journey, to advance gradually, and there is no assurance of when he will arrive. 

Christian victory is not a gradual process. 

Everything related to the Holy Spirit is received, and everything related to victory is received. 

Romans 5:17 by the offence of the one death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 

Victory is a gift and we only have to receive. Victory is not something that is attained through a gradual process. Victory is a gift that is placed in our hand; no effort is required. 

1 Cor 1:30 but if Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 

God has made Christ three things to us: (1) righteousness, (2) sanctification, and (3) redemption. 

When did God make Christ our righteousness? God made Christ our righteousness when Christ died on the cross. We received the Lord Jesus as our righteousness at that time. 

As soon as we believe, we receive. 

Receiving the Lord as our righteousness was instantaneous. In the same way, receiving the Lord as our sanctification is also instantaneous. 

What is there difference between obtaining and attaining ? One is instantaneous, while the other is gradual. 

4. The receiving of this life – a miracle. 

Phil 2:13 for it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure 

It is God who causes us to work out everything. God is operating in us to make us holy. We do not have to exert our own effort, because everything is accomplished through God working in us. 

Man’s way is to suppress sin. But God’s way is to perform a miracle by removing the old man and cleansing the heart altogether. 

It was a miracle! There is no struggling and no striving. The cravings are gone, and even the desire for sin is gone. 

5. The result of this life – a life of expression, not a lifestyle suppression. 

Phil 2:12 work out your own salvation. 

In the past we tried to hide ourselves as much as possible. Now the victory of Christ expresses itself. It is expressible. In the past he more we suppressed, the better it was. Now the more we express, the better it was bchrist lives within us, and we live Him out before men. 

The Christian Life As Revealed In The Bible

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.

The Experience of Failure

When we were saved, the grace of God filled our hearts with joy.

At that time, our life was filled with hope; we thought that from that point on, all our sins would be under our feet. We thought, henceforth, we could overcome everything. At that time we were saved, we thought that no temptation was too great for us to overcome and no difficulty was too much for us to surmount.

However, that wonderful condition did not last, and that wonderful hope did not materialise. The sins that we thought were gone suddenly came back.

Our former temper came back. Pride returned, and our old jealousy flared up once more. We may have tried to read the bible but to no avail. We may have prayed, but the sweet taste was no longer there. Gone was the former zeal for lost souls. Love began to wane.

Daily we lived in misery. This is the common experience of many Christians.

One one hand, temptations, pride, jealousy, and temper return. On the other hand, we endeavour to suppress ourselves.  As soon as these sins come back, we struggle to suppress them and stop them from manifesting themselves.

Shortly after they are saved, either they consciously suppress their sins, or they resign themselves to the thought that victory is impossible.

I would like to ask you a question before God: When the Lord Jesus went to the cross, did he expect us to have the kind of experience we have today? When he was crucified on the cross, did he know that our life would be victorious one day and defeated the next?

Are his accomplishments on the cross insufficient to make us serve him in holiness and righteousness? Did he shed his blood on the cross only with a view to deliverance from the punishment of hell, without a view to deliverance from the pain of sin?

Is his blood shed on the cross only sufficient to save us from the coming eternal pain of sin, without saving us from the pain of sin today?

The Lord has accomplished everything on the cross! When he was on the cross, he dealt not only with the pain of hell but also with the pain of sin…not only of the pain of the punishment of sin but also of the pain of the power of sin.

Not only Christ take care of the suffering of hell; he also took care of the suffering of sin.

His redemptive work has given us not only the position and basis to be saved in a shallow way, but also the position and basis to be am saved to the uttermost.

We do not have to live the way we do today.

There is a gospel for sinners and a gospel for “Christian sinners”! The gospel for Christian sinners is preached in the same way the cross was preached to us before.

The God-Ordained Christian Life

1. A Life That Is Free from all sins

Matthews 1:21 says, “And she shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins.”

He will save his people from their sins. This is God’s ordination. This isJesus’ accomplishment.

The question now is whether we are still living in sin or whether we are delivered from it? Does our old temper come back to plaque us? Are we still bound by our sins and entangled by our thoughts?

However, even though we have believed, we are not yet saved from sin; we still live in sin. Is the bible wrong? No, there is nothing wrong with the bible; it is our experience that is wrong.

2. A Life that is in Intimate Fellowship with God

Luke 1:69, 74-75

He has delivered us out of the hand of the enemies.

After he has delivered us out of the hand of the enemies…we will only serve him in righteousness and holiness sometimes? His Word says that we should serve him in holiness and righteousness all our days.

3. A Life that is Fully Satisfied in the Lord

John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water gushing up into eternal life.

4. A Life that affects others

John 7:37-38 out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water

5. A Lofe that is free from the power of sin

Acts 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, has sent him to bless you in turning each of you away from your wicked deeds

One basic experience of a Christian should be deliverance from sin.

By the power of the Lord, we should overcome all these sins.

Romans 6:1-4 a Christian is dead to sin

Everyone who is baptised should walk in the newness of life.

Romans 6:14 for sin shall not lord over you, for you are not under the law but under grace

Victory is the experience of ordinary Christians. Every saved Christians is under grace.

6. A Life that overcomes all environments

Romans 8:35-37 who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? .. But in all these things we more than conquer..

Victory is the normal experience of a Christian; defeat should be the abnormal experience.

2 Cor 2:14 but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triump in the Christ…

A Christian life is one they overcomes all ththe time.

7. A Life with the ability to do good

Eph 2:8-10 God saves us in order that we may do good.

Every good work of a Christian should be accompanied by an overflow of joy; we should not be stingy, boastful, or selfish, but generous and ready to give to others.

8. A Life filled with light

John 8:12

9. A Life that is wholly sanctified

1 Thess 5:23


Many Christians are afraid that God will trouble them. There was a Christian who was very afraid of consecrating himself to God. He said, “If I offer up myself to God, what will happen if He sends sufferings to me?”

I said to him in a serious way, “What kind of God do you think our God is? If a disobedient child becomes yielding and tells his parents that he will be obedient to them from now on, do you think that the parents will purposely ask him to do what he cannot do? Do you think that the parents will make him suffer on purpose? If they do, they are no longer his parents but his judge. If they are truly his parents, they will surely care for their child. Do you think that God will give him sufferings on purpose? Do you think that God will play tricks on you on purpose? 

You have forgotten that are is your Father!

