iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, That thou mayest be feared? is followed by verses 7, 8 ? ?O Israel, hope in Jehovah; For with Jehovah there is loving kindness, And with him is plenteous redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.? Whitefield was rebuked for declaring in a discourse that Christ would receive even the devil?s castaways. That very day, while at dinner at Lady Huntington?s, he was called out to meet two women who were sinners and to whose broken hearts and blasted lives that remark gave hope and healing.

(c) In an earthly pardon there are no special helps bestowed upon the pardoned. There are no penalties but there are also no rewards; law cannot claim anything of the discharged, but then they also can claim nothing of the law. But what, though greatly needed, is left not provided for by human government, God does provide. In justification, there is not only acquittal but there is also approval and not only pardon but also promotion. Remission is never separated from restoration.

After serving a term in the penitentiary, the convict goes out with a stigma upon him and with no friends. His past conviction and disgrace follow him. He cannot obtain employment, he cannot vote. Want often leads him to commit crime again and then the old conviction is brought up as proof of bad character and increases his punishment. There is a need of friendly inns and refuges for discharged criminals. But the justified sinner is differently treated. He is not only delivered from God?s wrath and eternal death but he is admitted to God?s favor and eternal life. The discovery of this is partly the cause of the convert?s joy. Expecting pardon, at most, he is met with unmeasured favor. The prodigal finds the father?s house and heart open to him, and more is done for him than if he had never wandered. This overwhelms and subdues him. The two elements, acquittal and restoration to favor, are never separated. Like the expulsion of darkness and restoration of light, they always go together. No one can have, even if he would have, an incomplete justification. Christ?s justification is ours and, as Jesus? own seamless tunic could not be divided, so the robe of righteousness, which he provides, cannot be cut in two.

Failure to apprehend this positive aspect of justification as restoration to favor is the reason why so many Christians have little joy and little enthusiasm in their religious lives. The preaching of the magnanimity and generosity of God makes the gospel ?the power of God unto salvation?

( <450116>Romans 1:16). Edwin N. Stanton had ridden roughshod over

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment