“True repentance strips sin of all that is accidental. It resembles an inner chamber where no one and nothing else is admitted except God and the sinner and his sin. Into that chamber all the great penitents like David and Paul and Augustine and Luther have entered, and each one in the bitter anguish of his soul has borrowed the words of the psalmist: ‘Against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clean when thou judgest.’ A repentant sinner acquits God and condemns himself…. The fact of sin, while as such irrevocably accomplished, yet so far as the guilt is concerned must be undone, if God is to remain the God of sinner. Here the truth taught by Jesus leads directly to Paul’s doctrine of atonement and justification. To the heart that has had the Sermon on the Mount interpreted to itself by the Holy Spirit there is no other solution and refuge than the cross underneath which Paul found shelter. To such as hunger and thirst after righteousness the flesh of the Son of man is meat and his blood is drink, indeed.” (Geerhardus Vos, “Hungering and Thirsting After Righteousness,” in Grace and Glory, pages 37–38).
“[Jesus] speaks of ‘the human heart’ as the place from which proceed evil thoughts and all kinds of crimes. He teaches his disciples to pray for forgiveness of their debts as well as for their daily bread (Matt. 6:12)…. Jesus’ preaching is based on a view which denies to the man principally the attribute of ‘good’ and characterizes him rather as ‘evil,’ as a sinner, a debtor before God.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 222).
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church