– Watchman Nee

Our Experience

I find then the law with me who wills to do good, that is, the evil is present with me. Romans 7:21

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The Life that God has ordained for a Christian 

The bible shows us that Gid has ordained for every Christian a life that is filled with joy. This life is completely at peace, has no barriers in its fellowship with God, and is not contrary to His will in any way.

The life that Gid has prepared for a Christian is one that does not thirst after the world. It walks apart from sin and is victorious over sin.

It is holy, powerful, and victorious. It knows the will of God and fellowships with Gid without interruption.

God has ordained a life that is hidden with Christ in God. What can touch this life? What can affect or shake this life? Just as Christ is unshakable, we also are unshakable.

Out standing before God is the same as Christ’s standing before God. We should never consider that we are destined for weakness and failure.

Colossians 3:4 “Christ our life.” Christ is far above everything. Nothing can touch him.

God has given us such a high life, but we live a life of failure. A Christian has eight types of failures (sin)..

1. Spiritual Sins

Pride is a spiritual sin. Jealousy is a spiritual sin. Unbelief is a spiritual sin. Picking out others’ mistakes is a spiritual sin. Doubting God is a spiritual sin, and failure to commit ourselves to God is also a spiritual sin.

2. Sins of the Flesh

Adultery is a sin of the flesh, undisciplined eyes are a sin of the flesh, and improper relationships with others are also sin of the flesh.

3. Sins of the Mind

Some have wondering thoughts. Others have circumventing thoughts. Some have unstable thoughts. Some thoughts are..unclean or illusionary. Some are filled with doubts. Others are obsessed with a drive for knowledge. They want to know everything, and they will not stop until they do.

4. Sins in the Body

Some pay too much attention to eating. Others pay too much attention to sleeping. Some pay too much attention to health or to personal grooming. Some are bound by the habit of indulging ins acts. Some love their bodies too much.

1 Cor 9:27 Paul said, “I buffet my body and make it my slave.”

5. Sins in Disposition 

Disposition is related to a man’s character. It is his personal traits.

Some are born stubborn. Others are born very legalistic. For them, two plus two must be four. They are very proper, but at the same time, they are very rigid.

They are very unbending… They are always the supreme judge.

They are often very righteous, but their righteousness has horns. They lack gentleness and sweetness towards the brothers. Their righteousness is hard and unbending. This also is sin.

Others are too weak. They are afraid of bearing any responsibility.

Some are misled to think that a nice man is a holy man. But how many nice men has God used?

Some like to exhibit themselves. Wherever they are, they want to be noticed. Wherever they go, they  always want to speak. They can never be quiet.

Some brothers are withdrawn. They always sit in a corner. This is also sin.

Some brothers are very quick (lose temper). Others are very slow.. A matter can go unattended for a day or for ten days. This is laziness.

Some are very severe toward others. They antagonise situations. Everything is important to them.

They never hurt others, but if others hurt them, they will take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They are very calculating and never let anything go.

Some are very mean. They take advantage of others even it is only a matter of a few pennies. They do not rob others, but they take advantage even of their servants or chauffeurs.

6. No Willingness to Obey God’s Word

Being negligent before God in our intention to obey his word is also a sin.

How many Christians realise that being sorrowful is sin? The bible says that we have to always rejoice. How many Christians obeyed this commandment?

Everyone who does not rejoice has sinned.

God’s commandment is to be anxious in nothing. Being sorrowful and anxious is sin.

We should give thanks in everything.

7. Failure to Render to God what he requires

God requires that we consecrate ourselves absolutely to him. He requires that we consecrate our wives and children to him. He also requires that we consecrate our business entirely to him. He requires that we consecrate all our money to him.

8. Regarding Iniquity and refusing to repent of sins that should be confessed 

Gal 4:1-7 The Adoption of Sons

When Christ should come, who by His coming should put an end to the time of the law and begin the time of grace.

The time of the time ended in two ways:

First, by the coming of Christ in the flesh, at the time appointed by the Father.

Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Heb 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Second, the same Christ, who came once at the time appointed, comes also to us daily and hourly in Spirit.

Indeed, once with His own blood He redeemed and sanctified us; but because we are not yet perfectly pure (for the remnants of sin yet cleave to our flesh), which strives against the Spirit), therefore daily He comes to us spiritually.

The law threatens punishment to transgressors. If they feared not the law, there is no mischief. They would not commit.

Over those whom the law bridles, it rules and reigns. Again, it accused us, terrified us, killed us, and condemned us spiritually and before God. This was the chief dominion that the law had over us.

Men’s conscience, before Christ comes, are oppressed by the servitude of the law.

This oppression is not continual, but must only endure until the time of grace. Gal 3:24

The coming of Christ profits not the careless, the hypocrites, the wicked condemners of God.

His coming only profits those who with a sure trust come to Christ the throne of grace, who has redeemed them from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them, and so obtain mercy, and find grace. Heb 4:16

The elements or rudiments of the world, Paul here refers to the law of God.

The law, Paul calls it the letter that kills, the ministry of death, and the power of sin – to admonish us, that in the terrors of sin, wrath, and the judgment of God we trust not to our own righteousness or to the righteousness of the law, seeing that the law can do nothing but accuse us.

This diminishing of the law must be applied to the conflict of conscience, and not to the civil life, nor to careless minds.

He calls the law “the elements of the world,” that is, the outward laws and traditions written in a book.

Although the law civilly bridles a man from evil, and constrains him to do well – it does not deliver him from sin; it justifies him not, it prepares not a way for him to heaven, but leaves him in the world.

I do not obtain righteousness because I break not the forbidding commandments, “Thou shalt not murder,” etc.

Outward virtues and honest conversation are not the Kingdom of Christ nor the heavenly righteousness, but the righteousness of the flesh and of the world; which also the Gentiles had, and not meritmongers, as in the time of Christ, the Pharisees.

The law gives us no lively, no healthful, no divine or heavenly thing, but only worldly things.

Paul speaks in contempt of the ceremonial laws; which though they profit ever so much, consist only in outward things, as meat, drink, apparel, places, times, the Temple, the feasts, washings, sacrifices, etc, which are but worldly things although ordained of God for the use of this present life, but not to justify or save before God.

So the emperor’s laws are rudiments of the world, for they deal with this present life, as of possessions, iheritances, murders, adulteries, robberies, etc.

The law of Moses gives nothing but worldly things; that is, it shows civilly and spiritually, the evils that in the world.

In its true use, it drives the conscience to seek after the promise of God and to look unto Christ.

