14 August 2009

Far from that Melancholy

Only when the entire present condition is justified can there be individual good works. Inasmuch as not our particular activity but our whole existence is reprehensible in the sight of God, our works cannot justify us before God, but only he can justify us before God, who has made our whole existence right and pleasing to God, namely, Christ. By the fact that Christ rose--that is, that he did not at one time become a human and then ceased to be a human, that he is continually and eternally a human--by that fact we have received justification, the free gift of righteousness (Rom 5:17), and hence also our present condition of separation from God has become a condition accepted by God, a condition in which we can move peacefully, even joyfully, far from that melancholy, self-tormenting Christianity that can only impose on us a total denial of what Christ has done for us.

--F. W. J. Schelling, Ausgewaehlte Werke (4 vols; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftlichen Buchgesellschaft, 1968), 2:4; quoted in Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics (4 vols; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003-08), 3:548

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