Quotes of Author: Other-authors
Evil is no giant staggering through the world at his own whim; somehow, it accomplishes God’s will for purifying and disciplining His chosen ones (Carroll Stuhlmueller).
Reference: Deutero-Isaiah, Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, 1968, 1:373.
God sometimes takes joy in using ordinary things for extraordinary purposes (Neil S. Wilson).
Reference: Taken from The Handbook of Bible Application by Neil S. Wilson). Copyright © 1992. Page 440. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
We have tended to turn the Christian faith into "a relationship through Christ with a God who is the divine vending machine in the sky, there to meet our every need. ‘Unhappy? Unattractive? Unsuccessful? Unmarried? Unfulfilled? Come to Christ and he’ll give you everything you ask for." We forget God is not primarily in the business of meeting needs. When we make Him out to be, we squeeze Him out of his rightful place at the center of our lives and put ourselves in His place. God is in the business of being God. Christianity cannot be reduced to God meeting people’s needs, and when we attempt to do so, we invariably distort the heart of the Christian message (David Henderson).
Reference: Culture Shift, Baker Books, 1998.
The rule is a positive command that we should treat others as we would wish them to treat us. The negative form is well known in Jewish literature and in pagan literature… Jesus is, therefore, not saying something new here, but it is significant that He stresses the positive form of the rule. The negative form is merely a rule of prudence: do not hurt other people lest they retaliate. The positive form is not prudential but absolute: this is how you are to treat others (positively), regardless of how they treat you. Jesus thus goes beyond the negative form, citing the rarer and more demanding form (I. Howard Marshall).
Reference: The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.org, 1978, p. 262.
At the heart of this submission is the notion of “order.” God has established certain leadership and authority roles within the family; submission is a humble recognition of that divine ordering (Peter T. O’Brien).
Reference: The Letter to the Ephesians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, , www.zondervan.com, 1999, p. 411.
In one sense the body of Christ is already complete: it is a true body, not simply part of one. In another sense that body is said to grow to perfection, a process that will be completed only on the final day. The body metaphor reflects the “already-not yet” tension of the two ages. It is both complete and yet it grows. It is a heavenly entity and yet it is an earthly reality. And it is both present and future, with a consummation occurring at the Parousia (P.T. O’Brien).
Reference: The Letter to the Ephesians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, www.zondervan.com, 1999, p. 317.
Why is work important? Not because by working harder we will get richer; there is no simple equation between hard work and wealth. We work essentially because we have been given gifts of creativity to use in God’s world. Work is our human activity which corresponds to the work of God in His providential care for the whole created order (David Atkinson).
Or consider Christmas – could Satan in his most malignant mood have devised a worse combination...than the system whereby several hundred million people get a billion or so gifts for which they have no use, and some thousands of shop clerks die of exhaustion while selling them, and every other child in the western world is made ill from overeating – all in the name of the lowly Jesus? (Upton Sinclair).
Mention of the “schemes” of the devil reminds us of the trickery by which evil and temptation present themselves in our lives. Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal; it gains entrance by appearing attractive, desirable, and perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and camouflaged trap (Klyne Snodgrass).
Reference: NIV Application Commentary-Ephesians, Zondervan, 1996, p. 339.
It is profitable to me to know that for my sake Christ bore my infirmities, submitted to the affections of my body, that for me and for all He was made sin and a curse, that for me and in me was He humbled and made subject, that for me He is the Lamb, the Vine, the Rock, the Servant, the Son of a handmaid, knowing not the day of judgment, for my sake ignorant of the day and the hour (Ambrose).
Reference: Quoted by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence, It Is Well, Crossway, 2010, p. 74.
To give God glory is not to add something to Him; rather, it is an active acknowledgement or extolling of who He is or what He has already done (Peter T. O’Brien).
Reference: The Letter to the Ephesians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, , www.zondervan.com, 1999, p. 268.
Religion says, “Attain”; the gospel says, “Obtain.” Religion says, “Attempt”; the gospel says, “Accept.” Religion says, “Try”; the gospel says, “Trust.” Religion says, “Do this;” the gospel says, “It is done” (John T. Seamands).
