Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Everlasting Righteousness - by Horatius Bonar

"Man has always treated sin as a misfortune, not a crime; as disease, not as guilt; as a case for the physician, not for the judge. Herein lies the essential faultiness of all mere human religions or theologies. They fail to acknowledge the judicial aspect of the question, as that on which the real answer must hinge; and to recognise the guilt or criminality of the evil-doer as that which must first be dealt with before any real answer, or approximation to an answer, can be given." (pg. 3)

"Sin is too great an evil for man to muddle with. His attempts to remove it do but increase it, and his endeavours to approach God in spite of it aggravate his guilt. Only God can deal with sin, either as a disease or as a crime; as a dishonour to Himself, or as a hinderer of man's approach to Himself." (pg. 7)

"God's free love to the sinner is the first part of our message; and God's righteous way of making that free love available for the sinner is the second. What God is, and what Christ has done, make up one gospel. The belief of that gospel is eternal life." (pg. 23)

"The resurrection was the great visible seal set to this completeness. It was the Father's response to the cry from the cross, 'It is finished.' ... The resurrection added nothing to the propitiation of the cross; it proclaimed it already perfect, incapable of addition or greater completeness." (pg. 57ff)

"Men object not to receive any kind or amount of this world's goods from another, though they have done nothing to deserve them, but everything to make them unworthy of them; but they refuse to accept this favour of God, and a standing in righteousness before Him, on the ground of what a substitute has done and suffered. In earthly things they are willing to be represented by another, but not in heavenly things. The former is all fair, and just, and legal; the latter is absurd, an insult to their understanding, and a depreciation of their worth!" (pg. 91ff)

"Though faith is not 'the righteousness,' it is the tie between it and us. It realizes our present standing before God in the excellency of His own Son; and it tells us that our eternal standing, in the ages to come, is in the same excellency, and depends on the perpetuity of that righteousness which can never change." (pg. 113)

"Let it be granted that Christ in us is the source of holiness and fruitfulness (John xv. 4); but let it never be overlooked that first of all there must be Christ FOR US, as our propitiation, our justification, our righteousness. The risen Christ in us, our justification, is a modern theory which subverts the cross." (pg. 121)

"For Him resurrection was joy, not merely because it ended His connection with death, but because it introduced Him into the fulness of joy, - a joy peculiar to the risen life, and of which only a risen man can be capable." (pg. 139)

"...let us know that assurance was meant to be the portion of every believing sinner. It was intended not merely that he should be saved, but that he should know that he is saved, and so delivered from all fear and bondage, and heaviness of heart." (pg. 174)

"The love of God to us, and our love to God, work together for producing holiness in us. Terror accomplishes no real obedience. Suspense brings forth no fruit unto holiness. Only the certainty of love, forgiving love, can do this." (pg. 183)

Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness (Carlisle, PA: The Banner Of Truth Trust, 1993)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Right Thinking In A World Gone Wrong: A Biblical Response To Today's Most Controversial Issues - by John MacArthur

"The rise of postmodern thought has similarly skewed the church's understanding of right and wrong - as an unbiblical tolerance (in the name of love) has weakened churches to the point where they are as soft on truth as they are on sin." (pg. 7)

"In a culture where parents excel at sanitizing little hands, bandaging little cuts, and vaccinating little immune systems, we must not neglect the spiritual well-being of little eyes, ears, and hearts." (pg. 54)

"Critics may claim capital punishment is hateful and destructive, but it is actually an outworking of God's common grace to humanity, enabling sinful societies to maintain civil order and deter criminal activity." (pg. 116)

"Rather than focusing on the God-given priority of evangelism (from the same Greek word that means "evangelical"), American evangelicalism has spent billions of dollars and millions of man hours fighting to legislate morality. Not only is it a battle we cannot win (since legislated morality cannot change the sinful hearts that make up a depraved society), it is also a battle we have not been called to fight." (pg. 122ff)

"The Bible does not place a premium on ignorance; thus, believers should have a basic understanding of and appreciation for economic principles and practices. The danger comes when understanding and appreciation turn into obsession and anxiety." (pg. 133)

"This earth was never ever intended to be a permanent planet - it is not eternal. We do not have to worry about it being around tens of thousands, or millions of years from now because God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. Understanding this fact is important to holding in balance our freedom to use, and responsibility to care for, the earth." (pg. 148)

"The gospel enables the believer to see his identity in Christ as spiritual, not ethnic. Our ethnic and cultural identities are secondary as we assume the primary identity of citizens of God's kingdom. Here and only here can we find a common identity, which is an eternal one." (pg. 164)

"While we must recognize the equality of every race, we cannot also affirm the equality of every faith system. Religious pluralism is a great threat to the church, often coming on the heels of the noble pursuit of cultural diversity." (pg. 168)

"God uses the troubles of our lives, culminating in the inevitability of our own deaths, to pry our grips off this world and refocus our hearts on what lies ahead with Him." (pg. 187)

John MacArthur, Right Thinking In A World Gone Wrong: A Biblical Response To Today's Most Controversial Issues (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009)