Pristine Grace

Ingratitude and Presumption
by Robert Hawker
Ingratitude and Presumption

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." - Galatians 2:21

    It would be a miserable thing indeed, and sadly frustrating, and making void, the riches of God's grace, to join anything of the work of the creature, in whole, or in part, as in the least contributing to justification before God. For if righteousness comes by the law: if any of the fallen race of Adam could be supposed capable of working out for themselves a righteousness of their own; yea, could perform a single deed or exercise a single thought of purity to recommend themselves to the great Searcher of hearts: in this case, it would set aside, the necessity of redemption. For this would at once show that the creature hath a capability of somewhat, be that somewhat ever so little; and by improvement, more might then be expected from him.

    And then, the consequences which would follow would be that there could have been no cause for so great a sacrifice as God's dear Son. The blood of Christ might have been spared: and Christ (as Paul saith) is then dead in vain. Whereas, the decided, unalterable language of Holy Scripture on this point is that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22. That it was in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6. And that, if one died for all, then were all dead. 2 Corinthians 5:14. Oh! the foul ingratitude in attempting to lessen the infinite importance of Christ's obedience and death as the sole cause of salvation! Oh! the horrible presumption in, thereby, impeaching both the wisdom and love of God in the contrivance of such vast mercies! And, oh! Thou dear Redeemer! what base returns are these to Thee and all Thine agonies and soul-travail, when men set up a righteousness of their own to lessen, thereby, the infinitely precious sacrifice of Thyself on the cross, whereby alone, Thou hast perfected for ever them that are sanctified!