Simul Blog is adding a new weekly segment. These are seven quotes about the gospel (and the preaching of the gospel) that we are convinced will help you survive the week.
1. On Pastoral Lightning Strikes
It would not be surprising if God were to hurl His lighting at every preacher who has filled his manuscript with high-flown terms, intending to shine by his oratory. Such language is not understood by the common people. It may, at best, enter their intellect, but it does not enter their hearts, where it ought to lodge.
-C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel
2. On Theology and Laughing at your Wipe-Outs
Trust Jesus, then. After that, theologize all you want. Just don’t lose your sense of humor if your theological surfboard deposits you unceremoniously in the drink.
-Robert Farrar Capon, Kingdom, Grace, and Judgment
3. On Commandments and Slavery
Commandments do not grant freedom, they take it away. That is a hard but indispensable theological lesson to learn.
-Gerhard Forde, The Captivation of the Will
4. On Good Works or the Greatest Idolatry
If we esteem them too highly, good works can become the greatest idolatry.
-Martin Luther, (Found in Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional)
5. On How God Feels about You, yes, You
This is the thing to get straight; here is what [the gospel] is saying. He loves you. Now. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. You are the one He loves. Do you think He doesn’t know what a sinner you really are? While you were yet a sinner, He died for you. Do you get it? Forget about repentance and performance and service and evangelism and the whole world of all of it. It will come later at the right place and time. He loves you.
-Jim McNeely (original bolding), “This is your Fiery Sermon?“
6. Token Tullian Quote
I’ve never met anyone who is not exhausted. I’m not talking about exhausted because we’re too busy raising children and trying to pay the bills. I’m talking about emotional exhaustion, relational exhaustion and living on a treadmill of performance to ensure that our lives are meaningful. All of those things are just our own frantic attempts at self-justification.
-Tullian Tchividjian, Love for the Weary and Heavy Laden
7. Simul Blog Quotes Themselves
My go-to comfort becomes the resolutions that I make to myself. I silence the voice of inadequacy by puffing out my chest, not confessing my spiritual bankruptcy. I add the clanging of my resolutions to the haunting voice of the Law – noise to drown out noise.
[I guess they were a bit dark this week. Jim’s quote – number 5 – is the resolution to all the confessional quotes. If you let the other quotes seep in this week, make sure you understand they are all pointing to the truth that you are loved completely by God in Christ despite your work or lack of work. Christ has delivered you completely. Go in freedom. “Love God and do what you will.” Augustine said that. You have been set free. Completely.]
[If you have a great law/gospel quote and would like to contribute it to the Simul 7, email firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!]