Examining the Heart 80

This will be sound religion; “only rest all upon the everlasting mountains of God’s love and grace in Christ, to live continually in the sight of Christ’s infinite righteousness and merits, they are sanctifying. Without them the heart is carnal, and in those sights to see the full vileness, yet littleness of sin, and to see all pardoned; in those sights to trample upon all your self-glories, righteousness, privileges, as abominable, and be found continually in the righteousness of Christ only, rejoicing in the ruins of our own righteousness, the spoiling of all your own excellencies, that Christ alone, as Mediator, may be exalted in His throne. Mourn over all your duties however glorious, that you have not performed in the sight and sense of Christ’s love.” Without the blood of Christ on your conscience, all is dead service (Heb 9:14). Thomas Willcox

It seems so contrary to the human heart and to the modern way of thinking which exalts human beings “to trample upon all your self-glories, righteousness, privileges, as abominable, and be found continually in the righteousness of Christ only, rejoicing in the ruins of our own righteousness, the spoiling of all your own excellencies, that Christ alone, as Mediator, may be exalted in His throne.” Instead of glorying in self, the heart that loves the righteousness of Christ will glory in Christ. Instead of exalting and trusting in self-righteousness, the heart that loves the righteousness of Christ will exalt the infinite righteousness and merits of Christ. Not only that, but the idea of self looking to its own righteousness and glorying in self is an abominable thing to those that rest upon the everlasting mountains of God’s love and grace in Christ.

What is clear is that the natural man loves self and the righteousness of self and strives after his own merits, but those who have been born from above and are united to Christ love Christ and the righteousness of Christ and His merits. The two positions are as contrary to each other as can possibly be. The natural man will exalt in that which the spiritual man will abhor, while the spiritual man will exalt and delight in what the natural man will abhor. The natural man, and perhaps especially the religious man who is still a natural man, hate true Christianity and its utter reliance upon Christ and the desire to seek the glory of Christ alone. There is enmity in the heart of the natural man when he sees that all the glory and all the righteousness is of God and that he cannot earn one thing before God.

The heart can be examined with these things in mind. Regardless of the creed that one holds to in terms of the intellect and in terms of doctrine, the issues of the heart are more important. One can hold to the imputed righteousness of Christ in justification in the head and yet his heart may still love his own merits and righteousness. One may hold to the imputed righteousness of Christ in the creed and yet not desire to have his own righteousness trampled on and will not rejoice in the ruins of his own righteousness. While it is true that our creeds are important, yet the creed can be used by the brain to stifle and deceive the heart. The heart must be in accordance with the truth and not just the brain.

The spiritual heart, though far from perfect, will find it repulsive if its own excellencies are set forth rather than Christ being exalted. The natural mind can know that as a truth and try to do it, but the spiritual taste buds of the soul will rise up at some point. The spiritual man will see his duties and yet know that they are filthy rags if they are not done out of a true love for Christ, yet the natural man will see his duties and say that because he did them he must love Christ. How the heart must be examined and this paragraph teaches us one way to do this. Look at what comes out of your heart when Christ is exalted and His righteousness alone is set forth. Yet also look at your heart to see how it responds and not just to the intellectual teaching of that.

Without the blood of Christ on your conscience, says Willcox, all is dead service. The reason for this is that there is nothing but impurity that will come from the human beings in and of self. What must come from the human (to be acceptable to God) must first come from God through Christ. It is only when sinners are covered by the blood of Christ can anything that comes from their persons be acceptable to God. This shows us, once again, that Christ alone is the way of salvation and that Christ alone is the way of sanctification. The blood of Christ is utterly necessary to cover the sins of sinners and their foul hearts for them to do anything acceptable to God and in a way that exalts Christ as Mediator and Christ as our perfect righteousness. Away with self-exaltation and self-righteousness as there is a better away. It is Christ-exaltation and Christ as our righteousness.

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