"The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God's sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope - at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God's grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God's grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin."
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."
"It is impossible to follow Jesus and not be led away from something. That journey away from the former places and toward the new place is what converts us. Conversion is not simply the acceptance of a theological formula for eternal salvation. Of course it is that, but it is so much more. It is the discovery of God's painful, beautiful, ongoing creativity along the way in our lives."
-M. Craig Barnes
Sin and Repentance
"The essence of sin is failing to experience God as a spring of living, satisfying water. The essence of repentance is turning from the broken cisterns of the world back to the all-satisfying fountain of God. The root of that turning is the awakening of a new taste for God that makes Him more desirable than anything in the universe."