"...Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work..." Rom 11:3
Romans 4:1,2 What shall we then say that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.
Galatians 3:7-9 Know ye therefore, that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Luke 23:39-43 Then one of the evildoers who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this Man did nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
"Go you on with the commandments, and I will go on with the promises. Make the law your rule of walk, and I will pray God to perform his promise in me, for God hath said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." Thus you go on by the law, and I by the gospel. Do you perform your duty, and I will plead my privileges. Act thou as an industrious servant; and, by God's grace, I will act as an affectionate son. Be thou obedient to the law, and I will pray for grace for obedience to the faith. Live thou in the fear of thy master, and I will endeavour to honour my heavenly Father.
Make the law thy only rule of action, and act accordingly; and I will depend upon God to work in me both to will and to do of his own good pleasure; yea, to fulfill all the good pleasure of his will in me, and the work of faith with power.
Make the law your only rule of conversation. Speak of the commandments "when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates; that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children; in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them as the days of heaven upon the earth," And I will pray God to create the fruit of my lips; to give me a mouth and wisdom that all my enemies shall not be able to gainsay or resist; and that it may not be me that speaks, but that the Spirit of my heavenly Father may speak in me; and then my conversation will be with power, and my words seasoned with salt, ministering grace. Thus runs the promise, and the excellency and the power is of God; and, if God perform his promise to me He will have all the glory; and, if thou perform thy task, thou hast whereof to glory, but not before God, whatever thou dost before men.
Let the ministers of the letter bind all the grievous burdens upon your shoulders that you can possibly bear, and I will cast my burdens on the Lord who has promised to sustain me. Be thou careful to observe all the grievousness which they prescribe, and I will cast all my care upon him that careth for me. Walk thou by sight, and I by faith; walk thou in the letter, and I in the Spirit. Look thou to the commandments, and I will look to Jesus....
Most men will proclaim their own goodness, but a faithful man who can find? Men who are unacquainted with the power of godliness must enforce the letter, for that is all their stock. With the letter, a great noise, and a fair shew in the flesh, they deceive the simple. The mystery of faith is a puzzling thing to an unexperienced heart and an unenlightened head: when they attempt this they only betray their ignorance...
If thou cleave to the letter of the law, and make that thy rule of life, walk, actions, and conversation; then thy obedience will be the obedience of the law, not of faith; they will be thy fruits, not the fruits of the Spirit. By the law you work, by the gospel God works in me. You produce fruit in obedience to the letter; in Christ is my fruit found. You work by the law, by the gospel God works all my works in me. By the law you must make a new heart, and a new spirit; by the gospel God creates me anew in Christ Jesus. By the law you must love God; by the gospel God's love is shed abroad in my heart. By the law you must wash you, and make you clean; by the gospel God cleanses me from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit. Thus God works by the gospel, and by the law you work: by the one self is denied, and Christ is all in all; by the other, self is exalted, and you are all in all. One of these agents must give way: grace must be grace, and works no more works; or works must be all, and grace nothing at all...
"I do not frustrate the grace of God; for, if righteousness come by the law, Christ is dead in vain." And as righteousness did not come by the law, so neither did holiness, life, or sanctification come by the law. Christ is made of God unto us wisdom, life, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and he doth sanctify and cleanse his church, and present it without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing."
Grace, triumphant in the throne,
Scorns a rival, reigns alone!
Come, and bow beneath her sway,
Cast your idol-works away;
Works of man, when made his plea,
Never shall accepted be;
Fruits of pride, (vain glorious worm!)
Are the best he can perform.
Self, the god his soul adores,
Influences all his powers;
Jesus is a slighted name,
Self-advancement all his aim;
But when God the Judge shall come.
To pronounce the final doom,
Then for rocks and hills to hide
All his works and all his pride!
Still the boasting heart replies,
What! the worthy and the wise,
Friends to temperance and peace,
Have not these a righteousness?
Banish every vain pretence
Built on human excellence;
Perish ev'ry thing in man,
But the grace that never can.
Deut. 29:2-4 And Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; The great temptations which thy eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the LORD hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, to this day.
Isa. 6:8-10 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Mark 4:9-12 And he said to them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was alone, they that were about him, with the twelve, asked of him the parable. And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Believe God. Faith is a gift!