Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Horatius Bonar: Not Faith, but Christ, is our Righteousness

Horatius Bonar asserts that Christ, not faith, is our righteousness; faith simply unites us to Christ and is accounted unto righteousness (cf. Rom. 10:10):

Yet, after all, faith is not our righteousness. It is accounted to us in order to righteousness (Rom 4:5), but not as righteousness. For in that case it would be a work like any other doing of man and as such would be incompatible with the righteousness of the Son of God -- the “righteousness which is by faith.” Faith connects us with the righteousness and is therefore totally distinct from it. To confound the one with the other is to subvert the whole gospel of the grace of God. Our act of faith must ever be a separate thing from that which we believe.

… So faith is not our righteousness: it merely knits us to the righteous One and makes us partakers of His righteousness. By a natural figure of speech, faith is often magnified into something great; whereas it is really nothing but our consenting to be saved by another. Its supposed magnitude is derived from the greatness of the object which it grasps, the excellence of the righteousness which it accepts. Its preciousness is not its own, but the preciousness of Him to whom it links us. (Horatius Bonar, Not Faith, But Christ)

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