Our Accomplishments or His?
“How can we break our heart’s fixation on doing ’some great thing’ in order to heal ourselves of our sense of inadequacy, in order to give our lives meaning? Only when we see what Jesus, our great Suffering Servant, has done for us will we finally understand why God’s salvation does not require us to do ’some great thing.’ We don’t have to do it, because Jesus has. . . . Jesus did it all for us, and he loves us — that is how we know our existence is justified. When we believe in what he accomplished for us with our minds, and when we are moved by what he did for us in our hearts, it begins to kill off the addiction, the need for success at all costs.”
– Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods (New York, NY: Dutton, 2009), 93-94
[HT: Of First Importance]
The Cross Secures All Good Things For Us
“Everything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.
Do we have the gift of the Spirit? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Does he give us comfort in life and death? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we have hope of a heaven to come? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins? All this is secured by Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.”
—D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 70-71
[HT: Of First Importance]
Still Need The Gospel
Dear Lord Jesus, one of the many things I cherish about the Bible is its unfiltered, no-hype, non-spin honesty. Who but God would write a book documenting the foibles and failures of his beloved sons and daughters? Who but God would chronicle the ways his chosen leaders limp along, and prove themselves to be in constant need of mercy and grace? This gives me great encouragement and hope. It also gives me freedom to acknowledge that I need the gospel today just as much as the first day I believed it . . . [read the rest of this prayer]