There is nothing mushy about agape; the same God who is agape is also “a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Long before the flames of the last days are let loose, that holy fire will have burned highly refined self-centeredness out of every Laodicean heart where genuine faith in Christ will let it do so.
We misunderstand James when we think his epistle is a “how to” book of helpful hints to the happy Christian life. We interpret his sublime instruction to become “doers” of the Word as “do the word.” We believe he is giving instructions on what to do, when he is really telling us what to be.
One of the most wonderful things about the Gospel is its simplicity. There is nothing complicated about it. It consist of principles, not of rules; and these principles are so few and easily comprehended that children of tender years can understand them.
“Let us, then, when temptations reveal to us what is in our hearts, not lose courage, and settle down in despair” for “God provides us with power to live even in sinful flesh as free from sin as He Himself.”
“Christ is primarily the Word of God, the expression of God’s thought; and the Scriptures are the Word of God simply because they reveal Christ. . . . I have always believed that every part of the Bible must set forth, with more or less vividness, that glorious revelation (Christ crucified).”
"The offense of the cross is that the cross is a confession of human frailty and sin and of inability to do any good thing. To take the cross of Christ means to depend solely on Him for everything, and this is the abasement of all human pride. Men love to fancy themselves independent. But let the cross be preached, let it be made known that in man dwells no good thing and that all must be received as a gift, and straightway someone is offended."