You need the aid of the Holy Spirit who may say in your heart: It is not the will of God that you only be terrified and killed, but that when you are brought by the law to the knowledge of your misery and damnation, you should not despair, but believe in Christ. Rom 10:4

Here all laws cease, and heavenly things begin now to appear.

The law says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God”: but that I may be able to do so, or to apprehend Christ, this the law cannot give.

Paul was treating the matter of justification..

We cannot speak basely enough of the law when on this matter.

When the conscience is in this conflict she should think of nothing, know nothing, but Christ only and alone.

Learn here, then, to speak of the law as contemptuously as you can in the matter of justification, by the example of the Apostle, who called it the rudiments of the world, pernicious tradition, the strength of sin, the ministry of condemnation, etc.

If you allow the law to rule in your conscience when you stand before God, wrestling against sin and against death, then the law does nothing but set forth God as an angry Judge who rejects and condemns sinners.

If you are wise, you will banish this stuttering, stammering Moses far from you.

The law and Christ are two contrary things, whereof the one cannot abide the other.

Let Christ reign alone in peace, and joy, and life, that the conscience may repose joyfully in Christ, without any feeling of the law, sin, and death.

The law is holy and just and good, and that it is also the ministry of condemnation, sin, and death, but in different respects.

Before Christ, it is holy; after Christ, it is death.

Therefore, when Christ is come, we ought to know nothing at all the law, unless it is in this respect, that it has power and dominion over the flesh to bridle it and to keep it under. Here is a conflict between the law and the flesh as long as we live.

2 Cor 3:6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law..

John 12:47

We may boldly and with all confidence say: O law, you have no power over me; therefore, you accuse and condemn me in vain. For I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom the Father sent into the world to redeem us miserable sinners oppressed with the tyranny of the law. He gave us life, He shed His blood for me. There, feeling your terrors and threatenings, O law, I plunge my conscience in the wounds, blood, death, resurrection and victory of my Savior, Christ. Besides Him I will see nothing, hear nothing.
This faith is our victory, whereby we overcome the terrors of the law, sin, death, and all evils, and yet not without great conflicts.

The law executed upon Him all the jurisdiction it had over us. It accuses and terrifies us; it makes us subject to sin, death, the wrath of God, and with His sentence condemns us.

Eph 2:3 We are all sinners, and by nature the children of wrath.

1 Peter 2:22 Christ did no sin..

The law made Him guilty before God of the sins of the whole world.. It condemned Him to death, even to the death of the Cross.

If we believe, we are delivered from the law through Christ, who has triumphed over it by Himself (Col 2:15). Therefore, this glorious triumph, purchased for us by Christ, is not gotten by any works, but only by faith; therefore, faith alone justifies.

These words, Christ “made under the law,” declare that the Son of God did not only perform one or two works of the law, that is, He was not ony circumcised or presented in the Temple..or lived civilly under the law, but He suffered all the tyranny of the law.

For the law set upon Christ and so horribly assailed Him that He felt such anguished as no man on earth had ever felt the like.

This His bloody sweat sufficiently witnesses, His comfort ministered by angels, that mighty prayer that He made in the garden, and that lamentable complaint upon the Cross. These things He suffered to redeem those that were under the law.

For, an touching the flesh, we sin daily against the commandment of God.

For Moses, the minister of the law, sin, wrath, death, apprehended, bound, condemned, and killed Christ; and all this He suffered.

He made Himself subject to the law, bearing the condemnation of the law, He delivered us from the curse thereby.

Now, whereas Christ, in the gospel, gives commandments, and teaches the law, or rather expounds it, this pertains not to the doctrine of justification, but to good works.

And after Christ’s death the writing of His last testament was opened; that is to say, the promised blessing of Abraham was preached among all nations dispersed throughout the whole world.

This was the last will and testament of God, the great testator, confirmed by the death of Christ.

They say, unless you are circumcised and keep the law, and do works and suffer many things, you cannot be saved. This is not the last will and testament of God.

Gal 3:16. He calls the promises of God by a new name: a testament (cf. v 17 covenant).

The promise is nothing but a testament, not yet revealed but sealed up. A testament is not a law, but a donation or free gift.

Heirs look not for a law..or any burdens to be laid upon them by a testament, but they look for the inheritance.

The promises are made to Abraham, not in all his descendants or in many seeds, but in one seed, which is Christ.

Gal 3:17. The law was given 430 years after this promise was made, and it could not make the promise void and unprofitable; for the promise is the testament of God, confirmed by God Himself in Christ, so many years before the law.

Why then was the law added?

That men being kept and shut up under the law might sigh and groan for their deliverance through the seed of Abraham, which is Christ, who only could and should bless, that is to say, deliver all nations from sin and everlasting death.

Moreover, the ceremonies commanded in the law foreshadowed Christ.

So the law does not abolish the promise, but faith in the promise destroys the law, so that it cannot increase sin any more, terrify sinners, or bring them into desperation.

The law cannot abolish the promise; therefore, that promise made to Abraham, 430 years before the law, remains firm and constant.

Abraham did not obtain righteousness before God through the law. For there was as yet no law.

If there were yet no law, then was there neither work nor merit. What then? Nothing else but the mere promise.

This promise Abraham believed, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

By the same means then that the father obtained this promise, the children also obtain it and retain it.

So say we at this day: our sins were purged by the death of Christ, years ago, when there were yet no religious orders, no canon or rule of penance. We cannot then now begin to abolish the same by our own works and merits.

These two things, the promise and the law, must be diligently distinguished.

You will walk safely between them both, in the heaven of the promise, and in the earth of the law.

In spirit you walk in the paradise of grace and peace; in the flesh you walk in the earth of works and suffering.

If you confuse and mingle these two together, and place the law in the conscience and the promise of liberty in the flesh, you will not know what the law, what the promise, what sin, or what righteousness is.

Paul foresaw in spirit that this mischief should creep into the Church, that the promise should be mingled with the law, and so the promise should be utterly lost.

Therefore, separate the promise far from the law.

When the law comes and accuses your conscience, you may say: “Law, you come too soon; wait 430 years, and then come back.. I have nothing to do with you; I hear you not. For now I live with the believing Abraham, or rather, since Christ is now revealed and given to me, I live in Him who is my righteousness, who also has abolished you, O law.”

Let Christ be always before eyes as a sure summary of all arguments for the defense of the faith against the righteousness of the flesh, against the law, and against all works and merits whatever.

