XXV

Though (death) is our last enemy, it cannot do what it likes with us. God has appointed it to its office, but He can also disarm it… For with death the Lord of death is also present. To be sure, He will be present as the Judge and Avenger, as the One who causes us in death to reap what we have sown, as the One whom we must fear now, and then still more. But he is also the Lord of death. If death has such terrors for us, it is because in death we shall finally fall into the hands of the living God.

Karl Barth (as quoted in Bartholomew, 2009, 156)

XX

Our spiritual life differs from every other kind of life. It does not come to us directly from God, but it is first deposited in all its fullness in Christ our mediator (Col. 1:19). So it is out of his fullness that we receive this life (John 1:16). So Christ is our life (Col 3:4). It is, therefore, not so much we who live but Christ who lives in us (Gal 2:20). We can do nothing of ourselves but only by Christ’s power and virtue (1 Cor 15:10). The origin of this life is in God. The fullness of this life is in Christ. And it is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. We experience it as a new power and ruling principle in us (Rom8:11; Eph 4:15, 16). Christ is our life and without him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

John Owen (The Effectual Operation of the Blessed Spirit in the Regeneration or Conversion of Sinners)

XIX

Here, I believe, is the greatest challenge to our hearts and perhaps the greatest lesson for our prayers. Why are our prayers so often times of anxiety or frustration? Why do we give up praying, doubt that prayer “works,” or even accuse God of not caring about us in the face of our prayers? Isn’t it because we have forgotten the importance of submission to God’s will? Because our deepest desire is still for our will and getting what we ask for, rather than for God’s will, whatever it is?

Chris Walker, Submission to God’s Will

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