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Quotes of Author: Rc-sproul

1.
The evangelical church’s chief strategies to end abortion have been to put pressure on abortion clinics and on elected officials. There is nothing wrong with these strategies; however, one strategy that has not been used or adopted widely is that of protesting those churches that support the ghastly murder of unborn babies. It is time for Christians to give prophetic criticism to the church, specifically to those churches that support abortion on demand or remain silent on this major issue…[and] when the church is silent in the midst of a holocaust, she ceases to be a real church.

The evangelical church’s chief strategies to end abortion have been to put pressure on abortion clinics and on elected officials. There is nothing wrong with these strategies; however, one strategy that has not been used or adopted widely is that of protesting those churches that support the ghastly murder of unborn babies. It is time for Christians to give prophetic criticism to the church, specifically to those churches that support abortion on demand or remain silent on this major issue…[and] when the church is silent in the midst of a holocaust, she ceases to be a real church.

Reference:   The Voice of the Church, April 2013, Tabletalk, p. 27. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Abortion
2.
From sacred Scripture [2 Sam. 12:1-15; 1 Ki. 21; Mt. 14], we see representatives of the church not trying to become the state but offering prophetic criticism to the state – despite the potential consequences. The church is not the state, but it is the conscience of the state, and it is a conscience that cannot afford to become seared and silent.

From sacred Scripture [2 Sam. 12:1-15; 1 Ki. 21; Mt. 14], we see representatives of the church not trying to become the state but offering prophetic criticism to the state – despite the potential consequences. The church is not the state, but it is the conscience of the state, and it is a conscience that cannot afford to become seared and silent.  

Reference:   The Voice of the Church, April 2013, Tabletalk, p. 27. Used by Permission.


3.
[Abortion is] the most serious ethical issue that the United States has ever faced.

[Abortion is] the most serious ethical issue that the United States has ever faced.      

Reference:   The Voice of the Church, April 2013, Tabletalk, p. 26. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Abortion
4.
In the history of the world, no one has been saved by the power of answering and altar call, or by the power of raising a hand, or by the power of saying “the sinner’s prayer,” or by the power of “inviting Jesus into your heart.” That is not what saves you. It is the power of the gospel that God uses to redeem your soul. It is by faith that the power is wrought in you.

In the history of the world, no one has been saved by the power of answering and altar call, or by the power of raising a hand, or by the power of saying “the sinner’s prayer,” or by the power of “inviting Jesus into your heart.” That is not what saves you. It is the power of the gospel that God uses to redeem your soul. It is by faith that the power is wrought in you.

Reference:   Onward Christian Soldiers, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria, 1999, p. 223. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Altar_Calls
5.
Nobody is born into this world a child of the family of God. We are born as children of wrath. The only way we enter into the family of God is by adoption, and that adoption occurs when we are united to God’s only begotten Son by faith. When by faith we are united with Christ, we are then adopted into that family of whom Christ is the firstborn.

Nobody is born into this world a child of the family of God. We are born as children of wrath. The only way we enter into the family of God is by adoption, and that adoption occurs when we are united to God’s only begotten Son by faith. When by faith we are united with Christ, we are then adopted into that family of whom Christ is the firstborn.

Reference:   The New Birth, Tabletalk, March 2007, p. 7. Used by Permission of Ligonier Ministries.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Family-God's
6.
There are those, particularly in our day, who are so disenchanted with the visible church that they steadfastly refuse to join any local church. Such a posture is misguided and involves overt disobedience to the commands of Christ. Though it is possible for a believer to be confused about this for a season, someone who persists in such a posture is, in all probability, not a believer. It is the duty of every Christian to join a visible church.

There are those, particularly in our day, who are so disenchanted with the visible church that they steadfastly refuse to join any local church. Such a posture is misguided and involves overt disobedience to the commands of Christ. Though it is possible for a believer to be confused about this for a season, someone who persists in such a posture is, in all probability, not a believer. It is the duty of every Christian to join a visible church.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 89


Author: R.C. Sproul
7.
Throughout the ages the church has understood that the most significant manifestation of true faith is love. Faith without love is not faith, only speculation or knowledge or mere intellectual assent. The fruit of authentic faith is always love.

