The Wonder of Redeeming Love and Your Unworthiness

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will fill you with such a sense of deep conviction over inward sin, even “small” sin, that you begin to realize what a horrible offense it is against a holy and loving God.  It all becomes very personal and you see clearly how you have hated and despised the One who created and redeemed you, and you are undone by two things, “the wonder of redeeming love and your unworthiness.”

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 189

The More We See, The More We Are Changed

The Holy Spirit shows us Christ in all his glory, and in time we become more captivated with him that we are with our silly, powerless idols.  The more we see of him, the more we are changed into his image until that wonderful day when we will be like him, for we will see him face to face.  (I Corinthians 13:12)

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 188

Surprised When We Have Blown It So Badly

There are terrifying times when we know that we have blown it so badly that surely God must expose and punish us for our own good.  And then something completely different happens.  God not only withholds the punishment we so richly deserve, but he lavishes us with loving-kindness and surprises us with joy.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 181

God is Not Always Coming to Our Rescue…

God doesn’t always rescue us from the consequence of our sins.  Although he has once and for all removed the eternal punishment that my sin deserves by placing it on Christ, he often leaves me to suffer the bitter after effects of my sin and mistakes here on earth in order to humble me, teach me dependence, and train me in righteousness.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 181

We Do Not Need to Be Afraid of What We Will Find in Our Hearts

The good news of the gospel is precisely what gives us the courage to be honest about our sin without being undone by it.  It is possible and delightful to engage in soul searching when you are confident that God is not ashamed of you and will never abandon you, no matter what sins you find lurking there.  Confession becomes a relief while repentance is possible only when we know what it is that we need to repent of.  When we grasp the gospel we do not need to be afraid of what we will find in our hearts, for God’s grace is far greater than all our sin.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 175

Certain things have been decreed by the free determination of God, and one of these is the law of choice and consequences.  God has decreed that all who willingly commit themselves to His Son Jesus Christ in the obedience of faith shall receive eternal life and become sons of God.  He has also decreed that all who love darkness and continue in rebellion agains the high authority of heaven shall remain in a state of spiritual alienation and suffer eternal death at last.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 90

It Simply Leads to More and More Cycles of Sin

Paul doesn’t seem to worry that his declaration of his own struggle with sin will encourage us all to sin more.  He knows that he is weak, and he has told us this time and time again and even dared to boast in his weakness.  Paul does not seem to be tied up in knots about his ongoing sin problem, but he moves seamlessly and immediately to doxology.  It is dazzling. Paul does not spend hours, days, months and years agonizing over his sin, as we often do.  This kind of morbid misery doesn’t help us sin less;  it simply leads to more and more cycles of sin.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 174

Blessed Be God for Jesus Christ

Well, when we have said all we can of the abounding sin in us – grace still more abounds in Jesus.  We cannot be so evil as he is good.  His power is a good match for our weakness.  His riches are a good match for our poverty.  His mercy is a good match for our misery.  We are vile in ourselves – but we are complete in him.  In ourselves we have cause to be abased – but in him we may rejoice. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.

– John Newton

as quoted by – Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 173

God Loves Us to Much to Let Us Find Lasting Peace…

There are many behaviors, good and bad, that we can turn to in order to drown out the drumbeat of perpetual personal failure.  The bad behaviors bring pleasure for a minute and then plunge the sufferer even more deeply into sham and distress, thus perpetuating the cycle.  The good behaviors comfort for a minute with a likeness of spiritual goodness, but they soon disappoint because they don’t last.  God loves us too much to let us find lasting peace in any behavior, even the good ones.  We can be hard on ourselves in a way that God is not, and we castigate and punish ourselves in ungodly ways for our ungodliness

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 173

It Is Ridiculous, Yet Powerful and Gripping All at Once

Furthermore, Christians have a very powerful adversary.  Satan is old and experienced at his craft. He has been tempting people for centuries, and he delights in his skill and the power God allows him to exert over those he cannot ultimately defeat.  It is interesting to explore the characteristic sins we struggle with and see how effective Satan is at drawing  us into a cascade of thoughts that ultimately leads to sin.  We can even step back and evaluate this, diagnosing it and teasing it apart, yet get sucked right back into it and the next moment and flounder helplessly toward its inevitable conclusion.  It is ridiculous, yet powerful and gripping all at once.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 166