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J.I. Packer – The Center of the Gospel

21 Jun

The gospel centers upon justification—that is, upon the remission of sins and the acceptance of our persons that goes with it. Justification is the truly dramatic transition from the status of a condemned criminal awaiting a terrible sentence to that of an heir awaiting a fabulous inheritance.

~J.I. Packer~

Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL; Intervarsity Press; 1993) p. 150.

Books by J.I. Packer

F.F. Bruce – The Greatest Wonder of All

2 Jun

The God whose grace Paul proclaimed is the God who alone does great wonders. He creates the universe from nothing; he calls the dead to life; he justifies the ungodly. This third is the greatest wonder of all: creation and resurrection are consistent with the power of the living and life-giving God, but the justifying of the ungodly is prima facie a contradiction of his character as the righteous God, the Judge of all the earth, who by his own declaration “will not justify the ungodly” (Exodus 23:7). Yet such is the quality of divine grace that in the very act of extending it to the undeserving God demonstrates “that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

~F.F. Bruce~

Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans Publishing Company; 1977) p. 18-19

Books by F.F. Bruce

John Stott – Acknowledging Our Nakedness

9 Apr

But we cannot escape the embarrassment of standing stark naked before God. It is no use for us to try to cover up like Adam and Eve in the garden. Our attempts at self-justification are as ineffectual as their fig leaves. We have to acknowledge our nakedness, see the divine substitute wearing our filthy rags instead of us, and allow him to clothe us with his own righteousness (cf. Rev 3:17-18). Nobody has ever put it better than Augustus Toplady in his immortal hymn “Rock of Ages”

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to your Cross I cling;
Naked, come to you for dress;
Helpless, look to your for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

~John Stott~

The Cross of Christ (Colorado Springs, Colorado; Navpress; 2011) p. 162

Books by John Stott

Jerry Bridges – Should I Depend On My Own Law-Keeping?

31 Mar

Dependence on one’s law keeping and faith in Christ are mutually exclusive. In fact, faith involves a total renunciation of dependence on one’s good works and instead total reliance on Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

~Jerry Bridges~

The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Colorado Springs, Colorado; Navpress; 2011) Chapter 5: A Daily Embracing of the Gospel.

Books by Jerry Bridges

Robert Letham – Union with Christ and Our Justification

30 Mar

If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:17

Paul’s point is that we are not addressed merely as discrete individuals; instead, we are placed by God in solidaristic groups or teams. Adam was head or captain of a team of which we all were members. His sin plunged the whole team into sin, ruin, death, and condemnation. What Christ did for us was also done as the head of a team of which we are part. He did it on our behalf, for us–and God reckons it to our account as a result of our being united, through faith, with him as the head of the team. Our justification is therefore grounded on union with Christ.

~Robert Letham~

Union with Christ (Phillipsburg, New Jersey; P&R Publishing; 2011) p. 6.

Books by Robert Letham