Throughout the ages the church has understood that the most significant manifestation of true faith is love. Faith without love is not faith, only speculation or knowledge or mere intellectual assent. The fruit of authentic faith is always love.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 37.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Faith-Saving
8.
There is, however, a crucial difference between a profession of faith and the possession of faith… It is not the mere claim to faith that makes us Christians. We must have what we claim to have to be truly in Christ.  esus somberly warned about those who say, “Lord, Lord,” who are not His (Matthew 7:21). He made it clear that people can honor Him with their lips while their hearts are far from Him.

There is, however, a crucial difference between a profession of faith and the possession of faith… It is not the mere claim to faith that makes us Christians. We must have what we claim to have to be truly in Christ.  esus somberly warned about those who say, “Lord, Lord,” who are not His (Matthew 7:21). He made it clear that people can honor Him with their lips while their hearts are far from Him.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 88-89.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Faith-Saving
9.
I argue that the primary reason we misinterpret the Bible is not because the Holy Spirit has failed to do His work, but because we have failed to do ours.

I argue that the primary reason we misinterpret the Bible is not because the Holy Spirit has failed to do His work, but because we have failed to do ours.

Reference:   Taken from: Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R. C. Sproul, Copyright © 1992 (Sproul), p. xix, Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


10.
The idea of sola Scriptura is that there is only one written source of divine revelation, which can never be placed on a parallel status with confessional statements, creeds, or the traditions of the church. Scripture alone has the authority to bind the conscience precisely because only Scripture is the written revelation of almighty God.

The idea of sola Scriptura is that there is only one written source of divine revelation, which can never be placed on a parallel status with confessional statements, creeds, or the traditions of the church. Scripture alone has the authority to bind the conscience precisely because only Scripture is the written revelation of almighty God.

Reference:   Twilight of the Idols, Tabletalk, June 2008, p. 7, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Authority-Bible
11.
The Bible alone is the only authority that can bind the conscience of a person absolutely because it is the only authority that carries with it the intrinsic authority of God Himself.

The Bible alone is the only authority that can bind the conscience of a person absolutely because it is the only authority that carries with it the intrinsic authority of God Himself.

Reference:   R.C. Sproul The Divine Foundation of Authority, Tabletalk, March, 2009, p. 7. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Authority-Bible
12.
Anger is [not] in itself sinful, but…it may be the occasion for sin. The issue of self-control is the question of how we deal with anger. Violence, tantrums, bitterness, resentment, hostility, and even withdrawn silence are all sinful responses to anger.

Anger is [not] in itself sinful, but…it may be the occasion for sin. The issue of self-control is the question of how we deal with anger. Violence, tantrums, bitterness, resentment, hostility, and even withdrawn silence are all sinful responses to anger.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 72.


Author: R.C. Sproul
13.
Man’s will is free to follow his inclinations, but fallen man’s inclinations are always and invariably away from God.

Man’s will is free to follow his inclinations, but fallen man’s inclinations are always and invariably away from God.


14.
The more I learn about God, the more aware I become of what I don’t know about Him.

The more I learn about God, the more aware I become of what I don’t know about Him.


15.
The church is the most important organization in the world. It is the target of every demonic, hostile attack in the universe. Jesus personally guaranteed that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. He made no guarantee that the gates of hell would not be unleashed against it, however.

The church is the most important organization in the world. It is the target of every demonic, hostile attack in the universe. Jesus personally guaranteed that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. He made no guarantee that the gates of hell would not be unleashed against it, however.


16.
It is clear that however we define a miracle we must place the alleged miracles of today in a different class, or category, from those recorded in the Scriptures. No one is bringing something out of nothing these days—unless it is the currency produced by the federal government!

