How about you? What is that, if you were to lose it, would cause you to feel that life isn’t worth living? In other words, what are your idols? What do you trust in other than Jesus to gain acceptance and approval – to give your life meaning and to make life worth living?
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 122
Through the gospel God counts your sins against Christ, not against you. He offer us acceptance based not on what we do or don’t do, but on what Christ has already done. It’s an acceptance that can be neither gained by our achievements nor forfeited by our failures. Nothing in this world can promise you such total acceptance and favor – nothing. And that’s what makes his grace so amazing.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 87-88
Grace can be described as unconditional acceptance granted to an underserving person by an unobligated giver. Only God offers this kind of total acceptance without condition. Moralistic religion wrongly teaches us to say “I obey, therefore, God must accept me.” The gospel rightly teaches us to say “When I trust in Jesus, God accepts me; therefore I obey.”
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 56
According to the Scriptures, pardon, acceptance, and adoption are distinct privileges, the one rising above the other in the order in which they have been stated… while the first two properly belog to (the sinner’s) justification, as being both founded on the same relation – that of Ruler and Subject – the third is radically distinct from them as being founded on a nearer, more tender, and more endearing relation – that between a Father and His Son…There is a manifest difference between that of a master and a son…A closer and dearer intimacy than that of a master and servent is said to subsist between Christ and His people: “Henceforth I call you not servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends” (John 15:15); and a still closer and dearer relation is said to exist in consequence of adoption; for “Thou art no more a servant, but a son, and an heir of God through Christ” (Galations 4:7). The privilege of adoption presupposes pardon and acceptance, but is higher than either; for, “To as many as received Him, to them He gave power” – not inward strength, but authority, right, or privilege – “to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). This is a higher privilege than of Justification, as being founded on a closer and more endearing relation – “Behold! what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.” (I John 3:1)
– James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, page 276-277
as quoted by J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 207-208