Yesterday I shared a quote from Wayne Grudem on the atonement. Today it’s Spurgeon’s turn:
“All the love and acceptance which perfect obedience could have obtained of God belong to you because Christ was perfectly obedient on your behalf. Those who set aside the atonement as a satisfaction for sin also murder the doctrine of justification by faith. They must do so. There is a common element which is the essence of both doctrines; so that, if you deny the one, you destroy the other.
Modern thought is nothing but an attempt to bring back the legal system of salvation by works. Our battle is the same as that which Luther fought at the Reformation. If you go to the very ground and root of it, grace is taken away, and human merit is substituted. The gracious act of God in pardoning sin is excluded, and human effort is made all in all, both for past sin and future hope. Every man is now to set up as his own saviour, and the atonement is shelved as a pious fraud.I will not foul my mouth with the unworthy phrases which have been used in reference to the substitutionary work of our Lord Jesus Christ; but it is a sore grief of heart to note how these evil things are tolerated by men whom we respect . . .
I must have a righteousness, perfect and Divine; yet it is beyond my own power to create. I find it in Christ: I read that it will become mine by faith, and by faith I take it. My conscience tells me that I must render to God’s justice a recompense for the dishonour that I have done to His law, and I cannot find anything which bears the semblance of such a recompense till I look to Christ Jesus . . .”
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon