Consider what Paul had to go through before he could boldly state that golden statement of faith of Christianity:
“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands” 2 Corinthians 11:23-27.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” Isaiah 64:6
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” Phillipians 1:29
“Before we see the cross as something done FOR us, leading to faith and worship, we must see the cross as something done BY us, leading to repentance. Only the person willing to take his share in the guilt of the cross can be a partaker of His Grace.”
“Preach the gospel! the true gospel! There is no such thing as a perfect preacher, but there is a perfect Gospel, preach it right!”
“We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
“If the Lord’s bearing our sin for us is not the gospel, I have no gospel to preach.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
“The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
“When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologize; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed.” (C.H. Spurgeon)