Posts belonging to Category Quotes



Law Before and After Gospel

Here is a good quote from Ursinus on the role of the law both before and after the preaching of the gospel:

The preaching of the law goes before, preparing and leading us to a knowledge of the gospel: “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20) Hence, there can be no sorrow for sin without the law. After the sinner has once been led to a knowledge of sin, then the preaching of the gospel follows, encouraging contrite hearts by the assurance of the mercy of God through Christ. Without the preaching there is no faith, and without faith there is no love to God, and hence no conversion to him. After the preaching of the gospel, the preaching of the law again follows, that it may be the rule of our thankfulness and of our life.

The law, therefore, precedes, and follows conversion. It precedes that it may lead to a knowledge and sorrow for sin: it follows that it may serve as a rule of life to the converted. It is for this reason that the prophets first charge sin upon the ungodly, threaten punishment, and exhort to repentance; then comfort and promise pardon and forgiveness; and lastly, again exhort and prescribe the duties of piety and godliness (Ursinus, Commentary, 472).   HT: Ref21

Related post: Past, Present and Future Grace

New Leaf or New Life?

“Christianity isn’t about turning over a new leaf; rather it’s about receiving and living a new life through Jesus Christ.”

(adapted from Ed Stetzer)      

Happy New Year all!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

To Love is to be Vulnerable

Here is a great quote on love and vulnerability from author C.S. Lewis:

Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as “Careful! This might lead you to suffering.”

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that his teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

   ~ from The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis

HT: Desiring God Blog

The Christmas Spirit

Are you getting into the Christmas spirit yet? Here is a great quote from J. I. Packer on the true spirit of Christmas.

“The Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor–spending and being spent– to enrich their fellow men, giving time, trouble, care, and concern, to do good to others–and not just their own friends–in whatever way there seems need. There are not as many who show this spirit as there should be.” (J. I. Packer, Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, p. 72.)

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When the Bible Seems Difficult to Understand

John Piper looks at the flip side to the objection that parts of the Bible are too difficult to understand:

It seems to me that if everything were easy and straightforward, no controversy at all, nothing complex, nothing apparently out of sync with my little human brain and its ability to discern contradictions, then I bet there would be a question here like, “If this is really God’s word, why is it so simple?”

I have often thought the same thing. If I understood everything about God and his Word, I would begin to wonder if this was really God’s Word at all. A God that finite human beings can fully understand wouldn’t be much of a God. I would be more inclined to think we made him up. The difficult parts of the Bible just serve to confirm what the Bible clearly proclaims anyways: He is God, and we are not.

        “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the
        things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,
        that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

        “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we
        shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall
        know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

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    • The Bible Memory Version
    • Amazon Kindle’s Most Popular Bible Highlights

The 5 Audiences for Every Sermon

I found this quote about preaching both encouraging and illuminating.

What other form of speech has these five effects: to delight God, to astonish angels, to discourage devils, to encourage saints, and to restore sinners? I’ve done my time preaching to virtually empty halls and churches, and it is a great fillip to remember that three of the five audiences of a sermon are unseen. (Ron Boyd-MacMillan, Explosive Preaching: Letters on Detonating the Gospel in the 21st Century, p. 79)

(fil’lip [noun]: 1. the snap made by a finger which is held down toward the palm by the thumb and then suddenly released; 2. a light blow or tap given in this way; 3. anything that stimulates or livens up; piquant element)

HT: Biblical Preaching

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Spiritual Siskel and Eberts

Are you a spiritual Siskel or Ebert? If so, pastor C. J. Mahaney tells you what you need to do.

Too many churches are populated by spiritual Siskel and Eberts who think their function in the church is to observe, is to criticize, is to evaluate. They are self-righteous. They are self-appointed … They need to repent.

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C.J. Mahaney, February 2, 1999
1999 Desiring God Conference for Pastors

 

God’s Grace for All Your Days

Here’s a good reminder from Jerry Bridges:

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.

– Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace, p. 19

Today I Have God

Dallas Willard, commenting on the request, “Give us today our daily bread,” from the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13):

The emphasis is on provision today of what we need for today … So we do not ask him to provide today what we will need for tomorrow. To have it in hand today does not guarantee that we will have it tomorrow when we need it. Today I have God, and he has the provisions. Tomorrow it will be the same. So I simply ask today for what I need for today or ask now for what I need now.

This is how children do it, of course. A mother who discovers that her child is saving up oatmeal, pieces of toast, or strips of bacon for fear of not having food tomorrow has cause to be alarmed. The world being what it is, we can all too easily imagine situations in which the child’s action would be reasonable. But in any normal situation parents will be astonished and pained that the child does not trust them to provide for it day by day …

Now, to make it clear about the teaching and the prayer, it is quite all right, as earlier noted, to have things now that we intend to use tomorrow and to work or even pray in a sensible way for them. What hinders or shuts down kingdom living is not the having of such provisions, but rather the trusting in them for future security. We have no real security for the future in them, but only in the God who is present with us each day. (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, p. 261, Kindle location 4991)

I am in between jobs right now, and so I found this a very encouraging word. Today I have God, and that is enough.

Spurgeon: “If sinners will be damned …”

Here is a striking quote from Charles Spurgeon that conveys both his strong burden for evangelism and his great heart for the lost. May God give us grace to grow in these areas.

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

– C. H. Spurgeon: “The Wailing of Risca” (Sermon No. 349; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 9th, 1860, at Exeter Hall, Strand)

Fowler Digital Books | Election: A Sermon (No. 0041), by Charles H. Spurgeon


Check out Charles Spurgeon’s Election for the Kindle/iPad/Nook here.

 
 

Are You Sitting Rent Free?

From Thomas Watson’s A Body of Divinity:

Creatures below us, and above us, bring glory to God; and do we think to sit rent free? Shall everything glorify God but man? It is a pity then that man was ever made.

– Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, p. 9 (from the section on Man’s Chief End )

Lousy Substitute

I like Greg Dutcher’s definition of idolatry:

“An idol is a lousy substitute for God.” (from You are the Treasure That I Seek (but there’s a lot of cool stuff out there, Lord, p. 31)

Related post: No Idols (sermon on the Second Commandment)