Reference: Taken from: Tell It Well: Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures by John T. Seamands, © 1981, p. 70, Used by permission from Beacon Hill Press.
Revelation comes from God for the purpose of helping man to live in harmony with God’s will, whereas religion is man’s attempt to order his path and to explain the world around him. The godly in every age live in accordance with revelation (William VanGemeren).
Reference: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Psalms, Zondervan, www.zondervan.com, 1991, p. 54-55.
Why would God put an evil ruler in power (Rom. 13:1)? 1. All men are evil so there are no good candidates to choose from. 2. Nations that work hard to reject God…deserve bad rulers. 3. No matter how bad our rulers may be they are never as bad as the hell we deserve. 4. God uses evil rulers for good and righteous ends (Jack Hughes).
Reference: Sermon, The Sovereignty of God In An Election Year.
[God’s wrath] is neither an impersonal process of cause and effect, nor God vindictive anger, nor unbridled or unrighteous revenge, nor an outburst of passion. Wrath describes neither some autonomous entity alongside God, nor some principle of retribution that is not to be associated closely with His personality. Furthermore, the wrath of God does not stand over against His love and mercy (P.T. O’Brien).
Reference: The Letter to the Ephesians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, , www.zondervan.com, 1999, p. 163.
To say that election took place before creation indicates that God’s choice was due to His own free decision and love, which were not dependent on temporal circumstances or human merit. The reasons for His election were rooted in the depths of His gracious, sovereign nature. To affirm this is to give to Christians the assurance that God’s purposes for them are of the highest good, and the appropriate response from those who are chosen in Christ from all eternity is to praise Him who has so richly blessed us (P.T. O'Brien).
Reference: The Letter to the Ephesians, Eerdmans, www.eerdmans.com, , www.zondervan.com, 1999, p. 100.
Belief in luck and belief in a sovereign God are mutually exclusive, for if an omniscient, omnipotent Creator God exists then luck makes no sense. Things don’t “just happen.” Nothing – including the secondary causes operative in the universe (the “laws” of nature and human choices) – happens outside of God’s will and disposition. So belief in God not only dispels any idea of luck, it also rejects any idea of chance as a determining factor in natural events or people’s destiny… Any trust in luck rather than God is therefore a form of idolatry (Rex Rogers).
Reference: America's New Love Affair with Gambling, CRJ, January-March 1998, p. 21, www.equip.org. Used by Permission.
Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital ‘T.’ Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality – and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth (Nancy Pearcey).
Reference: Total Truth: Liberating Christianity form Its Cultural Captivity, Crossway, 2005, p. 15.
God’s lesson to history is, when He designed marriage in the Garden, He didn’t pick multiple mates, He picked one man and one woman as the perfect paradigm of what marriage is supposed to look like. That wasn’t by accident. That was by Divine Design (Craig Parshall).
[In heaven] the crucifixion, an obvious result of evil and injustice, will not have been passed over and overcome; it will actually be featured - an object of eternal wonder and devotion (William Dyrness).
Reference: Taken from Christian Apologetics in a World Community by William Dyrness. Copyright(c) 1983. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, p. 163. www.ivpress.com.
The resurrection is God’s “Amen” to Jesus’ loud cry: “It is finished,” and therefore the guarantee that by Jesus’ death the believer has indeed been reconciled to God and made righteous (J.A. Schep).
Reference: Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia, www.zondervan.com, 1975, vol. 5, p. 83.
The attempt of the older liberal theologians to remove the miraculous from the life of Jesus was doomed to failure for they found that the miracles we so intertwined with the teaching and the supernatural with the natural, that they could not discard the one and retain the other (Norman Anderson).
Reference: Taken from Jesus Christ: The Witness of History by Norman Anderson, p. 26-27. Copyright (c) 1985, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Used with permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. www.ivpress.com, p. 77.
