“Conscious Justification”: The Power of Assurance

“…conscious justification, such as Luther contended for, shut out priesthood and penance; giving a man the joy of true liberty and divine fellowship at once, without the intervention of another party or the delay of an hour.

This conscious justification started the man upon a happy life, because relieved from the burden of doubt and the gloom of uncertainty;

it made his religion bright and tranquil, because springing so sweetly from the certainty of his reconciliation to God;

it delivered him from the cruel suspense and undefined fears which the want of assurance carries always with it;

it rescued him from all temptations to self-righteousness, because not arising from any good thing in himself; it preserved him from pride and presumption, because it kept him from trying to magnify his own goodness in order to extract assurance out of it;

it drew him away from self to Christ, from what he was doing to what Christ had done; thus making Christ, not self, the basis and the centre of his new being;

it made him more and more dissatisfied with self, and all that self contained, but more and more satisfied with Jesus and His fulness;

it taught him to rest his confidence towards God, not on his satisfaction with self, not on the development of his own holiness, not on the amount of his graces and prayers and doings, but simply on the completed work of Him in whom God is well pleased.”

Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness, Ch.9

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