It is clear that however we define a miracle we must place the alleged miracles of today in a different class, or category, from those recorded in the Scriptures. No one is bringing something out of nothing these days—unless it is the currency produced by the federal government!


Author: R.C. Sproul
17.
Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice. It does say that he is holy, holy, holy, that the whole earth is full of His glory.

Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath; or justice, justice, justice. It does say that he is holy, holy, holy, that the whole earth is full of His glory.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: God-Holiness
18.
God is not required to seek the sinner’s permission for doing with the sinner what He pleases.

God is not required to seek the sinner’s permission for doing with the sinner what He pleases.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: God-Sovereignty
19.
As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.

As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.


Author: R.C. Sproul
20.
The grand paradox or supreme irony of the Christian faith is that we are saved both by God and from God.

The grand paradox or supreme irony of the Christian faith is that we are saved both by God and from God.


Author: R.C. Sproul
21.
Nothing gives believers more joy than to see God glorified.

Nothing gives believers more joy than to see God glorified.


22.
The wife has authority over the husband’s body and the husband has authority over the wife’s body in the sexual context. Imagine that! I wonder how many marital problems would be solved if couples followed this one principle.

The wife has authority over the husband’s body and the husband has authority over the wife’s body in the sexual context. Imagine that! I wonder how many marital problems would be solved if couples followed this one principle.


23.
If you’re not accountable in life that means ultimately that your life doesn’t count.

If you’re not accountable in life that means ultimately that your life doesn’t count.


24.
Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us.

Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us.


25.
You can’t open your eyes in this universe without seeing a theater of divine revelation.

You can’t open your eyes in this universe without seeing a theater of divine revelation.


26.
Christianity is a faith that is based upon and rooted in miracles. Take away miracles, and you take away Christianity.

Christianity is a faith that is based upon and rooted in miracles. Take away miracles, and you take away Christianity.


Author: R.C. Sproul
27.
Just as there are no ultimate tragedies for the believer, so for the impenitent unbeliever there are no ultimate blessings. Every good gift God bestows upon the wicked, for which the wicked do not glorify God or acknowledge His goodness with gratitude and worship, becomes a tragedy. The more gifts God gives that are despised by the recipient, the more guilt is incurred, so that, to the wicked, on Judgment Day the gifts of God’s kindness become tragedies.

Just as there are no ultimate tragedies for the believer, so for the impenitent unbeliever there are no ultimate blessings. Every good gift God bestows upon the wicked, for which the wicked do not glorify God or acknowledge His goodness with gratitude and worship, becomes a tragedy. The more gifts God gives that are despised by the recipient, the more guilt is incurred, so that, to the wicked, on Judgment Day the gifts of God’s kindness become tragedies.


28.
For every truth there is a corresponding falsehood. A Christian is known not only by what he believes or affirms, but also by what he rejects and denies.

For every truth there is a corresponding falsehood. A Christian is known not only by what he believes or affirms, but also by what he rejects and denies.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 34.


Author: R.C. Sproul
29.
The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Book that informs us of the identity of the real, historical Jesus. Scripture works hard to set forth the real Christ. The creeds are merely attempts to preserve this biblical portrait and to protect it from distortions. When a person says, “All I need to know is Jesus – doctrine isn’t important,” we should immediately ask in reply, “Who is Jesus?” The moment a person begins to answer that question; the person is inescapably involved with doctrine.

The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Book that informs us of the identity of the real, historical Jesus. Scripture works hard to set forth the real Christ. The creeds are merely attempts to preserve this biblical portrait and to protect it from distortions. When a person says, “All I need to know is Jesus – doctrine isn’t important,” we should immediately ask in reply, “Who is Jesus?” The moment a person begins to answer that question; the person is inescapably involved with doctrine.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 31.


30.
To the Christian, doctrine is unavoidable. Ours is never a choice between doctrine and no doctrine, but between sound doctrine and false doctrine. This is nowhere more urgent than when we are talking about the Christ, who is the object of our faith.

