“We praise God that we are not required to earn what Christ has done for us, for we never could do so. We receive His death by simple faith alone. Jesus never demands that we earn what He did for us. But the Bible does tell us to live ‘in a manner worthy of the Lord’ (Col. 1:10). So we can turn to His wooden cross every day and pray, ‘If, with all Your glory, You, the Son of God, died for me, then I can live for You.’ We live not merely for a principle and not even for a great cause. We live for a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He died not merely for a principle or even for the greatest of causes. He died for us. So every Christian can say, ‘I live for Him, because He died for me.’ He died for me.”
– Richard Phillips, What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?
“Whatever men please to think or say, the Romish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued to its legitimate consequences, obscures every leading doctrine of the Gospel, and damages and interferes with the whole system of Christ’s truth. Grant for a moment that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice, and not a sacrament–grant that every time the words of consecration are used the natural body and blood of Christ are present on the Communion Table under the forms of bread and wine–grant that every one who eats that consecrated bread and drinks that consecrated wine does really eat and drink the natural body and blood of Christ–grant for a moment these things, and then see what momentous consequences result from these premises. You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ’s finished work when he died on the cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable of God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the Scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful man into the position of mediators between God and man. You give to the sacramental elements of bread and wine an honour and veneration they were never meant to receive, and produce an idolatry to be abhorred by faithful Christians. Last, but not least, you overthrow the true doctrine of Christ’s human nature. If the body born of the Virgin Mary can be in more places than one at the same time, it is not a body like our own, and Jesus was not ‘the second Adam’ in the truth of our nature. I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly than we do, and, seeing and feeling them, chose to die rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence. Feeling them, they would not give way by subjection for a moment, and cheerfully laid down their lives. Let this fact be deeply graven in our minds. Wherever the English language is spoken on the face of the globe this fact ought to be clearly understood by every Englishman who reads history.”
– J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers, p.26-27
“Jesus is the model and the exemplar of what it means to love one another. ‘By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers’ [1 John 3:16]. Here John lays down a pattern that is imbedded throughout God’s Word: God’s commands to us are rooted in the wonder of his grace to us in his Son.
“What constrains obedience is not merely the fact that God himself commands us, though that would be a sufficient motive. Being the God of grace that he is, our Father seeks always to give us further powerful reasons for obedience. We see this pattern in Exodus 20:1-17 when God, through Moses, gave his people the Ten Commandments. Before he says, ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (verse 3), he says, I am the LORD [the covenant Lord] your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’ [verse 3]. What a glorious incentive to obedience! God had rescued and redeemed them; he was their God, the covenant Lord who has made them his people.”
– Iam Hamilton, Let’s Study the Letters of John, p.44
“In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs, drawing sailor irresistibly towards the rocks and certain shipwreck. Odysseus filled his crew’s ears with wax and had them tie him to the mast. This is like the approach to legalism. We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation. Orpheus, on the other hand, play such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the seduction of the Siren’s song. This is the way of faith. The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have the faith to hear its music.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.57
“That gospel message should both humble and lift the believer up at the same time. It teaches us that we are indeed self-centered sinners. It perforates our illusions about our goodness and superiority. But the gospel also fill us with more love and affirmation than we could ever imagine. It means we don’t need to earn our self-worth through incessant service and work. It means also that we don’t mind so much when we are deprived of some comfort, compliment, or reward. We don’t have to keep records and accounts anymore. We can freely give and freely receive.”
– Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, p.56