God is not true to Himself unless He punishes sin. And unless one knows and feels the truth of this fact, wrongdoers have no natural hope of anything from God but retributive judgment, one can never share the biblical faith in divine grace.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 131
For modern men and women are convinced that, despite all their little peccadilloes – drinking, gambling, reckless driving, sexual laxity, black and white lies, sharp practice in trading, dirty reading, and what have you – they are at heart thoroughly good folks. Then, as pagans do (and modern man’s heart is pagan – make no mistake about that), they imagine God as a magnified image of themselves and assume that God shares his own complacency about himself. The thought of themselves as creatures fallen from God’s image, rebels against God’s rule, guilty and unclean in God’s sight, fit only for God’s condemnation, never enters their heads.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 130
A fixed, constant attention to the promises, and a firm belief of them, would prevent solicitude and anxiety about the concerns of this life. It would keep the mind quiet and composed in every change, and support and keep up our sinking spirits under the several troubles of life…Christians deprive themselves of their most solid comforts by their unbelief and forgetfulness of God’s promises suitable to it, and abundantly sufficient for our relief in it.
A thorough acquiantance with the promises would be of greatest advantage in prayer. With what comfort may be the Christian address himself to God in Christ when he considers the repeated assurances that his prayers shall be heard! With how much satisfaction may he offer up the several desires of his heart when he reflects upon the texts wherein those very mercies are promised? And with what fervour of spirit and strength of faith may he enforce His prayers by pleading the several gracious promises which are expressly to his case!
– Samuel Clark, introduction to Scripture Promises
as quoted by J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 115
It is to be feared that many Christians spend all their lives in too unhumbled and conceited a frame of mind ever to gain wisdom from God at all. Not for nothing does Scripture say, ‘with the lowly is wisdom’ (Proverbs 11:2) … Again it is to be feared that many today who profess to be Christ’s never learn wisdom, through failure to attend to God’s written Word.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 101
What is a Christian? Christians can be described from many angles, but from what we have said it is clear that we can cover everything by saying: True Christians are people who acknowledge and live under the word of God. They submit without reserve to the word of God written in “the Book of Truth” (Daniel 10:21), believing the teaching, trusting the promises, following the commands. Their eyes are upon the God of the Bible as their Father and the Christ of the Bible as their Savior.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 116
Again, God seeks His glory in our lives, and He is glorified in us only when we obey his will. It follows that, as a means to his own end, he must be ready to teach us His way, so that we may walk in it. Confidence in God’s readiness to teach those who desire to obey underlies all Psalm 119. In Psalms 23:3, David proclaims the reality of God giving guidance for His own glory – “he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
So we might go on, but the point is sufficiently established. It is impossible to doubt that guidance is a reality intended for, and promised to, every child of God. Christians who miss it thereby show only that they did not seek it as they should. It is right, therefore, to be concerned about ones own receptiveness to guidance, and to study how we seek it.
– J. I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 233
Here, therefore, is a further reason why God speaks to us: not only to move us to do what He wants, but to enable us to know him so that we may love him. Therefore God sends his word to us in the character of both information and invitation. It comes to woo us as well as to instruct us; it not merely puts us in the picture of what God has done and is doing, but also calls us into personal communication with the loving Lord Himself.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 110