Making Us Good

As the love of him who is love transcends ours as the heavens are higher than the earth, so must God desire in his child infinitely more than the most conscientious and loving of mothers can desire in hers.

He would have his child rid of all discontentment, all fear, all grudging, all bitterness in word or thought, all measuring of his own with a different gauge than he would apply to another’s. He will have no curling of the lip, no indifference toward any person, no desire to excel over another. He will not have him receive the smallest service without gratitude, would not hear from him a tone to jar the heart of another, a word to make it ache.

From such, as from all other sins, Jesus was born to deliver us — not primarily, or by itself, from the punishment of any of them. When all are gone, when the sin nature which causes them has been put to death and his Spirit substituted inside the part of our hearts that rules our deeds, then the holy punishment will have departed also.

He came to make us good, and therein blessed children.

— George MacDonald, Hope of the Gospel “Salvation from Sin,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 41

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