“We have, indeed, reason to glory, but not in ourselves; the right hand of the Lord has been exalted in our behalf and the right hand of the Lord has brought mighty things to pass.
When we were utterly helpless and hopeless, He saw and pitied us, and bid us live. He did not cut us off in the midst of our sins, (as is the case of thousands,) but waited to be gracious.
And, when His hour was come, His time of love, He revealed Himself as our mighty Saviour, He poured oil and wine into our wounds, He gave us beauty for ashes, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
He opened our blind eyes, He unstopped our deaf ears, He dispossessed the legion, and He brought us to sit at His feet clothed, and in our right minds.
What a wonder of mercy is this, considered in itself! But much more if we think of the means by which it was effected.
In order to bring about this blessed change, consider that mercy and truth might meet together in our salvation, and the righteousness of God harmonize with the sinner’s peace, the Lord Jesus, who was rich, humbled Himself to become poor, to live an obscure and suffering life, in the form of a servant, and to die a shameful, painful, and accursed death, so that we, through His poverty, might be made children and heirs of God, and might receive grace to serve Him here, and dwell with Him in glory forever.
For this end He willingly endured the cross, and despised the shame, He hid not His face from shame and spitting, He gave His back to the smiters, His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, He submitted to wear a crown of thorns, to be nailed by the hands and feet to the accursed tree, to endure the fiercest assaults of Satan, yea, to drink the full cup of the wrath of God when ‘it pleased the Father to bruise Him,’ and to make ‘His soul an offering for sin!’
The Apostle well knew the force of his argument to a believing soul, when he said, ‘I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God.’
Surely nothing can be more reasonable, than that we should live to Him who thus died for us. Shall we, we who are redeemed from Hell at such a price, shall we continue in sin? God forbid!
Shall we not rather say, ‘The love of Christ constraineth us’ to devote ourselves, our all, to Him alone; to abstain from all appearance of evil; to hate every false way, and to know, study, desire, and love nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that we may feel the power of His resurrection, have fellowship in His sufferings, and be made conformable to His death.”
–John Newton, The Works of John Newton, Volume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 24-26.