The Gospel According to Jesus

The gospel in vogue today holds forth a false hope to sinners. It promises them that they can have eternal life yet continue to live in rebellion against God. Indeed, it encourages people to claim Jesus as Savior yet defer until later the commitment to obey Him as Lord. It promises salvation from hell but not necessarily freedom from iniquity. It offers false security to people who revel in the sins of the flesh and spurn the way of holiness. By separating faith from faithfulness, it teaches that intellectual assent is as valid as a wholehearted obedience to the truth.

Thus the good news of Christ has given way to the bad news of an insidious easy-believism that makes no moral demands on the lives of sinners. It is not the same message Jesus proclaimed.

—John MacArthur
The Gospel According to Jesus

The Theology of B. B. Warfield

Christianity did not come into the world to proclaim a new morality and, sweeping away all the supernatural props by which men were wont to support their trembling, guilt-stricken souls, to throw them back on their own strong right arms to conquer a standing before God for themselves. It came to proclaim the real sacrifice for sin which God had provided in order to supersede all the poor fumbling efforts which men had made and were making to provide a sacrifice for sin for themselves; and, planting men’s feet on this, to bid them go forward. It was in this sign that Christianity conquered, and it is in this sign alone that it continues to conquer. We may think what we will of such a religion. What cannot be denied is that Christianity is such a religion.

—Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield
quoted by Fred G. Zaspel in the forthcoming book
The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary

Via: Tony Reinke

The Ring and the Cross

The most fundamental Christian symbol is the Cross. This also is perfectly opposite to the Ring. The Cross gives life; the Ring takes it. The Cross gives you death, not power; the Ring gives you power even over death. The Ring squeezes everything into its inner emptiness; the Cross expands in all four directions, gives itself to the emptiness, filling it with its blood, its life. The Ring is Dracula’s tooth. The Cross is God’s sword, held at the hilt by the hand of Heaven and plunged into the world not to take our blood but to give us His. The Cross is Christ’s hypodermic; the Ring is Dracula’s bite. The Cross saves other wills; the Ring dominates other wills. The Cross liberates; the Ring enslaves.

—Peter Kreeft
The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind The Lord of the Rings

Via: Tony Reinke

The Free Will of Christ To Suffer

Let us carefully remember that our blessed Lord suffered and died of His own free will. He did not die because He could not help it; He did not suffer because He could not escape. All the soldiers of Pilate’s army could not have taken Him, if He had not been willing to be taken. They could not have hurt a hair of His head, if He had not given them permission. But here, as in all His earthly ministry, Jesus was a willing sufferer. He had set His heart on accomplishing our redemption. He loved us, and gave Himself for us, cheerfully, willingly, gladly, in order to make atonement for our sins. It was “the joy set before Him” which made Him endure the cross, and despise the shame, and yield Himself up without reluctance into the bands of His enemies. Let this thought abide in our hearts, and refresh our souls. We have a Savior who was far more willing to save us than we are willing to be saved. If we are not saved, the fault is all our own. Christ is just as willing to receive and pardon, as He was willing to be taken prisoner, to bleed, and to die.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, Volume 3

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Where the Battle Rages

If I profess with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.

—Martin Luther
quoted by Francis Schaeffer in The God Who Is There

What Name Shall I Call You?

O transcendent, almighty God,
What words can sing your praises?
No tongue can describe you.
No mind can probe your mystery.
Yet all speech springs from you,
And all thought stems from you.

All creation proclaims you,
All creatures revere you.
Every gust of wind breathes a prayer to you,
Every rustling tree sings a hymn to you.

All things are upheld by you.
And they move according to your harmonious design.

The whole world longs for you,
And all people desire you.

Yet you have set yourself apart,
You are far beyond our grasp.
You are the purpose of all that exists,
But you do not let us understand you.

Lord, I want to speak to you.
By what name shall I call you?

—Gregory of Nazianzus

Via: Trevin Wax

Anchored In Christ’s Hands

I want you to know the length and breadth of your portion in Christ. I want you to understand the full amount of the treasure to which faith in Jesus entitles you. You have found out that you are a great sinner. Thank God for that. You have fled to Christ for pardon and peace with God. Thank God for that. You have committed yourself to Jesus for time and eternity – you have no hope but in Christ’s blood, Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s mediation, Christ’s daily all-persevering intercession. Thank God for that. Your heart’s desire and prayer is to be holy in all manner of conversation. Thank God for that. But oh, lay hold upon the glorious truth – that believing on Jesus you shall never perish, you shall never be cast away, you shall never fall away! It is written for you as well as for the apostles, “My sheep shall never perish.”

—J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion: Perseverance

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Justified

Among all the realities of the invisible world, mediated to us by the disclosures and promises of God, and to which our faith responds, there is none that more strongly calls into action this faculty for grasping the unseen than the divine pronouncement through the Gospel, that, though sinners, we are righteous in the judgment of God. That is not only the invisible, it seems the impossible; it is the paradox of all paradoxes; it requires a unique energy of believing; it is the supreme victory of faith over the apparent reality of things; it credits God with calling the things that are not as though they were; it penetrates more deeply into the deity of God than any other act of faith.

—Geerhardus Vos
Grace and Glory

Via: Justin Taylor