He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. —Galatians 6:8
Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God. This power is to come upon powerless men as a gentle but resistless invasion from another world, bringing a moral potency infinitely beyond anything that might be stirred up from within. This power is sufficient…for it is the Holy Spirit of God come where the weakness lay to supply power and grace to meet the moral need.
Set over against such a mighty provision as this ethical Christianity (if I may be allowed the term) is…[a]n infantile copying of Christ’s “ideals,” a pitiable effort to carry out the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount! All this is but religious child’s play and is not the faith of Christ and the New Testament. POM088-089
You cannot know whether your self-denial is genuine or whether it is spurious, without knowing whether it is founded upon a supreme attachment to the glory of God. To deny yourself from a supreme regard to a higher interest than your own, is to possess the spirit of the gospel. DTC149