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first pardon then holiness

"Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness..." (Romans 4:4-5 ESV)

"The Gospel does not command us to do anything in order to obtain life, but bids us live by that which another has done; and the knowledge of its life-giving truth is not labor but rest—rest of soul—rest which is the root of all true labor; for in receiving Christ we do not work in order to rest, but we rest in order to work...

"The divine order then is first pardon, then holiness; first peace with God, and then conformity to the image of that God with Whom we have been brought to be at peace. For as likeness to God is produced by beholding His glory (2 Cor. 3:18), and as we cannot look upon Him till we know that He has ceased to condemn us, and as we cannot trust Him till we know that He is gracious; so we cannot be transformed into His image till we have received pardon at His hands. Reconciliation is indispensable to resemblance; personal friendship must begin a holy life...

"When we say that believing is not working, but a ceasing from work, we do not mean that the believing man is not to work, but that he is not to work for pardon, but to take it freely, and that he is to believe before he works, for works done before believing are not pleasing to God."

Horatius Bonar, God's Way of Holiness



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