V. How this deliverance is accomplished

The deliverance of which we have now spoken is accomplished: 1. By a full and sufficient satisfaction for sin. There is such a satisfaction, when the punishment which is inflicted on account of sin is equivalent to that which is eternal. 2. By abolishing sin, and renewing our nature, which is done by restoring in us the righteousness and image of God which we have lost, or by the perfect regeneration of our nature. Both of these are necessary to our deliverance.

Satisfaction is necessary, because the mercy of God, as has been shown, does not violate his justice, which demands satisfaction. The law binds either to obedience or punishment. But satisfaction cannot be made through obedience, because our past obedience is already impaired, and that which follows cannot make satisfaction for past offences. We are bound to render exact obedience every moment to the law, as a present debt. Hence, obedience being once impaired, there is no other way of making satisfaction except by punishment, according to the threatening:

"In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." (Gen. 2:17.) If a sufficient punishment be endured to satisfy the law, God is reconciled, and deliverance becomes possible.

So, in like manner, the abolishing of sin, and the renewing of our nature are necessary: because it is only upon the condition that we cease to offend God by our sins, and are thankful to him for our reconciliation, that he is willing to accept of this satisfaction. To be willing that God should receive us into his favor, and yet not be willing to abandon sin, is to mock God. But it is not possible for us to leave off and forsake sin, unless our nature be renewed. It is in this way, therefore, that the deliverance of man is made possible.