"The way for anyone to be justified is by the principle of
faith. Everyone, however, is not willing to be justified that way, and many are
"going about to establish their own righteousness" (Romans 10:3). This is
really an impossibility, if they only knew it, for such an effort betrays an
ignorance of themselves and of God. Of themselves, for such can have no right
sense of their guilt before God. Of God, for they think that He can lower the
standard of His holiness and righteousness to the measure of their supposed
attainment. That He never will."
"Forgiveness assures us of immunity from everlasting punishment. Justification, which goes further, assures us of an indefeasible title to be in God's holy presence."
"Yet it is also to be noted that Gods scourge fell immediately upon the people themselves, for it was against them Jehovah had a controversy (v. 1). "A solemn time it must have been. Pestilence was walking in darkness, and destruction was wasting at noonday. The destroying angel was actively at work, and no man was able to withstand him. Throughout the length and breath of the land death was claiming its victims. Who would next be struck no one could tell. No remedy availed to cure the sick. No intercession, however urgent, succeeded in preserving the life of a beloved one. All joy must have fled: all energy for ordinary pursuits must have been paralyzed. God was working, and in power. Of old He had laid bare His arm, and worked in power on behalf of Israel; now His hand was outstretched, but in this deadly way against them. Could any charge Him with injustice? No. They deserved the chastisement, though Davids act in numbering them was the proximate cause for this visitation. Helpless, how helpless were they all. Their only hope was in the mercy of God" (C. E. Stuart).
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