Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Quotables

From R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God

“We tend to have mixed feelings about the holy. There is a sense in which we are at the same time attracted to it and repulsed by it.” (p 42)

“God is the ultimate object of our xenophobia. He is the ultimate stranger. He is the ultimate foreigner. He is holy, and we are not.” (p 45)

“It is one thing of fall victim to the flood or to fall prey to cancer; it is another thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (p 53)

“Holiness provokes hatred. The greater the holiness, the greater the human hostility toward it. It seems insane. No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry.” (p 68)

Commenting on the death of Uzzah when he steadied the Ark of the Covenant with his hand: “An act of heroism? No! It was an act of arrogance, a sin of presumption. Uzzah assumed that his hand was less polluted than the earth. But it wasn’t the ground or the mud that would desecrate the ark; it was the touch of man.” (p 108)

“The Old Testament list of capital crimes represents a massive reduction of the original list. It is an astonishing measure of grace. The Old Testament record is chiefly a record of the grace of God. How so? …In creation all sin is deemed worthy of death. Every sin is a capital crime.” (p 114)

“God put Adam and Eve on probation and said, 'If you sin, you will die.' Sin brings the loss of the gift of life. The right to life is forfeited by sin. Once people sin, they forfeit any claim on God to human existence.” (p 114)

“Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.” (p 116)

“We become false witnesses to God. When we sin as the image bearers of God, we are saying to the whole creation, to all of nature under our dominion, to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field: 'This is how God is. This is how your Creator behaves. Look in this mirror; look at us, and you will see the character of the Almighty.'” (p 116)

“…the most mysterious aspect of the mystery of sin is not that the sinner deserves to die, but rather that the sinner in the average situation continues to exist.” (p 117)

“[God] is indeed long-suffering, patient, and slow to anger. In fact He is so slow to anger that when His anger does erupt, we are shocked and offended by it. …Instead of taking advantage of this patience by coming humbly to Him for forgiveness, we use this grace as an opportunity to become more bold in our sin.” (p 117)

“The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the cross. If ever a person had room to complain of injustice, it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the Cross.” (p 121)

“As soon as we talk about deserving something, we are no longer talking about grace; we are talking about justice. Only justice can be deserved. God is never obligated to be merciful. Mercy and grace must be voluntary or they are no longer mercy and grace.” (p 127)

“God is not obligated to treat all people equally.” (p 128)

“Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy. Our trembling is the tremor of awe and veneration, not the trembling of the coward or the pagan. ...We are to fear God not with a servile fear like that of a prisoner before his tormentor but as children who do not wish to displease their beloved Father.” (pp 153-4)

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