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and for ever covered, as being cast into the depths of the sea, Mic. vii. 19. There is a formal remission of sins, past and present, and a non-imputation of sins to come. The believer is the blessed man to whom the Lord will not impute sin, Rom. iv. 8. All the sins that he hath eommitted are blotted out as with the Saviour's blood, Isa. xliii. 25. And none of these which he shall commit, shall be judicially laid to his charge, Rom. viii. 33. They shall not be set to his account. God will not remember them, Heb. viii. 12. It would be poor comfort, if the believer being forgiven all the sins that he hath commited prior to his union with Christ, were to begin a new score, so to speak. In vain should he emerge from the waves of guilt, if for the first of fence he were to be replunged in them. At this rate, indeed, his head would still be under water. But better, far better things are provided for him. His neck being once lifted off the block of justice, shall never, never be again laid there. The righteousness of the Saviour being imputed to him, none of his own unrighteousnesses ever shall. The imputation of both cannot possibly take place, 2 Cor. v. 19, 21. His iniquity being caused to pass from him, the extremities of east and west shall sooner meet, than it return, Psal. ciii. 12. Being stripped of the filthy garments, and clothed with change of raiment, Zech. iii. 4. sure as God is unchangeable, the white shall not be torn off, and the black again put on. He is justified, he is jus tified, and ever shall. And not only is he saved from the guilt of sin; but also,
2dly. From its filth. That Saviour in whom he believes for salvation, came not by blood only but also by water, 1 John v. 6. By water to wash away the filth of sin, as well as by blood to atone for its guilt. Such. as are justified in his name, are also sanctified by his Spirit, 1 Cor. vi. 11. According to his mercy he saves us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. iii. 5. Believers not being under the law, sin shall not have dominion over them, Rom. vi. 14. They are not only glorious without, in re
spect of their courtly dress, imputed righteousness; but made all glorious within, by a work of inherent grace. They are adorned with the hidden man of the heart, a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Pet. iii. 4. Though black as Ethiopians, yet being made heirs of the kingdom, their complexion is changed by a miracle of omnipotent grace. They are made white, and thus one saving wonder is added to another, the greater to the less. It was much to adopt the Ethiopian into the family. But O! to change his skin, to give him the family likeness, to adorn him with the Adopter's own image, that is grace, grace unspeakable. It was much to be recovered to the divine favour, but more to be made partaker of the divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. Satan the destroyer struck at the image of God in man, nor did he miss his mark. To repair that image so defaced, was the Saviour's great errand into the world. And he accomplisheth it effectually in all such as believe on him. As a Surety he redeems their life, but as a Physician he healeth all their diseases; with his stripes they are healed, Isa. liii. 5. From his wounds issued that balm which cures their most inveterate maladies, Psalm ciii. 3, 4. Actual remission was given by the sentence of the judge, but to purify the pardoned, requires the working of his mighty power. The one was effected by the breath of his lips, so to speak, but the other requires the strength of his arm. That was done at once: this by degrees.
3dly. Such as believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are saved from the very being of sin. The Saviour does not only lop off its branches, but at last he tears up its very roots. Soon as a sinner believes in him, the power of his sin is broken, but its very being is not destroyed till death. Though it reigns no more in the man, it still exists in him. In the day of power it was tumbled from the throne of the heart, but at the day of death only it shall be altogether cast out. The leprosy has so infected the walls of the house, that it is not to be entirely removed, till they be thrown down and not
one stone left upon another, Lev. xiv. 45. In believ
4thly. Such as believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are at last saved from the very effects of sin. This is entirely distinct from the three preceding particulars. To remove the guilt of sin is one thing; to remove its filth another, to destroy its being, a third. But all these may be done, its effects still remaining. Thus, when the soul is caught up before the throne, still the effects of sin are visible in it. What else is the language of its disembodied state? Though a pure soul, it is without its body. A state which it had never known, had not sin entered. Long as soul and body are asunder, they both are under the effects of sin, though without sin itself. It was sin that loosed the knot of union, so to speak, and while it remains untied, the effects of sin continue. The disembodied soul, amidst all its unutterable joys on high, cannot but remember how low its
partner lies in the gloomy grave, and of consequence long for its resurrection to glory. The effects of sin are thus written in heaven and in earth; in the unbodied soul, and the mouldering dust of the saints. But from these the Saviour will save his people. Having delivered them from sin itself, he will not leave them under its disagreeable effects. Sure as his own soul was not left in hell, nor his body suffered to see corruption; he will not leave the souls of his people in their disembodied state, or suffer their flesh to be always a prey to the monster death. As he in his whole man is now in heaven, so shall they in his appointed time. The body was bought with a price, it is the Lord's, and therefore he will save it. But being first in the transgression, as I may say, (for by its senses sin entered the soul,) it is just that it should be last in the salvation. So much for salvation from sin in its guilt, filth, being, and effects.
3dly. Such as believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are saved from Satan. Being brought forth of the prison of a natural state, brought forth by the orders of the judge, the jailor has no more legal power over them. It is one great part of Christ's salvation, as to open the eyes of sinners, turning them from darkness unto light, so also to turn them from the power of Satan unto God, Acts xxvi. 18. While in a state of unbelief, they are Satan's home-born slaves. Having them as in his custody he tyrannizes over them at his pleasure, subjecting them to the basest drudgery. His galling chain is wreathed around their neck, and all the miseries of bondage they suffer. But in the day of power the Saviour enters the prison-house, binds the strong man, knocks off the sinner's chains, and bids him follow him. A glorious salvation indeed! From that day forward the elect sinner is no more under Satan's power as formerly. He is no more a captive, but a combatant, and at last shall be more than a conqueror. I say, a combatant, for though legally delivered from Satan, that tyrant's wrath was never greater than now. And hence, like another Pharoah, he musters up all his for
ces, and pursues the soul so lately escaped, intending to bring it under double bondage. But the Lord-deliverer is at hand, as the believer's rear-ward; and in the end, will write confusion on every attempt formed against him. What day he struck off the sinner's fetters, he put on him the whole armour of God. In so doing he told him that he was to fight, and promised he should overcome. When he gave him armour, he taught him to use it, and use it, and daily gives him strength to fight the good fight of faith, 1 Tim. vi. 12. And thus as he died for the sinner, to redeem him from justice, so he fights in him, and for him, to save him from the power of Satan. As a Priest he bled, but as a King he gives deliverance from the wicked one. In that case the sinner was bought with a price; in this, he is saved by power. There he bruised Satan under his own feet; and here he bruiseth him under the feet of his saints, Rom, xvi. 20.
Sometimes indeed they may be sore harrassed and well-nigh overcome. While sin is in them, Satan will every now and then be upon them. Fall they may, but that Saviour, in whom they believe, will raise them up again. Into temptation they may come, but God is faithful, who will not suffer them to be tempted above what they are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that they may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. x. 14. The Saviour who was himself tempted, will not fail to succour them that are tempted, Heb. ii. 18. He is merciful and faithful to give grace to help in time of need, chap. iv. 16. His sheep shall never perish. Though simple, the enemy with all his wiles shall not deceive them into hell. Though weak, the restless and the roaring lion shall not devour them, Their Redeemer is strong: the Lord of hosts is his name.
4thly. Such as believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are saved from this present evil world. This was one end he had in view when he gave himself for our sins, Gal. i. 4. and therefore such as trust in him shall be saved with this salvation. The world, though all engaged