Lev 18:5; Gal 3:10; 1 Cor 15:56 (the strength of sin is the law).

Gal 3:18. Cf Rom 4:14

The law is a thing far differing from the promise.

The law requires and exacts of us our works, the promise of the seed offers us the spiritual and everlasting benefits of God, and that freely for Christ’s sake.

We obtain the inheritance or blessing through the promise, and not through the law.

When we teach that a man is justified without the law and works, the question necessarily follows: why then was the law given?

Why does God charge us and burden us with the law, if it does not justify?

Gal 3:19 the law was added for transgressions ..

The Jews thinks Paul abolishes the law. He must be a blasphemer against God who gave the law ..

Let us live as Gentiles who have no law; let us sin and live in sin “that grace may abound.” This happened to Paul, and it happens to us today.

When common people hear that righteousness comes by the sole grace of God through faith only, without the law, and without works, they think: If the law does not justify, then let us work nothing; and this do they truly perform.

This impiety vexes us very much, but we cannot remedy it.

What marvel is it if the world similarly accuse us this day? Let it accuse us, let it slander us, let it persecute us and spare not; yet we must not hold our peace, but speak freely, that afflicted consciences may be delivered out of the snares of the devil.

We must not regard the foolish people, in that they abuse our doctrine; for whether they have the law, or not, they cannot be reformed.

We must consider how afflicted consciences may be comforted, that they perish not with the multitude.

When Paul saw that some resisted his doctrine, and others sought the liberty of the flesh and thereby became worse, comforted himself: that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ, sent to preach the faith of God’s elect; and that he must suffer all things for the elect’s sake, that they might obtain salvation.

We do not teach that the law is unprofitable.
The law is good, if a man rightly use it, that is, if he uses the law as the law.

This is the general opinion throughout the whole world that righteousness is gotten through the works of the law.

They that trust in their own righteousness think to pacify the wrath of God by their worship and voluntary religion.

Therefore, this opinion of the righteousness of the law is the sink of all evils, and the sin of sins of the whole world.

As things are distinct, so are their uses distinct.

Let everything serve in due place and order. Let the sun shine by day, and the moon by night. Let the sea give fishes, the earth grain..

In like manner let not the law usurp the office and use of another – of justification, but let it leave this only to grace, to the promise, and to faith.

What then is the office of the law? Transgressions.

20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass .. Rom 5:20 ESV

There is a double use of the law.

One is civil: for God has ordained civil law to punish transgressions. Every law is given to restrain sin.

Fear the prison, the sword, and the hangman.

The restraining from sin is not righteousness, but rather a sign of unrighteousness.

The first use of the law is to bridle wickedness.

Another use of the law, moral and spiritual, which is to increase transgressions – to reveal unto a man his sin, his blindness, his misery, his iniquity, his ignorance, hatred and contempt of God, death, hell, judgment, and the deserved wrath of God.

See Romans 7.

If anyone is not a murderer, an adulterer or a thief, and outwardly refrains from sins, as the Pharisees did, he would swear that he was righteous, and therefore conceives an opinion of righteousness, and presumes on his good works and merits.

There abides in him incomprehensible pride, presumption, security, hatred of God, contempt for His grace and mercy, ignorance of the promises and of Christ.

The preaching of free remission of sins, through Christ, cannot enter into the heart of such one, neither can he feel any taste or savor thereof; for that adamant wall of the presumption of righteousness resists it.

God needed a mighty hammer, that is, the law, which is in its proper office when it accuses and reveals sin.

The law is God’s hammer, His fire, His mighty strong wind, and that terrible earthquake rending the mountains and breaking the rocks – the proud and obstinate hypocrites.

Jer 23:29

The terrible show and majesty wherein God gave His law in Mount Sinai represented the use of the law.

They gloried and said, “We are the people of God. We will do all those things which the Lord our God hath commanded” (Exo 19:8).

Moreover, Moses did sanctify the people, and bade them wash their garments, refrain from their wives, and prepare themselves..

Exo 20:19; Deut 4:24; 5:24-26; 18:16

They were afraid and standing afar off .. “Lest we die, and this great fire consume us.”

What did their washing and purifying profit them? Nothing at all.

The law of God has proper and peculiarly that office which it had then in Mount Sinai .. It brought that holy people into such a knowledge of their own misery that they were cast down even to desperation and the fear of death.

No purifying could help them, but theirs was such feeling of their own uncleanness and sin, and of the judgment and wrath of God..

Here I warn all such as fear God, and especially such as shall become teachers of others, that they learn out of Paul to understand the true and proper use of the law, which I fear, after our time, will be trodden underfoot, and abolished by the enemies of the truth.

The law is a light which shows and reveals, not the grace of God, not righteousness and life, but sin, death, the wrath and judgment of God.

For the terrors of Sinai did not rejoice and comfort the children of Israel, but appalled and astonished them, and showed them how unable they were, with all their purifyings, to abide the majesty of God..

The law, when in its true office, does nothing else but reveal sin, accuse and terrify men so that it brings them to the brink of desperation.

The gospel is a light which lightens, quickens, comforts..

For it shows that God, for Christ’s sake, is merciful to sinners if they believe that by His death they are delivered from the curse – from sin and everlasting death; that is to say, grace, forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and everlasting life.

Thus, putting a difference between the law and the gospel, we give to them both their own proper use and office.

Augustine understood this difference and showed it. Jerome and others knew it not.

There was a strange silence for many years about this difference, and this brought men’s consciences into great danger.

Unless the gospel is plainly discerned from the law, the true Christian doctrine cannot be kept sound and uncorrupt.

If this difference is well known..then it is an easy matter to discern faith from works and Christ from Moses.

For all things without Christ are the ministers of death for the punishing of the wicked.

Sin is not only known and revealed by the law, it is also stirred up and increased by the law. Rom 7:13

If the law does not justify, to what end does it serve?

First, it civilly restrains such as carnal, rebellious, and obstinate.

Also, it is a mirror that shows a man he is a sinner, guilty of death, and worthy of God’s indignation and wrath.

So then the law is a minister that prepares the way to grace. For God is the God of the humble, the afflicted, the oppressed, and those who are brought to nothing.

His nature is to exalt the humble, to feed the hungry..to justify sinners..to save the lost.

Christ came into the world not to break the bruised reed..but to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the contrite and to preach forgiveness to the captives.

