Question 60. How are you righteous before God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. That is: although my conscience accuse me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and that I am still prone always to all evil, yet God without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sin, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me, if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgment-seat of God, must be perfect throughout and wholly conformable to the divine law; whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
From The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23 & 24
“We basically have a medieval view of repentance today in a lot of Protestant churches. If I just rededicate my life, if I just promise to do better, if I just show God that I really mean business this time. Instead of saying, you know what, no. Actually, its going to be harder than this. Your whole life, you’re going to be dying daily.It’s not going to be this extraordinary moment of repentance and flush all your garbage down the toilet and start all over again. No, every day you’re going to have to die to yourself and live to Christ. And this repentance is going to be a daily, very hard, very difficult task…”
“Again, this is what happens when you have a high view of God, a high view of his righteousness and holiness, a high view of his word, a high view of his commands and then that leads you to, how could I find a gracious God? And it’s the grace of God that leads us to repentance. Our whole life, therefore, is one of repentance.”
by Michael Horton from a White Horse Inn broadcast titled Sin & Grace in the Christian Life, March 26, 2017
O Almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant to your people that they may love the thing which you command, and desire that which you do promise, that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer.
(After the Rev. James McCarthy)
“Whatever he may owe, my friend,
Put that to my account.
I promise I myself will pay
To you the full amount.”
So Paul became the Surety
For him, the runaway,
As Christ my debt did undertake
To free me on That Day.
For imputation laid my sins
Upon His spotless soul.
And all God’s wrath, He satisfied,
Not partly, but the whole.
Blest Grace that paid what I could not
And kindly gave to me
His perfect righteousness so pure
That I His face may see.
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming–in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning– “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:32-37
At the conclusion of His teaching Christ repeatedly called His disciples to watch, watch, watch. The biblical doctrine of Christ’s second coming is not something to stimulate curiosity and speculation about a timetable of events. It is a summons to spiritual alertness and constant prayer, since we do not know when the Lord will appear.
—- Copied from notes in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible
“It remains therefore a truth, in defiance of all the cavils of the ignorant, that the Holy Spirit does influence the hearts of all the children of God, or, in other words, they are inspired, not with new revelations, but with grace and wisdom to understand, apply, and feed upon the great things already revealed in the Scriptures, without which the Scriptures are as useless as spectacles to the blind.” — From Letters to a Nobleman (XV)
Here, in one long sentence, Mr. Newton reminds us of at least three things; 1) that God has given all his children the Holy Spirit in order “that we might understand the things freely given us by God“, 2) no one can comprehend the Word of God apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” and 3) there are no new revelations apart from the truths revealed in the Holy Scriptures.