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SECTION V.


NO CONDEMNATION TO JUSTIFIED BELIEVERS.



"ALTHOUGH they are continually convinced of sin cleaving to all they do; although they are conscious of not fulfilling the perfect law, either in their thoughts, or words, or works; although they know they do not love the Lord their God with all their heart and mind, and soul, and strength; although they feel more or less of pride, or self-will, stealing in and mixing with their best duties. . . . Yet there is no condemnation to them still, either from God, or from their own heart."

"There is no condemnation to them which 'walk after the Spirit,' by reason of
inward sin, still remaining, so long as they do not give way thereto; nor by reason of sin cleaving to all they do. Then fret not thyself because of ungodliness, though it still remain in thy heart."

"They are not condemned, thirdly, for inward sin, even though it does now remain. That the corruption of nature does still remain, even in those who are the children of God by faith; that they have in them the seeds of pride and vanity, of anger, lust, and evil desire; yea, sin of every kind; is too plain to be denied, being matter of daily experience. And on this account it is that St Paul, speaking to those whom he had just before witnessed to be 'in Christ Jesus' (1 Cor. i. 2, 9), to have been 'called of God into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ;' yet declares. 'Brethren, I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ' (1 Cor. iii. 1)."

"And yet, for all this, they are not condemned. Although they feel the flesh, the evil nature in them; although they are more sensible, day by day, that their 'heart is deceitful and desperately wicked;' yet so long as they do not yield thereto; so long as they give no place to the devil; so long as they maintain a continual war with all sin, with pride, anger, desire, so that the flesh hath not dominion over them, but they still 'walk after the Spirit;' 'there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.'"

"There is no condemnation to them for anything whatever, which it is not in their power to help; whether it be of an inward or outward nature, and whether it be doing something, or leaving something undone. For instance, the Lord's Supper is to be administered; but you do not partake thereof. Why do you not? You are confined by sickness; therefore, you cannot help omitting it; for the same reason you are not condemned. There is no guilt, because there is no choice. As there is 'a willing mind, it is accepted, according to that a man hath, not according to that he hath not"'

"They are not condemned for sins of infirmity, as they are usually called. Perhaps it were advisable rather to call them
infirmities, that we may not seem to give any countenance to sin, or to extenuate it in any degree, by thus coupling it with infirmity. But (if we must retain so ambiguous and dangerous an expression), by sins of infirmity l would mean, such involuntary failings, as the saying a thing we believe true, though, in fact, it prove to be false; or the hurting our neighbor without knowing or designing it, perhaps when we designed to do him good. Though these are deviations from the holy, and acceptable, and perfect will of God, yet they are not properly sins, nor do they bring any guilt on the conscience of 'them which are in Christ Jesus'" — Sermons, vol. i. p. 70-73.