“Sin is always sin in the sight of God—whether we are conscious of it or not. Sins of ignorance need atonement just as truly as do conscious sins. God is holy, and He will not lower His standard of righteousness to the level of our ignorance. Ignorance is not innocence. As a matter of fact, ignorance is more culpable now than it was in the days of Moses. We have no excuse for our ignorance. God has clearly and fully revealed His will. The Bible is in our hands, and we cannot plead ignorance of its contents except to condemn our laziness. God has spoken, and by His Word we shall be judged.
“And yet the fact remains that we are ignorant of many things, and the fault and blame are ours. And this does not minimize the enormity of our guilt. Sins of ignorance need divine forgiveness, as our Lord’s prayer here plainly shows. Learn then how high is God’s standard, how great is our need, and praise Him for an atonement of infinite sufficiency, which cleanseth from all sin.
‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).
– Arthur W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, p.12
“He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord and making Him only a half Savior. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require: not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their ‘righteousness,’ but their ‘sanctification’ (1 Cor. 1:30). Let us hear what the Bible says: ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.’ ‘Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it.’ ‘Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ ‘Christ . . . bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.’ Christ ‘has . . . reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight’ (John 17:19; Eph. 5:25, 26; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Col. 1:22). Let the meaning of these five texts be carefully considered. If words mean anything, they teach that Christ undertakes the sanctification, no less than the justification, of His believing people. Both are alike provided for in that “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure,” of which the Mediator is Christ. In fact, Christ in one place is called ‘He who sanctifies,’ and His people ‘they who are sanctified’ (Heb. 2:11).”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.20
“The death of the Lord Jesus Christ is a subject of never-failing interest to all who study prayerfully the Scripture Truth. This is so not only because the believer’s all, both for time and eternity, depends upon it, but also because of its transcendent uniqueness.”
– Arthur W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, p.3
“That scripture also gives us a little light herein, ‘And I beheld, lo! in the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb, as it had been slain’ (Rev. 5:6). This is to show the cause why grace is so freely shown to us, even for that there stands there, in the midst of the throne, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb as it had been slain, or, as it was made a sacrifice for our sin; for, as a slain Lamb, he now lives in the midst of the throne, and is the meritorious cause of all the grace we enjoy.”
– John Bunyan, Prayer, p.75
Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel, “You thought I was just like you” (Psalm 50:21). Such must now be His indictment against an apostate Christendom. Men imagine that the Most High is moved by sentiment, rather that actuated by principle. They suppose that His omnipotence is such an idle fiction that Satan is thwarting His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s ‘free will’ and reduce him to a ‘machine.’ They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which has actually redeemed everyone for whom it was made, to a mere ‘remedy,’ which sin-sick souls may use if they feel disposed to; and they enervate the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to an ‘offer’ of the Gospel which sinners may accept or reject as they please.
The god of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ, than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The god who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of mushy sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt!”
– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.21-22
“If you would more fully express yourself before the Lord, study, first, your fallen estate; secondly, God’s promises; thirdly, the heart of Christ, which you may know or discern by his condescension and bloodshedding, also by mercy he has formerly extended to great sinners. Plead your own vileness, by way of bemoaning, Christ’s blood by way of expostulation; and in your prayers, let the mercy that he has extended to other great sinners, together with his rich promises of grace, be much upon your heart. Yet let me counsel you to take heed that you content not yourself with words. However, whether your words be few or many, let your heart go with them; and then you shall seek him, and find him, when you seek him with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13).”
– John Bunyan, Prayer, p.44
“In view of Paul’s emphasis on the inability of works if any sort to bring about salvation, it is perhaps unnecessary to labour the point that faith is not being depicted as a different kind of work. Paul is not saying, ‘To be saved by works is too hard, So God allows you to produce something easier – faith.’ He does not see faith as a merit at all. Rather it is the abandonment of all reliance on merit. Faith is the recognition that there is nothing in the sinner that can avail to bring him salvation. Faith is the casting of oneself wholly on God. Faith is the hand that reaches out to God for salvation. Faith is no more than the mean through which salvation is received.”
– Leon Morris, The Atonement, p.197