“Here I will briefly suggest the doctrine concerning justification in answer to this question–the doctrine taught in the Bible, and written in the hearts of God’s people, and by the experimental knowledge of which they try and judge every speech and doctrine, whether it be true or false. And should any reader of this page have opposed heretofore the doctrine of salvation by sovereign, free and discriminating grace, may the Lord grant him now to see it as the only way, and as what he has indeed experienced, though not until now understood, and to rejoice in seeing all apparent contradictions vanish and beautiful harmony appear through all the Scriptures!
Since man has broken God’s holy law, justice demands that he should die. Being guilty, nothing that he himself can do can atone for the crime, and so he cannot be pronounced just. So the convicted soul correctly reasons. He cannot see how a clean thing can be brought out of an unclean, or a work so good and perfect as to satisfy a holy law come from a corrupt heart. He cannot see how an infinitely holy God can receive an unholy, polluted being into his presence and favor. In all this the poor sinner reasons in harmony with the teachings of the Scripture: “Be ye holy, for lam holy,” saith the Lord in I Peter 1:15. “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).” “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good–no, not one (Psalm 14:2,3).” “There is none righteous–no, not one (Romans 3:10).” “In my sight shall no flesh living be justified (Psalm 143:2).” “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law (Galatians 2:16).”
Christ came to do for his people and to be unto them all that was needed. He saved them from their sins by bearing them himself. “His name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).” To them he gives spiritual life, and faith to see and know him as their Saviour; and by this faith they receive him as their righteousness, holiness, perfection. Those who profess to regard him as their Saviour, and yet hold that anything whatever on the part of the creature is necessary as a condition of justification and spiritual life, are as far from receiving him as the Pharisees were, resting not upon him, but upon the performance of that condition. He is believed and trusted by his people as their complete Saviour, who has not only freed them from the law, but will bring them to rest in him and be eternally blessed.
With this blessed hope they remain in the body, and have still to mourn. Here is what appears so contradictory to the world, that they speak of being perfect as those must be who shall inherit glory, and yet complain of indwelling sin. But their perfection is in Christ, “who has given them the earnest of the Spirit,” and in themselves they see more and more of that need which makes him more precious to them.” The Trial of Job