Forensic Friday: The cor cordis of the Gospel

It is, nevertheless, the very cor cordisof the Gospel that is here brought under fire. The one antithesis of all the ages is that between the rival formulae: Do this and Live, and, Live and do this; Do and be saved, and Be saved and do. And the one thing that determines whether we trust in God for salvation or would fain save ourselves is, how such formulae appeal to us. Do we, like the rich young ruler, feel that we must “do some good thing” in order to be saved? Then, assuredly, we are not yet prepared to trust our salvation to Christ alone — to sell all that we have and follow Him. Just in proportion as we are striving to supplement or to supplant His perfect work, just in that proportion is our hope of salvation resting on works, and not on faith. Ethicism and solafideanism — these are the eternal contraries, mutually exclusive. It must be faith or works; it can never be faith and works. And the fundamental exhortation which we must ever be giving our souls is clearly expressed in the words of the hymn, “Cast your deadly doing down.” Only when that is completely done is it really Christ Only, Christ All in All, with us; only then, do we obey fully Paul’s final exhortation: “Let you joy be in the Lord.” Only then do we renounce utterly “our own righteousness, that out of law,” and rest solely on “that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God on faith.” (Benjamin B. Warfield, “The Alien Righteousness” [sermon on Phil 3:9], in Faith and Life, pp. 324-25)

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6 thoughts on “Forensic Friday: The cor cordis of the Gospel

  1. Amen and Amen! We are either trusting in Christ and His righteousness, His active and passive obedience on our behalf, or else we are trusting in our own. We cannot possibly trust in both!

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  2. For some reason I am not always as grateful as I should be so I continue to go to Church in order to be reminded of this good news and be forgiven for my ingratitude.

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  3. I think Lutherans were on the right track theologically but the reformed theological moralism sidetracked the reformation. There will be many surprises in glory!!

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