A satisfactory religion must satisfy. But satisfy what and why? The Greek mysteries satisfied the emotions; brute force can satisfy the will; but Christianity satisfies the intellect because it is true, and truth is the only everlasting satisfaction (Gordon Haddon Clark).
James Sire defines [naturalism] with the following propositions: 1. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist. 2. The cosmos exists as a uniformity of natural cause and effect in a closed system. 3. Human beings are complex “machines”; personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand. 4. Death is the extinction of personality and individuality. 5. History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without an overarching purpose. 6. Ethics is related only to human beings (James Sire).
Reference: The Universe Next Door, second edition, InterVarsity, 1988, p. 61-83. Taken from The Universe Next Door by James Sire. Copyright(c) 1988. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, p. 13. www.ivpress.com.
Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century revivalist, sat down at age 17 and penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. He added to this list until, by his death, he had 70 resolutions. He put at the top of his list: “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions… Remember to read over these resolutions once a week.” Edwards didn't casually make New Year's resolutions with an expectation of eventually breaking them. Each week he did a self-check. He regularly summed up how he was doing and sought God's help in the process.
Reference: Preaching Today, Christianity Online Connection.
From what I see in the Bible, God is far more concerned with first fixing our hearts than he is with fixing other things in our lives. Same sex attraction included. Yes, it's true that God hates homosexuality. But more than that, He hates that our hearts are opposed to Him and that we long to live our lives separated from Him. God's foremost desire is that we would come to Him through Christ to receive new hearts that love and adore Him. In fact, nothing can even begin to be done as far as the untangling of our sexualities until we receive new hearts that love and adore God. How do I know that? Because Romans 1 says that the whole reason homosexual desire even exists is due to our rejection of God's loving rule and authority over our lives. Homosexual desire - and all other sinful desire - exists in the hearts of people because worship of God doesn't (Matt Moore).
Reference: For Years I Pleaded With God To Make Me Straight, So Why Did My Prayers Go Unanswered? January 26, 2015.
God made us to be in relationship with others, but your most important relationship is with Him. In human relationships you get a taste of the happiness, meaning, and fulfillment that ultimately are only to be found, in their fullest form, in Him. So don't let yourself be fooled into believing that a romantic relationship will be the most satisfying experience of your life. Instead, thank God for the tastes that you have had that remind you of what His love is like, and ask Him to give you a desire for a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Trust Him with your hopes for a relationship and ask for His wisdom and guidance when you enter into one. Most of all, ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so you can continue growing in your ability to love others (William Smith).
Reference: Who Should I Date? New Growth Press, 2009, p. 5-6. Used by Permission.
Few women realize what great service they are doing for mankind and for the kingdom of Christ when they provide a shelter for the family and good mothering - the foundation on which all else is built. A mother builds something far more magnificent than any cathedral - the dwelling place for an immortal soul (both her child’s fleshly tabernacle and his earthly abode). No professional pursuit so uniquely combines the most menial tasks with the most meaningful opportunities. It is hard to locate an aging mother who believes she made a mistake of pouring her life into her children, and it would certainly be more difficult to find a child to testify that his mother loved him and poured herself into his life to his detriment and demise. Homemaking - being a full-time wife and mother - is not a destructive drought of usefulness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary call to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work; it is not a rope for binding one’s productivity in the marketplace, but reins for guiding one’s posterity in the home; it is not oppressive restraint of intellectual prowess for the community, but a release of wise instruction to your own household; it is not the bitter assignment of inferiority to your person, but the bright assurance of the ingenuity of God’s plan for complementarity of the sexes, especially as worked out in God’s plan for marriage; it is neither limitation of gifts available nor stinginess in distributing the benefits of those gifts, but rather the multiplication of a mother’s legacy to the generations to come and the generous bestowal of all God meant a mother to give to those He entrusted to her care (Dorothy Patterson).
However one chooses to interpret Revelation 3:20, it must not be thought that the sinner possesses the power to open his own heart to Christ. Only God can do this (John 6:44; Acts 16:14; James 1:18). Although God’s sovereignty in salvation does not negate our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to all men, we must never suggest to people that the power to convert their hearts lies within them (Psalm 110:3; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 2:24-26) (Darryl Erkel).
