Can We Keep God’s Commands?
Benjamin Cox Answered an Objection by a Pelagian to a Certain Passage
If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
Here you must consider to whom our Savior spake this, viz., of one who sought to establish his own righteousness, and to get Heaven by his own doing of the good works which the Law required, who accordingly had propounded this question, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” The meaning of our Savior’s answer is this, if thou wilt think to get eternal life this way, you must keep the commandments, that is, you must be found as a person not any way guilty of any transgression against God’s commandments. This was a thing of mere and utter impossibility and our Savior’s scope in returning to him this answer, was to discover unto him the vanity and madness of his proud and foolish imagination. Thus, this place rightly understood has not in it the least show of opposition against our doctrine.
Benjamin Cox-Some Mistaken Scriptures Sincerely Explained, in Answer to One Infected With Some Pelagian Errors 1646.