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jor which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Eph. iv. 15. speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Philipp. iii. 12. not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Heb. v. 13, 14. every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe: but strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 1 Pet. ii. 2. as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 2 Pet. iii. 18. grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Thus much of increase. With regard to perfection, although this latter is not to be expected in the present life, it is our duty to strive after it with earnestness, as the ultimate object of our existence. Matt. v. 48. be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perject. See also 2 Cor. xiii. 11. Col. i. 28. that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. iv. 12. that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. James i. 4. that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Hence the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit in the regenerate. Gal. v. 16. walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 1 Tim. vi. 12. fight the good fight of faith. 2 Tim. iv. 7. I have jought a good fight. A similar struggle is maintained against the world and Satan. John vii. 7, the world hateth me, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. xv. 18, 19. if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. See also xvii. 14. Rom. xii. 2. be not conformed to this world. Gal. vi. 14. by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. James iv. 4. ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God, 1 John iii. 13. marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
There is also a victory to be gained. Rev. ii. 7. to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. v. 26. he that overcometh ..... to him will I give power over the nations. iii. 5, he that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment. v. 12. him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God. v. 21. to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne. xxi. 7. he that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Over the world; 1 John ii. 15. and v. 4. whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Over death; Prov. xii. 28. in the way of righteousness is life, and in the pathway thereof there is no death. xiv. 32. the righteous hath hope in his death. John viii. 51. if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Rev. ii. 11. he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. xiv. 13. blessed are the dead which die in the Lord Jrom henceforth. Over Satan; Eph. vi. 10, &c. be strong in the Lord.... that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil: being clothed with the whole armour of God to oppose him. James iv. 7. resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 1 John ii. 14. ye have overcome the wicked one. Rev. xii. 11. they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.
Hence such as are strenuous in this conflict, and earnestly and unceasingly labour to attain perfection in Christ, though they be really imperfect, are yet, by imputation and through the divine mercy, frequently called in Scripture perfect, and blameless, and without sin; inasmuch as sin, though still dwelling in them, does not reign over them. Gen. vi. 9. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations. xvii. 1, walk before me, and be thou perfect. 1 Kings xv. 14, the high places were not removed; nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with Jehovah all his days. See also 2 Chron. xv. 17. Philipp. iii. 15. let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus minded. Heb. x. 14, by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. I John iii. 6. whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. See also v. 18. Coloss. ii. 2. that their hearts
might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God and of the Father, and of Christ. Eph. iii. 18, 19. that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the
love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Having considered the absolute or internal increase of the regenerate, I proceed to speak of that which is relative or external.
This increase has reference either to the Father exclusively, or to the Father and Son conjointly.
That which has reference to the Father exclusively is termed JUsTIFICATION and Adoption. Rom. viii. 30. whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified—.
JUSTIFICATION is THE GRATUITous PURPose of God, whereby THOSE WHO ARE REGENERATE AND PLANTED IN CHRIST ARE ABsolved FROM SIN AND DEATH THROUGH HIs Most PERFECT SATISFACTION, AND AccountED JUST IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT THROUGH FAITH.
THE GRATUITous PURPOSE. Rom. iii. 24. being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. v. 16, 17. not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift : for the judgement was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification : Jor if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Tit. iii. 7, being justified by his grace.
OF GOD, that is, the Father. Rom. iii. 25, 26. whom God hath
set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. viii. 33. it is God that justifieth. In the Son through the Spirit. 1 Cor. vi. 11. but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
THROUGH THE SATISFACTION OF CHRIST. Isai. liii. 11. by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Rom. v. 9. much more then being now justified by his blood. we shall be saved from wrath through him. v. 19. by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. x. 4. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
As therefore our sins are imputed to Christ, so the merits or righteousness of Christ are imputed to us through faith.” I Cor. i. 30. of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 2 Cor. v. 21. he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Rom. iv. 6. even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. v. 19. for as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. It is evident therefore that the justification, in so far as we are concerned, is gratuitous; in so far as Christ is concerned, not gratuitous: inasmuch as Christ paid the ransom of our sins, which he took upon himself by imputation, and thus of his own accord, and at his own cost, effected their expiation; whereas man, paying nothing on his part, but merely believing, receives as a gift the imputed righteousness of Christ. Finally, the Father, appeased by this propitiation, pronounces the justification of all believers. A simpler mode of satisfaction could not have been devised, nor one more agreeable to equity.
* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . His obedience Imputed becomes theirs by faith. Paradise Lost, XII. 408.