There’s something inexpressibly pleasing to a justified mind to know that God has all the honor in our salvation, and we have none.
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)
It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are.
Sinclair Ferguson (1948- )
Let the great army of your sins pass before you in review, each one like a son of Anak (Numbers 13.33) armed to the hilt for your destruction. They have gone down into the depths, and the red sea of Christ’s blood has drowned them. Thus, He has gained a complete victory over all the guilt of sin.
Charles Spurgeon, The Fulness of Joy, p. 63
There are degrees in our sanctification. In our justification there are none.
J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Carlisle, PA: EP Books, 2011), 105.
I can see no other foundation whereon to build my hopes of salvation, but on the rock of Christ’s personal righteousness, imputed to my soul.
George Whitefield (1714 – 1770)
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.
A person who has a ‘guilt complex’ can perhaps get relief by unburdening his soul to someone else. For a true believer, of course, no such process is necessary. We go to the Lord, confess our sins, and leave them there. To go back to our sins again and again is to act like a dog who digs a bone which he has buried. The Savior never nags His children; it is Satan who nags the conscience. The God of all grace fully cleanses His child, whom He delights to lead into higher ways, teaching him day by day to walk worthily of the calling wherewith he has been called. Do not, then, play dog, and dig up what was buried by our Lord in His burial.
Donald Grey Barnhouse, Romans Vol 3 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1961), 67.