Monday, September 19, 2011

The one who holds the future cares

If we can once again look to the cross and grasp the height and depth of the love of God for us in Jesus, then how can we doubt his desire to give us everything necessary for life and godliness? If we feel the smile of the Father’s favor toward us in Christ, in spite of our history of sin and failure, then we will be encouraged to step out again in faith. We will still not know what the future holds, yet if we know that the one who holds the future cares for us, that first step upward on the long road back to obedience becomes possible again.

— Iain Duguid
Esther and Ruth
(Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2005), 157-158

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sanctification means this...

We have been united with him in a death like his . . . .
Our old self was crucified with him . . . .
One who has died has been set free from sin.
(Romans 6:5-7)

We miss the radical nature of Paul’s teaching here to our great loss.  So startling is it that we need to find a startling manner of expressing it.  For what Paul is saying is that sanctification means this: in relationship both to sin and to God, the determining factor of my existence is no longer my past.  It is Christ’s past.

-Sinclair B. Ferguson,
“The Reformed View,” in Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification,
edited by Donald L. Alexander (Downers Grove, 1988), page 57.