There is a default spiritual condition in every man that is deplorable. Many professing believers, while extolling the great work of God’s grace on their behalf to save them or they would be among those doomed to an eternity in hell, actually hold to a position that is based entirely within the scope of self-righteousness. These “believers” seek to be justified before God in and of themselves. They may not declare it verbally, but by their own acts it is obvious that they view their “sanctification” and their religiosity as that which is justifying them before God. This is nothing new. The Word of God makes clear that even Cain slew Able because his own “religious works” were not acceptable to God while righteous Able was justified before God because of an imputed righteousness about which Cain knew nothing. This continues in 21st century Christianity. The tragedy is that a huge contributor to this problem is a dreadful lack of the teaching of the deep things of God in our churches. This results in so many Christians being ignorant of the basics of theology.
John Bunyan was an incredible Bible teacher in 17th Century England. Bunyan understood more than most that genuine Christians are so because of God’s grace alone. He also understood that God had every right to take away as well as to give, all by grace, to prepare believers for service in whatever capacity was required for the Kingdom. Since this was so, how could justification be based upon man’s own efforts, abilities and deeds?
Possessing the Treasure shares Bunyan’s essay, “Justification By An Imputed Righteousness or No Way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ”, in which Bunyan deliberately exegetes sacred Scripture to clearly teach these truths to God’s elect.