Perfecting a Character After the Similitude of Christ
"Sunnyside," Cooranbong, N.S.W.,
March 15, 1897.
In what sense can it be said that God is reconciled to the sinner? Will he excuse my guilt if I continue to transgress? We may all understand the meaning of this reconciliation. Through Christ every obstruction is removed, and access to God is secured. Man is urged and welcomed to the pardoning love of God. By his love for fallen men, God is honored and glorified and magnified through Jesus Christ. God can be just, and yet pardon the transgressor. O what love, what matchless love! The justice, holiness, and truth of Christ are vindicated in the law, and therefore there is nothing to hinder God's mercy from descending, abundant, free, and full, in pardon, taking away sin, and imputing the righteousness of Christ. Those who accept this pardon form themselves into a glorious copartnership with Christ, and they become channels to communicate the grace of pardoning love to those who are in the darkness of error.
God justly condemns all who will not receive and believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. Christ is standing at the door of our hearts, longing to pardon all who will come unto him that they may have life. O what words, what precious words are these! He is not merely merciful, but is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Our work is to hear his voice, open the door of our hearts, and welcome the heavenly guest. We then stand before God and the whole heavenly universe innocent, though ourselves undeserving, while Jesus carries our guilt. He takes the load which it was the lot of the sinner to bear. What responsive love, what gratitude, what thank-offerings should ascend to God, because Christ has died to make reconciliation for our sins, and by his complete obedience bring in everlasting righteousness.
Christ has paid all that man owes to God from the beginning of his life. Sin is the transgression of the law, and through Christ man must now render perfect obedience to that law. By his righteousness of active obedience, Christ clothes me with his righteousness, in order that I shall not continue in sin, but perfect a character after the similitude of Christ.