Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened, then
God’s decision to forgive Peter required the death of his Son; Peter’s decision to forgive those who had offended him would cost him little more than his pride. The same is true for us.
In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another. Forgiveness is the gift that ensures my freedom from a prison of bitterness and resentment.
— Andy Stanley
I know this whole “Holy Spirit lives in you” can be weird, mysterious, New-Age-ish, and more difficult to fathom than O-Chem II.
But if you believe the Gospel — that Jesus the Son of God dropped down into human history as a perfect, sinless, healing savior born of a virgin, absorbed the wrath you deserve for your sins on a dirty Roman cross, jumped out the grave like Shark Week, and flew up to Heaven with a promise to come back with 100 million angels — then you have God’s Spirit living in you. That’s no small thing.
So what does He do? What does this change?
Well — everything.
“God’s decision to forgive Peter required the death of his Son; Peter’s decision to forgive those who had offended him would cost him little more than his pride. The same is true for us.
In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another. Forgiveness is the gift that ensures my freedom from a prison of bitterness and resentment.”
— Andy Stanley
If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
— Robert M. McCheyne
This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.
… You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. … Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.
This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something — someone — worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.
— David Platt
God, you loved me right out of my addictions. You loved me out of my despair. You loved me out of my darkness, conceitedness, misery. You loved me right out of myself.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
— Galatians 2:20
Moralism beats this drum: If I improve, then I’ll be accepted — by God, by others, even by myself. But the gospel says something radically different. The gospel announces that everyone ‘in Christ’ is already accepted by God because of Jesus’s work for them. Therefore, no improvement, good behavior, or performance is necessary in order to experience the deep acceptance we long for and in fact strive for on a daily basis.
— Tullian Tchividjian
Because of Christ’s finished work,Christians already possess the approval, the love, the security, the freedom, the meaning, the purpose, the protection, the new beginning, the cleansing, the forgiveness, the righteousness, and the rescue we intensely long for and, in fact, look for in a thousand things smaller than Jesus every day — things transient, things incapable of delivering the goods.The gospel is the only thing big enough to satisfy our deepest, eternal longings — both now and forever.
— Tullian Tchividjian