“Tragically, religion and spirituality provide a whole toolbox for avoiding Jesus today.” -Michael Horton
“Three words describing what is sought from God: blot out, wash thoroughly, cleanse: ‘blot out’ implies sin as a ‘black mark’ which God can see and which he can wipe away; ‘wash thoroughly’ is a ‘launderer’s’ verb, ingrained dirt requiring a detergent which can reach right down into the fibres (cf., Heb. 9: 14); ‘cleanse’ is mostly used in Leviticus (e.g., 13: 6) and deals with sin as a defilement which separates the sinner from the holy God.” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament
“Christ is the One who gives effect to the Father’s mercy and upon the basis of whose person and completed work we sinners may be saved.” -John R. DeWitt, Amazing Love
“The parable of the prodigal son is after all in the highest and holiest and deepest and grandest sense a parable of Christ, because, as the Apostle Paul tell us, ‘there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus‘ (Rom. 8:1).” -John R. DeWitt, Amazing Love
“Most sermons major on “Do this; do that. Don’t do this; don’t do that.” And if “Duty, duty, duty” is the preacher’s demanding message, “Disobedience, disobedience, disobedience” is the hearer’s condemning conviction.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian
Reconciliation needs to happen in the shadow of the cross. Because one subtle threat to reconciliation is that I may ‘take this person back’ into my life, but only as someone I now deem to be inferior to me. I’ll take them back on my agenda, not God’s. At the cross, I realize how problematic it is: my sins caused monstrous harm to someone too–they caused the death of the Son of God. At the cross I see my sin, but also the goal of the Gospel which is that my brother with whom I am angry would have an “equal share” in the inheritance of the kingdom (Col. 1:12-14).
Let me implore the reader to try to believe, if only for the moment, that God, who made these deserving people, may really be right when He thinks that their modest prosperity and the happiness of their children are not enough to make them blessed: that all this must fall from them in the end, and that if they have not learned to know Him they will be wretched. And therefore He troubles them, warning them in advance of an insufficiency that one day they will have to discover. The life to themselves and their families stands between them and the recognition of their need; He makes that life less sweet to them. I call this a Divine humility because it is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up ‘our own’ when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is ‘nothing better’ now to be had. The same humility is shown by all those Divine appeals to our fears which trouble high-minded readers of Scripture. It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose Him as an alternative to Hell: yet even this He accepts. The creature’s illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the creature’s sake, be shattered; and by trouble or fear of trouble on earth, by crude fear of the eternal flames, God shatters it ‘unmindful of His glory’s diminution’.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain