« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
CONTENTS OF VOL. VI.
Johx xiï. 8.- If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,
WHETHER OR NOT THE SINS OF BELIEVERS WHILE UNREPENTED OF,
MAKE THEM LIABLE TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT ?
THERE are two things which the children of God ought diligently to study; what they are in themselves; and what they are, and do enjoy, in Christ. The consideration of the former will serve to keep them humble; and the knowledge of the latter will be a store house of comfort against discouragement, a magazine of armour, where with they may resist the devil in his assaults, and will afford unto them great matter of thankfulness and praise, which well becometh Christians. For, to exalt Christ is the Christian's great work; and no wonder, seeing it is the great design of the gospel to exalt him, and the riches of free grace, as the Apostle Paul almost every where teacheth. Wherefore we may safely lay it down for a certain conclusion, and rule of doctrine, That whosoever doth most exalt Christ and free grace, so as it have a native tendency to a holy walk, is a gospel-truth; which, if duly noticed, will readily lead us unto a true answer to the question proposed. Now, amongst all the privileges which believers do in their own person enjoy, the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, is not the least; which, how far it extends itself with respect to the sins of believers, is the subject of the present inquiry. In which, that we may the more happily proceed, I shall promise these few things to be considered.
1. Sin is a relative term, and denotes somewhat to which it hath a relation ; and that is a law; “ for where there is no law,” saith the Apostle, “ there is no transgression; and sin is a deviation from the law of God, to which the creature, in point of right, is subject; and therefore is called anomia, 1 John iii. 4. Now, there are two things in the law which are here to be taken notice of; the command, which is the rule of life; and the threatening, which is a denunciation of the punishment the guilty doth incar.