It is impossible to know, or to value, that life that Jesus Christ came into the world to impart to us, and procure for us without considering the nature of the death he delivers us from.
Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God.
I do believe we slander Christ when we think we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and Him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.
Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.
"Baptism should not be such a neat and tidy event. It ought to convey something of the trauma of death and resurrection, with real commotion and real water getting splashed around a bit."
No man has ever appreciated the gospel until the law has first revealed him to himself. It is only against the inky blackness of the night sky that the stars begin to appear, and it is only against the dark background of sin that the gospel shines forth. Not until the law has bruised and smitten us will we admit our need of the gospel to bind up our wounds. Not until the law has arrested and imprisoned us will we pine for Christ to set us free. Not until the law has condemned and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification and life. Not until the law has driven us to despair of ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus. Not until the law has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to raise us to heaven.
I was quite pleased with myself. Then the Bible, and in particular the Sermon on the Mount, freed me from that.