Christ is all in the entire work of salvation. Let me just take you back to the period before this world was made. There was a time when this great world, the sun, the moon, the stars and all which now exist throughout the whole of the vast universe, lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup. There was a time when the Great Creator lived alone and yet he could foresee that he would make a world and that men would be born to people it; and in that vast eternity a great scheme was devised, whereby he might save a fallen race. Do you know who devised it? God planned it from first to last. Neither Gabriel nor any of the holy angels had anything to do with it. I question whether they were even told how God might be just and yet save the transgressors. God was all in the drawing up of the scheme and Christ was all in carrying it out. There was a dark and doleful night! Jesus was in the garden, sweating great drops of blood, which fell to the ground; nobody then came to bear the load that had been laid upon him. An angel stood there to strengthen him, but not to bear the sentence. The cup was put into his hands and Jesus said, Father, must I drink it? and his Father replied, If thou dost not drink, sinners cannot be saved; and he took the cup and drained it to its very dregs. No man helped him. And when he hung upon that accursed tree of Calvary, when his precious hands were pierced, when: From his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flowed mingled down, there was nobody to help him. He was all in the work of salvation. And, my friends, if any of you shall be saved, it must be by Christ alone. There must be no patchwork; Christ did it all and will not be helped in the matter. Christ will not allow you, as some say, to do what you can and leave him to make up the rest. What can you do that is not sinful? Christ has done all for us; the work of redemption is all finished. Christ planned it all and worked out all; and we, therefore, preach a full salvation through Jesus Christ.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Ella finds this story inside herself: A woman, loved by a man who criticizes her throughout their long relationship for being unfaithful to him and for longing for the social life which his jealousy bars her from and for being ‘a career woman’. This woman who, throughout the five years of their affair in fact never looks at another man, never goes out and neglects her career becomes everything he has criticized her for being at that moment when he drops her. She becomes promiscuous, lives only for parties and is ruthless about her career, sacrificing her men and her friends for it. The point of the story is that this new personality has been created by him; and that everything she does — sexual acts, acts of betrayal for the sake of her career, etc., are with the revengeful thought: There, that’s what you wanted, that’s what you wanted me to be. And, meeting this man again after an interval, when her new personality is firmly established, he falls in love with her again. This is what he always wanted her to be; and the reason why he left her was in fact because she was quiet, compliant and faithful. But now, when he falls in love with her again, she rejects him and in bitter contempt: what she is now is not what she ‘really’ is. He has rejected her ‘real’ self. He has betrayed a real love and now loves a counterfeit. When she rejects him, she is preserving her real self, whom he has betrayed and rejected.Ella does not write this story. She is afraid that writing it might make it come true.
Doris Lessing