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
Q.33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. Westminster Shorter Catechism
Those whom God effectually calls, he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.
From the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
Man’s goings are of the Lord: how can a man then understand his own way?
To know that our daily experiences are of the Lord must encourage our continual trust of Him and submission to His mysterious ways. He will provide for all His people who follow Him. Think of your past and how you have been guided and carried through to this point in your life. Praise the One who has richly sustained you. Look to the future glory that will follow those who have trusted and continue to live “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2). Walking by faith rather than by sight is the theme of much Scripture and Christian experience. Though we may not fully understand the meaning of our lives, how can we build up our faith and trust in the God who rules over us?
I would suggest by using the means that God has given us; the regular gathering together with God’s people in worship, submitting to the faithful preaching of the Word of God, prayer and participation in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The note above, with the exception of my suggestion, is from The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible. —Joel R. Beeke is the General Editor.
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:24
From the Lord’s Supper pious souls derive the benefit of considerable satisfaction and confidence; because it affords us a testimony that we are incorporated into one body with Christ, so that what is his, we are at liberty to call ours. The consequence of this is, that we venture to assure ourselves of our interest in eternal life, of which he is the heir, and that the kingdom of heaven, into which he has already entered, can no more be lost by us than by him; and, on the other hand, that we cannot be condemned by our sins, from the guilt of which he absolved us, when he wished them to be imputed to himself, as if they were his own. This is the wonderful exchange which, in his infinite goodness, he has made with us. Submitting to our poverty, he has transferred to us his riches; assuming our weakness, he has strengthened us by his power; accepting our mortality, he has conferred on us his immortality; taking on himself the load of iniquity with which we were oppressed, he has clothed us with his righteousness; descending to the earth, he has prepared a way for our ascending to heaven; becoming with us the Son of man, he has made us, with himself, the sons of God. – Institutes, IV, xvii, ii
This is the November 6 devotional from THINE IS MY HEART, Devotional Readings from John Calvin
That although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation, yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent.
—- an excerpt from Chapter 15 of The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled-this you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.
Here the prophet spoke a word in season, to the weary. He addressed those who fear God but found themselves overwhelmed with afflictions, walking in darkness. Maybe they struggled with error, perhaps sorrow and possibly even death. Isaiah pointed the children of God of his day away from themselves and exhorted them to trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God!
He also had a word for the hypocrite, for the self-righteous and the self-reliant. It was a warning to those who lit their own fire, made their own light and looked to themselves for salvation. Thus says the Lord, “this you shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment”.
When the Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ, walked in this world he said; “come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.
May we be found looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.