Faith, by R.C. Sproul and Octavius Winslow

20121229-112208.jpg“Be care­ful of not mak­ing a Sav­iour of faith. There is a dan­ger – and it can­not be too vig­i­lant­ly guard­ed against – of sub­sti­tut­ing the work of the Spir­it for the work of Christ; this mis­take it is that leads so many of God’s saints to look with­in [themselves], instead of with­out them­selves for the evi­dences of their call­ing and accep­tance; and thus, too, so many are kept all their spir­i­tu­al course walk­ing in a state of bondage and fear, the great ques­tion never fully and fair­ly set­tled, or, in other words, never quite sure of their son­ship. The work of Christ is a great and fin­ished work; it is so glo­ri­ous that it can admit of no com­par­i­son, so com­plete that it can allow of no addi­tion, and so essen­tial that it can give place to no sub­sti­tu­tion. Pre­cious as is the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, and essen­tial as it is to the sal­va­tion of the soul, yet he who places it where the work of Jesus ought only to be, deranges the order of the covenant, clos­es up the legit­i­mate source of evi­dence, and will assured­ly bring dis­tress and uncer­tain­ty into his soul. ‘Right­eous­ness, peace, and joy,’ are the fruit of a full belief in the Lord Jesus Christ; and he who looks for them away from the cross, will meet with dis­ap­point­ment: but they are found in Jesus. He who looks away from him­self, from his vile­ness, guilti­ness, empti­ness, and pover­ty, fully and believ­ing­ly unto Jesus, shall know what the for­give­ness of sin is, and shall expe­ri­ence the love of God shed abroad in his heart.

If, then, your faith is fee­ble and tried, be not cast down; faith does not save you. Though it be an instru­ment of sal­va­tion, and as such, is of vast impor­tance, it is but the instru­ment; the fin­ished work of Immanuel is the ground of your sal­va­tion, yea, it is your sal­va­tion itself. Then make not a Sav­iour of your faith; despise it not if it is fee­ble, exult not in it if it is strong, tram­ple not on it if it is small, deify it not if it is great; such are the extremes to which every believ­er is exposed. If your faith is fee­ble and sharply tried, it is no evi­dence that you are not a believ­er; but the evi­dence of your accep­tance in the Beloved, is to arise from Jesus alone; then let your con­stant motto be, ‘look­ing unto Jesus’; look­ing to him just as you are; look­ing unto him when faith is fee­ble; look­ing unto him when faith is tried; look­ing unto him when faith is declin­ing, yea, look­ing unto him when you fear you have no faith. Look up, tried and tempt­ed soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sus­tain­er, and he will become the Fin­ish­er of thy faith. All thou wan­test is in him. One glimpse, dim though it be, of his cross, – one touch, trem­bling though it be, of his gar­ment, – will lift thee from thy low­est depths, light­en thy heav­i­est bur­then, gild thy dark­est prospect, and when thou arrivest at Jor­dan’s brink, will bear thee safe­ly through its swellings, and land thee on the sunny and ver­dant shores of Canaan. Let this be your prayer, urged unceas­ing­ly at the throne of grace until it is answered – ‘Lord, increase my faith’; and then, with holy Paul, you too shall be enabled with hum­ble assur­ance to exclaim, ‘I know in whom I have believed, and am per­suad­ed that he is able to keep that which I have com­mit­ted unto him against that day!'” – Octavius Winslow

“In order for [Jesus] to qual­i­fy as our Redeemer, it was not enough for Him sim­ply to go to the cross and be cru­ci­fied. If Jesus had only paid for our sins, He would have suc­ceed­ed only in tak­ing us back to square one. We would no longer be guilty, but we still would have absolute­ly no right­eous­ness to bring before God.”

We would be free of guilt before God, but we would have no right­eous­ness. This is what Christ mer­it­ed for us in his life.

“Our Redeemer need­ed not only to die, but also to live a life of per­fect obe­di­ence. The right­eous­ness that He man­i­fest­ed could then be trans­ferred to all who put their trust in Him. Just as my sin is trans­ferred to Him on the cross when I trust in Him, His right­eous­ness is trans­ferred to my account in the sight of God. So, when I stand before God on the judg­ment day, God is going to see Jesus and His righeous­ness, which will be my cover.” – R. C. Sproul

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