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“ cannot be justified, or find righteousnets by works of the law.
“But I . may every man fay) according to thc coveonat of works “ am liable to the curse of God, for breaking the law, times and ways
of number. “ Therefore I cannot be justified, or have righteousness by the 66 works of the law.”
Thus may a man be convinced of righteousness, that is not to be had by his own works, or by the law.
III. For convincing a man of judgment by the law, consider, 2 Theil.
FHE Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his migh
ty angels : Ver. 8. Inflaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Chrift: Ver. 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power , Ver. io. TV hen he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.
Wherein we are taught, that our Lord Jesus, who now offers to be a Mediator for them who believe in him, shall
, at the last day; come armed with flaming fire, to judge, condemn, and destroy all them who have not believed God, have not received the offer of grace made in the gospel, nor obeyed the doctrine thereof; but remain in their natural state, under the law or covenant of works.
Hence let every man reason thus;
“ What the righteous Judge hath forewarded me, shall be done at * the last day, I am sure is juft judgment.
“ But the righteous Judge hath forewarned me, that if I do not " believe God in time, and obey not the doctrine of the gospel, I shall “ be fecluded from his presence and his glory, at the last day, and be « tormented in foul and body for ever.
“ Therefore I am convinced that this is a just judgment.
Thus every man may be, by the law or covenant of works, convinced of judgment, if he shall continue under the covenant of works, cr shall got obey the golpel of our Lord Jesus.
IV. For convincing a man of lio, righteousness, and judgment, by the
s for convincing a man of fin, and righteousness, and juigment,
things; 1. That not believing in Jesus Chrift, or refuling of the cove
Dant of grace offered in him, is a greater and more dangerous sin, than all other fias against the law; because the hearers of the gospel, not be lieving in Chrift, do reject God's mercy in Chrift, the only way of freedom from sin and wrath, and will not yield to be reconciled to God. 2. Next, He must understand, that perfect remission of sin and true righteousoess, is to be had only by faith in Jelus; because God requireth no other conditions but faith; and testifies from heaven that he is well pleased to justify lippers upon this condition. 3. He must understand, that upon righteousness received by faith ; judgment fhall follow, on the one hand, to the deltroying of the works of the devil in the believer, and to the perfecting of the work of sanctificati. on in him, with power: and that, upon refusing to take righteoof ness by faith in Jesus Christ, judgment shall follow, on the other hand, to the condcmnation of the misbeliever, and destroying of him with Satan and his fer vants for ever.
For this end, let these passages of fcripture, among many others, ferve to make the greatness of the sin of not believing io Cbrift appear ; or, to make the greatnels of the fin of refusing of the covenant of grace offered to us, in the offering of Christ unto us, let the fair offer of
grace be looked upon as it is made. Ifa.lv. 2. Incline your car, and come unto me, (faith the Lord) bear, and your soul fball live ; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. That is, if ye will believe me, and be reconciled to me, I will, by convenant, give unto you Christ, and all saving graces in him: repeated, Acts xiii. 34.
Again, consider, that this general offer in substance is equivalent to a special offer made to every one in particular; as appeareth by the apostles making use of it, Acts xvi. 31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. The reason of which offer is given, Joho iii. 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten Son that wbofoever believeth in hm, foould not perilo, but have everlasting life. Seeing then this great falvation is offered in the Lord Jesus, whosoever believeth not in him, but looks for happiness some other way, what doth he else but obferve lying vanities, and for fake his own mercy, which he might have had in Christ? Jonah ii. 8, 9. What doth he else but blafpheme God in his heart? as it is faid, Joho v. 10. He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because ne believeth not the record that God hath given af bis Son: and this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in bis Son. And that no fin against the law is like unto this sin, Christ testifies. John xv. 22. If I had not come and spoken to them, they bad not had fin; but now they have no cloak for their fin, This may convince a man of the greatness of this fin of not believing in Chrift.
For convircing a man of righteousness to be had only by faith in Jesus
Chrift, confider how, Rom, x. 3, 4.
T is said, that the Jews, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and
going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God, and so they perished) for Christ is the end of the law for righteousnejs to every one that believeth. And, Aals xiii. 39. By Christ Jefus all that believe are justified froin all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. And, i Johr i. 7. The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all fin.
For convincing a man of judgment, if a man embrace this righteous nels : consider, i John iii. 8. For this purpose the Son of God was manifepted, that he might destroy the works of the devil. And, Heb. ix 14. How much more ball the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to Gout, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?
But, if a man embrace nor this righteousnels, his doom is pronounced, John iii. 18. He that believeth not is condemned already, because be hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Goa. And this is the condemnation, tbat light is come into the world, and men loveth darkness rather than light.
Hence let the penitent, desiring to believe; reason thus ;
“ What doth laffice to convince all the elect in the world of the “ greatness of the fin of not believing in Chrift, or refusing to “ Hee to him for relief from fios done against the law, and from " wrath due thereto; and what fufficeth to convioce them, that righ“ teousness and eternal life is to be had by faith in Jesus Christ, or « by consenting to the covenant of grace in him; and what fufficeth " to convince them of judgment to be exercised by Christ, for deltroy“ ing the works of the devil in a man, and faoctifyiog and saving all is that believe in him, may suffice to convince me allo.