The foolishness of man’s heart is so great that when the law has done its office and terrified his conscience, he does not only lay hold upon the doctrine of grace, but seeks more laws to satisfy and quiet his conscience.

Unless you send Moses away, with his law, and in these terrors lay hold upon Christ, who died for your sins, there is no salvation for you.

The law is not only to reveal sin and convict us of it, but also to drive men to Christ. This use of the law the Holy Ghost sets forth in the gospel, where He witnesses that God is present with the afflicted and brokenhearted, and we hear Christ’s voice saying to us, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28

The whole world is an enemy to the law, and hates it. But the law is holy, righteous and good, and is the perfect rule of the will of God. How then can he be righteous who does not only abhor the law and fly from it, but, moreover, is an enemy of God, the author of the law?

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

It is extreme madness so to hate God and His law that you cannot stand to hear it and yet affirm that we are made righteous thereby.

The deeper the law pierces and the longer it continues, the more it increases hatred and blasphemy against God.

We are the offenders; God with His law is the offended. And the offense is such that God cannot pardon it, neither can we satisfy it. Therefore, between God and us, there is terrible discord.

God cannot revoke His law. We who have transgressed the law cannot fly from the presence of God. Christ therefore has set Himself as a mediator between the two that are quite contrary, and separate with an infinite and everlasting separation, and has reconciled them together.

And how has He done it?

Colossians 2:14 KJV
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross

In the matter of justification, the law ought to be utterly removed out of our sight. Also this word, mediator, proves the law justifies not; or why should we need a mediator?

The principal point of the law in true Christian theology is to make men not better, but worse – it shows them their sin, that by the knowledge thereof, they may be humbled, bruised and broken, and by this means driven to comfort, and so come to that blessed Seed, Christ.

Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid..

The law justifies not. Shall we then take away the law? No, not so.. It brings men into the knowledge of themselves. It discovers and increases sin.

The law in its chief office, it humbles a man, and so makes him sigh and groan and seek the hand and aid of the Mediator, to find His mercy..

Matt 11:28; John 7:37; Ps 147:3

There is no law, whether man’s or God’s, that gives life. Gal 3:21

The law is not given to justify, to give life, and to save, but only to kill and destroy.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin..that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ..

Without faith in Christ are and abide under sin, death, and damnation.

Only faith justifies.

Rom 3:20 by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The promise is the inheritance itself or the blessing promised to Abraham – deliverance from the law, sin, death, and the devil, and a free giving of grace, righteousness, salvation and eternal life.

This promise is not obtained by any merit, by any law, or by any work, but it is given. To whom? To those who believe. In whom? In Jesus Christ.

Works done without faith, although they have ever so goodly a show of holiness, are under sin and the curse.. They heap sin upon sin.

Gal 3:23 before faith came, we were kept under the law..

Because man is proud, and dreams that he is wise, righteous, and holy, it is necessary that he should be humbled by the law so that this beast, the presumption of righteousness, might be slain; otherwise, man cannot obtain life.

Where there is no fear of God, there can be no thirsting for grace or life.

A Christian is divided into two times. In that he is flesh, he is under the law; in that he is spirit, he is under grace.

Concupiscence, covetousness, ambition, and pride do always cleave to the flesh. Such types of sin are rooted in the flesh of the faithful. The law is not perpetual, but has an end, which is Jesus Christ. But the time of grace is eternal.

In 1 Tim 1:9 Paul declares that the law is not given for the righteous, but for the unrighteous and rebellious.

Now of the unrighteous there are two sorts, they who are to be justified, and they who are not to be justified.

They who are not to be justified must be bridled by the civil use of the law, they must be bound with bonds, as savage and untamed beasts. This use of the law has no end.

But they who are to be justified are exercised with the spiritual use of the law for a time; for it does not always continue, as the civil use of the law does, but it looks to faith which is to be revealed, and when Christ comes it shall have its end.

When Paul deals with the spiritual use of the law, he must be understood as referring to those who are to be justified, and not to those who are justified already. For they who are already justified, inasmuch as they abide in Christ, are far above all law.

The law must be laid upon those who are to be justified, that when they are cast down and humbled by the law, they should fly to Christ. For Christ “is the end of the law, to every one that believeth” (Rom 14:4).

The law not only kills, but it kills that we may live.

Gal 3:24 Paul joins the law and the gospel together. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

Rom 10:4 Christ is the end of the law to all those who believe, that is, everyone who believes in Him is righteous, and the law shall never accuse him.

The law is holy, just, and good, if a man use it lawfully. Now they that abuse the law are, first, the hypocrites who attribute to the law the power to justify; and, secondly, they who despair..that the law humbles them..to their salvation.

For God wounds that He may heal again; He kills that He may quicken again.

If I behold Christ, I am altogether pure and holy, knowing nothing of the law; but if I behold my own flesh, I feel in myself covetousness, lust, pride, anger, and arrogance; also the fear of death, heaviness, complaining.

The more these sins are in me (the more I behold my own flesh), the more Christ is absent from me.

Why need we hear the gospel continually?

It is true, that as you behold Christ, the law and sin are quite abolished.

When He comes, He drives away fear and heaviness, and brings peace and quietness of conscience.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

By faith, in faith, of faith ..which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul says not, you are children of God because you are circumcised, or because you have heard the law, and have done the works thereof, but by faith in Christ Jesus.

The law does not make us children of God, and much less do men’s traditions.

These cannot beget us into a new nature, or a new birth.

John 1:12

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Putting on of Christ, according to the gospel, consists not in an imitation, but in a new birth and a new creation; that is to say, in putting on Christ’s innocence, His righteousness, His wisdom, His power, His saving health, His life, and His Spirit.

The righteousness of the law is not given to us in our baptism, and our own works count nothing; but Christ Himself is our garment.

Wherefore to be appareled with Christ, according to the gospel..with an incomparable gift – with remissions of sins, righteousness, peace, consolation, joy of spirit, salvation, life, and Christ Himself.

When we are appareled with Christ as with the robe of righteousness and our salvation, then we must put on Christ also by example and imitation.

Gal 3:28 neither Jew nor Greek ..

For Christ has abolished all the laws of Moses that ever were.

John 1:17

False apostles do subtly seduce you – they teach you that the law is necessary to salvation.

11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17

If charity is the form and perfection of faith..then am I constrained to say that charity is the principal part of the Christian religion, and so I lose Christ, His blood, and all His benefits, and rest in a moral doing.

Gal 3:12 the law is not of faith..