Reference: Errors of the Invitation System.
The opening chapters of the Bible show us what man's nature is, by teaching us that he is created in the image of God, which is to say that he is neither a god, as the myths made him out to be, nor a product of nature, as the evolutionists saw him, but that he transcends nature and at the same time is transcended by God (Jean Danielou).
In the whole range of history there is no more striking contrast than that of the Apostolic churches with the heathenism around them. They had shortcomings enough, it is true, and divisions and scandals not a few, for even apostolic times were no golden age of purity and primitive simplicity. Yet we can see that their fullness of life, and hope, and promise for the future, were a new sort of power in the world. Within their own limits they had solved almost by the way the social problem which baffled Rome, and baffles Europe still. They had lifted woman to her rightful place, restored the dignity of labor, abolished beggary, and drawn the sting of slavery. The secret of the revolution is that the selfishness of race and class were forgotten in the Supper of the Lord, and a new basis for society found in love of the visible image of God in men for whom Christ died (Henry Gwatkin).
Reference: Early Church History to A.D. 312, P. 1909.
Men may reform, but they cannot regenerate themselves. Men may give up their crimes and their vices, but they cannot, by their own strength, give up their sins. Can the Ethiopian change his skin? No. Can the leopard eliminate his spots? Regeneration is the great change which God works in the soul when He brings it into life, when He raises it from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. It is the change wrought when the love of the world is changed into the love of God; when pride is dethroned and humility enthroned; when passion is changed into meekness; when hatred, envy, and malice are changed into a sincere and tender love for all mankind. It is the change whereby the earthly, sensual, devilish mind is turned into the mind that was in Christ. The new birth is not the old nature altered, reformed, or reinvigorated, but a being born from above (Robert Lee).
Reference: Baptist Cameos.
O let us never forget; that the wonderful things contained in the divine law can neither be discovered nor relished by the “natural man,” whose powers of perception and enjoyment are limited in their range to the objects of time and sense. It is the divine Spirit alone who can lighten the darkness of our sinful state, and who can enable us to perceive the glory, the harmony, and moral loveliness which everywhere shine forth in the pages of revealed truth (John Morison).
There is a difference of viewpoint between the Christian and the nonChristian, between the man who has been renewed by the Spirit of God and the man who has not. That difference in viewpoint has a vital bearing upon the question of the clarity of the Scriptures. The spiritual man has, through his regeneration, a basis for comprehension which the natural man lacks. Given equal mental gifts and powers, therefore, the spiritual man has a key, as it were, which the other lacks to unlock the meaning of biblical statements (Paul Woolley).
Reference: The Relevancy of Scripture in The Infallible Word, edited by N.B. Stonehouse and Paul Woolley, P&R, 1978, p. 201-202, Used by Permission.
1. The altar call is simply and completely absent from the pages of the New Testament. 2. The altar call is historically absent until the 19th century, and its use at that time (via Charles Finney) was directly based upon bad theology and a man-centered, manipulative methodology. 3. The altar call very easily confuses the physical act of “coming forward” with the spiritual act of “coming to Christ.” These two can happen simultaneously, but too often people believe that coming to Christ is going forward (and vice-versa). 4. The altar call can easily deceive people about the reality of their spiritual state and the biblical basis for assurance. The Bible never offers us assurance on the ground that we “went forward.” 5. The altar call partially replaces baptism as the means of public profession of faith. 6. The altar call can mislead us to think that salvation (or any official response to God’s Word) happens primarily on Sundays, only at the end of the service, and only “up front.” 7. The altar call can confuse people regarding “sacred” things and “sacred” places, as the name “altar call” suggests. 8. The altar call is not sensitive to our cautious and relational age where most people come to faith over a period of time and often with the interaction of a good friend. 9. The altar call is often seen as “the most important part of the service”, and this de-emphasizes the truly more important parts of corporate worship which God has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing). 10. God is glorified to powerfully bless the things He has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing), not the things we have invented. We should always be leery of adding to God’s prescriptions for His corporate worship (Ryan Kelly).
