Q. 36.What are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow
from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
1. Are they that are justified happy in this life? Yes: for being justified by faith, we have peace with God, Rom. 5:1. And are they so that are adopted? Yes: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, 1 John 3:2. And are they so that are sanctified? Yes: for to the pure all things are pure, Tit. 1:15.
2. May they have an assurance of God's love? Yes: Ye know that ye have eternal life, 1 John 5:13. Is the Spirit the author of that assurance? Yes: the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God, Rom. 8:16. Is it wrought by evidences? Yes: hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments, 1 John 2:3. Do all believers attain this assurance? No: some walk in darkness, and have no light, Isa. 50:10. But should they labour after it? Yes: Show the same diligence unto the full assurance of hope unto the end, Heb. 6:11. And is it an unspeakable comfort? Yes: for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost, Rom. 5:5. And is it just cause for triumph? Yes: I know whom I have believed, 2 Tim. 1:12.
3. Is peace of conscience a precious privilege? Yes: for if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God, 1 John 3:21. Is it the fruit of grace? Yes: for the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever, Isa. 32:17. Has Christ left it as a legacy to his disciples? Yes: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, John 14:27. Can those who are unjustified have this peace? No: There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked, Isa. 57:21. Should those that are justified labour after it? Yes: Return to thy rest, O my soul, Ps. 116:7. Should this peace govern us? Yes: Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, Col.3:15. And will it preserve us? Yes: The peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds, Phil. 4:7. And will it be our comfort in the day of evil? Yes: our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, 2 Cor. 1:12. Is it therefore our interest to secure it? Yes; Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence, Acts 24:16.
4. May those who are justified have joy in the Holy ghost? Yes: for believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1:8. Have they cause for joy? Yes; for gladness is sown for the upright in heart, Ps. 97:11. Is it their duty to rejoice? Yes; Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice, Phil. 4:4. Is it their interest to rejoice? Yes: for the joy of the Lord is their strength, Neh. 8:10. May they rejoice in all conditions? Yes; for we glory in tribulations also, Rom. 5:3. And is this a superlative joy? Yes: it is gladness in the heart more than in the time that their corn and wine increased, Ps. 4:7.
5. Is grace growing ? Yes: He that hath clean hands shall be Ber and Ber, Job 17:9. Is it so in its nature? Yes: for it is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day, Prov. 4:18. Is it our duty to grow in grace? Yes: Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3:18. And may we rest in what we have attained? No: but press forward towards the mark, Phil. 3:14. Is it promised to all believers that they shall grow? Yes: for to him that hath shall be given, Matt. 25:29. Will the grace of God make them grow? Yes: I will be as the dew unto Israel, he shall grow as the lily, Hos. 14:5.
6. Shall true believers persevere to the end? Yes: for he that hath begun a good work will perform it, Phil. 1:6. Will hypocrites persevere? No: these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away, Luke 8:13. Does it appear by their apostasy that they never were sincere? Yes: they went out from us because they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us, 1 John 2:19. But shall any that are justified finally fall away? No: for whom he justified, them he glorified, Rom. 8:30. Is every fall a falling away? No: for though he falls he shall not be utterly cast down, Ps. 37:24. May the appearances of grace be lost? Yes: from him shall be taken away even that which he seemed to have, Luke 8:18. But can true grace be finally lost? No: it is that good part which shall never be taken away, Luke 10:24. Will God recall his gifts? No: the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, Rom 11:26. Will he secure them? Yes: we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1:5. and v. 7. Is the perseverance of the saints secured by the divine power? Yes: No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hands, John 10:29. And by the divine providence? Yes: for he will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, 1 Cor. 10:13. And by the divine grace? Yes: I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me, Jer. 32:40. And by the intercession of Christ? Yes: I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, Luke 22:32. And by the indwelling of the Spirit? Yes: The anointing which you have received, abideth in you, 1 John 2:27. And by the stability of the promise? Yes: my covenant will I not break, Ps. 89:34. May they be secure then? No: Be not high-minded, but fear, Rom. 11:20. But may they be encouraged? Yes: he will preserve me to his heavenly kingdom, 2 Tim. 4:18.