God extends his compassion and his mighty, rescuing arm to take away shame. Jesus both experienced shame and took our shame on himself, so shame no longer defines us. In fact, by grace through faith, it is no longer part of us. Then, in an act that seems inconceivable, God goes a step further: he marries and exalts those who once were shamed. (Isa. 54:4-5)
May we never forget that the suffering Son of God gave Himself to purify unto Himself a peculiar people—a people whose thoughts are peculiar, for their thoughts are the thoughts of God, as having the mind of Christ—a people whose affections are peculiar, for they are fixed on things above—a people whose prayers are peculiar, for they are wrought in their heart by the Spirit of grace and supplication—a people whose sorrows are peculiar, because they spring from a spiritual source—a people whose joys are peculiar, for they are joys which the stranger cannot understand—a people whose hopes are peculiar, as anchoring within the veil—a people whose expectations are peculiar, as not expecting to reap a crop of happiness in this marred world—but are looking for happiness in the kingdom of rest and peace in the bosom of God. They make it manifest that they are a peculiar people by walking in the footsteps of the Lord the Lamb—taking up the cross—denying themselves—and living to the honor, praise, and glory of God.
Salvation is not ultimately for our sake; but for the glory of God. God in salvation is vindicating Himself, and manifesting Himself to the whole universe. He is displaying His everlasting and eternal glory. Hence His purpose cannot and will not fail.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones from Romans – The Perseverance Of The Saints
Biblically faithful Christianity does not present itself as a nice religious structure that makes happier parents and well-ordered children and good taxpaying citizens. It may produce better parents and taxpaying citizens, but the issues at stake in biblical Christianity have to do with eternity: heaven and hell, matters of the utmost significance, your relationship to your Maker, what God has provided in Christ, what the cross is about, the resurrection.
At the end of the day, what hell measures is how much Christ paid for those who escape hell. The measure of his torment (in ways I do not pretend to begin to understand) as the God-man is the measure of torment that we deserve and he bore. And if you see that and believe it, you will find it difficult to contemplate the cross for very long without tears.
The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time.
This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin.
Tim Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: Living in Line with the Truth of the Gospel (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 2.