A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing! A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will provide in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.
J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Carlisle, PA: EP Books, 2011), 70.
Only when believers act with a conscious awareness that God accepts them in their works solely a result of the work of His Son does their righteousness have the potential to glorify God. If our works or feelings were the basis of God’s faithfulness, then obedience could only be a means of buying blessings from a stingy divinity and the goal of our righteousness would be some form of selfishness — self-protection or self-promotion. But since grace alone accounts for God’s faithfulness, believers can respond to God with confidence of His abiding and unconditional love. Loving service results as our hearts fill with the desire to glorify the One whose goodness, mercy, and love never cease. Instead of trying to barter our blessings by fulfilling distasteful duties, we discover that the properties of God become our greatest pleasure. True repentance results as our hearts increasingly reject the priorities of the world, acknowledge and sorrow for the evil and emptiness our sin, and delight in glorifying our Savior with the gifts His Spirit bestows.
Bryan Chapell, Christ-centered Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 318.
The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.
A. W. Tozer (1897 – 1963)
The “sheepishness of the sheep” in the church’s fold is [a large part of the problem.] The “wolfishness of the wolves” would be far less of a menace to our modern world if the sheep would listen to the voice of their one shepherd.
The Gospel Messenger, 1950
God sees fit that we should taste of that cup with his Son drink so deep, that we might feel a little what sin is, and what his Son’s love was. But our comfort is that Christ drink the dregs of the cup for us, and will succour us, so that our spirits may not utterly fail under that little taste of his displeasure which we may feel. He became not only as a man but a curse, a man of sorrows, for us. He was broken that we should not be broken; he was troubled, that we should not be desperately troubled; he became a curse, that we should not be accursed. Whatever may be wished for in an all-sufficient comforter is all to be found in Christ.
Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2011), 66.
Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)