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"When Christ entered into Jerusalem, the people spread their garments in the way. When He enters into our hearts, we pull off our own righteousness and not only lay it under Christ's feet, but trample upon it ourselves" (Augustus Toplady).
What Mr. Toplady was describing in his statement is the reality of repentance that springs from the faith of justified sinners. A person who truly sees the holiness and justice of God sees that the only thing that can satisfy His law and justice is the merits of the obedience and death of Christ. In this sense, Christ becomes his all. He then sees the value of the Person and the mediatorial work of Christ to establish a righteousness that enables God to be just and justifier. By faith he runs to Christ and pleads His righteousness as the only ground of salvation. In light of this, he counts all his efforts before such faith as a garment to be trampled upon – dead works and acts of former idolatry.
Many preachers have said, "Before God clothes you, He strips you naked. Before He fills you, He makes you empty. Before He enriches you, He makes you poor." All this is true, but what does it mean? It means that a sinner cannot savingly know and be submitted to Christ's righteousness as the only ground of salvation while at the same time seeking to plead the righteousness of works as forming any part of the ground of salvation. Therefore, as Toplady wrote, in salvation, in light of Christ and the merits of His obedience and death, the enlightened sinner will see the utter worthlessness of His own righteousness, count it but "dung" (Phil. 3:7-10), and seek to be found standing before God clothed in Christ's merits alone. This is true faith and true Godly repentance.
--- Bill Parker
ALL OF GRACE
How perfectly suitable is the free grace of God in Christ to fallen sinners. Are we miserable? God is merciful. Are we unworthy? God is gracious. Are we poor and needy? God is infinitely rich in mercy. Are we defiled? We are forgiven through the blood of Christ. Are we guilty? Upon the basis of the death of our Substitute, we are made the righteousness of God in Him.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and
my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” ( Jeremiah 5:31)
We live in a day much like that of the prophet Jeremiah’s day – Preachers and politicians tell lies, and the leaders in religion join with and assist them in these lies. What is really sad is that the vast majority of people “love to have it so.” People complain about lying politicians, but if one comes along and simply speaks the truth, he would not be elected. I know it is not deemed politically correct in our modern society to say this, but truth is truth. For example, consider what is so great about our Gospel, true Christianity, that lifts it far above other religions? IT IS THE REVELATION OF GOD’S GRACE IN THE GLORIOUS PERSON AND FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST. Other religions have one or more great prophets who claim to speak for their god(s). True Christianity has Christ who is none other than God with us – the Godman in whom dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily. Other religions try to point sinners to the way, and they are all, in some way and to some degree, ways of salvation by the works of men. True
Christianity presents the Lord Jesus Christ as THE way – the one and only way of salvation by His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. Other religions seek various ways to make men righteous before God by their works. True Christianity commands sinners to submit to Christ and His righteousness imputed as the only way of justification before God. Other religions approach men as inherently good and seek to fan the supposed spark of goodness within them to inspire obedience. True Christianity approaches men as dead in trespasses and sins and in need
of a new birth by the Holy Spirit of God. Other religions seek to motivate men to obedience by threats of punishment and promises of mercenary reward. True Christianity seeks to motivate sinners by grace, love, and gratitude to God for salvation freely given in and by the Lord Jesus Christ. These things make true Christianity far superior to the world’s religions.