What is the law? Is it not also a commandment touching charity? Yes, the law commands charity..

Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37

Love God with all your heart..

If the law that commands charity is contrary to faith, it must follow that charity is not of faith.

There is none which obtains justification and life before God but the believing man who obtains righteousness and everlasting life without the law, and without charity, by faith alone.

Faith is a thing much different from the law. For the promise is not apprehended by working, but by believing. Yes, there is as great a difference between the promise and the law, and consequently between faith and works, as there is between heaven and earth.

Faith rests in the promise, it only apprehends and knows God, and stands only in receiving good things from God. Contrariwise, the law and works consist in exacting, in doing, and in giving unto God.

The man that doeth them, shall live in them – the righteousness of the law is to fulfill the law.

The righteousness of faith is to believe – the righteous shall live by faith.

The law requires that we should give something to God. But faith requires no works of us, or that we should give anything unto God, but that we, believing the promise of God, should receive of Him.

The office of the law is to work, as the office of faith is to assent unto the promises.

For faith is the faith of the promise, and the work is the work of the law.

Of the law there comes nothing but only doing; faith is totally contrary thing,that which assents to the promise, and lays hold upon it.

These four things must be perfectly distinguished:

1. For as the law has its proper office, so has the promise.

2. To the law pertains doing, and to the promise believing.

3. Charity justifies not, because the law helps nothing to justification. Faith alone justifies and quickens, and yet it stands not alone, that is to say, it is not idle.

4. Works must follow faith, but faith must not be works, or works faith.

We live only by faith in Christ, who is without sin, who is also our mercy-seat.

Conversely, when we observe the law, we work indeed, but we have no righteousness nor life.

For the office of the law is not to justify and give life, but to show forth sin and to destroy.

But faith works not, but believes in Christ the justifier.

And a faithful man performs the law, and that which he does not is forgiven him through the remission of sins for Christ’s sake; that which remains is not imputed to him.

Believing in Him, we receive the Holy Ghost and we begin to do the law, and that which we do not is not imputed to us because of our faith in Christ.

Conversely, they who seek forgiveness of sins by work and the law, and not by Christ, never perform the law, but abide under the curse.

They who are of the works of the law and seem to do the law, do it not.

They who are of the works of the law are under the curse, under which they would not be, if they fulfilled the law.

A man doing the works of the law shall live in them, that is, shall be blessed, but such a man cannot be found.

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”{Deuteronomy 21:23}

For we are sinners and thieves, and therefore guilty of death and everlasting damnation. But Christ took our sins upon Himslef, and for them died upon the Cross; therefore, it is right that He should become a transgressor, and Isaiah 53 be “numbered with the transgressors.”

All the prophets foresaw in spirit, that Christ should be accounted the greatest transgressor that could be, having all sins imputed to Him.

Not that He is Himself guilty of any, but that He received them, being committed or done by us, and laid them upon His own body, that He might make satisfaction for them with His own blood (Isaiah 53:5).

This general sentence of Moses includes Him also (though He Himself innocent) because He was found and reckoned among sinners and transgressors.

So Christ was not only found among sinners.. He would also be a companion of sinners, and plunged into all kinds of sin.

When the law therefore found Him among thieves it condemned and killed Him as a thief.

If it is not absurd to confess and believe that Christ was crucified between two thieves, then it is not absurd to say also that He was accursed and of all sinners the greatest.

2 Cor 5:21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
John 1:29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
He is innocent because He is the unspotted and undefiled Lamb of God.

Because He bears the sins of the world, His innocence is burdened with the sins and guilt of the world.

Whatever sins I, you or we all have done, or shall do hereafter, they are Christ’s own sins, or else we should perish forever.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

When sin was laid upon Him, then comes the law and says: Every sinner must die.

Therefore, O Christ, if You will answer, become guilty, and suffer punishment for sinners.

So to clothe Christ with our sins, and to wrap Him in my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world, and so to behold Him bearing all our iniquities.

The doctrine of the gospel speaks nothing of our works or the works of the law, but of the inscrutable mercy and love of God towards most wretched and miserable sinners.

Our most merciful Father, seeing us to be oppressed and overwhelmed with the curse of the law, and that we could never be delivered from it of our own power, sent His only Son into the world and laid upon Him all the sins of all men, saying, be Thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecuter..; David the adulterer; that sinner who did eat the fruit in Eden; that theif who hanged upon the cross, and be Thou that person who has committed the sins of all men: see therefore, that Thou pay and satisfy for them.

Here comes the law and says, I find Him a sinner, and such a one as has taken upon Himself the sins of all men, and I see no sins else but in Him: therefore, let Him doe upon the Cross; and so it sets upon and kills Him.

By this means the whole world is purged and cleansed from sin, and so delivered from death and all evils.

Now sin being vanquished and death abolished by this one man, God would see nothing else in the whole world, if it did believe it, but a perfect cleansing and righteousness.

And if any remnants of sin should remain, yet for the great glory that is in Christ, God would not see them.

If Christ be made guilty of all the sins which we all have committed, then are we delivered from all sins, but not by ourselves, not by our own works and merits, but by Him.

1 Cor 15:57

Not only my sins and yours, but the sins of the whole world, past, present, or to come, take hold upon Him, go about to condemn Him, and do indeed condemn Him.

As Christ reigns by His grace in the hearts of the faithful, there is no sin, no death, no curse; but where Christ is not known, there all these things do still remain.

Therefore, all they who believe not lack this inestimable benefit and glorious victory. 1 John 5:4

So to abolish sin, to destroy death, to take away the curse, and again, to give righteousness, to bring life to light, and to give the blessing – all in Himself – are the works of the divine power only and alone.

Now, because the Scripture attributes all these to Christ, He in Himself is life, righteousness, and blessing, which is naturally and substantially God. So they who deny the divinity of Christ lose all Christianity.

So, making a happy change with us. He took upon Himself our sinful person, and gave unto us His innocent and victorious Person; wherewith we being now clothed are freed from the curse of the law.

By faith only therefore we are made righteous, for faith lays hold of this innocent and victory of Christ. If you believe, sin, death, and the curse are abolished.

For Christ has overcome and taken away these in Himself and will have us to believe that, as in His own Person there is now no sin or death, even so there is none in ours, seeing He has performed and accomplished all things for us.

So if sin vex you, and death terrify you, think that it is but an imagination and a false illusion of the devil. For there is now no sin, no curse, no death, no devil, to hurt us anymore, for Christ has vanquished and abolished all these things.

