“Did Christ finish his work with his own hand? How dangerous and dishonourable a thing is it to join anything 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; he does not (in this case) affect social glory: 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 Savior. O it is 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 would have it so, or have nothing to do with Christ, you and your penny must perish together, Isa. l. ult. God gives us the righteousness of Christ, as he gave manna to the Israelites in the wilderness. It is said, Deut. viii. 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 fools, 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 labor. Certainly God takes the right way to humble proud nature, in calling sinners wholly from their own righteousness to Christ’s for their justification.”
1. Flavel, John. The Works of John Flavel, Volume I. “Sermon XXXV: The sixth excellent saying of Christ upon the Cross, illustrated.” (John xix.30) Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1968, page 437.