CHRIST TEACHES SUFFERING

“For us all—for you, tempted to interpret your afflictions as signals of wrath and your sins as seals of condemnation, your poverty as the mark of neglect, your seasons of darkness as token of desertion, and your doubts and fears as evidences of a false hope and of self-deception. For you, dear saint of God, Jesus was delivered up” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 14th).

“[L]et no Christian call into question God’s love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not enrich Christ on earth with temporal prosperity. But He [gave] Him the Spirit without measure (Jon 3:34). Learn that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of divine love” Arthur W. Pink (ref#253, p10).

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Pet 4:1 ESV).

“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 “Christ teaches us how to live, and He also teaches us how to suffer. Because we live in a world of suffering and we need to be taught how to suffer, He teaches us how to suffer. The cross teaches us how to suffer—not only how to live morally and ethically, but how to suffer. ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ come to us all: people misunderstanding us, injustices done to us, the failure of trusted friends, people letting us down, disappointments, loneliness, physical pain” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 30th).

“He that abides in Christ the Crucified One, learns to know what it is to be crucified with Him, and in Him to be indeed dead unto sin” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p199).

“He suffered for us; he calls us to be conformed to him in sufferings. He conquered in his own person, and he will make each of his members more than conquerors in due season” John Newton (ref#322, p182).

UNDERSTANDING DISCIPLINE

“[Y]ou have been fully forgiven, but you have not yet been completely rebuilt into all that grace will make you. The cross of Jesus guarantees that all broken things will be fixed, but they are not fixed yet. So as I bask in the complete forgiveness that I have been given and enjoy freedom from the anxiety that I will not measure up, I cannot live unwisely. One danger (sin) still lives inside me and another (temptation) still lurks outside me, so I am still a person in daily and desperate need of grace. Forgiveness is complete. Final restoration is yet to come. Knowing you live in between the two is the key to a restful and wise Christian life” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 21st).

“[God’s] discipline is never the result of his rejection, but the fruit of his acceptance” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 1st).

“His discipline is not teaching you what to do to earn your place as one of his children; his careful, loving discipline actually proves that you are one of his children” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 20th).

“[Our fathers] disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but [God] disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:10-11 ESV).

“The Spirit does not remove our ‘infirmities,’ any more than the Lord took away Paul’s thorn in the flesh; but He enables us to bear them” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p145).

“[T]hrough many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 ESV).

“It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were never chosen for worldly peace and earthly joy” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, March 8th AM).

“If we forget to live at the foot of the cross in deepest lowliness of spirit, God will not forget to make us suffer under His rod” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, March 6th, PM).

THE SPIRIT, OUR PROVISION

“Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way either of goodness or badness. When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done? It is just here that He comes. Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness. ‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.’ John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. ‘He shall baptize you.’ The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 22nd).

“God has made provision for our holiness and He has also given us a responsibility for it. God’s provision for us consists in delivering us from the reign of sin, uniting us with Christ, and giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit to reveal sin, to create a desire for holiness, and to strengthen us in our pursuit of holiness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and according to the new nature He gives, we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p78).

“The saving work of the Spirit in the heart of God’s elect is a gradual and progressive one” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p78).

“It is not the work of the Spirit to tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge of divinity, without your own study and labour. To reject study on the pretense of the sufficiency of the Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself” Richard Baxter (ref#225, July 22nd).

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16 ESV).

“Weakness is a reproach when such a might is at our service. Defeat is dishonor when the partnership of God is rejected” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p73).

WHO THE SPIRIT IS

“The Third Person of the Holy Trinity agreed to sanctify the object of the Father’s eternal choice, and of the Son’s redemptive satisfaction” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p21).

“The Spirit sets apart God’s people into the sphere of the holy so that believers are now holy and righteous in their standing before God, and they grow in actual holiness in their lives” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2405).

“The Spirit dwells in men, clothes Himself with consecrated humanity, and accomplishes extraordinary things through quite ordinary people on the simple conditions of abiding surrender, implicit obedience, and simple faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p66).

“[T]he gracious Holy Spirit pledged Himself to sanctify wretches, and frame and fit them to be partakers of holiness, and live forever in God’s spotless presence” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p21).

“[The Spirit] comes to the things that are weak and despised and dignifies them with His Glory. Before Glory comes, the church will have to elevate those things that are despised by the world, such as modesty, chastity, inner beauty, self-effacement, willingness to serve, and willingness to be in the background. These are the kinds of values the Holy Spirit is exalting” Bob Sorge (ref#197, p17).

“[The Spirit] clothes Himself with sanctified men and women. The Spirit of the Lord clothed Itself with Gideon (Judges 6:34), He did not come upon him like a garment, but the Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon as with a garment” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p54, 60).

OUR HELPER

“God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” (2 Tim 2:19 ESV).

“[W]hen confronted with your failure you can run not away from God but to him. You can do this because your standing with him has never been based on your righteous performance, but on the perfect obedience of your Savior” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 6th).

