I have been reading with my friend Gabe through John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, the spiritual autobiography of the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. I came upon the free online edition through the Monergism website, which you can find here. This work deserves a much lengthier treatment, because it unfolds the violent, ongoing wrestling for assurance of the man we now know as such a spiritual giant. But in light of Reformation Sunday tomorrow and our celebration of justification by faith, I found this quote by Bunyan, when the truth of the Gospel finally and forever siezed him, to be particularly powerful. He makes this statement in light of Romans 3:21-26:
“Now was I as one awakened out of some troublesome sleep and dream, and listening to this heavenly sentence, I was as if I had heard it thus expounded to me: Sinner, thou thinkest that because of thy sins and infirmities I cannot save thy soul, but behold My Son is by Me, and upon Him I look, and not on thee, and will deal with thee according as I am pleased with Him. At this I was greatly lightened in my mind, and made to understand that God could justify a sinner at any time; it was but His looking upon Christ, and imputing of His benefits to us, and the work was forthwith done. ” (258)
Amen! Happy Reformation Day!