If thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ’s eyes.
Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks (Passmore and Alabaster, 1903).
The justice of God is exceedingly glorified in this work [of the cross]. God is so strictly and immutably just, that he would not spare his beloved Son when he took upon him the guilt of men’s sins, and was substituted in the room of sinners. He would not abate him the least mite of that debt which justice demanded. Justice should take place, though it cost his infinitely dear Son his precious blood; and his enduring such extraordinary reproach, and pain, and death in its most dreadful form.
The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 2 (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 144–145.
The great doctrine, the greatest of all, is this, that God, seeing men to be lost by reason of their sin, hath taken that sin of theirs and laid it upon his only begotten Son, making him to be sin for us, even him who knew no sin; and that in consequence of this transference of sin he that believeth in Christ Jesus is made just and righteous, ya, is made to be the righteousness of God in Christ. Christ was made sin that sinners might be made righteousness. That is the doctrine of the substitution of our Lord Jesus Christ on the behalf of guilty men.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Metropolitan Tabernacle, “The Heart of the Gospel,” Sermon 1910, 2 Cor 5:20–21.
To suffer death was the immediate end of the interposition of Christ. The principal end of his undertaking was to right the honour of God, and glorify his attributes in the recovery of the creature; but the immediate end was to suffer, because this was the only way to bring about that end which was principally aimed at in Christ’s interposition, and God’s determination concerning him. Death being denounced as the punishment of sin, Christ interposeth himself for our security, with a promise to bear that punishment in our stead for the procuring our exemption from it; therefore, what punishment was of right to be inflicted on man for the breach of the law, was, by a gracious act of God, the governor of the world and guardian of his laws, transferred upon Christ, as putting himself in our stead. His first interposition was for the same end with his death, but his death was evidently for our sins. It was for them ‘he gave himself,’ Gal. 1:4; they were our sins which ‘he bare in his own body on the tree,’ 1 Peter 2:24; ‘for our iniquities he was wounded, and for our transgressions he was bruised,’ Isa. 53:5; our health was procured by his stripes, and therefore intended by him in his first engagement. He offered his person in our stead, which was able to bear our sin, and afford us a righteousness which was able to justify our persons; he offered himself to endure the curse of the law in his own body, and fulfil the righteousness of the law in his own person; he would be united with us in our nature, that he might make the sins of our nature his own in suffering for them, and give to us what was his, by taking to himself what was ours; he took our stripes that we might receive his medicine. This, therefore, being the end of his first undertaking, was necessary to be performed; for Christ is not yea and nay, 2 Cor. 1:19, one time of one mind, and another time of another, but firm and uniform in all his proceedings, without any contradiction between his promise and performance.
The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock, 5:10.
Wherever we find the word of God purely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ; there, it is not to be doubted, is a Church of God.
— John Calvin