Reference: Desert Springs Church, Sermon, Used by Permission.
"Saved Alone" was the message that Horatio Spafford received from his wife after the ship sank that was taking her and their four children to England in November, 1873. After reuniting with his grieving wife at sea, the boat came near the area where his children had drowned. It is speculated that at that time he wrote the words (contained in his famous hymn) that vividly described his own grief and faith: “When sorrows like sea billows roll – Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul” (Phyllis LaPeau).
Reference: How to Rejoice in any Situation, Zondervan, 1991, p. 11.
What is the most important Book in the universe? The Bible. Which book within the Bible is the most important? Romans. Which chapter in Romans is the most important? Chapter 3. Which paragraph in Romans 3 is the most important? Verses 21-26. Which verse in that paragraph is the most important? Verse 25. Which word in verse 25 is the most important? "Propitiation" (Murray Harris).
Reference: Faculty Devotional at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
There is a great difference between realizing, "On that Cross He was crucified for me," and "On that Cross I am crucified with Him." The one aspect brings us deliverance from sin’s condemnation, the other from sin’s power (John Mantle).
Jesus loved the enthusiast, the man who knew what side he was on and threw himself whole-heartedly into the struggle. He liked energetic action, as in the men who climbed the roof and broke a way through for their paralyzed friend, or in Zacchaeus who forgot his dignity and swarmed up a tree. He loved the generous giver. All four Gospels quote His saying, "He who loves life loses it; he who spends keeps." It sums up His attitude to life. He praised the man who banged on the door till he got an answer; He wanted men to show that kind of determination in the affairs of religion. He praised the widow who badgered the unjust judge into doing justice. He did not like playing for safety or burying one’s talent. It is the peace-makers rather than the peace-keepers whom He blesses. Goodness is a positive active loyalty (Hugh Martin).
Reference: The Seven Letters: Christ’s Message to His Church, 1956. p. 107.
Do you really believe your faith? Do you believe this that I am telling you? Do you believe a day is coming, when you will stand before the throne of God, and the angels will whisper together and say, "How like Christ he is!" That is not easy to believe. And yet not to believe it is blasphemy. For that, not less than that, is what Christ promises (A.J. Gossip).
Reference: From the Edge of the Ground, Charles Scribner's Sons, n.d., p. 12.
[Affection] is one of the key ingredients in the socialization of a child. Without it, a child may seem to assimilate the values taught by the parents without actually adopting them. Proper [affection] prepares the child mentally and emotionally to accept moral tenets and correct patterns for relationships with other people (James Robison).
Reference: Taken from: In Search of a Father by James Robison, Tyndale, Copyright © 1979, Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Repentance is] consciousness of spiritual poverty dethroning pride, a sense of personal unworthiness producing grief, a willingness to surrender to God in genuine humility, and a strong spiritual desire developing into hunger and thirst, enter into the experience of one who wholly abandons sin and heartily turns to Him who grants repentance unto life (Byron Dement).
Reference: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
It is beyond all question that this eminent piety is before everything else in preparation for the duties of the sacred office. It is before talents, or learning, or study, or favorable circumstances, or skill in working, or power in sermonizing. It is needed to give character and tone and strength to all these, and to every other part of the work. Without this elevated spirituality nothing else will be of much account in producing a permanent and satisfactory ministry. All else will be like erecting a building without a foundation... Oh that at the very beginning this could be deeply impressed upon the hearts of young ministers!... Without it success in the holy office is not to be expected (Thomas Murphy).
Reference: Pastoral Theology.
There aren't many things more stupid than Christians relying on a forbidding text to keep young people from marrying non-believers without offering rich, warm, inspirational biblical theology about Christian destiny, mission and maximum joy. By the time some young man or woman is speaking of marriage to a non-believer it's already too late to quote a verse of Scripture (Jim McGuiggan).
Reference: Unequal Yokes and Mixed Marriages.
