Great Quotes

The Necessity of Righteousness – “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom.3:21,22). Here he handles the principle and chief point of salvation, which is concerning Christian Righteousness, or concerning Christian wisdom, or the glory of Christ. For if we seek at God’s hand for salvation; that is, for life, we must first seek for Righteousness; by which being reconciled unto God, we being thus in His favor, do obtain life. For that we may be beloved of God, we must first of necessity be righteous, seeing He hates unrighteousness. For whereas the Gospel is said to be the power of God unto salvation, even therefore, because it reveals the righteousness of God, we must therein mark the necessity of righteousness unto eternal life; such a necessity antecedence there is of righteousness, as that without it there is no hope to be saved; God’s justice inclining Him to punish, His purity to hate all unrighteousness.

For God is of pure eyes and cannot see evil, He cannot behold wickedness, but He must needs destroy the sin or the sinner (Habak.1:13). Because God being the sovereign Righteousness, He must needs hate us, whilst He sees us in our sins; then stands it in hand for us to be made righteous, before we can be in God’s favor. Yea, I add further, that it must be with such a righteousness, so completely perfect, as that it may endure the strict censure of God’s justice (Gal.3:10). Now then the exhortation of our Savior easily follows; that we should therefore first and principally above all things seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mat.6:33). Such a righteousness as may stand before God, and endure the trial of his justice. Therefore is Justification the very sum of the Gospel; yea, this is the sum of all the benefits of Christ; for with them that are made righteous and reconciled, God is present; He endues them with new light, and with eternal life, He hears them, and defends them in all their troubles.

Therefore he handles here the principle and chief point of our salvation; namely – Justification; the pure knowledge whereof alone saves the Church; for it is the knowledge of the truth and of life, for which the Gospel is called the power of God unto salvation. On the contrary, when this knowledge of Justification is lost, together with it is lost Christ, and life, and the Church; neither any judgment of doctrines or of spirits is left, but darkness and blindness possesses all things. Therefore it is the duty of a good Pastor, that he suffer not himself to be drawn away with any disputations from the daily and continual handling of this point. So strange it is to carnal reason, so dark to the world, so many enemies it has, that except the Spirit of God from above reveal it, learning cannot reach it, wisdom is offended, nature is astonished, devils do not know it, men do persecute it.

Briefly; as there is no way to life so easy, so there is none so hard. Easy to whom it is given from above; hard to the carnal sense not yet inspired. The ignorance thereof is the root of all errors, sects, and divisions in the world. Yea, I do therefore so much beat upon it, because I know that Satan goes about nothing more, than that he may take away this knowledge from the sight and minds of men. Hitherto principally tend all the stirs which he raises up both publicly and privately, that men busying their heads in new disputations, should forget this article; for Satan feels the force and power of this article. For Justification, by which of unjust we are made just before God, is the strong Rock and foundation of Christian Religion. Upon this foundation of God’s free promise and grace first built the patriarchs, kings, and prophets. Upon the same foundation also Christ the Lord built His Church. For this doctrine advances and sets forth the true glory of Christ, and suppresses the vain glory of man; this whosoever denies, is not to be reputed for a Christian man, nor for a setter forth of Christ’s glory, but for an adversary to Christ and His gospel.

By the preaching of this doctrine the Devil is overthrown, his kingdom is destroyed; the law, sin, and death, {wherewith as most mighty and invincible tyrants, he hath brought all mankind in subjection under his dominion} are wrested out of his hands. Briefly, his prisoners are translated out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of light and liberty. Should the Devil suffer all this? Should not the father of lies employ all his force, and subtle policies to darken, to corrupt, and utterly root out this doctrine of salvation and everlasting life? Indeed Paul complains in all his epistles that even in his days the Devil showed himself a cunning work-man in his business, by darkening and hindering this doctrine of justification.

Now for us, let this suffice in this place, to stir up God’s children by these and the like reasons, to fortify their judgments in this main point of Christian faith. The Article of Justification is the very sum of the Gospel; that once corrupted, there can be no soundness; that truly and thoroughly understood, and believed, and applied, arms against all assaults of Satan; and let us be exhorted, as to edify ourselves in all other points of our most holy faith; so specially in this, which who so holds not aright, surely he holds not the Head, nor ever can be saved. Thus we see the necessity of earnest teaching, and diligent learning of this doctrine of Justification! (John Eaton Honeycombe of Free Justification by Christ Alone, 1642, Taken from Supralapsarian.com)

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