Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Every line is suffused with wonder

"The gospel is not so much a miracle as a marvel,
and every line is suffused with wonder"

Roland Bainton

In reading Bainton's biography of Luther this morning this sentence caught my eye. It is a wonder, beyond our thankful words ever to adequately express, that God should love sinners so much that he gave his Son for us. Not to marvel at this shows how little, experimentally, we understand the majesty and holiness of God and the wickedness of our own souls.
When poor souls hear the tidings of covenant love in the heart of God towards them, they are ready to suspect it is too good news to be true; are apt to be incredulous here, are hardly persuaded to believe the truth thereof, at least as to themselves: now Jesus Christ condescends so far, as to take upon him the office of a witness, to assure of the truth of all; now he is in heaven, he does not throw up that office, he continues still in this work, and sends down news from heaven thereof Revel. i. 5. and iii. 14.

He is the faithful witness still; as if he should say, I lay in the bosom of the Father, I have seen all transactions, all passages, I know how the heart of God stands toward this covenant work; if my word may have credit with you, I testify (says Jesus Christ) that the Father is real herein, and the work is done, the covenant is struck, ratified and sealed with my blood.
Samuel Petto, The Great Mystery of the Covenant of Grace, p. 74-5

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