The Apostle [Paul] is asking in Philippians 1 which is most worthwhile for him, to live or to die. Often has that question presented itself to us, and perhaps we like the Apostle, have answered that “we are in a strait.” But I fear we may have used the words in a sense far different from Paul's. When we have wished for death, we meant to say, “I know not which alternative I ought most to dread, the afflictions of life, from which death would release me, or the terrors of death, from which life protects me.” In other words, life and death look to us like two evils of which we know not which is the less. As for the Apostle, they look to him like two immense blessings of which he knows not which is the better (Adolphe Monod).
Jesus at once displayed Godhood and manhood, power and humility, authority and submission, headship and servanthood. In the imperfect state of manhood, men can still, by God’s Spirit, display these same attributes (Judy Rogers).
Reference: Family Practice, P&R Publishing, 2001, p. 41-42, Used by Permission.
Be not afraid at His sweet, lovely and desirable cross, for although I have not been able because of my wounds to lift up or lay down my head but as I was helped, yet I was never in better case all my life... He has so wonderfully shined on me with the sense of His redeeming, strengthening, assisting, supporting, through-bearing, pardoning and reconciling love, grace and mercy that my soul doth long to be freed of bodily infirmities and earthly organs, so that I may flee to His Royal Palace, even the Heavenly Habitation of my God, where I am sure of a crown put on my head and a palm put in my hand and a new song in my mouth, even the song of Moses and of the Lamb, so that I may bless, praise, magnify and extol Him for what He hath done to me and for me... Farewell, my children, study holiness in all your ways, and praise the Lord for what He hath done for me, and tell all my Christian friends to praise Him on my account. Farewell, sweet Bible, and wanderings and contendings for truth. Welcome, death. Welcome, the City of my God where I shall see Him and be enabled to serve Him eternally with full freedom. Welcome, blessed company, the angels and spirits of just men made perfect. But above all, welcome, welcome, welcome, our glorious and alone God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; into Thy hands I commit my spirit, for Thou art worthy. Amen.
Reference: Quoted in Jock Purves, Fair Sunshine: Character Studies of the Scottish Covenanters, 1990, p. 92-93.
If we do not keep people’s eternal plight in mind, then immediate needs will force their way to the top of our agenda, and we will betray the gospel and the people we profess to love. The most loving thing we can do for the poor is to proclaim the good news of eternal salvation through Christ (Tim Chester).
Reference: Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community, Crossway, 2008, p. 78.
Never are church leaders to think of their status as lordship, but as servanthood. Note the following about true spiritual leaders: Spiritual leaders do not dominate, they serve. Spiritual leaders do not command, they guide. Spiritual leaders do not manipulate, they teach. Spiritual leaders are not lords, they are models and ministers. Whenever these truths are ignored, church leaders become dictators, overbearing and ugly. The love of preeminence, greatness, and authority is the antithesis of Biblical leadership. Leaders must remind themselves that they are servants of the church; their power is the power of example, teacher, and servant. The real power of leaders is the Word of God spoken through them and exemplified in them! (Larry Hess)
Reference: Developing the Leader Within You, www.faithlibrary.cc/index.php/christian-sermons/sermon/developing_the_leader_within_you
Spiritual leadership is the development of relationships with the people of a Christian institution or body in such a way that individuals and the group are enabled to formulate and achieve biblically compatible goals that meet real needs. By their ethical influence, spiritual leaders serve to motivate and enable others to achieve what otherwise would never be achieved (James Means).
Reference: Leadership in Christian Ministry, Baker, 1989, 59.
No scriptural principles suggest that repeated emotional indulgence [of past trauma] produces healing. Rather, the opposite is suggested by the murderous outcome of Cain’s flaring bitterness (Gen. 4:1-8) and Absalom’s simmering anger (2 Sam. 13:20-29), to cite just two examples. Instead, Philippians 4:8 commands us to dwell on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent and praiseworthy.
Reference: Counseling the Hard Cases, Edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, B&H Publishing, 2012, p. 53, Used by Permission.
