Man, by the apostasy, has become a most disordered and rebellious creature, opposing his Maker, as the First Cause—by self-dependence; as the Chief Good—by self- love; as the Highest Lord—by self-will; and as the Last End—by self-seeking. Thus he is quite disordered, and all his actions are irregular. But by regeneration the disordered soul is set right; this great change being, as the Scripture expresses it, the renovation of the soul after the image of God—in which self-dependence is removed by faith; self-love is removed by the love of God; self-will is removed by subjection and obedience to the will of God; and self-seeking is removed by self-denial. The darkened understanding is illuminated, the refractory will sweetly subdued, the rebellious appetite gradually conquered. Thus the soul which sin had universally depraved, is by grace restored.
“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”—Luke 13:3
The text that heads this page, at first sight, looks stern and severe: “Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.” I can fancy someone saying, “Is this the Gospel?” “Are these the glad tidings? Are these the good news of which ministers speak?” “This is a hard saying, who can hear it?” (John 6:60).
But from whose lips did these words come? They came from the lips of One Who loves us with a love that passeth knowledge, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They were spoken by One Who so loved us that He left heaven for our sakes—came down to earth for our sakes—lived a poor, humble life for three-and-thirty years on earth for our sakes—went to the cross for us, went to the grave for us, and died for our sins. The words that come from lips like these must surely be words of love.