“[W]hat he really is concerned about is our state or condition. [W]hat really matters is what we are” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p76).

“Though grace be wrought in the hearts of the regenerate, it is not in their power to act it: He who implanted it must renew, excite, and marshal it. ‘If ye through the Spirit do mortify’ (Rom 8:13). First, He it is who discovers the sin that is to be mortified, opening it to the view of the soul, stripping it of its deceits, exposing its deformity. Second, He it is who gradually weakens sin’s power, acting as ‘the Spirit of burning’ (Isa 4:4), consuming the dross. Third, He it is who reveals and applies the efficacy of the Cross of Christ, in which there is contained a sin-mortifying virtue, whereby we are ‘made conformable unto His death’ (Phil 3:10). Fourth, He it is who strengthens us with might in the inner man, so that our graces—the opposites of the lust of the flesh—are invigorated and called into exercise” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“Go, again and again, to this divine Fountain, taking to Jesus every corruption as it develops, every sin as it is felt, ever sorrow as it rises” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Mar 28th).

“[I]t was not enough for him to just forgive me; he had to come and live inside me or I would not be what I had been re-created to be or do. I need the presence and power of the Holy Spirit living inside me because sin kidnaps the desires of my heart, blinds my eyes, and weakens my knees. My problem is not just the guilt of sin; it’s the inability of sin as well. So God graces his children with the convicting, sight-giving, desire-producing, and strength-affording presence of the Spirit” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 7th).

“It is by yielding to the Spirit’s impulses, heeding His striving, submitting ourselves unto His government, that any measure of success is granted us in this most important work” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p115).

“We can bring our up-and-down moral performance into subjection to the settled fixedness of what Jesus feels about us. [L]et the heart of Christ calm us into joy” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p187).

REBELLION AGAINST GOD

“We must hate all sin for what it really is: an expression of rebellion against God” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p198).

“God cannot but look upon sin with infinite detestation” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p67).

“It’s hard to admit, but doing what is right isn’t natural for us. Sin turns us all into self-appointed sovereigns over our own little kingdoms. Sin makes us all self-absorbed and self-focused. Sin causes us all to name ourselves righteous. Sin seduces us into thinking we are somehow, some way smarter than God. Sin causes us all to trust in our own wisdom. Sin makes us all want to write our own rules. Sin makes us resistant to criticism and change. Sin makes our eyes and our hearts wander. Sin causes us to crave material things more than spiritual provision. Sin causes us to want and esteem pleasure more than character. In our quest to be God, sin causes us to forget God. It reduces us all to glory thieves, taking for ourselves the glory that belongs to him. All of this means that sin causes us to step over God’s wise boundaries in thought, desire, word, and action again and again. This is what’s natural for a sinner” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 17th).

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart” (Prov 21:2 ESV).

“Transgression means a desire to have our own way, a desire to do what we want to do. ‘Iniquity’ means perversion. [D]o you not see that so many things you do are twisted and perverted? Jealously and envy and malice—how horrible the twist! The desire that evil may come to someone, the dislike of praise of another—evil thoughts, bent, twisted, ugly, foul—‘iniquity’! And we are all guilty of iniquity” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 27th).

“The principle of self-confidence is the natural product of the human heart; the great characteristic of our apostate race is a desire to live, think, and act independently of God. Remember the divine and sovereign grace does not undertake the extraction of the root of this depraved principle from the heart of its subjects. The root still remains to the very close of life’s pilgrimage, though in a measure weakened, subdued, and mortified. It demands the most rigid watchfulness connected with ceaseless prayer, lest it should spring upward to the destruction of his soul’s prosperity, the grieving of the Spirit, and the dishonor of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 13th).

“If you are God’s child, you’re either giving in to sin or giving way to the operation of rescuing grace, but your heart’s never neutral” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 30th).

NEED MORE THAN UNDERSTANDING

“When we do something wrong, we all tend to point outside ourselves for the cause: ‘This traffic makes me so angry’, ‘She gets me so upset’; or ‘My boss pulls the worst out of me.’” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 7th).

“It is hard for us to accept that our words and behavior are not caused by what’s outside us, but by what’s inside us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 11th).

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit” (Luke 6:43 ESV).

“[T]he Scriptures are clear that every wrong you and I do flows out of the thoughts and desires of our hearts. It is only when you admit and confess this that you begin to feel the need for and get excited about God’s grace. It you have convinced yourself that you’re not your problem, but people and situations are, you are not excited about God’s provision of powerful forgiving and transforming grace, because, frankly, you don’t think you need it. For many of us, subtle patterns of blaming God are in the way of receiving the grace that we need at the very moment we are working to convince ourselves that we don’t need it” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 11th).

“An act may be very praiseworthy; but if it displeases God, nothing can excuse its commission” William S. Plumer (ref#358, p3).

“The best thing we ever did independent of the merit of Jesus only swelled the number of our sins. For even when we have been purest in our own sight, we have not been pure in God’s sight” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 27th PM).

