Greatness in the kingdom of God is measured in terms of obedience.
Topics: Obedience Source: Authentic Christianity. Christianity Today, v. 40, n. 3.
How did Jesus expect His disciples to react under persecution? (In Matthew 5:12 He said), "Rejoice and be glad!" We are not to retaliate like an unbeliever, nor sulk like a child, nor lick our wound in self-pity like a dog, nor just grin a bear it like a Stoic, still less pretend we enjoy it like a masochist. What then? We are to rejoice as a Christian should and even "leap for joy" (Lk. 6:23).
A person's life is his most precious possession. Consequently, to rob him of it is the greatest sin we can commit against him, while to give one's own life on his behalf is the greatest possible expression of love for him. This, then, is the ultimate contrast: Cain's hatred issued in murder, Christ's love (issued) in self-sacrifice.
Topics: Sacrifice, Murder Source: The Letters of John, Eerdmans, 1998, p. 146.
We must never think of salvation as a kind of transaction between God and us in which He contributes grace and we contribute faith. For we were dead and had to be quickened before we could believe. No, Christ's apostles clearly teach elsewhere that saving faith too is God's gracious gift.