The previous post in this series may be found here: http://wp.me/p1S7fR-2jS
The eleventh property of a humble person is:
in all religious duties and services, he trades with God upon the credit of Christ.
This may take some explanation: When a humble being comes to God, it is “natural” for us to take comfort in our goodness, righteousness, duties. We like to feel good enough to come before God. The humble person knows he has no right standing before God, and thus he does come to God thinking that he has some earned credit for right of access.
The humble person rightly knows that our sins and rebellions have so defiled us that we have no right come to God on our own merit. Therefore, we come before God on the merit of Christ and thus are freely accepted:
Plutarch reports that it was wont to be the way of the Molossians, when they would seek the favour of their prince, they took up the king’s son in their arms, and so went and kneeled before the king, and by this means overcame him.1 So do humble souls make a conquest upon God with Christ in their arms. The Father will not give that soul the repulse that brings Christ in his arms.2 The humble soul knows that God out of Christ is incommunicable, that God out of Christ is incomprehensible, that God out of Christ is very terrible, and that God out of Christ is inaccessible; and therefore he still brings Christ with him, and presents all his requests in his name, and so prevails, &c. Oh! but proud souls deal with God upon the credit of their own worthiness, righteousness, services, prayers, tears, fastings, &c., as the proud Pharisees and those wrangling hypocrites in Isa. 58:1–3.
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 3 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 20.
This one is easily tested: Do you find yourself thinking that you have right of access when you have been well behaved but you skulk and whimper to ask forgiveness of known sin? It is a throne of grace. We have no right to grace, or else it would not be grace. But grace will receive us at all accounts. If our freedom in worship depends upon our own behavior and not the merit of Christ, we show ourselves to be foolishly proud. Let us repent on the basis of Christ’s merit and worship on the basis of Christ’s merit and rejoice on the basis of Christ’s merit and thus we will live forever on the basis of Christ’s merit.