Feb 25, 2011

"If one should ask thee what ground thou hast to think thou shalt be saved..." -John Bunyan

"That man doth act from a legal spirit who
maketh the strictness of his walking the ground
of his assurance for eternal life. Some men, all
the ground they have to believe that they shall
be saved, it is because they walk not so loose as
their neighbours, they are not so bad as others
are, and therefore they question not but that
they shall do well. Now this is a false ground,
and a thing that is verily legal, and savours only
of some slight and shallow apprehensions of the
old covenant. I call them shallow
apprehensions, because they are not right and
sound, and are such as will do the soul no
good, but beguile it, in that the knowledge of
the nature of this covenant doth not appear to
the soul, only some commanding power it hath
on the soul, which the soul endeavouring to
give up itself unto, it doth find some peace and
content, and especially if it find itself to be
pretty willing to yield itself to its commands.
And is not this the very ground of thy hoping
that God will save thee from the wrath to
come? If one should ask thee what ground thou
hast to think thou shalt be saved, wouldst thou
not say, Truly, because I
have left my sins, and
because I am more inclinable
to do good, and to learn, and get more
knowledge; I endeavour to walk in church
order, as they call it, and therefore I hope God
hath done a good work for me, and I hope will
save my soul. Alas, alas! this is a very trick of
the devil to make souls build the ground of
their salvation upon this their strictness, and
abstaining from the wickedness of their former
lives, and because they desire to be stricter and
stricter. Now, if you would know such a man
or woman, you shall find them in this frame—
namely, when they think their hearts are good,
then they think also that Christ will have mercy
upon them; but when their corruptions work,
then they doubt and scruple until again they
have their hearts more ready to do the things
contained in the law and ordinances of the
Gospel. Again, such men do commonly cheer
up their hearts, and encourage themselves still
to hope all shall be well, and that because they
are not so bad as the rest, but more inclinable
than they, saying, I am glad I am not as this
publican, but better than he, more righteous
than he (Luke 18:11)." -John Bunyan

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions