? ?in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace?; <581104>Hebrews 11:4, 7 ? ?By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous.. . By faith Noah...moved with godly fear prepared an ark...became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith?; cf. Gen. 15:6 ? ?And he believed in Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness?; <230709>Isaiah 7:9 ? ?If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established?; 28:18 ? ?he that believeth shall not be in haste?; <350204> Habakkuk 2:4 ? ?the righteous shall live by his faith.?
<198508> Psalm 85:8 ? ?He will speak peace unto his people? God?s great word of pardon includes all else. Peace with him implies all the covenant privileges resulting therefrom. <460321>1 Corinthians 3:21-23 ? ?all things are yours,? because ?ye are Christ?s; and Christ is God?s.? This is not salvation by law or by ideals or by effort or by character, although obedience to law, a loftier ideal, unremitting effort and a pure character are consequences of justification. Justification is the change in God?s attitude toward the sinner, which makes all these consequences possible. The only condition of justification is the sinner?s faith in Jesus, which merges the life of the sinner in the life of Christ. Paul expresses the truth in <480216>Galatians 2:16, 20 ? ?Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law...I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.?
With these observations and qualifications we may assent to much that is said by Whiton, Divine Satisfaction, 64, who distinguishes between forgiveness and remission: ?Forgiveness is the righting of disturbed personal relations. Remission is removal of the consequences which in the natural order of things have resulted from our fault God forgives all that is strictly personal but remits nothing that is strictly natural in sin. He imparts to the sinner the power to bear his burden and work off his debt of consequences. Forgiveness is not remission. It is introductory to remission, just as conversion is not salvation, but introductory to salvation. The prodigal son, even though was received by his father, could not recover his lost patrimony. He could, however, have been led by penitence to work so hard that he earned more than he had lost.
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