CJ Mahaney enthuses over memorable quotes from the writings of Sinclair Ferguson, and then gets Dr. Ferguson to expand and comment on them. Here’s the quotes, but check out CJ’s blog for the whole interview. It’s excellent!
On looking outward:
The evangelical orientation is inward and subjective. We are far better at looking inward than we are looking outward. We need to expend our energies admiring, exploring, expositing, and extolling Jesus Christ.
On legalism in Eden:
The glory of the gospel is that God has declared Christians to be rightly related to him in spite of their sin. But our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace. How easily we fall into the trap of assuming that we can only remain justified so long as there are grounds in our character for justification. But Paul’s teaching is that nothing we do ever contributes to our justification.
On God’s love for us displayed in the cross:
When we think of Christ dying on the cross we are shown the lengths to which God’s love goes in order to win us back to himself. We would almost think that God loved us more than he loves his Son! We cannot measure such love by any other standard. He is saying to us: I love you this much. The cross is the heart of the gospel. It makes the gospel good news: Christ died for us. He has stood in our place before God’s judgment seat. He has borne our sins. God has done something on the cross we could never do for ourselves. But God does something to us as well as for us through the cross. He persuades us that he loves us.
On “… Jesus! full of pardoning grace, More full of grace than I of sin.”:
Only by seeing our sin do we come to see the need for and wonder of grace. But exposing sin is not the same thing as unveiling and applying grace. We must be familiar with and exponents of its multifaceted power, and know how to apply it to a variety of spiritual conditions. Truth to tell, exposing sin is easier than applying grace; for, alas, we are more intimate with the former than we sometimes are with the latter. Therein lies our weakness.