Left to Ourselves, We Will Not Produce It

In other words, we need the gift of joy in God.  Left to oursevles, we will not produce it.  That’s what Christ bought for us when he died and shed the blood of the new covenant.  He bought for us the gift of joy in God.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 53

The True Mark of Circumcision

All of the people of God are marked with a special brand as it were.  In the Old Testament, circumcision was the proof of divine ownership.  It was required of all make children of the people of Israel, as well as of all male converts or proselytes.  It was an external sign of the covenant which made them God’s people.  It was also a subjective sign of the covenant in that it was applied individually to each person, whereas the ark of the covenant served as an objective sign for the whole group.

Instead of this external circumcision of the flesh, found in the administration of the old covenant, we find under the new covenant an inward circumcision of the heart.  Paul wrote, “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” (Romans 2:29; see also Philippians 3:3)

– Erickson, Millard

as quoted by Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p.

Compassionate Love is the Axis of the Christian Moral Revolution

Obviously, we are not treating a trivial evangelical matter here.  Compassionate love is the axis of the Christian moral revolution and the only sigh ever given by Jesus by which a disciple would be recognized.  “I give you a new commandment; love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)  The new commandment structures the new Covenant in the blood of Jesus.  So central is the precept of fraternal love that Paul does not hesitate to call it the fulfillment of the entire law and the prophets. (Romans 13:8-10)

– Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, copyright 1990, 2000, page 152

What Pentecost Brought

The filling of the Spirit was promised for all the people of God, in contrast to the power of the Spirit given to a few in the Old Covenant.  Pentecost brought the distinction between the Old Covenant and the New not between ‘average’ Christians of the New Covenant and a spiritual elite.

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 238