“ But what the Spirit hath faid, in these or other like scriptures, “ (ufficeth to convince the elect world of the forefaid sin, and righte« ousness, and judgment.
“ Therefore what the spirit hath said, in these and other like scipo “ tures, ferveth to convince me thereof also.”
Whereupon let the penitent defiriog to believe, take with him words, and lay heartily to the Lord, seeing thou fayelt, Seek ye my face, my foul anfwereth unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek : I have hearkened unto the offer of an everlasting covenant of all saving mera cies to be had in Christ, and I do heartily embrace thy offer. Lord, let it be a bargain ; Lord, I believe, help my unbelief : Behold, I give myself to thee, to serve thee in all things for ever; and I hope, thy right hand sball save me; the Lord will perfect that which concernetli me; thy mercy, O Lord endureth for ever; foríake not the works of thine own hands. Еe
Thus may a man be made an unfeigoed believer in Christ.
For Itrengthening the man's faith, who hath agreed unto the covenant
they shall be sure of the foundness of their own faith and effectual calling, or made certain of their juftification and falvation, when they see, that many, who profess faith, are foued to deceive themselves; let us tee how every believer may be made strong in the faith, and fure of his owo election and salvation upon folid grounds, by sure warrants, and true evidences of faith. To this end, among many other fcriptures, take these following.
'). For laying solid grounds of faith, consider 2 Pet. i. 10.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make fore your calling and election : for if ye do these things. ye shall never fall.
In which words, the apostle teacheth us thele four things, for help and direction, how to be made strong in the faith.
1. That such as believe in Christ Jesus, and are fled to him for relief from sin and wrath, albeit they be weak in the faith, yet they are indeed children of the fame Father with the apostles; for so he ac counteth of them, while he calleth them brethren.
2. That, albeit we be not sure, for the time of our effectual calling and election, yet we may be made sure of both, if we use diligence; for this he presupposeth, saying, 'Give diligence to make your calling • and election sure.'
3. "That we must not be discouraged, when we see many seeming believers prove rotten branches, and make defection; but we must the rather take the better heed to ourselves, "Wherefore the rather, brethren,' faith be, give all diligence.'
4. That the way to be sure both of our effectual calling and clection, is to make sure work of our faith, by laying the grounds of it Solidly, and bringiog forth the fruirs of our faith in new obedience constantly : For if ye do these things,' faith he, ye shall never fall;' understanding, by these things,' what he had said of found faith, verles 1, 2, 3, 4, and what he had said of the bringing out of the fruits of faith, verses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
To this fame purpose, confider, Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore
now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jelus, who walk pot • after the flesh, but after the Spirit' Ver. 2. For the law of the
Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of lin • and death. Ver. 3. For.what the law could not do, in that it was
weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of ' sinful flesh, and for sin condemned lin in the filesh.' Ver. 4.
the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk dot • after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'
Whereią the apostle teacheth us these four things, for laying of the ground of faith folidly;
1. That every one is a true believer, who, in the sense of his fini, and fear of God's wrath, doth flee tor full relief from both unto Jesus Chiift alone, as the only Mediator, and all-lufficient Redeemer of men, and, being fled to Christ, doth strive against his own fich, or corrupt inclination of nature, and studieth to follow the rule of God's Spirit, fet down in his word: for the man, whom the apostle doth here bless as a true believer, is a man in Christ Jesus, who doth not walk after • the flesh, but after the Spirit,'
2. That all such perlons as are Aed to Christ, and do Irive again? fin, howsoever they may be poffibly exercised under the sense of wrath and fear of condemnation, yet they are in no danger; for, there is
no condemnation,' faith he, 'to them that are in Christ Jefus, who I walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.'
3. That, albeit the apost'e himself brought in here for example's cause, and all other true believers in Christ, be by nature under the law of sin and death, or under the covenant of works (called the law of sin and death, because it binderh sin and death upon us, till Ghrift let us free) yet the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, or the covenant of grace, (so called, because it doth enable and quicken a man to a spia ritual life through Christ) doth set the apoltle, and all true believeis, free from the covenant of works, or the law of fin and death; fo that every man may fay with him, The law of the spirit of life,' or the covenant of
grace, hath made me free from the law of lia and death, or covenant of works.
4. That the fountain and first ground, from whence our freedoni from the curle of the law doth Aow, is the covenant of redemption, paft betwixt God, and God the Son as incarnate, wherein Christ takes the curse of the law upon him for sin, that the believer, who could not otherwise be delivered from the covenant of works, may be delic vered from it. And this doctrine the apostle holdeth forth in these four branches : (1.) That it was utterly impossible for the law, or the covenant of works, to bring righteouiness and life to a finner, because it was weak. (2) That this weakness and inability of the law, or covenant of works, is not the fault of the law, but the fault of sinful flesh, which is neither able to pay the penalty of fia, tor to give per fect obedience to the law (preluppole bygone fins were forgiven ;) • The law was weak,' faith he, through the fielh.' (3-) That the righteousness and falvation of lioners, which was impossible to be brought about by the law, is brought to pass by sending God's own Son, Jesus Christ, in the flesh, in whole felh sin is condenined and punished, for making satisfaction in the behalf of the elect, that they might be set free. (4.) That, by his means, the law loseth nothing's