by John Bunyan
“…so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.”
─Titus 3:7-8, NASB
Third, Faith is such a grace, as will represent to the soul all things in their proper colors. It does not, as does unbelief and ignorance, show us all things out of order; putting darkness for light, and bitter for sweet; but will set everything in its proper place before our eyes; God and Christ shall be with it, the highest good, the most lovely and agreeable; a heavenly life shall be of greater esteem, and more desirable, than all the treasures of Egypt! Righteousness and sanctification will be the thing after which it will most passionately pursue; because it does not only see death and damnation as the fruits of sin, but also sin itself for what it is, distinct from the punishment belonging to it, being a detestable, horrible, and revolting thing (Hebrews 11:25-27; Philippians 3:7-12; Romans 12:9).
By faith we see that this world has no abiding in it for us, nor any satisfaction, even if it were otherwise (Proverbs 3:35; Hebrews 11:15, 16; 13:14; 1 Corinthians 7:9-31). And it is for this reason that the people of God have groaned to be gone from here, into a state that is both sinless and free from temptation. And again, it is for this reason that they have run through so many trials, afflictions, and adversities, even because of that love to holiness of life that faith being in their hearts did prompt them to, by showing them the worth and eternalness of that which was good, and the irksomeness and evil of everything else (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Hebrews 11:33-39).
Fourth, Faith lays hold of that which is able to help the soul to bring forth good works: it lays hold of and engages the strength of Christ, and by that overcomes that which oppresses; “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
In a word, a life of holiness and godliness in this world does so inseparably follow a principle of faith that it is both monstrous and ridiculous to suppose the contrary. What, shall not he that has life have motion! (Galatians 2:20). He that has received the spirit of holiness by faith, shall he not be holy? (Galatians 3:2); and he that is called to glory and virtue, shall he not add to his faith virtue? (2 Peter 1:4-5). We are by faith made good trees, and shall we not bring forth good fruit? (Luke 6:43). They that believe are created in Christ Jesus unto good works; and God has, before the world was, ordained that we should walk in them; and shall both our second creation, and God’s fore-ordination be confounded? (Ephesians 1:4; 2:10). Besides, the children of faith are the children of light, and of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:5). They are lights upon a hill, and candles on a candlestick, and shall they not shine? They are the salt of the earth, shall they not be seasoning? (Matthew 5:13-16).
The believer is the man set apart, by whom God shows to the world the power of His grace, the operation of His people’s faith, &etc. The unbelievers read indeed of the power of grace; of the faith, hope, love, joy, peace, and sanctification of the heart of the Christian; but they feel nothing of that sin-killing operation that is in these things; to them these are just like a story of Rome or Spain. For that reason, to show them in others, what they find not in themselves, God works faith, hope, love, &etc., in a generation that shall serve Him; and by them they shall see what they cannot find in themselves; and by this means they shall be convinced, that though sin and the pleasures of this life are sweet to them, yet there is a people otherwise minded; even such a people, that do indeed see the glory of that which others only read of, and from that sight take pleasure in those things which they are most opposed. To this, I say, are Christians called; herein is God glorified; hereby are sinners refuted; and by this the world condemned (1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 2:12; 3:1; Hebrews 11:7).
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