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Mark i. 14. Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Acts iii. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Luke xviii. 13. And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote a pon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I (Jesus) tell yon, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other [the selfrighteous pharisee.]
John xvi. 8. And when he (the Comforter] is come, he will reprove (or convince* j the world of sin.
2 Cor. vii. 9. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner. 10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.
59th Q.Does the soul always obtain an immediate answer to its prayer ?
A.—The prayer of the sincere is always heard, though it may consist with divine wisdom to withhold immediate relief; but if the soul persevere in prayer and faint not,
it sometimes occurs, especially at an early age, that the soul, is in the first instance, tendered and melted'down under a lively impression of the extension of the love of God towards it; thus such are allured into the paths of holiness; whilst others are powerfully wrought upon by strong convictions of sin, and of the wrath of God upon sin: but however various these first impressions may be on different persons, as they are the operations of the same divine power of Love, so they will ultimately produce the same conviction upon the mind of the unworthiness and nothingness of the creature," that God may be all in all."
* The marginal reading has convince, which is adopted by Newcome.
it will experience deliverance from the thraldom and guilt of sin, or, in the language of Scripture, i he forgiveness of sins.
Psal. xxxiv. 18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are' of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalm cii. 17. He [the Lord) will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. 18. This shall be written for the generation to come.
Isaiah lvii. 15. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Matt. xxi. 22. All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Luke xviii. 1. And he [Jesus] spake a parable unto them, to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint [Then follows (v. 2-5) the parable of the widow and unjust judge, after which our Saviour proceeds ] 6. Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8. I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.
Col. i. 14. In whom [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
60th Q.-Does this forgiveness of sins flow from any merit in man, or from good works done by him?"
A.-Certainly not, he is indebted for it solely to the mercy of God in Christ.
See the Proofs to the next Answer,
6 1st Q. Is not this what is sometimes called Justification ?
A.-Yes, because the sinner's past transgressions being forgiven, he feels himself justified, through Christ, from the guilt he had imbibed by his former sins, so that they no longer impede his advancement towards that sanctification or justification * which constitutes the perfection of the Christian progress.
Rom. iii. 22. There is no difference: 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 21. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: 25. Whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
Eph. i. 7. In whom we have the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
Eph. ii. 4. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great Jove wherewith he loved us, 5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).
Rom. vi. 22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemna. tion to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
* Justification as applied to the pardon of sin is used in a legal sense, but as applied to sanctification it is used in its strict and proper sense, which signifies being made just or holy. For a full and clear explication of this important subject see Barclay's. Apology, Prop. vii. on Justification.
62d Q.- Are we thus justified by our own righteousness?
A.-We can have no righteousness of our own as creatures; but by the new birth, or regeneration, we are made one with Christ, as the branch with the vine ; so that his obedience and righteousness, his death, sufferings, and victory, become ours, not by an outward imputation, but by a real inward participation of his divine nature and righteousness; by which as we are sanctified, so are we justified.
Isaiah lxiv. 6. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
John xv. 4. As the branch cannot bear fruit of it, · self, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except
ye abide in me. 5. I am the vine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John xvii. 20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: 21. That they all may be one, as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in
1 John ii. 29. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
Rom. v. 17. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abund. ance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sioners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous,
Rom. x. 3. For they [Israel] being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
1 Cor. i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteous. ness, and sanctification, and redemption : 31. That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
2 Cor. v. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Titus iii. 5. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; 6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
63d Q.-Should not the soul press after a further attainment in holiness, notwithstanding it may have known its sins forgiven?
A.-Certainly it should, for though, in the state already described, it becomes a child of God, yet that state is comparable to infancy, in which the soul is inexperienced in the many snares and wiles of the enemy; but if it maintain the watch and persevere in its course, it will, after many conflicts and probations, arrive at the state of a young man in Christ, and obtain the victory over the wicked one.
1 John ii. 12. I write unto you, little children; because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.