The Danger of Adding Anything to the Finished Work of Christ — John Flavel (1628-1691)
“How dangerous and dishonourable a thing is it, to pin any thing of our own, to the righteousness of Christ, in point of Justification before God. Jesus Christ will never endure this. It reflects upon his work dishonourably…Not I, and my God. I, and my Christ did this: He will be all, or none in your Justification. If he have finished the work, what need of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish that which Christ himself could not? But we would fain be sharing with him in this honour, which he will never endure. Did he finish the work by himself, and will he ever divide the glory and praise of it with us? No, no, Christ is no half Saviour. O it’s an hard thing to bring these proud hearts to live upon Christ for righteousness. We would fain add our penny to make up Christ’s sum. But if you will have it so, or have nothing to do with Christ, you and your penny must perish together. God gives us the Righteousness of Christ, as he gave Manna to the Israelites in the Wilderness. It’s said, Deut. 8:16, that he fed them with Manna in the wilderness, that he might humble them. The quality of the Food was not humbling, for it was Angels Food; but the manner of giving it was so. They must live by faith upon God for it, from day to day. This was not like other Food, produced by their own labour. Certainly God takes the right way to humble proud Nature, in calling sinners wholly off from their own Righteousness, to Christ for their Justification.”
- John Flavel (1628-1691)
taken from: The Whole Works of the Reverend Mr. John Flavel.
John Flavel (or Flavell) was born in 1628 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He was the son of Richard Flavel, a minister who died of the plague in 1665 while in prison for nonconformity. John Flavel was educated by his father in the ways of religion, then “plied his studies hard” as a commoner at University College, Oxford. In 1650, he was ordained by the presbytery at Salisbury. He settled in Diptford, where he honed his numerous gifts…[Continue reading here]