The cross itself, as God’s justifying work in salvation, and the preaching of the cross of Christ as the primary means by which He conveys its truth, removes every religious work of man from the realm of significance. Our religious works are not only useless in assisting God’s redemptive work in Christ upon the cross, but is also useless in assisting God’s means for conveying that truth. Our flesh wants so very much to help God out and to help His message out with our religious observance: by our sacrifices and our good deeds. However noble our intent, and however sincere our motivations, it does not help at all, but hinders; and only shows us to be unfaithful to the heavenly declarations of grace in God’s Word. Mr. Toplady expresses this so beautifully in his hymn,
No price in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.[i]
This doesn’t mean that a virtuous life does not spring forth from a life kept near the gospel truth of Christ crucified by God’s grace. A life saved by the truth of the cross will be affected by the redemptive work of the cross, as we have understood its effectual power to save as mentioned earlier. Our holy life is the result of regeneration by the gospel of Christ; not the origin of it― and as the power of the Holy Spirit was discussed briefly in the last chapter, the sanctified life is one of progression by and through the Spirit’s work.
This excerpt is taken from Christ and Him Crucified, ch.V, pg.45.
DON’T FORGET, Christ and Him Crucified is available on Kindle for FREE today and tomorrow until midnight. Get your free Kindle edition here.
Christ and Him Crucified is on sale now. You can purchase the paperback from Amazon.com (CLICK HERE). Purchase a copy at 30% off the retail price of $12.95 by simply signing up for my eNewsletter (CLICK HERE). Even if you decide you don’t like the newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time; nevertheless, keep the 30% discount and purchase as many copies as you like.
[i] Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778), “A Living and Dying Prayer for the Holiest Believer in the World” (also known as “Rock of Ages”); written, 1774; first published, Gospel Magazine, March 1776.