Morning, September 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” — Romans 3:26
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Our conscience accuses no longer. Any judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Our memory looks back upon past sins, with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of his people to the last letter and stroke of the pen, and received the divine receipt; and unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this gives us alarm at first; but is it not marvelous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace?! If God is just, I — a sinner — alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my stead and is punished for me; and now, if God is just, I — a sinner — standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change his nature before one soul, for whom Jesus was a substitute, can ever, by any possibility, suffer the lash of the law. Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer — having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that his people ought to have suffered as the result of sin – allows the believer to shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Not God, for he has justified; not Christ, for he has died, “Yes, rather has risen again.” My hope lives — not because I am not a sinner — but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me. On the lion of justice, the fair maiden of hope rides like a queen.