Pristine Grace

True Repentance
by Bill Parker
True Repentance

"When Christ entered into Jerusalem, the people spread their garments in the way. When He enters into our hearts, we pull off our own righteousness and not only lay it under Christ's feet, but trample upon it ourselves" - Augustus Toplady

     What Mr. Toplady was describing in his statement is the reality of repentance that springs from the faith of justified sinners. A person who truly sees the holiness and justice of God sees that the only thing that can satisfy His law and justice is the merits of the obedience and death of Christ. In this sense, Christ becomes his all. He then sees the value of the Person and the mediatorial work of Christ to establish a righteousness that enables God to be just and justifier. By faith he runs to Christ and pleads His righteousness as the only ground of salvation. In light of this, he counts all his efforts before such faith as a garment to be trampled upon – dead works and acts of former idolatry. 

     Many preachers have said, "Before God clothes you, He strips you naked. Before He fills you, He makes you empty. Before He enriches you, He makes you poor." All this is true, but what does it mean? It means that a sinner cannot savingly know and be submitted to Christ's righteousness as the only ground of salvation while at the same time seeking to plead the righteousness of works as forming any part of the ground of salvation. Therefore, as Toplady wrote, in salvation, in light of Christ and the merits of His obedience and death, the enlightened sinner will see the utter worthlessness of His own righteousness, count it but "dung" (Phil. 3:7-10), and seek to be found standing before God clothed in Christ's merits alone. This is true faith and true Godly repentance.