“People are optimistic about this world, and they are so because they have never understood the nature of sin” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 11th).
These are people “who are under the impelling urge of variegated, passionate desires, ever learning and never able to come to a precise and experiential knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:6-7 Wuest).
“The mere presentation of the cross to the natural eye will awaken no emotion, other than natural ones. Thus, in a contemplation of the sufferings of Christ, there may in minds of deep natural sensibility be emotion, the spectacle may affect the observer to tears—but it is nature only. [B]eware of mistaking nature for grace—the emotions of a stirred sensibility—for the tears of a broken and a contrite heart” Octavius Winslow (ref#365, p46).
“We may repent of our sins outwardly and even respect God’s Word, absorbing its teaching week after week at church and in Bible study, and getting a certain amount of joy from it. But if we repeatedly succumb to temptation without heart-sorrow and fail to change our ways, even when we are reprimanded by other godly people, we should beware lest our faith be only temporary” John Calvin (ref#164, June 25th).
“The unsound covert takes Christ by halves. He is all for the salvation of Christ, but he is not for sanctification. Jesus is a sweet Name, but men do not love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. Every man’s vote is for salvation from suffering, but they do not desire to be saved from sinning. They would have their lives saved, but still would have their lusts. O be infinitely careful here; your soul depends upon it” Joseph Alleine (ref#225, Oct 16th).
“[I]t is most important that we should distinguish between mock mortification and true, between the counterfeit resemblances of this duty and the duty itself. There is a pagan ‘mortification,’ which is merely suppressing such sins as nature itself discovers and from such reasons and motives as nature suggests. This tends to hide sin rather than mortify it. It is not a recovering of the soul from the world unto God, but only acquiring a fitness to live with less scandal among men” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p113).
“Nobody is free who is unforgiven. If I were not sure of God’s forgiveness, I could not look you in the face, and I certainly could not look God in the face. I would want to run away and hide” John Stott (ref#258, p84-85).
“God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will” (John 9:30-33 MSG).