Why Guilt Isn’t a Great Motivator

“It seems upside down to say that God motivates our obedience by freeing us from law and by declaring that he has no wrath left for us, but it’s true, and true faith embraces it.

To help you understand this principle, let me ask you a few more questions: How do you act when you feel guilty? How do you feel about someone you might have offended? Does your guilt make you love him more? Of course not. When I feel guilty, it isn’t long before I’m comparing my behavior with my accuser’s, feeling angry or self-justifying, or spending hours in self-recrimination and despair. Guilt doesn’t produce love; only grace does that.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross


Death Came in Through the Ear, So Does Life

“Death came in by the ear at the first. Adam hearing the serpent, that he should not have heard, death came in by the ear. So life comes in by the ear. We hear, and then we see: ‘As we have heard, so have we seen,’ say they in the psalm, Ps. xlviii. 8. It is true in religion, most of our sight comes by hearing, which is the sense of learning. God will have it so.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom


Light is Always on a ‘Fact-Finding Mission’

“God when he made the world, this glorious frame of the creatures, and all their excellencies, he created light to discover itself, and all other excellencies. For light is a glorious creature. It discovers itself. It goes with a majesty and discovers all other things, good and bad whatsoever; and together with light God created sight in man, and other senses, to apprehend the excellency of the creation.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom


Christ and the Word of Christ, Together

“There is such a connection between the evangelical truth of God and Jesus Christ, that they have both one name, to insinuate to us that as we will be partakers of Christ, so it must be of Christ, as he is revealed in the gospel, not in conceits of our own. The word is truth, and Christ is truth. They have the same name; for were there never so much mercy and love in God, if it were concealed from us, that we had nothing to plead, that we had not some title to it by some discovery of it in his will, the word and the seal of the word, the sacraments (for the sacrament is but a visible word, they make one entire thing, the word and sacraments; the one is the evidence, the other the seal), what comfort could we take in it? Now his will is in the promise, wherein there is not only a discovery of what he doth or will do, but he hath engaged himself: ‘If we believe, we shall not perish, but have life,’ John iii. 15; and ‘Come unto me,’ Matt. xi. 28, and be refreshed, saith Christ. Every one that thirsts, come and be satisfied, John vii. 37. And now we may claim the performance of what he hath spoken, and bind him by his own word. ‘He cannot deny himself,’ John vii. 37. So now we see him comfortably in the glass of the word and sacraments.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom


Progressive Revelation

“As the sun riseth by degrees till he come to shine in glory, so it was with the Sun of righteousness. He discovered himself in the church by little and little. The latter times now are more glorious than the former; and because comparisons give lustre, the blessed apostle, to set forth the excellency of the administration of the covenant of grace under the gospel, he compares it with the administration of the same covenant in the time of the law; and in the comparison prefers that administration under the gospel as more excellent. Now besides other differences in the chapter, he insists upon three especially. They differ in generality, evidence, efficacy.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom