Thomas Charles on self-righteousness in the regenerate

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Even in those who have submitted to the righteousness of God, and put on Christ in sincerity, this spirit of pride and independency will still exert itself. It will strive in various ways to keep them from simply relying, as altogether guilty, on him, who is made of God unto us righteousness: and it is not without the greatest difficulty that they are brought, in the face of sin and guilt, to rejoice wholly in the Lord their righteousness.

When led to see their own righteousness as filthy rags, and driven from placing any confidence in the flesh,–in their own doings,—they are still anxious to possess something in themselves, on which to depend and build their hopes of acceptance with God; they will be tempted to look to the work of the Spirit in the heart, and make it the foundation, which can never be anything but the superstructure. ...

To correct this self-righteous spirit, the Lord often plunges his own people into the ditch, and causes their own clothes to abhor them, when, it may be, they have washed themselves in snow-water, and thought their hands clean. He takes off the restraint from some one or another of their corruptions, suffers the world and the devil, with their temptations to assail them, till feeling still more their sinfulness and misery, they abhor themselves and repent in dust and ashes, and are more frequent and earnest in their applications to his blood which cleanseth from all sin, and are brought to exalt “the Lord alone” in their hearts, and to rejoice in “the Lord their righteousness.” ...

For more, see Thomas Charles on self-righteousness in the regenerate.


Puritan Board Junior
I don't know any sin of the heart that is so difficult to remove, and pleads the most for its own innocency. "Is it not a little one?" It's a sin that looks the clearest of free promises in the face and strives to assert its own merit in some small degree. What a mercy that the Father holds fast to His covenant even when sins inhabit us that by their very nature depreciate the worth of His Son.

Thanks Daniel. In its own way this is a comfort to me. A good Lord's Day to all.
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