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Self-Repudiation & God-Esteem

True [Christianity] always leads to the appreciation of self-denial. When doctrines of grace are warmly and experimentally preached, denial of self is necessarily one of the chief experiences of the soul. Each one of the doctrines infinitely exalts the most high God and humbles the sinful and human self as a mere worm...Indeed it is the wrenching of our hearts from serving trite personal interests to glorifying God and enjoying him forever

Nothing leads to self-repudiation so much as spiritual meditation on the corruption and wickedness of your heart. If your soul has grasps human depravity you have been forced to deny yourself...No man can conclude in his heart, 'in me dwelleth no good thing' (Romans 7:18) and then continue to live for himself...[Christianity] that does not humble has missed its mark

But there is a positive side as well. While mans self-esteem is crushed, his esteem for the Lord God of hosts is established. God's glory and grace strike and captivate the heart. The absolute freeness of his mercy in Jesus Christ prompts the soul to join the heavenly hosts which falls down before him day and night singing 'Alleluia; glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God'...Implicit in the prayers of a soul enraptured to the glories of the King is the denial of self...

The true test of your [Christianity] comes just here. How low is self and how high is God in your heart?
Walter J. Chantry
The Shadow of the Cross
pp. 8-10

Grounds for Justification

How easily we fall into the trap of assuming that we remain justified only so long as there are grounds in our character for justification. -Sinclair Furguson
Living the Cross Centered Life
p. 111

Joy: The Inevitable Result of the Gospel

The inevitable result of preaching the gospel to yourself will be a pronounced joy, an infectious joy, a consistent joy.

Like nothing else, the gospel creates joy; it's both the source and the object of ur joy. The gospel alone allows us to obey the biblical directive to "serve the Lord with gladness." Joy is a command. You may be working hard and serving the Lord faithfully, but if you aren't serving with gladness, you aren't serving Him appropriately or representing Him accurately.

Are you someone who's consistently joyful and continuall aware that the "joy of the Lord is your strength"? Or do you normally appear to others to be someone who's burdened, busy, and easily bothered?...

If you're centering your life on the gospel and the cross - if you're abiding hard by the cross, as Spurgeon says, and seraching the mystery of Christ's wounds - then you'll be captured by joy. And in these days or years you have left on earth, what could be better?

So cultivate this joy...by continually meditating on the gospel. Let the cross always be the treasureof your heart, your best and highest thought...and your passionate preoccupation.
C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross Centered Life
pp. 108-109

Rejoicing in Salvation in Affliction

In your own times of severe distress, which are you more aware of - your suffering or your salvation? What the Puritan Thomas Watson recognized will always be true for us, "Your sufferings are not so great s your sins: Put these two in balance, and see which weighs heaviest." We can rejoice in our salvation even amid great affliction when we recognize how muh worse we deserve because of our sins.
C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross-Centered Life
p. 105

Sin: Dare of Justice, Rape of Mercy, Jeer of Patience...

"Sin is contrary to all the names and attributes of God. It sets itself in opposition to them all.

  1. It deposes the sovereignty of God...It will not [do] that the King of kings should be on the throne, and govern this world which he has made. It was by this instinct that Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I know no Lord above me; I will not let Israel go" (Exodus 5:2). It was from hence that the Jews of old said, "We are lords; we will come no more to thee" (Jeremiah 2:31). Thus it attempts to dethrone God.
  2. It denies God's all-sufficiency. As if there were not contentment and satisfaction enough to be laid in the enjoyment of God, but that vanity and wickedness had more of pleasure and profit than he, whose ways are all pleasantness, and whose service is the health of man! Every prodigal who leaves the Father's house says in effect, "It is better to be elsewhere."
  3. It challenges the justice of God, and dares God to do his worst (Malachi 2:17). It provokes the Lord to jealousy, and tempts him to wrath.
  4. It disowns his omniscience. "Pooh!" they say, "God does not see, nor does the most High regard."
  5. It despises the riches of God's goodness (Romans 2:4)
  6. It turns his grace into wontonness (Jude 4). It will make bold with God, and sin because grace abounds.

In short, "Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of his mercy, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, the contempt of his love," as one writer prettily expresses this ugly thing. We may go on and say, "It is the upbraiding of his providence (Psalm 50), the scoff of his promise (2 Peter 3:3-4), the reproach of his wisdom (Isaiah 29:16), and...it opposes and exalts itself above all that is called God (and above all that God is called), so that it [attempts to be God, sitting] in the temple of God, showing itself as if it were God (2 Thessalonians 2:4)."

The Sinfulness of Sin
Ralph Venning
pp. 31-32

Keywords: sin

Sin's Purpose: To Ungod God

"The sinfulness of sin not only appears from, but consists in this, that it is contrary to God...it is enmity itself. Carnal men, or sinners are called by the name of enemies to God (Romans 5:8-10; Colossians 1:21); but the carnal mind or sin is called enmity itself (Romans 8:7). Accordingly, it and its acts are expressed by names of enmity and acts of hostility such as

  • Walking contrary to God (Leviticus 26:21)
  • Rebelling against God (Isaiah 1:2)
  • Rising Up Against Him as an Enemy (Micah 2:8)
  • Striving and Contending with God (Isaiah 45:9), and
  • Despising God (Numbers 11:20).

It makes men

  • Haters of God (Romans 1:30)
  • Resisters of God (Acts 7:51)
  • Fighters against God (Acts 5:39, 23:9), even
  • Blasphemers of God, and in short very
  • Athiests.

It goes about to ungod God, and is by some of the acients called Deicidium, God-murder or God-killing."

The Sinfulness of Sin
Ralph Venning
pp. 29-30