By Richard Sibbes
Now let us see how it may be known that I live the life of faith in justification.
By trying how it comes in the soul: as Romans 7:4, says the apostle, “Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God.” After a man is dead by the law, and apprehends himself slain, then he comes to live this life of faith. Christ enlivens none but the dead…Such only are quickened by him who find themselves dead in the law. Then they come to see that life and comfort are out of themselves and in another. Justification springs from a holy despair, and receiving life, after we have seen ourselves dead.
Where this life of faith is, there is a wonderful high valuing and prizing of Christ, his righteousness, merits, obedience, and wisdom of God in that way of forgiveness of our sins by this God-man, the wonderful mediator; as in Philippians 3:8, Paul counts all things “but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord,” being contented to suffer the loss of all things to win Christ. It is the precious pearl to sell all for. Paul accounts all our own righteousness as nothing in regard to this.
There must be a high estimation of the riches of Christ’s obedience and sufferings: for where there is not this high estimation of it, they are rotten in the point of justification. But you see how Paul sets at being bad and vilifies all things in regard thereof; so Roman 4:16, “Abraham is brought in to be justified by grace, to the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed. ” And Psalm 32:2, He is pronounced to be the blessed man, “unto whom the Lord imputes not iniquity, and whose sin is covered.”
This common domain work’s language modernized in some places.