Perkins: Christ Did Not Obey And Die To Make Our Works Meritorious

Objection 2. Christ by His death, merited that our works should merit life everlasting.

Answer. That is false. All we find in Scripture is that Christ, by His merit procured pardon of sin, imputation of righteousness, and life everlasting. And it is nowhere said in the Word of God that Christ did merit that our works should merit. It is a dotage of their own devising. He died not for our good works to make them able to satisfy God’s anger, but for our sins that they might be pardoned. Thus much says the Scripture, and no more.”

William Perkins, A Reformed Catholic, in Works, 7:54.

HT: Inwoo Lee.

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One comment

  1. “CHR. How dost thou believe?

    IGNOR. I believe that Christ died for sinners, and that I shall be justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of my obedience to his law. Or thus, Christ makes my duties, that are religious, acceptable to his Father, by virtue of his merits; and so shall I be justified.

    {363} CHR. Let me give an answer to this confession of thy faith:–

    1. Thou believest with a fantastical faith; for this faith is nowhere described in the Word.

    2. Thou believest with a false faith; because it taketh justification from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own.

    3. This faith maketh not Christ a justifier of thy person, but of thy actions; and of thy person for thy actions’ sake, which is false.

    4. Therefore, this faith is deceitful, even such as will leave thee under wrath, in the day of God Almighty; for true justifying faith puts the soul, as sensible of its condition by the law, upon flying for refuge unto Christ’s righteousness, which righteousness of his is not an act of grace, by which he maketh for justification, thy obedience accepted with God; but his personal obedience to the law, in doing and suffering for us what that required at our hands; this righteousness, I say, true faith accepteth; under the skirt of which, the soul being shrouded, and by it presented as spotless before God, it is accepted, and acquit from condemnation.

    {364} IGNOR. What! would you have us trust to what Christ, in his own person, has done without us? This conceit would loosen the reins of our lust, and tolerate us to live as we list; for what matter how we live, if we may be justified by Christ’s personal righteousness from all, when we believe it?

    CHR. Ignorance is thy name, and as thy name is, so art thou; even this thy answer demonstrateth what I say. Ignorant thou art of what justifying righteousness is, and as ignorant how to secure thy soul, through the faith of it, from the heavy wrath of God. Yea, thou also art ignorant of the true effects of saving faith in this righteousness of Christ, which is, to bow and win over the heart to God in Christ, to love his name, his word, ways, and people, and not as thou ignorantly imaginest”.

    Pwekins and Bunyan seem to be in agreement – Surprise, Surprise!

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