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Posts Tagged ‘Human Merit’

We can never be saved partly by grace and partly by works

December 27, 2012 2 comments

Spurgeon 3Now I suppose that in this congregation we have but very few-there may be some-who would indulge a hope of being saved by the law in itself; but there is a delusion abroad that perhaps God will modify the law, or that at least he will accept a sincere obedience even if it be imperfect; that he will say, “Well, this man has done what he could, and, therefore, I will take what he has given as though it were perfect.” Now, remember against this the Apostle Paul declares peremptorily, “By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified,” so that that is answered at once. But more than this, God’s law cannot alter, it can never be content to take less from thee than it demands. What said Christ? “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail,” and again he expressly said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The law’s demands were met and fulfilled for believers by Christ; but as far as those demands are concerned to those who are under it, they are as great, as heavy, and as rigorous as ever they were. Unless his law could be altered, and that is impossible, God cannot accept anything but a perfect obedience; and if you are hoping to be saved by your sincere endeavors to do your best, your hopes are rotten things, delusions, falsehoods, and you will perish wrapped up in the shrouds of your pride. “Yes,” some say, “but could it not be partly by grace and partly by works?” No. The apostle says that boasting is excluded, and excluded by the law of faith; but if we let in the law of works in any degree, we cannot shut out boasting, for to that degree you give man an opportunity to congratulate himself as having saved himself. Let me say broadly-to hope to be saved by works is a delusion; to hope to be saved by a method in which grace and works are co-acting, is not merely a delusion, but an absurd delusion, since it is contrary to the very nature of things, that grace and merit should ever mingle and co-work. Our apostle has declared times without number, that if it be of grace it is not of works, otherwise grace is no more grace; and if it be of works, then it is not of grace, otherwise work is no more work. It must be either one or the other. These two cannot be married, for God forbids the banns. He will have it all grace or all works, all of Christ or all of man; but for Christ to be a make-weight, for Christ to supplement your narrow robes by patching on a piece of his own, for Christ to tread a part of the wine-press, and for you to tread the rest; oh! this can never be. God will never be yoked with the creature. You might link an angel with a worm and bid them fly together, but God with the creature-the precious blood of Jesus with the foul ditch-water of our human merits- never, never. Our paste gems, our varnished falsehoods, our righteousnesses which are but filthy rags, put with the real, true, precious, everlasting, divine things of Christ! Never! Unless heaven should blend in alliance with hell, and holiness hold dalliance with impurity! It must be one or the other, either man’s merit absolutely and alone, or unmixed, unmerited favor from the Lord.

Charles H. Spurgeon—Grace Exalted-Boasting Excluded—A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, January 19th, 1862