Sunday, February 28, 2010

All of Grace From Start to Finish

"There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe.” It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place, or that can take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace."

(The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, 10 vols. (1991), vol. 7, p. 113; as cited by Steve in a post at The Gate)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Reflection on the Resurrection

"Each year at Easter I get to preach on the Resurrection. In my sermon, I always say to my skeptical, secular friends that even if they can't believe in the resurrection, they should want it to be true. Most of them care deeply about justice for the poor,alleviating hunger and disease, and caring for the environment. Yet many of them believe that the material world was caused by accident and that the world and everything in it will eventually simply burn up in the death of the sun. They find it discouraging that so few people care about justice without realizing that their own worldview undermines any motivation to make the world a better place. Why sacrifice for the needs of others if in the end nothing we do will make any difference? If the resurrection of Jesus happened, however, that means there's infinite hope and reason to pour ourselves out for the needs of the world..."

(Timothy Keller, "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism", page 220)