I am the Almighty God, able to fulfill your highest hopes and accomplish for you the brightest ideal that ever My words set before you. There is no need of paring down the promise until it squares with human probabilities, no need of relinquishing one hope it has begotten, no need of adopting some interpretation of it which may make it seem easier to fulfill, and no need of striving to fulfill it in any second-rate way. All possibility lies in this: I am the Almighty God (Marcus Dods).
Reference: The Book of Genesis, 1902), p. 161.
We may often be baffled by the reality of the power of evil as it is manifest in our circumstances. Sometimes that power seems so overwhelming that we are unable to praise within the circumstances of our life. It is then that we do well to recall the words of the Apostle Paul. When writing amidst difficult circumstances to the Church at Ephesus he could say, ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God.’ He had come to know that no matter what the source of the evil, if we are in Christ, and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to us (Robert Norris).
[One] objection to the study of theology is that it deceives Christians from simple faith in the Bible. The underlying premise of this objection is that believing is good and knowing is bad. But in fact the Bible lauds both believing and knowing (Rev. 2:23; Matt. 22:37). God has gone to the trouble of revealing information about Himself in creation and His Word. Is it not the height of irreverence to say we should ignore this information? Christianity is about truth and one important way to relate to truth is to know it (Paul Thorsell).
The Bible is innocent of error until proven guilty. Based on the Bible’s self-claim of inerrancy and the mass of evidence for inerrancy, we can assume there are good explanations for apparent contradictions. The burden of proof is on the critic. There are at least plausible explanations for all so-called discrepancies (Sid Lidke).
Reference: Inerrancy, www.bible.org, Copyright ©1996-2005, All rights reserved.
The time factor in prayer is very important. In the exercise of prayer God is not tied to our clocks. Neither is He at the other end of the phone to receive and answer our two-minute calls. It takes time to know the mind of God, to shut out the material things of earth and to be wholly abandoned (Hugh McCullough).
God is omniscient and knows everything. He has known everything from the beginning. Nothing is a surprise to God, nor does He ever come into possession of new knowledge. Thus God knows all people. But [foreknowledge] means more than an intellectual knowledge. It means that God knows some in a special way. In grace, in life from eternity. This is the initiative of our salvation. Redemption has its rise to God and not in man (J.P McBeth).
A heathen philosopher once asked, “Where is God?” The Christian answered: “Let me first ask you, where is He not?” (John Arrowsmith).
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 120.
When God's people departed from Him (in the Old Testament biblical accounts) all the more emphasis was put upon His faithfulness, so that the only hope of His wayward people lay not only in His grace and mercy but also in His faithfulness, which stands in marked contrast with the faithlessness and inconstancy of His people (Gaspar Hodge).
Reference: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915, Entry for Faithfulness, Public Domain.
The problem of evil assumes the existence of a world-purpose. What, we are really asking, is the purpose of suffering? It seems purposeless. Our question of the why of evil assumes the view that the world has a purpose, and what we want to know is how suffering fits into and advances this purpose. The modern view is that suffering has no purpose because nothing that happens has any purpose: the world is run by causes, not by purposes (Walter Stace).
Reference: Religion and the Modern Mind, 1953.
Another reason [patience] is so hard to come by is that we often don’t like the way it comes. Romans 5:3 says, “Suffering produces endurance,” and James 1:3 says, “The testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” In both cases the product is patient endurance – the ability to remain under tremendous weight and pressure without succumbing. That which produces this is the difficult part: suffering, testing, trials. We would prefer an easier I way for the fruit to be produced, but this is God’s way (Robert Carver)!
Reference: Wrath and Patience, Tabletalk, May 2008, p. 19, Used by Permission.
In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die (Dorothy Sayers).
It is God’s good plan that sex not be thought of, principally, as a legitimate way to get a rush, but rather as God’s way of bringing man and wife to the point of greatest unity and, through that unity, propagating (for Himself) “a godly seed” (Mal. 2:15 KJV) (Timothy Bayly).
