“If the Father did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up to the agony and shame of Calvary, how could He possibly fail to bring to fruition the end contemplated in such sacrifice.
The greatest gift of the Father, the most precious donation given to us, was not things. It was not calling, nor justification, nor even glorification.
It is not even the security with which the apostle concludes his peroration (Rom. 8:39). These are favours dispensed in the fulfilment of God’s gracious design.
But the unspeakable and incomparable gift is the giving up of His own Son. So great is that gift, so marvellous are its implications, so far-reaching its consequences that all graces of lesser proportion are certain of free bestowment.
Whether the word ‘also’ is tied to ‘with Him’ or to the term ‘freely give’, the significance of ‘with Him’ must be appreciated. Christ is represented as given to us—the giving up for us is to be construed as a gift to us.
Since He is the supreme expression and embodiment of free gift and since His being given over by the Father is the supreme demonstration of the Father’s love, every other grace must follow upon and with the possession of Christ.”
–John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans (vol. 1; The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968), 326.
“To the best of my powers I will persuade all men to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the single Godhead and power, because to Him belong all glory, honor, and might for ever and ever. Amen.”
–Gregory of Nazianzus, On God and Christ: The Five Theological Orations and Two Letters to Cledonius (ed. John Behr; trans. Frederick Williams and Lionel Wickham; Popular Patristics Series; Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002), 143.
Filed under Christian Theology, Christology, Church Fathers, Evangelism, Gregory of Nazianzus, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Trinity, Worship
“These four things in the highest manner commend the love of God towards us:
(1) the majesty of the Lover;
(2) the poverty and unworthiness of the loved;
(3) the worth of Him in whom we are loved;
(4) the multitude and excellence of the gifts which flow out from that love to us.”
–Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (ed. James T. Dennison Jr.; trans. George Musgrave Giger; vol. 1; Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992–1997), 1: 242. (3.20.6)
“Love is the grand distinctive mark of our office. The Christian Pastor, of all men in the world, should have an affectionate heart.
We set forth a most tender Father, a bleeding Savior, and a faithful Comforter. ‘Speaking the truth in love’ is in a few words the most complete description of our office.
Love should pervade the whole tone of our Ministry.”
–Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1830/2005), 333, 338.
Holy and true,
Who opens and none can shut,
As You have set before Your church an open door,
Strengthen Your servants to boldly enter in
And to declare Your name,
That they who oppose may yet come to worship
And may know that You love Your church.
Grant to Your people patience to keep Your Word,
And keep them from the hour of trial which is coming
Upon the whole world to try them who dwell on the earth,
And encourage all Christians in every land
To hold fast that which You have given,
That the crown of glory be not taken away,
But that having overcome, they may stand before You
As pillars in the temple of God
And bear the name of the heavenly city
And Your own new name, O Christ our God.
Father, we commend to You all who are joined to us
By natural bonds of love;
The little children dear to our hearts,
And all who for our sakes daily deny themselves.
May all our kindred,
Having Your Holy Spirit as their helper,
Be at peace and have unfeigned love among themselves.
And grant them, O Lord, not only what is sufficient to supply
The needs of this present life but also the good
And eternal gifts that are laid up for them who do Your commandments
Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
–Columba, as quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent(Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 155-156.
Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Church Fathers, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Missions, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel
“The cross and the empty tomb tell us something. They prove that all of God’s promises can be trusted.
For the promise that His Son would suffer in our place (Isaiah 53:4-6) was surely the hardest promise the Father ever made. And He kept it. In fact, says Paul, ‘all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20)’.
What does God promise to you this Christmas and beyond?
He promises to forgive all your sins when you turn from them.
He promises always to hear you when you call to Him.
He promises only to work for your good.
He promises to walk alongside you through all the hard times, and bring you safely into His presence in heaven.
If you love Him, you will trust Him.
How? By remembering that God has already kept His hardest-to-keep promise in Christ— from His makeshift cradle to His empty grave.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent (Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 101.
Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel