Adoption confers upon us everything that sin makes impossible for us. Aliens become sons, strangers become children, and enemies inherit all the blessings of God. In other words our relationship to God has totally changed, and it is no small change.
Faith is an unwavering trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only saviour to deal with sin. It is not merely an intellectual assent to a set of doctrines, but a coming to Christ in repentance, crying for mercy. Faith hears the truth of the gospel, believes it and acts upon it.
Without spiritual birth there is no spiritual life. There can be religious life and moral life, but there will be no spiritual life.
Through the gospel message The Holy Spirit shows us our true condition. All have sinned. This means good respectable people and the moral outcasts. The Spirit convicts us that we need to be born again, and then brings us in repentance and faith to Christ.
Too many older Christians tell new converts that the first thing they need to do is to learn how to witness. This is wrong. The prime need of the new convert is to learn how to worship. Witnessing will always be difficult unless the heart of the believer is absorbed in God.
Worship is much more than a pleasant emotional feeling; it must involve the mind. Our understanding of God is crucial to true worship. But if the mind is filled with all the right doctrines and the heart is devoid of any sense of God’s presence, there can be no true worship. Heart and mind blend together in worship to praise and enjoy God.
The glory of the gospel does not depend upon whether or not sinners accept it but on the wonder that God offers it to us at all
God has ordained only one way by which sinners can come to him; it is not surprising that this way is very special. And because the way is not a set of laws but a person, that person must be special. There is nothing ordinary about how a sinner comes to God. Everything about salvation is extra-ordinary and supernatural. The most amazing thing of all is the Saviour himself.
The fact is that it is the holiness of God that dictates the events on Calvary. In his love God decided to save sinners from the consequence of their sin, but it is God’s holiness that dictates exactly how this is done. A way of salvation had to be found that in no way contradicts the character of God. This means that sin must be punished and not just glossed over.
It is the love of God that makes Calvary possible, but it is the holiness of God that makes it necessary. Grace flows out of divine love and fully satisfies God’s holiness. When grace begins its work it never forgets the absolute holiness of God, therefore it has to provide for the sinner a salvation that does not gloss over or minimize the effect of sin. There must be no short-cut salvation; no salvation on the cheap; no theoretical dealing with sin. God’s holiness cannot be deceived or satisfied with such things. The objective of grace is not merely to make inners accept God, but to make it possible for the holy God to accept sinners.