The divine disposition of guilt proves to be one of the great triumphs won by grace. For sin, which must be charged against all individuals, is rebellion itself against God and His authority. There are two aspects of guilt: (1) Personal guilt, which is nothing other than the historical fact of committing sin. That will be a fact which abides forever though the guilt may be lifted through forgiveness. Personal guilt is not transferable. (2) Guilt as an obligation to justice. In so far as another may bear the penalty, this type of guiltiness becomes transferable. Christ as Substitute once did bear the obligation of the world to justice. Therefore, the substitution on Christ's part engenders a universal obligation to acknowledge and to stand before God under this gracious provision. For anyone thus to recognize his obligation would be an act of faith—"by grace are ye saved through faith" (Eph. 2:8).
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