That the Purpose of God According to Election Might Stand
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The Faith Of God’s Elect

John Brine | Added: Jul 14, 2009 | Category: Theology

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Until we are sensible of our being miserable and helpless in ourselves, we shall not be persuaded of the necessity of a sole trust in another for help and succour. ‘They that be whole need not the physician, but they that are sick.’ This conviction is becoming ‘dead to the law,’ and it is effected by a work of the law upon the heart, in the hand of the blessed Spirit. ‘I through the law, am dead to the law.’ The mind of a sinner is impressed with a wounding sense of his guilt. His sins ‘are set in order before him.’ And he clearly discerns that he stands righteously condemned by the holy law of God, for his numerous violations of it. Upon which he acknowledges that it would be just with God to punish him, in particular, with everlasting destruction from his presence, and from the glory of his power. In this work upon him he is convinced of ‘the plague of his heart,’ as well as of the transgressions of his life. In that divine light which is communicated to the soul, he discovers the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the exceeding sinfulness of his heart, and the spirituality, purity, and extent of the law; whereupon, he concludes, that it is absolutely impossible that one so vile as he is, should ever be able to recommend himself to, or interest himself in, the approbation of God his righteous judge. Thus he sees his lost and miserable and helpless condition in himself, and dies to all hope of life by his own righteousness and works. When the Holy Spirit hath in this manner convinced a man of his deplorable state by nature; and his ‘heart is overwhelmed,’ he leads him ‘to the rock that is higher than he.’ He makes a gracious discovery of Christ to the soul, in his blood, righteousness, and in the fulness of his grace. And, then the language of a poor trembling sinner is: My sins are many, great, and dreadfully aggravated; but the blood of Christ hath a sufficiency of merit in it, to atone for them all. In myself I have no righteousness, nor can have, whereby I may be justified in the sight of God; but the righteousness of Christ is every way sufficient to justify me before God, and to give me a right to life, who am worthy of death. My heart is impure, and ‘without holiness I shall never see the Lord.’ That treasure of grace which is in Christ, it is sufficient to make me holy, and ‘meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.’ Besides, in the light of this grace, a person discerns in some measure, how God is glorified; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and all the divine perfections, goodness, grace, mercy, wisdom, holiness, justice, truth and faithfulness, in this way of salvation; and herein he rejoices, even though himself should not be a sharer in it. The holy resolution of the soul upon this view of things is to renounce all other ways of relief which may be proposed to its consideration, and to cleave to Christ alone as the only proper object of his hope; this it is to flee to him for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us. And this is that faith which is of the operation of God, and is peculiar to the objects of a divine choice to eternal salvation, for which reason, it is called ‘the faith of God’s elect.’