Reference: Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood, ed. Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey, Crossway, 2002, p. 145.
Sexual relations within marriage are holy and good (Hebrews 13:4). 1. Pleasure in sexual relations (like pleasure in eating or in the performance of other bodily functions) is not forbidden but rather assumed (Proverbs 5:18-19 and Song of Solomon). 2. Sexual pleasure is to be regulated by the key principle that one’s sexuality does not exist for himself or for his own pleasure, but for his partner. 3. Sexual relations are to be regular and continuous. 4. The principle of mutual satisfaction means that each party is to provide the sexual enjoyment which is “due” his or her spouse whenever needed. 5. There is to be no sexual bargaining. 6. Sexual relationships are equal and reciprocal (Harry McGee).
Reference: The Scriptures, Sex, and Satisfaction, P&R Publishing, 1975. Used by Permission.
Sexual intercourse is more than a physical act; it is a symbol of a spiritual relationship and the expression of the complete oneness of two persons in married love… It is...the means by which they are confirmed and nourished in that union. Sexual intercourse is the physical establishment and confirmation of that oneness. The true dignity of sex is in its ability to enhance this personal unity between two persons who have committed themselves to each other in love and marriage. In sexual intercourse the couple becomes joined in an indissoluble unity, called in the Bible “one flesh” (Dwight Small).
Reference: Design for Christian Marriage, Revell, 1971, p. 46, 96.
Our Lord calls us out of the world; while living in it, we are not to be stained by it (James 1:27). We are to be in it but not to love it (Duncan Rankin).
Reference: Restoring Love, Tabletalk, June 2005, p. 55. Used by Permission.
[What has God made known in nature and conscience?] 1. God exists. 2. This God created the physical universe. 3. This God is loving. 4. This God is personal, since love cannot characterize an impersonal deity. 5. This God is a moral being. 6. We have violated the moral law and thus are guilty. 7. We have displeased the morally perfect God who is the source of the moral law (Ronald Nash).
Reference: Taken from: What About Those Who Have Never Heard? © 1995, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Used with permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. www.ivpress.com.
To abide in [Christ] expresses the continual act by which the Christian sets aside everything which he might derive from his own wisdom, strength, merit, to draw all from Christ (Frederic Godek).
Reference: Commentary of John’s Gospel, 1978, p. 855, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.
Love is not an emotion to which we may give expression now and then, as we feel inclined; it is a duty required of us at all times by God, and the children of God ought surely to obey their Heavenly Father (Alexander Ross).
Reference: The Epistles of James and John, Eerdmans, 1954, p. 208, Used by Permission, www.eerdmans.com.
All of our discussions of the style and mechanics of worship must be anchored in a deeply biblical and richly gospel-centered understanding of what worship is. We might be tempted at a worship conference to focus exclusively on the style and mechanics of worship. And these are important! But a larger challenge is to link how we approach the week-in, week-out task of planning and leading worship with our theological understanding of worship. Do our planning and leading habits, mechanics, and techniques enable people to experience worship in the deepest, most profound, most Christ-centered way? Does our work form our congregations in a deeply biblical faith? We need a high-octane theology of worship - and one that is not simply articulated in writing, but enacted in our worship and lived out in our lives (John Witvliet).
Reference: Reflections on Worship’s Meaning and Purpose - Thinking About Worship, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
What is “resting in God,” but the instinctive movement and upward glance of the spirit to Him; the confiding all one’s griefs and fears to Him, and feeling strengthened, patient, hopeful in the act of doing so! It implies a willingness that He should choose for us, a conviction that the ordering of all that concerns us is safer in His hands than in our own (James Burns).
Reference: Quoted in the Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon, v. 1, p. 184.
Trusting God involves the loss of our agenda...so that we die to our inclination to live a lie. It requires forfeiting our rigid, self-protective, God-dishonoring ways of relating in order to embrace life as it is meant to be lived; in humble dependence on God and passionate involvement with others (Dan Allender).
Reference: Copied from The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, copyright 1990, p. 174, Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com, All rights reserved.