Sunday, August 20, 2023

Repentance Required By Jesus #JesusFollowers

Humanity in general were grossly corrupted both with respect to their understandings, their affections and actions, when our Lord undertook to reform them, and this rendered each one personally displeasing to his maker, as each one was become the proper object of divine dislike. 

Everyone who had behaved grossly unworthy of, and unsuitable to, his character, and who had thereby disappointed the very end of his creation; did by this means render himself personally displeasing to his maker, and the proper object of his resentment. 

For as we are free beings who have the direction of our own actions, and as we are endowed with a discerning and reasoning faculty which when carefully used and attended to would in the general rightly direct our understanding, our affections and actions, so this puts it into everyone's power, and leaves it to our choice to behave well, or ill; to render ourselves personally pleasing, or displeasing to God; and consequently to be the proper object of divine favor, or resentment. 

If then, our Lord Jesus Christ would be a savior to humanity he must reform them, and must rightly direct their minds and lives; because there was no other possible way in which he could render them personally pleasing to God, and consequently no other possible way in which he could be a favor to them. 

If he had lived to the age of Methuselah, and had behaved all that time in the best and most perfect manner possible, and if he had died a death a thousand times more painful and shameful than what he did, this might have rendered him in his own person so much the more pleasing and acceptable to his Father, as he hereby might become so much more the proper object of divine regard; but this could not possibly render any other person more or less pleasing to God, because no other person could  be Jesus.

Since the reformation of the world, and rightly directing and governing the minds and lives of human beings, was the only possible way in which Christ Jesus could be a benefit to them: so this was the only way in which he proposed to be their benefit, and this was the only method he pursued in order to obtain that goal. 

He tells sinners plainly that unless they repent they will perish; and that the true and only way to life eternal is to keep the commandments; and that if they do this they shall live; and the like. 

This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. As to saving humanity by the imputation of his own righteousness, or the meritorious sufferings, or the prevailing intercession of Christ alone, apart from our repentance, these are doctrines which Jesus himself never taught, and are what Jesus never pretended to save us by; but were methods of salvation set up by men who have called themselveshby his name. And these methods of saving humanity, as they are of human invention, and are no part of the gospel of Christ Jesus; so they naturally and manifestly tend to subvert it.

(Adapted from the writings of Thomas Chubb)

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