The author, Mark Jones, is quoting the Puritan Stephen Charnock (the inner quote).
“The more likeness we have to [God], the more love we shall have from him….If God loves holiness in a lower measure, much more will he love it in a higher degree, because then his image is more illustrious and beautiful, and comes nearer to the lively lineaments of his own infinite purity….(Jn. 14:21
)….he loves a holy man for some resemblance to him in his nature; but when there is an abounding in sanctified dispositions suitable to it, there is an increase of favor; the more we resemble the original, the more shall we enjoy the blessedness of that original: as any partake more of the Divine likeness, they partake more of the Divine happiness.”
This is a remarkable quote [from Charnock] in today’s context where one frequently hears the very opposite of what Charnock affirms. These words from Charnock can even be applied to Christ during his earthly life, where “Jesus increased
in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God
and man” (Lk. 2:52
) (emphasis mine).
I always believed (as far as I can remember) that just as we can grieve and quench the Spirit (along with rejecting Him), we can please God. These days we are so careful to make it clear that we can’t change our standing with God by our behavior. Our righteousness and general favorableness before God is on the basis of what Christ has done for us. Our minuscule good deeds aren’t going to change that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t please God, or that he sees everyone exactly equal to the next. Scripture shows us this over and over. See everything from how Jesus treated some of the disciples, to Paul exhorting us to please God, and the record in Revelation of how Jesus spoke to the various churches. Read the whole article below.
Can God’s Love for Us (and Christ) Increase? – Reformation21 Blog
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:27 HCSB
Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.
Luke 12:48b HCSB
This is no cause for pride for those who feel they have been given a lot if they are to realize that everything is from God (1 Corinthians 4:7) and if we compare ourselves to God (Isaiah 55:8-9) and not to others. Also see 1 Corinthians 1:26 and all of the others I didn’t think of. (That was kind of a joke.)
For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 HCSB
so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him as you bear fruit in every good work, and as you grow in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10 NRSV
It’s only natural to want to please our heavenly Father out of our love for him, and it’s good for us (Romans 12:2). If we are lacking in any of this, we need to remember to pray in faith because these things are God’s will for us (1 John 5:14-15).
Of course, what Christ has done equally for all of the elect still stands. I would also like to state that I don’t think there will be various ‘levels’ in heaven, only various rewards of praise from God according to what we have done, which would be for another post.
Knowing Christ by Mark Jones