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There is liberty from the guilt of sin

3. But there is one fact more startling than both of these things, and I dare say some of you will demur to it; nevertheless it is God’s truth, and if you don’t like it, you must leave it! There is liberty from the guilt of sin. This is the wonder of wonders. The Christian is positively not guilty any longer the moment he believes. Now, if Her Majesty in her goodness spares a murderer by giving him a free pardon, that man cannot be punished: but still he will be a guilty man; she may give him a thousand pardons, and the law cannot touch him, but still he will guilty; the crime will always be on his head, and he will be branded as a murderer as long as he lives. But the Christian is not only delivered from the bondage and from the punishment, but he is positively absolved from the guilt. Now this is something at which you will stand amazed. You say, “What? is a Christian no more a sinner in God’s sight?” I answer, he is a sinner as considered in himself; but in the person of Christ he is no more a sinner than the angel Gabriel; for snowy as are angelic wings, and spotless as are cherubic robes, an angel cannot be more pure than the poor blood-washed sinner when he is made whiter than snow. Do you understand how it is that the very guilt of the sinner is taken away? Here I stand to-day a guilty and condemned traitor, Christ comes for my salvation, he bid me leave my cell, “I will stand where you are; I will be your substitute; I will be the sinner; all your guilt is to be imputed to me; I will die for it, I will suffer for it; I will have your sins.” Then stripping himself of his robes, he says, “There, put them on; you shall be considered as if you were Christ; you shall be the righteous one. I will take your place, you take mine.” Then he casts around me a glorious robe of perfect righteousness; and when I behold it, I exclaim, “Strangely, my soul, art thou arrayed, with my elder brother’s garments on.” Jesus Christ’s crown is on my head, his spotless robes are round my loins, and his golden sandles are the shoes of my feet. And now is there any sin? The sin is on Christ; the righteousness is on me. Ask for the sinner, Justice! Let the voice of Justice cry, “Bring forth the sinner!” The sinner is brought. Who doth the executioner lead forth? It is the incarnate Son of God. True, he did not commit the sin; he was without fault; but it is imputed to him: he stands in the sinner’s place. Now Justice cries, “Bring forth the righteous, the perfectly righteous.” Whom do I see? Lo, the Church is brought, each believer is brought. Justice says, “Are these perfectly righteous?” “Yes they are. What Christ did is theirs, what they did is laid on Christ; his righteousness is theirs; their sins are his.” I appeal to you, ye ungodly This seems strange and startling, does it not? You have set it down to hypercalvinism, and you laugh at it. Set it down for what you please, sirs. God has set it up as his truth, he has made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. And now, if I am a true believer, I stand here freed from every sin. There is not a crime against me in the book of God, it is blotted out for ever; it is cancelled; and not only can I never be punished, but I have nothing to be punished for. Christ has atoned for my sins, and I have received his righteousness, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

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