Pristine Grace

By the Same Light
by John Newton
By the Same Light

"And we know that the son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true."  - 1 John 5:20

    By nature the will is perverse and rebellious, and the affections alienated from God: the primary cause of these disorders lies in the darkness of the understanding. Here then the change begins. The Spirit of God enlightens the understanding, by which the sinner perceives things to be as they are represented in the word of God; that he is a transgressor against the divine law and on this account obnoxious to wrath; that he is not only guilty, but depraved and unclean and utterly unable either to repair past evil or to amend his own heart and life. He sees that the great God might justly refuse him mercy; and that he has no plea to offer in the arrest of judgment.

    This discovery would sink him into despair, if it went no further; but by the same light which discovers him to himself, he begins to see a suitableness, wisdom and glory in the method of salvation revealed in the gospel.  He reads and hears concerning the person, sufferings, and offices of Christ, in a very different manner to what he did before; and as, by attending to the word and ministry, his apprehensions of Jesus, and his understanding, become more clear and distinct, a spiritual hope takes place and increases, in his soul; and the sure effect of this is, he feels his love drawn forth to him who so loved him as to die for his sins.

    Beholding, by faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, as bleeding and dying upon the cross; and knowing for whom, and on what account, he suffered, he learns to hate, with a bitter hatred, those sins which nailed him there. The amazing love of Christ constrains him to account all things which he formally valued as dross and dung, for the excellency of the knowledge of his Savior.  

    Nor does this faith stop here; he views him who once suffered and died, raising triumphant from the tomb, and ascending into heaven in the character of the representative, friend, and forerunner of his people. Having such a high priest, he is encouraged to draw near to God, to claim an interest in the promises respecting the life that now is, and that which is to come.