But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The individual who looks at his character and position from a legal point of view will not only despair when he comes to the end of his reckoning, but if he is a wise man he will despair at the beginning; for if we are to be judged on the basis of the law, none of us will be justified. How blessed to know that we live in the realm of grace and not of law! When thinking of my standing before God, the question is not, "Am I perfect in myself before the law?" but "Am I perfect in Christ Jesus?" That is a very different matter. We need not ask ourselves, "Am I without sin naturally?" but "Have I been washed in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness?" It is not "Am I in myself well pleasing to God?" but "Am I accepted in the Beloved?"
When the Christian views his evidences from the top of Sinai, he grows alarmed about his salvation; it is far better for him to view his position in the light of Calvary. "Why," he says, "my faith has unbelief in it; it is not able to save me." Suppose he had considered the object of his faith instead of his faith. Then he would have said, "There is no failure in Him, and therefore I am safe." He sighs over his hope: "My hope is spoiled and darkened by an anxious focusing on present things; how can I be accepted?"
If he had regarded the ground of his hope, he would have seen that the promise of God stands sure and that whatever our doubts may be, God's oath and promise never fail. Believer, it is always safer for you to be led by the Spirit into gospel freedom than to wear legal fetters. Judge yourself on what Christ is rather than on what you are. Satan will try to spoil your peace by reminding you of your sinfulness and imperfections: You can only meet his accusations by faithfully holding to the Gospel and refusing to wear the yoke of slavery.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.