manifests this trust and submission by entering at once upon a life of obedience to Christ?s commands.
A convicted sinner should be exhorted, not first to prayer and then to faith, but first to faith and then to the immediate expression of that faith in prayer and Christian activity, he should pray, not for faith but in faith. It should not be forgotten that the sinner never sins against so much light, and never is in so great danger, as when he is convicted but not converted, when he is moved to turn but yet refuses to turn. No such sinner should be allowed to think that he has the right to do any other thing whatever before accepting Christ. This accepting Christ is not an outward act but an inward act of mind and heart and will, although believing is naturally evidenced by immediate outward action. To teach the sinner, however apparently well disposed, how to believe on Christ, is beyond the power of man. God is the only giver of faith. But Scripture instances of faith and illustrations drawn from the child?s taking the father at his word and acting upon it have often been used by the Holy Spirit as means of leading men themselves to put faith in Christ.
Bengel: ?Those who are secure Jesus refers to the law; those who are contrite he consoles with the gospel.? A man left work and came home. His wife asked why. ?Because I am a sinner.? ?Let me send for the preacher.? ?I am too far gone for preachers. If the Lord Jesus Christ does not save me I am lost.? That man needed only to be pointed to the Cross. There he found reason for believing that there was salvation for him. In surrendering himself to Christ he was justified. On the general subject of Justification, see Edwards, Works, 4:64-132; Buchanan on Justification, 250-411; Owen on Justification, in Works, vol. 5; Bp. of Ossory, Nature and Effects of Faith, 48-152; Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:114-212; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 3:133-200; Hersog, Encyclopadie, art.: Rechtfertigung; Bushnell, Vicarious Sacrifice, 416-420, 435.
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