Christ Came to Save Sinners

‘If I knew I were one of God’s elect, I would come to Christ; but I fear I am not.’  To you I answer: nobody ever came to Christ because he knew himself to be one of the elect. It is quite true that God has of His mere good pleasure elected some to everlasting life, but they never knew it until they believed in Christ. Christ nowhere commands the elect to come to him. He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. The question for you is not, ‘Am I one of the elect?’ but ‘Am I a sinner?’ Christ came to save sinners.

—Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Via: Of First Importance

The Insult of the Gospel

The gospel, by telling us Jesus died for us, is also really insulting. It tells us that we are so wicked that only the death of the Son of God could save us. This offends the modern cult of self-expression and the popular belief in the innate goodness of humanity.

—Timothy Keller
The Message of Romans

Via: Of First Importance

The Verdict is Already Known

Another great post from the guys that manage Of First Importance

Justification is a presently experienced reality, assuming union with Christ by faith, which anticipates the final day of judgment.

The verdict of this final-day court has already been announced, although ensuing history continues. Justification is an end-time event in which the believer stands already, as if in an anticipative sense. Those united to Christ are justified from all guilt — past, present, and future. God’s final justifying action awaits the end of history, though the verdict is already known, and celebrated daily in Christian preaching and worship.

Justification on the last day consists of a declaration of righteousness, and an actual admission into glory. There are not two justifications, one by God and another confirmed by our obedience, nor one that occurs with faith, and a final justification that occurs at the end time dependent on our works. There is only one justification, and that is the one that occurs on the cross.

—Thomas Oden
The Justification Reader

Via: Of First Importance