Quotes from Pilgrim’s Progress to consider

What makes you acceptable to Christ?

He doubted that his acceptance of Christ had made him worthy to claim all the promises of God. Therefore he was afraid he would not be accepted by God. He doubtless believed in a brand of religious legalism—that we must obey law to obtain sufficient grace to become worthy of acceptance.

How true this is for so many of us. Initially we believe in Christ alone for justification, but because our eyes have been opened to our sin, we are deceived into thinking that law-keeping is now necessary to prove that we are worthy of his acceptance, forgetting that it is because of this sin that Christ died in the first place, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).

Greatheart then says,

Yes, but the truth is, we must have sufficient grace before we can obey God’s law, and this grace is received through faith in the cross of Christ, and not by works of righteousness. By the Holy Spirit operating through our faith, we are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Good works are the aim and result of grace, and not the cause. Grace is the remedy for fear; and if we pray, believing, we receive sufficient grace.

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About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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