Posts Tagged ‘Quotations’

Quick Quote: J.C. Ryle

…the Prince of Peace is stronger than the king of terrors, and that though death, the last enemy, is mighty, he is not as mighty as the sinner’s Friend…Our Lord Jesus Christ never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His heart is still as compassionate as when He was upon earth. His sympathy with sufferers is still as strong . Let us bear this in mind, and take comfort in it. There is no friend or comforter who can be compared to Christ. In all our days of darkness, which must needs be many, let us first turn for consolation to Jesus the Son of God. He will never fail us, never disappoint us, never refuse to take interest in our sorrows. He lives, who made the widow’s heart sing for joy in the gate of Nain. He lives, to receive all laboring and heavy-laden ones, if they will only come to Him by faith. He lives, to heal the broken-hearted, and be a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. And He lives to do greater things than these one day. He lives to come again to His people, that they may weep no more at all, and that all tears may be wiped from their eyes.

From Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, commenting on Luke 7:11-17

Notes from the Sermon…(10/11)

Text:  Colossians 3:5-11

Title:  A Radical Walk

Theme:  New life in Christ leads to a radical walk in this world.

For Paul, doctrine demands duty; creed determines conduct; facts demand acts.”  – R. Kent Hughes

But now things are different.  You’ve moved on.  You don’t live at that address any longer, so why keep pretending you do?  – Derek Tidball

Lists of vices are of frequent occurrence in ancient literature…The difference between the Christian and the non-Christian treatment of these vices is that apart from Christ and the fullness of grace imparted by his Spirit there is no power in all the universe to overcome them.  Christ, he alone, supplies that power.” – William Hendriksen

I also used a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip as an illustration, which can be viewed here

Notes from the Sermon…(9/27)

Text: Colossians 2:16-23

Theme: The Gospel free us, but man-centered religion enslaves us.


“The Bible’s purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible’s purpose is to show you how God’s grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome… religion is ‘if you obey, then you will be accepted’. But the Gospel is, ‘if you are absolutely accepted, and sure you’re accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey’. Those are two utterly different things. Every page of the Bible shows the difference.” Tim Keller (not sure of the source, might be The Prodigal God)

The idea that spirituality can be quantified provides an unfortunate basis for pride and judgmentalism.  The flesh finds doing truly spiritual things difficult, as ‘the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’ (Matthew 26:41).  But the flesh has no trouble with religious rules and regulations.  There is an authentic lure to legalism.” R. Kent Hughes in Colossians and Philemon (Preaching the Word Series)

“God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior.” – Tim Keller, The Reason for God, 19

Bad theology leads to bad practice” Peter O’Brien, Colossians-Philemon (WBC)

I also used the following Scriptures at the end of each main point:  Romans 8:1-4 , Colossians 1:12-13, Romans 6:6-8

Notes from the Sermon…(9/20)

I am going to start posting some of the quotations that I use in my sermons…these are from yesterday’s sermon:

Text:  Colossians 2:13-15

Theme:  Our freedom flows from the Cross of Christ (We are freed from death, debt, and dominion)


Be sure you see this most wonderful and astonishing of all truths: God took the record of all your sins that made you a debtor to wrath . . ., and instead of holding them up in front of your face and using them as the warrant to send you to hell, God put them in the palm of his Son’s hand and drove a spike through them into the cross. It is a bold and graphic statement: He canceled the record of our debt . . . nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:14).”  John Piper – This Momentary Marriage

We normally think that power is needed to defeat an enemy, but God uses weakness.  We generally think that dignity is associated with majesty, but God glories in the shame of Calvary.  We are accustomed to think that success must be safeguarded, but in Christ God embraces defeat.  We mostly believe that pain is to be eschewed, but in the cross God willingly accepts it.  But in weakness, shame, pain, and apparent defeat of the cross there is real victory.” Derek Tidball – The Reality Is Christ

If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect Son of God was required that I might be saved…Indeed, the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations….(Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my struggles with past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?). Milton Vincent – A Gospel Primer for Christians

And here is one from Charles Spurgeon I did not use:

His cross was his triumph…. What more do you want? Your enemy is vanquished, your sins blotted out, your death changed to life, your necessities all supplied. Will you not stay at home with Christ?…Canst thou have a better lover than thy Lord, a dearer husband than the heavenly Bridegroom? Oh, love the Lord, ye his saints; cling to him, and make much of him; let him be all in all to you!”

Our Greatest Need

This was too good not to share.  Of First Importance shares gems like this just about everyday and I get an email from them anytime they post something.

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.”

– D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation

Quotation: Meditating on the Word

I have been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Meditating On The Word as a means of thinking through my own study and meditation on God’s Word.  I keep coming back to this quotation from a letter Bonhoeffer wrote to his brother-in-law Rudiger Schleicher in 1936.

If it is I who say where God will be, I will always find there a God who in some way corresponds to me, is agreeable to me, fits in with my nature.  But if it is God who says where he will be, then that will truly be a place that at first is not agreeable to me at all, that does not fit so well with me.  That place is the cross of Christ.”

Good Reminder during political season

Here’s a good reminder during this political season from Mark Driscoll’s book Vintage Jesus:

Our culture is filled with various people who are proclaimed to be, invarying degrees, messiahs.  These messiahs include, for example, politicians who propose to save and deliver us from a terrible fate such as terrorism, poverty, or unreasonable taxation.  Such messiahs are surrounded by passionate followers who make sacrifices to support their messiah.  However, once their messiah fails to get elected, their support base dwindles and people either give up hope or go searching for another messiah to trust in.

