The Combined Forces of the Trinity

The Father is intimately involved in our lives so that our circumstances train us in godliness. The Son has set us free from both the penalty and the power of sin so that we now live under the reign of grace. The Spirit gives us a new attitude toward sin and a new power to change.

The combined forces of the Trinity are at work in our lives to set us free and make us holy.

Tim Chester, You Can Change (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 53.

HT: Of First Importance

Jesus Values Believers

He parted with the greatest glory, he underwent the greatest misery, he doth the greatest works that ever were, because he loves his spouse, — because he values believers.

What can more, what can farther be spoken? How little is the depth of that which is spoken fathomed! How unable are we to look into the mysterious recesses of it! He so loves, so values his saints, as that, having from eternity undertaken to bring them to God, he rejoices his soul in the thoughts of it; and pursues his design through heaven and hell, life and death, by suffering and doing, in mercy and with power; and ceaseth not until he bring it to perfection.

John Owen, Communion with God (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004), 139.

HT: Of First Importance

True Forgiveness

True forgiveness is not an excusing or ignoring of evil. Rather, biblical forgiveness — forgiving as God forgives — recognizes the grave nature of sin in all its moral depravity. In other words, forgiveness recognizes the sinfulness of sin.

Consequently, when we call a person to forgive another who has offended him or her, we are not asking the offended person to minimize the extent to which the offender is responsible for his or her sin (‘Well, everyone sins’) or to minimize the offense (‘It was nothing’). True forgiveness is when the offended looks upon the offender and sees the offender’s sin as justly deserving the wrath of God in light of God’s great holiness.

Christian forgiveness, then, is granted from a position not of weakness but of true moral strength and clarity of vision. Because biblical forgiveness alone recognizes the heinousness of sin against a holy God, it alone understands the immensity of the gift given in uttering the words, ‘I forgive you.’

This gift, of course, is full payment for sin, which is exactly what the gospel declares that Christ has given to us! The forgiveness that is won by Christ comes at the price of his death for real offense, for true guilt. The very necessity of the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God as the ground of forgiveness should be sufficient to answer any accusation that Christian forgiveness is merely ignoring sin, trivializing sin, or indulging the wicked, Christ has not dismissed sin; instead, he has paid its price in full.

Alfred Poirier, The Peacemaking Pastor (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 147.