“The Chief End of Man”

“…previously, as they now see, man had been centralin their universe, and God had been on the circumference. They had thought of Him as a Spectator of events in His world, rather than as their Author. They had assumed that the controlling factor in every situation was man’s handling of it rather than God’s plan for it, and they had looked upon the happiness of human beings as the most interesting and important thing in creation, for God no less than for themselves. But now they see that this man-centered outlook was sinful and un-biblical; they see that, from one standpoint, the whole purpose of the Bible is to overthrow it, and that books like Deuteronomy and Isaiah and John’s Gospel and Romans smash it to smithereens in almost every chapter; and they realize that henceforth God must be central in their thoughts and concerns, just as He is central in reality in His own world. Now they feel the force of the famous first answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and (by so doing, and in so doing,) enjoy him forever.’ Now they see that the way to find the happiness that God promises is not to seek it as an end in itself, but to forget oneself in the daily preoccupation of seeking God’s glory and doing His will and proving His power through the ups and downs and stresses and strains of everyday life. They see that it is the glory and praise of God that must absorb them henceforth, for time and for eternity. They see that the whole purpose of their existence is that with heart and life they should worship and exalt God. In every situation, therefore, their one question is: what will make most for God’s glory? What should I do in order that in these circumstances God may be magnified?”
-J.I. Packer Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

Assurance of Salvation in the Johannine Epistles

“The Johannine Epistles make an important contribution to the doctrine of assurance (see 1 John 5:13). If other New Testament writings make it clear that the objective grounds of our confidence  before God are in Christ and his death and resurrection on our behalf, such that Christian assurance is not much more than a concomitant of genuine faith, these epistles insist that a distinction must be made between genuine and spurious faith. Spurious faith does not have the right to assurance before God; genuine faith can be authenticated not only by the validity of its object (in this case, the belief that Jesus is Christ come in the flesh) but also by the transformation it effects in the individual: genuine Christians learn to love one another and obey the truth. Christian assurance is not, for John, an abstract good; it is intimately tied to a continuing and transforming relationship with the covenant God, who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ.”
-D.A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo  An Introduction to the New Testament

Ordo Salutis

“At the end of the day we cannot divide faith and repentance chronologically. The true Christian believes penitently, and he repents believingly. For this reason, in the New Testament either term may be used when both dimensions are implied; and the order in which they are used may vary. But in the order of nature , in terms of the inner logic of the gospel and the way its ‘grammar’ functions, repentance can never be said to precede faith. It cannot take place outside of the context of faith.”
-Sinclair Ferguson The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters