When faith is weakened by the law


There is a constant battle in the soul of every Christian believer between the lure of neonomian faith (the mixture of law and gospel) and pure faith in Christ for salvation, justification, acceptance and the love of God. Here Ebenezer Erskine beautifully highlights the nature of that battle:

The more that the legality of the heart is overcome, the stronger a man’s faith. Every man is naturally inclined to the law as a covenant; and while there is any thing of nature in the believer, he will find a strong bias in his heart, turning him into the works of the law, as a ground of acceptance before God. And oh, how easily and insensibly do our spirits glide into this old covenant-channel, imagining that God accepts of us the better, on the score of our inherent holiness, or external acts of obedience! Now, I say, the more that this bias of the heart is conquered, the stronger is our faith. A vigorous and lively faith, it overlooks all graces, duties, attainments, and experiences, as grounds of acceptance; and founds its confidence allenarly [solely] upon the blood of Jesus, the merit and mediation of the great high priest over the house of God, by virtue of the covenant of grace, and free promise of acceptance in him. The strong believer casts out the bond-woman, and her seed of legal works and doings, owning himself only a son of the free-woman, an heir of the promise of grace and glory, through Christ and his imputed righteousness. Upon this rock he drops his anchor, upon this foundation he builds his hope, disclaiming his goodness as a thing that extendeth not to the Lord, accounting his own righteousness, whether legal or evangelical, before or after conversion, as loss and dung, that lie may be found in Christ, having the righteousness which is through the faith of Christ.

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