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are actually involved only on his first sin, for, as Paul says: the judgment is by one offence to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
It does seem to us that the only possible ground upon which we become involved in Adam's sin is the ground of legal imputation. The sin is not consciously but it is really and imputatively ours. This imputation to be just must be founded upon a covenant relation in which we stand to Adam. This covenant relation or union is the ground of our responsibility for the sin of our first parent, and our actual exposure to the penal consequences of his transgression. Now, as the apostle has drawn a parallel between Adam and Christ, let us pass to the other branch of it. Having considered the method by which we become sinners, and therefore condemned, let us briefly notice the method by which we become righteous and therefore justified. We have already seen that the crying demand of the guilty sinners is a justifying righteousness, and we have also seen that the possibility of attaining such a righteousness on the ground of personal obedience to law is absolutely precluded. If he be justified it must be by the righteousness of another. The question arises as to the method by which we are made possessors of such a vicarious righteousness. We take the apostle's answer: Just as we become unrighteous in Adam, so we become righteous in Christ. Or, to use the words of the same apostle in another place: "As in Adam all die, so even in Christ shall all be made alive."
By virtue of that union by which believers are connected with Christ, his righteousness is imputed to them, and they are regarded as having performed it in Him. It is not a conscious righteousness, for we are not consciously one with Christ. But it is a legal righteous
ness, accounted to them as if they had furnished it themselves. As natural birth is the general medium by which we are related to Adam, so spiritual birth is the medium by which we are related to Christ. Faith, one of the chief elements of the new nature, created by the Holy Ghost, is the specific means by which we are united to Christ; it is the bond on the sinner's part, as the Spirit is on Christ's, the ligament which binds him to Christ.
Faith is the instrument by which we receive the righteousness for which, as sinners beggared of spiritual food, we apply to God, and which he bestows upon us "without money and without price." We regard this faith not as itself a righteousness, for in that case it would be a work, and according to the apostle could have no influence upon our salvation, but as the ability to receive the imputed righteousness of Christ produced in the heart by the efficacious grace of the spirit; and thus both the righteousness which justifies and the faith through which we are justified are the free gifts of God's favor. "By grace ye are saved through` faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Thus is the whole scheme by which the sinner is justified one of mere grace. The only seeming objection to the view which contemplates this plan as one entirely of grace, is that as a perfect fulfilment of the claims of the law entitles, on the score of justice, to a merited reward, and as the sinner by imputation becomes possessed of this righteousness he is entitled to eternal life on the platform of strict justice and not of grace. But this objection is at once obviated by considering that it was an act of free grace and mercy on the part of the Father to commission His well beloved Son to perform the work of
redemption, and equally an act of amazing grace and unspeakable love on the part of the Son to "undertake" for sinners and consent to die. So that, while in one aspect, the sinner by virtue of the finished work of Christ has a right and title to eternal life, in another, that claim is seen based on the boundless mercy of God.
Thus have we endeavored, briefly and imperfectly, to show that to be sanctified we must be previously justified, and that the scheme of free grace is that upon which we are justified and, therefore, is essential to sanctification. This view is confirmed by the representation which the Scriptures give of the order of the different parts of the work of redemption. Thus, it declares that whom God predestinates He calls; and and whom He calls, He next justifies. So that justification comes next in order to effectual calling, or regeneration and conversion; and thus, also, Christ is represented as being first our wisdom to instruct and enlighten; next our righteousness, to justify; and subsequently our sanctification and redemption—and as sanctification is necessarily prior to redemption, so justification is necessarily prior to sanctification.
And, consequently, as the scheme of free grace which the apostle lays down is that upon which we are actually justified, it follows that it is necessary to our sanctification. And that the scheme of justification which we have defended is the scheme which the apostle propounds is proved, if on no other ground, by the striking fact that the identical objection which is urged at the present day against this scheme was urged against the doctrines of the apostle. The applicability of the objection to each proves their identity.
II. We remark in the next place that the union of the believer with Christ which has been contemplated as the prominent feature in the plan of justification involves considerations which show the intimate harmony which subsists between that plan and our sanctification.
This union of Christ and His people is not to be regarded as a merely civil or political connexion, as of subjects with their king, or people with their leader, as the representations of sacred Scriptures are too strong for such a view. Nor is it to be considered a union of essence, as that would be blasphemous; nor, lastly, as a union of person, for as Christ is a divine person from eternity such a union would be impossible, but it is a federal and spiritual union. Given to Christ by the Father in an eternal covenant, all His people, in the fullness of time, become actual partakers of that covenant by the regenerating grace of the Spirit, through faith which, as a spiritual union, introduces them into the blessings of the federal communion. In both these aspects, as federal and spiritual, the believer's union with Christ becomes the spring of his salvation. Faith is the instrument by which he becomes a partaker of the blessings of the federal unionjustification and adoption-and is the great principle by means of which he attains the equally important blessings of santification. It is a great mistake with many to regard faith as merely the individual act by which the sinner apprehends Christ in the moment of justification, which is needed no further as its function has been discharged, or if it be necessary in subsequent life it is a faith which, in some way or other, differs from that which justifies. The error of this view is that it makes faith merely an act, whereas, it is a grace of
the Holy Spirit, controlling the whole subsequent life of the justified believer. And the great point of connexion between our justified and sanctified states seems to us to consist in the fact that the same blood which becomes available through faith to justify is applied through faith to sanctification. The blood of Christ both frees from wrath and purges the conscience from dead works. The chief difference which exists between faith as exercised in justification and as employed in sanctification is that in the former case, it regards Christ mainly in His priestly office; and in the latter, regards Him in all His offices, as prophet, priest and king. Christ, as priest, offers an atonement and provides a righteousness which faith leans on for justification. But in the progressive work of sanctification, the believer, by faith, looks to Christ as his priest, to intercede for him; his prophet, to instruct; and his king to defend him. The great principle, "without faith it is impossible to please God," is equally applicable to our justified and our sanctified states. Through that faith, which receives a graciously imputed righteousness, we are freed from a guilt-burdened conscience and the fearful apprehensions of a coming wrath, and this is the victory that overcometh the world-even our faith. Not the most untiring expenditure of human effort-not watching, striving, prayers and tears—but simple faith in the free grace of the crucified Savior. Looking unto Jesus, the author and the furnisher of our faith, is the grand secret, both of freedom from wrath and holiness of life.
But not only is the faith which is instrumental in justification necessary to sanctification, but there are other principles with regard to which the same observation holds. By virtue of this union with Christ we