“To be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son— it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
Tag Archives: grace
‘Mors post crucem minor est.’
‘After the cross, death is less.’
–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Ethics: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2019), 1: 493, fn. #168.
“As we ripen in grace, we shall have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians” by Charles Spurgeon
“As we grow in grace, we are sure to grow in charity, sympathy, and love; we shall have greater and more intense affection for the person of ‘Him whom having not seen we love.’
We shall have greater delight in the precious things of His gospel. The doctrine which perhaps we did not understand at first, will become marrow and fatness to us as we advance in grace.
We shall feel that there is honey dropping from the honey-comb in the deeper truths of our religion.
We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians.
Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart.
He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case.
He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.
As he has sometimes to say of himself, ‘This is my infirmity,’ so he often says of his brethren, ‘This is their infirmity,’ and he does not judge them as he once did.
I know we who are young beginners in grace think ourselves qualified to reform the whole Christian church. We drag her before us, and condemn her straightway.
But when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall not be more tolerant of evil, but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.
Sweetness towards sinners is another sign of ripeness.
When the Christian loves the souls of men, when he feels that there is nothing in the world which he cares for so much as endeavouring to bring others to a knowledge of the saving truth, when he can lay himself out for sinners, bear with their ill-manners, bear with anything, so that he might but lead them to the Saviour– then is the man mature in grace.
God grant this sweetness to us all.
A holy calm, cheerfulness, patience, a walk with God, fellowship with Jesus, an anointing from the Holy One– I put all these together, and I call them sweetness, heavenly lusciousness, full-flavouredness of Christ.
May this be in you and abound.”
“Beloved, men who have only a conditional offer of the gospel, will have only a conditional gospel.
The man who has only a conditional gospel knows only conditional grace.
And the man who knows only conditional grace knows only a conditional God.
And the man who has only a conditional God will have a conditional ministry to his fellow men.
And at end of the day, he will only be able to give his heart, and his life, and his time, and his devotion to his people… on condition.
And he will love and master the truth of the great doctrines of grace, but until grace in God Himself masters him, the grace that has mastered him will never flow from him to his people.
And he will become a Jonah in the 20th century, sitting under his tree with a heart that is shut up against sinners in need of grace, because he thinks of God in conditional terms.
And that, you see, was the blight upon the ministry in the Church of Scotland of those days, men who were thoroughly Reformed in their confessional subscription, but whose bowels, whose hearts, were closed up to God’s people and to the lost in all the nations.
Wasn’t it Alexander Whyte of Freesen Georges that used to say there was such a thing as sanctification by vinegar that makes men accurate and hard? And that’s what they were.
When your people come and have been broken by sin, and have been tempted by Satan, and are ashamed to confess the awful mess they have made of their life, it is not a Calvinistic pastor who has been sanctified by vinegar that they need.
It is a pastor who has been mastered by the unconditional grace of God, from whom ironclad orthodoxy has been torn away, and the whole armor of a gracious God has been placed upon his soul — the armor of One who would not break the bruised reed or quench the dimly burning wick: the God of free grace.
It’s the pastor who will say, ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to have you, but I have prayed for you; and when you are converted, strengthen the brethren.’
You see, my friends, as we think together in these days about a godly pastor… What is a godly pastor?
A godly pastor is a pastor who is like God, who has a heart of free grace running after sinners.
The godly pastor is the one who sees the prodigal returning, and runs and falls on his neck and weeps and kisses him; and says, ‘This my son was dead; he was lost and now he is alive and found.’
So that we discover, even in the stretching of our minds over this Marrow Controversy, that the first pastoral lesson we learn is really a question:
What kind of pastor am I to my people? Am I like the Father? Or am I like the elder brother, who would not go in?”
–Sinclair B. Ferguson, “The Marrow Controversy Lecture #1: Historical Details,” p. 13. Consider taking a few minutes to listen to this powerful exhortation from Dr. Ferguson, that I trust will serve your soul.
“God’s grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9).
It is sufficient for all your needs; it is sufficient regardless of the severity of any one need.
The Israelites never exhausted God’s supply of manna. It was always there to be gathered every day for forty years.
And you will never exhaust the supply of God’s grace.
It will always be there every day for you to appropriate as much as you need for whatever your need is.”
—Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 152.