“A hundred preachers are unable to make an unregenerate person realize the dreadful nature of sin, or show him that he has been a lifelong rebel against God, or change his heart so that he now hates himself and longs to please God and serve Christ. Only the Spirit can bring man to the place where he is willing to forsake every idol” A.W. Pink (ref#360, p20).

“I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD” (Jer 10:23-24 ESV).

“By nature we are not only ignorant of God’s way, but reluctant to walk therein even when it is shown us. [W]e never seek unto God till we are Divinely drawn. This humbling truth was well understood by David of old. First, he prayed, ‘Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes. Give me understanding’ (Psa. 119:33,34). But second, he realized that something more than Divine illumination was needed by him: therefore did he add, ‘Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p 118).

FAUX CONFESSION

“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).

EXCEEDING EVIL OF SIN

“God’s grace is active, rescuing, transformative grace. You celebrate this by being as serious about your need as the God of this grace is. God took sin so seriously that he did two things when the first transgression occurred—he immediately meted out punishment and he immediately set in motion his plan of rescue and redemption. Both demonstrate God’s seriousness about what we all too easily deny or minimize” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 5th).

“[T]he truth of what the Word of God declares concerning the exceeding evil of sin; for the same eye that discerns the transcendent beauty of holiness necessarily therein sees the exceeding odiousness of sin; the same taste which relishes the sweetness of true moral good tastes the bitterness of moral evil. And by this means a man sees his own sinfulness and loathsomeness; for he has now a sense to discern objects of this nature, and so sees the truth of what the Word of God declares concerning the exceeding sinfulness of mankind, which before he did not see. He now sees the dreadful pollution of his heart; and this shows him the truth of what the Scripture reveals concerning his nature, and his need of a Savior” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p83).

“Why did the Son of God come into this world of sin? He came ‘to save that which was lost’, to provide pardon and forgiveness of sin by the shedding of His own blood and the breaking of His own body upon the cross. If I say I have no sin, I am denying the incarnation, the death and the resurrection—I am making God a liar” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“[F]ailure to realise that we as sinners need forgiveness is the failure to realise the nature of sin, to grasp that our own natures are sinful and to understand that we have all actually sinned and need forgiveness” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“Corruption does not lie dormant in the Christian: though it reigns not supreme (because of a principle of grace to oppose it) yet it molests and often prevails to a very considerable extent. Because of this the Christian is called upon to wage a constant warfare against it: to ‘mortify’ it, to struggle against its inclinations and deny its solicitations” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p112).

“[W]hen divine justice is seen requiring the very heart’s blood of God’s only son in order to quench its infinite need for satisfaction; when God in Christ is seen in His humiliation, suffering, and death, all with the design of pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin; how fearful a sin against this holy Lord God seems! Do not be discouraged if the more intensely the desire for sanctification rises, the deeper and darker the revelation of the heart’s hidden evil” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 13th).

DOCTRINE OF SIN

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8 ESV).

“[O]ur very natures are sinful. The reference here is not to acts of sin, but to the nature that produces the acts of sin. [T]he state which is both the cause and the consequence of what we do” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p111).

“[S]omeone who has never realised the gospel and precisely what is meant by sin fail to realise that particular truth about sin; they will persist in thinking of it in terms of sins—particular sins and actions. But according to the Bible that is a hopelessly inadequate view of sin. Sin according to the Bible everywhere, is a realm, a kingdom. The Bible tells us that there are two kingdoms in this world, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil and the kingdom of holiness and the kingdom of Satan and of iniquity. [T]here is such a thing as sin and evil, a realm, an attitude, an outlook, a mind” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p109).

“It is one of the hardest tasks in the world to bring the heart to a sincere persuasion that sin is indeed as vile as God’s word represents it; and that it deserves all that His law threatens against it” John M’Laurin (ref#333, p263).

“The doctrine of sin is essential, and unless I realise I am a sinner and must repent, and if my only hope is not in Christ and His death for me on the cross and His resurrection for my justification, I not only have no fellowship with God, but I am dwelling still in utter darkness. Oh yes, to have fellowship with God we must not only be clear about the nature of God, we must be equally clear about ourselves and our own nature” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p114).

“[S]in has an indwelling and captivating power, whereby it continually assaults the principle of spiritual life, beating down the Christian’s defenses, battering his armour, routing his graces, wasting his conscience, destroying his peace, and at last bringing him into a woeful captivity unless it be mortified” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p112).

“If we do not realise that we are sinners and need the forgiveness of God; if we do not realise that we have always needed it and that we still need it; if we think that we have always been perfect or that now we are perfect as Christians; if we do not realise that we must repent we are making God a liar” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“The Jews, the chosen people, thought they were all right: ‘Those others, the Gentiles,’ they said, ‘are dogs; they need it, but we do not.’ But God convicts Jew and Gentile; there is none righteous; the whole world, every mouth, has been stopped. That is the doctrine of the Bible; so if we say we have not sinned, we are denying the doctrine of the Bible” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).