There is no sin, no death, no malediciton anymore in the world, but in Christ, who is the Lamb of God that has taken away the sin of the world.

Christ was made a curse, to deliver us from the curse.

There is no sin in the world anymore; for Christ, upon whom the Father has cast the sins of the whole world, has vanquished and killed it in His own body (Isaiah 53:6).

He once dying for sin and raised up again, dies no more.

Wherever is a true faith in Christ, there sin is abolished, dead, and buried.

But where no faith in Christ is, there sin still remains.

Though the remnants of sin are still in the saints because they believe not perfectly, yet are they dead in that they are not imputed to them because of their faith in Christ.

Gal 3:14 the blessing of Abraham through Jesus Christ

We are the cause that He was made a curse; no, rather we are His curse.

We are blessed through the curse, the sin-bearing, and the death of Christ. We are justified and quickened into life.

We received the promise of the Holy Spirit by faith.

Gal 3:6-10 The Example of Abraham

Gal 3:6. Cf Gen 15:6; Rom 4:2, 23-24

By these words, “Abraham believed,” Paul makes faith in God our chief worship, our chief duty, our chief conscience, and our chief sacrifice.

Faith is an almighty thing, and the power thereof is infinite and inestimable for it gives glory to God, which is the highest service that can be given to Him.

To give glory to Him is to believe in Him, to count Him true, wise, righteous, merciful, almighty, briefly to be the author and giver of all goodness.

Faith says, “I believe Thee, O God, when Thou speakest.”

What does God say? Impossible things, foolish, weak, absurd..

Absurd..impossible..when God said to Abraham that he should have a son by the barren and dead body of his wife Sarah.

Absurd and a foolish thing that the dead shall rise again at the last day, that Christ the Son of God was conceived and carried in the womb of the Virgin Mary, that He was born, that He suffered the most reproachable death of the Cross, that He was raised up again..

1 Cor 1:18 the of Christ crucified, foolishness.

Reason does not understand that to hear the Word of God and to believe it is the chief service that God requires of us..

Faith kills reason..

For reason despises God and denies His wisdom, justice, power, truth..

Faith..yield glory unto God; they believe Him to be just, good, faithful, true..

They believe that He can do all things, that all His words are holy, true, lively, and effectual..

There can be no greater or more holy religion in the world than faith, nor can there be a more acceptable service to God than faith.

Those who seek righteousness by their own works, lacking faith, do many things. They fast, they pray, they watch, they lay crosses upon themselves.

Because they think to appease the wrath of God and deserve grace by these things, they give no glory to God.

God ..an angry judge, who must be pacified b works.

In this way they despise God, the deny Christ and all His benefits.

Only faith gives glory to God..

Romans 4:20-22

Christian righteousness consists of two things: faith in the heart, and in God’s imputation.

After faith, certain remnants of sin in our flesh remain..

Faith gives not enough to God, because it is imperfect. Our faith is but a little spark which only begins to render unto God His true divinity.

We have received the firstfruits of the Spirit, but not yet the tenths.

Our concupiscence, wrath, impatience, and other fruits of the flesh, and of infidelity, yet remaining in us.

Even the holiest that live .. have their various passions..

But such faults are not laid to their charge, because of their faith in Christ.

Righteousness indeed begins through faith, and by it we also have the firstfruits of the Spirit. But because faith is weak, it is not made perfect without God’s imputation. So faith begins righteousness, but imputation makes it perfect unto the day of Christ.

When reason hears this, it is offended.., saying, Are then my good works nothing? Matt 20:11

These two things:

1. Faith in the heart, which is a gift of God, and assured belief in Christ

2. God accepts this imperfect faith for perfect righteousness for Christ’s sake, in whom I begun to believe

Because of this faith in Christ, God sees not my doubting of His good will towards me, my distrust, heaviness of spirit, and other sins wherw are yet in me.

For as long as I live in the flesh, sin is truly in me.

But because I am covered under the shadow of Christ’s wings.. I dwell without any fear under the most ample and large heaven of the forgiveness of sins, which is spread over me, God covers and pardons the remnant of sin in me.

Because of that faith wherewith I began to lay hold upon Christ, He accepts my imperfect righteousness even for perfect righteousness, and counts my sin for no sin.

As all things are in Him, so through Him we have all things, who also does supply whatever is wanting in us.

Because you believe in His Son, although you have many sins, yet they shall be forgiven, until you are delivered from them by death.

A Christian is both righteous and a sinner, hol and profane, an enemy of God, and yet a child of God.

It is not possible for you to become so righteous in this life that you should feel no sin at all..

You still have wrinkles and spots, and yet are you holy..

Run to Christ, the physician, who heals them that are broken in heart and saves sinners.

If you believe, you are righteous, because you give glory to God, that He is almighty, merciful, and true.

The sin which remains in you is not laid to your charge, but is pardoned for Christ’s sake, in whom you believe.

His righteousness is your righteousness, and your sin He took upon Himself.

Every Christian is a high priest: for first he offers up and kills his own reason, and the wisdom of the flesh; then he gives glory to God, that He is righteous, true, pitiful, and merciful.

Christian righteousness: it is the imputation of God for righteousness, or unto righteousness, because of our faith in Christ, or for Christ’s sake.

This unspeakable gift therefore excels all reason, that God accounts and acknowledges him for righteousness, without works, who embraces His Son by faith alone, who was sent into the world, was born, suffered, and was crucified for us.

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

Gal 3:13 He was made a curse for us

Because you have apprehended and embraced Jesus, therefore the Father loves you, and therefore you please Him.

I am a sinner, and most worthy of God’s wrath and indignation; and yet the Father loves me? Here nothing comes between, but only Christ the mediator.

Thus a Christian abides in true humility, feeling sin in him effectually, and confessing himself to be worthy of wrath, the judgment of God, and everlasting death. Yet he continually turns to Christ, and in Him he lifts up himself against this feeling of God’s wrath and judgment, and believes that not only the remnants of sin are not imputed to him, but also that he is loved by the Father, not for his own sake, but for Christ’s sake, whom the Father loves.

Under this heaven, sin and wicked men dwell, and the godly also have sin dwelling in them.

Romans 7 – Paul complains of sin which remains in the saints.

Romans 8 – there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ.

Gal 3:7 they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Gen 12:1; 17:22, 24; 22:1, 3

Abraham was not justified by any other means than by faith alone.

A man thinks rightly of God when he believes His Word.