Driscoll goes on to say that the lives of the early disciples did not follow this pattern, for though Christ would never win a popular election, he did rise from the grave.  Therefore, Christ became their only hope and He is our only hope.  Especially, if we want change to be real and not just a slogan.

John Stott Daily Thought

I get an email with a John Stott quotation every week day.  This was yesterday’s:

Nothing could sum up better the blessings of being in Christ than the expression ‘the reign of grace’. For grace forgives sins through the cross, and bestows on the sinner both righteousness and eternal life.  Grace satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry with good things.  Grace sanctifies sinners, shaping them into the image of Christ.  Grace perseveres even with the recalcitrant, determining to complete what it has begun.  And one day grace will destroy death and consummate the kingdom.  So when we are convinced that ‘grace reigns’, we will remember that God’s throne is a ‘throne of grace’, and will come to it boldly to receive mercy and to find grace for every need (Heb. 4:16).

–From “The Message of Romans” (The Bible Speaks Today series: Leicester: IVP, 1994), p. 157.

Quotation: Spurgeon on Christ

I don’t want to fill up my blog unneccesarily with quotations, but this was too good not to share.  I first read this on Tuesday evening (the last thing I read as I was falling asleep) and have returned to it several times sense.  In fact, I was too tired to read last night, but I had to read this again before I drifted off.

Remember, sinner, it is not thy hold of Christ, that saves thee – it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee – it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, that that is the instrument – it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not to thy hope, but to Christ, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Christ, the author and finisher of thy faith; if thou doest that, ten thousand devils cannot throw thee down…There is one thing which we all of us too much becloud in our preaching, though I believe we do it very unintentionally – namely, the great truth that it is not prayer, it is not faith, it is not doings, it is not our feelings upon which we must rest, but upon Christ, and on Christ alone.  We are apt to think that we are not in a right state, that we do not feel enough, instead of remembering that our business is not with self, but with Christ.  Let me beseech thee, look only to Christ; never expect deliverance from self, from ministers, or from any means of any kind apart from Christ; keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His agonies, His groans, His sufferings, His Merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look for Him; when thou liest down at night look for Him.”

Quoted in The Forgotten Spurgeon by Iain Murray (Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), page 42.

Quotation: The Art of Pastoring

From David Hansen’s The Art of Pastoring:

The call to repent assaults the Old Adam in us:  the life of the flesh, our involvement in the sinful structures of this world, our stubborn refusal to yield to God’s will.  We cherish our sin, we clutch it, it kills us but we love it.  The gospel demands we choose life, rejecting sin and its ungodly demands.  So the love of God in the gospel works like a surgeon.  Cutting out sin’s cancer, with pain like death, the gospel heals.”   (pages 38-39)

Quotation: Serious Times

From James Emery White’s Serious Times:  Making Your Life Matter In An Urgent Day

We allow the movement of God on the surface of our spirits to become lost amid the stones the world tosses thoughtlessly into our lives.  As a result, we lose the vision God could give us of our world and our place in it.  Too quickly, and often without struggle, we trade making history with making money, substituting building a life with building a career and sacrifice living for God with living for the weekend.  We forgo significance for the sake of success and pursue the superficiality of title and degree, house and car, rank and portfolio over a life lived large.  We become saved, but not seized; delivered, but not driven.”

Help My Unbelief

In chapter eight of Jerry Bridges’ book Respectable Sins, there is a paragraph that uses the passage in Mark 9 (where the name of this blog comes from). It comes in the context of Bridges discussion on anxiety and frustration and I thought it was worthy to post here separately:

It’s true, however, that oftentimes the situation at hand looms larger in our minds than the promises of God. We then find it difficult to believe the promises. In those times, I find the words of the father of a demon-possessed son encouraging: ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24). There is a vast difference between stubborn unbelief such as was demonstrated by the people of Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth (see Mark 6:5-6), and the struggling faith of the son’s father. God honors our struggles, and the Holy Spirit will help us. The important issue is that we seek to honor God through our faith, even though weak and faltering, rather than dishonoring Him through rank unbelief.”

Einstein’s Folly

Read about a letter written by Albert Einstein being auctioned off where he says “the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” There are other religious topics he also addresses, such as Judaism.

This viewpoint is nothing new and only carries weight because of the massive intelligence of Einstein and the influence we give him.  It is a reminder to me that our strengths (intelligence, power, wealth, etc…) are great hindrances to a relationship with God through Christ.  I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in I Corinthians 1:18-31 (I Cor. 1:26-27 – “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…”).  While I wouldn’t say that the Bible is the product of human weaknesses, rather it addresses our weakness.  Unfortunately, we have a difficult time acknowledging any such thing in ourselves.  Without weakness, who needs God?  Jesus himself said:  Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:12).

I also wonder what Einstein would see as childish in Scripture.  The Bible is full of stories that would garner an R rating if they were made into movies (rape, incest, murder, war, adultery as the subject matter) and it is also full of tales of wonder (Job, Jonah, the miracles of Christ, Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection to name a few).  Are these things childish or merely objectionable to someone who dismisses them?  We also must remember that Scripture calls us to a child-like faith (as opposed to childish).  This does not require us to check our brains at the door (an often made accusation and unfortunately sometimes proven by Christians), but it does require us to set aside foolish pride and questions that merely serve to keep God at arms-length and instead receive with joy and wonder the gift of His grace in Christ.