Early on in Galatians, Paul mentions the gospel: “…Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age… (NIV). William Perkins has some encouraging words in his commentary on this verse, which I’ll post below. (Note: my copy of this commentary is in poor condition and written in old English, so the “translation” below isn’t 100% perfect – but close enough to read it well. If anyone knows of a readable version of this commentary, let me know!)
The knowledge of this point [that Christi is a sacrifice and ransom for sin] is of great use:
First, it works love in us, on this manner [in this way]: We must in mind and meditation come to the cross of Christ. Upon the cross we are to behold Christ crucified, and in his death and passion, behold his sacrifice; in his sacrifice for the sins of his enemies, we behold his endless love, and the consideration of his love will move us to love him again, and the Father in [through] him.
Secondly, the consideration of his endless pains for our sins in the sacrifice of himself, must breed in us a godly sorrow for them – for if he sorrow for me (he?) much more we for him.
Thirdly, this knowledge is the true beginning of amendment of life. For if Christ gave himself to redeem us from iniquity, we must take up a purpose of not sinning, and never wittingly sin more.
Lastly, this knowledge is the foundation of comfort in them that truly turn to Christ. For the price is paid for their sins, and they which are eased of their sins are blessed (Ps. 32:1). And in temptation they may boldly oppose the satisfaction of Christ against hell, death, the law, and the judgment of God, and if at any time they sin, they must recover themselves, and remember that they have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).