Pristine Grace

Our Acceptance With God
by Robert Sandeman
Our Acceptance With God

     There is no occasion to fear that ancient Christianity be injured by debasing the names most highly esteemed amongst men. Christianity rather suffers when the character of God is debased. And this is always done when men go about to vitiate or change the true ground of acceptance with Him. Whatever doctrine then teaches us to think, that our friendly correspondence or acceptance with God is begun by our own good endeavors, seconded by the Divine aid, or even first prompted by the Divine influence, leads us to look for acceptance with God by our own righteousness; for whatever I do, however assisted or prompted, is still my own work; otherwise the most common actions of life could not be called our own, seeing in all these we must still acknowledge our dependence on God, in whom we live, move, and have our being. Agreeably to what is now said, we may find Philosophers and Pharisees, both ancient and modern, in the height of their self-applause, acknowledging Divine assistance, and ready to agree in using language like this, 'God, I thank thee for my excellency above other men.' We must begin our religion then as we would end it. Our acceptance with God, first and last, must rest entirely on the work finished by Jesus Christ on the cross; or we must betake ourselves to what many call the religion of nature, and what God warrants us to call the religion of pride, as being no less opposite to the law of nature, than to the Gospel.