How Could We Ever Be Sure about Anything?

We need not wonder that so much importance is attached to our Lord’s resurrection. It is the seal and memorial stone of the great work of redemption, which He came to do. It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle He fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our guarantee and our substitute by our Father in heaven.

Had He never come forth from the prison of the grave, how could we ever have been sure that our ransom had been fully paid (1 Corinthians 15:17)? Had He never risen from His conflict with the last enemy, how could we have felt confident that He has overcome the power of death from the devil (Hebrews 2:14)? But thanks be unto God, we are not left in doubt. The Lord Jesus really rose again for our justification.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Grace Alone Accounts for God’s Faithfulness

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.

Don’t Dig up What Christ Buried

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.