Truth therefore is faith itself, which judges rightly of God, namely that God regards not our works and righteousness, because we are unclean, but that He will have mercy upon us if we believe in His Son, whom He hath sent to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

Gen 15:6

Faith always must be joined to a certain assurance of God’s mercy.

This assurance comprehends a faithful trust of remission of sins for Christ’s sake.

Gen 3:15

Acts 15:10,11

Gal 3:8 God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed

The promise is given to Abraham 430 years before the people of Israel received the law.

Gen 17:4 father of many nations (because he believed God).

Afterward, when he was now accounted righteousness because of his faith, the Scripture makes mention of circumcision. Gen 17:10

Righteousness was imputed to Abraham before circumcision.

Therefore, righteousness comes by faith only, and not by the law.

The blessing is nothing but the blessing of the gospel.

All nations are blessed is to say all nations shall hear the blessing. The promise of God shall be preached and published by the gospel among all nations.

Psalm 2:8; 19:4

To say that the nations are blessed is nothing else but that righteousness is freely given unto them; or that they are counted righteous before God, not by the law, but by the hearing of faith.

To bless signifies to preach and teach the gospel, to confess Christ, and to spread abroad the knowledge of Him among all the Gentiles.

This blessing is a great glory, not before the world, but before God.

Our sins are forgiven, and that we are accepted by God; that God is our Father, and we are His children, with whom He will not be angry, but will deliver us from sin, from death, and all evils, and will give unto us righteousness, life, and eternal salvation.
So it is a spiritual blessing, and there is no blessing indeed but this..

John 13:15 Example of Christ

We do not deny that the faithful ought to follow the example of Christ, and to work well, but we say that they are not justified thereby before God.

We must set nothing else before our eyes but Jesus Christ dying for our sins, and rising again for our righteousness; and Him must we apprehend by faith, as a gift, not as an example.

To make us righteous before God, there is a far more excellent price required, which is neither the righteousness of man, nor yet of the law.

Here we must have Christ to bless us and save us. How? Not by works, but by faith.

Gal 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse..

Separate the righteousness of the flesh, or civil righteousness, from the righteousness of faith.

Readers must be admonished that in this verse there is nothing handled as touching civil laws, manners, or matters political, but of a spiritual righteousness by which we are justified before God, and are called the children of God in the kingdom of heaven.

To be brief, what is handled here does not concern the bodily life but everlasting life.

This distinction – In civil righteousness we must regard laws and works; but in the spiritual righteousness, divine and heavenly, we must utterly reject all laws and works, and set before our eyes only the promise and blessing which lays hold on Christ, our only Savior, the giver of this blessing and grace.

The blessing was given to faithful Abraham before the law, and without law.

We put a difference between corporal and spiritual blessing, and we say that the emperor is blessed with a corporal blessing.

To have a kingdom, laws, and civil ordinances, to have a wife, children, house, and lands, is a blessing… gifts of God.

But we are not delivered from the everlasting curse by this corporal blessing, which is but temporal and must have an end.

We condemn not laws, neither do we stir up sedition against emperor; we teach that he must be obeyed, that he must be feared, reverenced, and honored, but yet civilly.

But when we speak of the blessing after the manner of divines, then we speak boldly, with Paul, that all things that are without faith, and the promise of Abraham, are accursed, and abide under that everlasting curse of God.

We must for another life after this, and another blessing after our corporal blessing.

As touching life everlasting it is not enough to have corporal blessings; for the very wicked do sometimes abound therein most of all.

These thing God distributes in the world freely.. He makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good..

The law, says Paul, is indeed holy and given by God. Nevertheless it does nothing else but make men subject to the curse and keep them under the curse.

Deut 27:26. Cf Gal 3:10

Paul: Whosoever shall do the works of the law are accursed.

Moses: Whosoever shall not do the works of the law are accursed.

Cf. Rom 2:13: 8:4

The whole effect of the matter consists in this word – do. To do the law is not only to do it outwardly, but to do it truly and perfectly.

There are two sorts of doers of the law: the first are they who do the works of the law.. The other sort are they who are of the faith.

Rom 2:13 the doers of the law shall be justified.

They call him a doer of the law who does the works of the law, and so by these works going before, he is made righteous.

This is not to do the law according to Paul..

To seek to be justified by the works of the law is to deny the righteousness of faith.

Rom 10:3

To do is first of all to believe, and so through faith to perform the law.

If you truly define what it is to do the law, it is nothing else but to believe in Jesus Christ..the Holy Ghost is received through faith in Christ to work those things which are commanded by the law..

The apples make not the tree, but the tree makes apples.

So faith first makes the person who afterwards brings forth works.

Therefore, to do the law without faith is to make apples of wood and earth..is a mere fantasy.

If the tree be made..the person or doer which is made through faith in Christ, works will follow.

Christians are not made righteous by doing righteous things, but being made righteous by faith in Christ, they do righteous things.

The schoolmen (law-works) are compelled to admit that a moral work outwardly done, if it is not done with a pure heart, a good will, and true intent, is but hypocrisy.

Two sorts of men that are doers of the law: true doers, and hypocrites.

The true doers are they who, through faith, are the good tree before the fruit..

Hypocrites – they think they can obtain righteousness by works, and by them to make the person just and acceptable. Made righteous by good works.

Paul was able to show, out of the first commandment, the abominations which Antichrist should bring into the Church.

For all who teach that any other worship is necessary to salvation than that which God requires of us in the first commandment – faith, fear, and love of God, are plain antichrists and set themselves in the place of God.

Matt 24:5

Whoever seeks righteousness by works without faith, denies God, and makes himself God.

2 Peter 2:1 false teachers..denying the Lord that bought them.

We, being justified by faith, do good works, through which, as is said in 2 Peter 1:10, our calling and election is made sure or confirmed.

Deut 27:26. Moses requires such a doer to do the law perfectly.

Where shall we find him?

Exodus 34:9 none is innocent before God

Psalm 143:2 in thy sight shall no man living be justified

Moses, together with Paul, drives us to Christ, through whom we are made doers of the law, and are not accounted guilty of any transgressions.

How so?

First, by forgiveness of sins, and imputation of righteousness, because of our faith in Christ.

Second, by the gift of God and the Holy Ghost, who brings forth a new life and motions in us, so that we may also do the law effectually.

For that which is not done is pardoned for Christ’s sake; and moreover, what sin is left in us, is not imputed to us.