One of Satan’s most effective weapons, I believe, is making us forget the identity the Father has declared over us in Christ and basing our sense of approval on how well we’ve done.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 48
“The diversity of expressions to describe being in Christ in this one long sentence (Ephesians 1:3-14) is astonishing, and the sheer repetition of the formula indicates that it is crucial.”
– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 45
Because Christ is Lord, there is a church in exile, receiving everything from heaven, and on earth witnessing to, loving and serving their neighbors. For a new reformation in the church and renewed witness in the world, we need not only to re-arm ourselves with drama and the doctrine, but allow the greatest story ever told to shape us into a cross-cultural community – a light set upon a hill.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 264
Let us, in Heaven’s name, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious – others will pass into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him? We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His Personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.
It is the dogma that is the drama – not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and moral uplift,nor the promise of something nice after death – but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that one might be glad to believe.
– Dorothy Sayers
as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 252-253
Christ’s bodily absence in this time between his two advents is neither unproductive nor indefinite. He is right now doing something in heaven that is more important than anything that the church could conceive or do by its own clever machinations. And he has sent his Spirit to communicate the riches of his reign to a world in bondage to sin and death. It is that same Spirit who engenders within us the longing cry for Christ’s return.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 257
Like a cross that is worn around one’s neck, Christ has become an accessory. Rather than being commanded at gunpoint to deny Christ, we are led by the devil into the wilderness of consumerism, shopping for identities. Far from being harried and harassed, we are shown the kingdoms of this world that can be ours if we will only turn away from Golgotha. We don’t have to become atheists. We do not even have to renounce Jesus Christ.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 115
The cross of Christ be glorified and rejoiced in; this his heart was set upon; and these were the effects of it – it crucified the word unto him, made it a dead and undesireable thing. The baits and pleasures of sin are taken all of them out of the world…If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesireableness upon them all; it leafves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure of comeliness, in them.
– John Owen, On Indwelling Sin in Believers
as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright 2004; p. 94