Are You Astounded That You Are Adopted By God?

“Every believer finds this both a humbling and thrilling statement. When we realize what we were by nature; when we think with sorrow of all our sin since we were saved, let alone the sin before, it’s astounding that God should call us His children. But there are some people who do not find this astounding at all. They think  that everyone is a child of God, and that God is the father of all human beings. Therefore, there’s nothing surprising in this to them. The problem is that they chose to ignore the fact of their own sinful nature and the clear biblical teaching that sin is so horrendous that it separates us from God.”

– Peter Jeffery, Believers Need the Gospel, p.33

Consider Sin in Relation to the Gospel

“Bring your lust to the gospel. Not for relief, but for further conviction of your guilt. Look on Him whom you have pierced, and let it trouble you. Say to your soul, ‘What have I done? What love, what mercy, what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this how I pay back the Father for His love? Is this how I thank the Son for His blood? Is this how I respond to the Holy Spirit for His grace? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, and the Holy Spirit has chosen to dwell in? How can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before Him? Do I count fellowship with Him of so little value that, for this vile lust’s sake, I have hard;y left Him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great a salvation?

‘What shall I say to the Lord? His love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation – I have despised all of them! I have considered them as nothing, that I might habour lust in my heart. Have I seen God as my Father, that I might provoke Him to His face? Was my soul washed that there might be room for new defilements? Shall I seek to disappoint the purpose of the death of Christ? Shall I grieve the Holy Spirit, Who has sealed me unto the day of redemption?’ Allow your conscience to consider these things every day. See if you conscience can resist the way in which these considerations aggravate guilt. If this does not cause your conscience to sink and melt, I fear that your case is very dangerous.”

– John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.78-79

dad and DAD

“I am just an earthly, sinful father, and I love my kids so much it hurts. How could I not trust a heavenly, perfect Father who loves me infinitely more than I will ever love my kids? ‘If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!’ (Matthew 7:11)

– Francis Chan, Crazy Love, p.55

Sin Darkens the Soul

“Sin will also darken the soul, and deprive it of its comfort and peace. Sin darkens the soul. It is a cloud, that spread itself over the  face of the soul, and intercepts all the beams of God’s love and favour. It takes away all sense of the privilege of our adoption; and if the soul begins to gather up thoughts of consolation, sin quickly scatters them.”

– John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.24

The Church is Central to the Gospel

“The gospel which some us proclaim is much too individualistic. ‘Christ died for me,’ we say, and then sing of heaven: ‘Oh, that will be glory for me.’ Both affirmations are true. As for the first, the apostle Paul himself could write, ‘The Son of God..loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Gal. 2:20). As for the so-called ‘glory song’, the gospel does promise ‘glory’ for believers in heaven. But this is far from being the full gospel. For it is evident from Ephesians 3 that the full gospel concerns both Christ and the ‘mystery’ of Christ. The good news of the unsearchable riches of Christ which Paul preached is that he died and rose again not only to save sinners like me (though he did), but also to create a single new humanity; not only to redeem us from sin but also to adopt us into God’s family; not only to reconcile us to God but also to reconcile us to one another. Thus the church is an integral part of the gospel. The gospel is good news of a new society as well as of a new life.”

– John Stott, The Message of  Ephesians, p. 128-129