“Lord, we flail. Forgive the lies we tell from purple thrones on TBN. Forgive the lies we tell in shrines. Forgive our every attempt at self-redemption, the holy efforts we call our own, all the clawing we call resurrection. Bury us. Take us to helpless dust. Make us all Lazarus.”
– N.D. Wilson, Death by Living (p. 125)
“You who are enriched with the treasures of godliness, bless God for it. This flower does not grow in nature’s garden. You had enlisted yourselves under the devil and taken pay on his side, fighting against your own happiness, and then God came with converting grace and put forth a loving and gentle violence, causing you to espouse his quarrel against Satan. You had lain many years soaking in wickedness, as if you had been parboiled for hell, and then God laid you steeping in Christ’s blood and breathed holiness into your heart! Oh, what cause you have to write yourselves as eternal debtors to free grace!”
– Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture (p. 221)
“As to myself, I openly confess that I should not wish ‘Free-will’ to be granted me, even if it could be so, nor anything else to be left in my own hands, whereby I might endeavor something towards my own salvation. And that, not merely because in so many opposing dangers, and so many assaulting devils, I could not stand and hold it fast (in which state no man could be saved, seeing that one devil is stronger than all men), but because even though there were no dangers, no conflicts, no devils, I should be compelled to labour under a continual uncertainty, and to beat the air only. Nor would my conscience, even if I should live and work to all eternity, ever come to a settled certainty, how much it ought to do in order to satisfy God. For whatever work should be done, there would still remain a scrupling, whether or not it pleased God, or whether He required any thing more; as is proved in the experience of all justiciaries, and as I myself learned to my bitter cost through so many years of my own experience.
But now, since God has put my salvation out of the way of my will, and has taken it under His own, and has promised to save me, not according to my working or manner of life, but according to His own grace and mercy, I rest fully assured and persuaded that He is faithful, and will not lie, and moreover great and powerful, so that no devils, no adversities can destroy Him, or pluck me out of His hand. ‘No one (saith He) shall pluck them out of My hand, because My Father which gave them Me is greater than all.’ (John x. 27-28). Hence it is certain that in this way, if all are not saved, yet some, yea, many shall be saved; whereas by the power of ‘Free-will’ no one whatever could be saved, but all must perish together. And moreover, we are certain and persuaded that in this way we please God, not from the merit of our own works, but from the favor of His mercy promised unto us; and that if we work less, or work badly, He does not impute it unto us, but, as a Father, pardons us and makes us better. This is the glorying which all the saints have in their God!”
– Luther, The Bondage of the Will (p. 254)
“… the greatest and only consolation of Christians in their adversities, is the knowing that God lies not, but does all things immutably, and that His will cannot be resisted, changed, or hindered.” – Luther, The Bondage of the Will