A few years ago I began preaching through Matthew. At the same time our men began to meet studying Defiant Grace by Dane Ortlund. As it turns out, this was a phenomenal coordination of ministry events. The Lord’s timing amazes me. When studying and preaching a book, I want to read and research. Early, I wanted the men to center their attention on Christ, His grace, and follow Him. A friend recommended this book and it came at the perfect time.
Mr. Ortlund’s research and observations will encourage your soul. He observes many of the ironic paradoxes between what Jesus says about faith, grace, and salvation compared to the culture’s view regarding each doctrine. What he uncovers and reveals conveys Christ’s grace that is so different from the culture, it defies culture, and shocks the original audience. The clash of world views causes believers to marvel at His grace and love exhibited in the Gospels. Over time I have gone back to this book on many occasions recording some of his best quotes. Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book to provide a flavor of what you’ll encounter. I highly recommend this book for ANYONE: pastor, elder, believer, parent, spouse, or unbeliever. Enjoy!
“Jesus was not preaching to the perilously immoral, but to the perilously moral” (33).
“If by ‘broken’ we mean contrite, low before the Lord, poignantly aware of personal weakness, self-divesting, able to laugh at ourselves, having sober judgment, being sensitive to the depths of sin within us – yes” (62).
“That point is that, in the Kingdom of God, the one thing that qualifies you is knowing that you don’t qualify, and the one thing that disqualifies you is thinking that you do” (30).
“The gospel is not the runway to the Christian life, getting us off the ground at conversion and landing us in heaven at death, but irrelevant in between. The gospel is the engine – getting us off the ground, landing us and keeping us in the air all along” (35).
“Hell is filled with people who believe they deserve to be outside hell and inside heaven. Heaven is filled with people who believe they deserve to be outside heaven and inside hell. Such grace defies our sense of fair play” (92).
“Heaven is not won with obedience. It is given” (20).
Finally, my favorite quote,
“The greatest danger for followers Christ is not the way they fail him, but the ways they succeed. Failures, as we shall see further in our discussion of Luke are precisely the kind of people God is looking for. For failures instinctively understand how to open the windows of their heart to let in help. Those who think they have made a success of their lives invariably turn in on themselves in satisfied self-reliance. Penitent hookers enter heaven ahead of smug virgins ([Matt] 21:31)” (32).