To the Christian, doctrine is unavoidable. Ours is never a choice between doctrine and no doctrine, but between sound doctrine and false doctrine. This is nowhere more urgent than when we are talking about the Christ, who is the object of our faith.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 31.


31.
Like Muslims we assume that God will judge us “on balance.” If our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, we will arrive safely in heaven. But, alas, if our evil deeds outweigh our good ones, we will suffer the wrath of God in hell. We may be “marred” by sin but in no wise devastated by it. We still have the ability to balance our sins with our own righteousness. This is the most monstrous lie of all.

Like Muslims we assume that God will judge us “on balance.” If our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, we will arrive safely in heaven. But, alas, if our evil deeds outweigh our good ones, we will suffer the wrath of God in hell. We may be “marred” by sin but in no wise devastated by it. We still have the ability to balance our sins with our own righteousness. This is the most monstrous lie of all.

Reference:   None Righteous, Tabletalk, April 2004, p. 6, Used by Permission.


32.
When you feel depressed, it helps to actively change your environment.  Go and do something different.  Martin Luther conquered his depression by going outside to work in his garden.  Surprisingly enough, one of the best ways to handle depression is to go to work immediately on the task you least enjoy.  (The chances are your depression is caused by guilt feelings arising out of neglect of those tasks.)

When you feel depressed, it helps to actively change your environment.  Go and do something different.  Martin Luther conquered his depression by going outside to work in his garden.  Surprisingly enough, one of the best ways to handle depression is to go to work immediately on the task you least enjoy.  (The chances are your depression is caused by guilt feelings arising out of neglect of those tasks.)

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 76- 77.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Depression
33.
So often when we struggle with the doctrine of predestination and election it is because our eyes are always fixed on the difficulty of resolving predestination with human freedom. The Bible, however, links them with salvation, which every Christian should find enormously comforting. Salvation is not an afterthought of God. The redemption of His people, the salvation of His church, my eternal salvation, these actions are not a postscript to the Divine activity. Instead, from the very foundation of the world, God had a sovereign plan to save a significant portion of the human race, and He moves heaven and earth to bring it to pass.

So often when we struggle with the doctrine of predestination and election it is because our eyes are always fixed on the difficulty of resolving predestination with human freedom. The Bible, however, links them with salvation, which every Christian should find enormously comforting. Salvation is not an afterthought of God. The redemption of His people, the salvation of His church, my eternal salvation, these actions are not a postscript to the Divine activity. Instead, from the very foundation of the world, God had a sovereign plan to save a significant portion of the human race, and He moves heaven and earth to bring it to pass.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 23.


34.
The reason for election is not my foreseen righteousness; or my foreseen obedience; or my foreseen response to the gospel…the only reason to be found in Scripture that explains why God elects people for salvation…[is] that God has done this in accordance with His pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5).

The reason for election is not my foreseen righteousness; or my foreseen obedience; or my foreseen response to the gospel…the only reason to be found in Scripture that explains why God elects people for salvation…[is] that God has done this in accordance with His pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5).

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 24.


35.
When the Bible speaks of patience…it speaks of it as a virtue that goes far beyond the mere ability to await some future gain. It involves more than the rest or peace of the soul that trusts in God’s perfect timing. The patience that is in view here focuses more on interpersonal relationships with other people. It is the patience of longsuffering and of forbearing in the midst of personal injury. This is the most difficult patience of all.

When the Bible speaks of patience…it speaks of it as a virtue that goes far beyond the mere ability to await some future gain. It involves more than the rest or peace of the soul that trusts in God’s perfect timing. The patience that is in view here focuses more on interpersonal relationships with other people. It is the patience of longsuffering and of forbearing in the midst of personal injury. This is the most difficult patience of all.

Reference:   Tabletalk, p. 6, v. 28, n. 9, Ligonier Ministries, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Patience
36.
Longsuffering, forbearing patience is to be the Christian’s reflection of the character of God.  It is part of God’s character to be slow to anger and quick to be merciful. Part of the incomprehensibility of God in terms of my own relationship with Him is this: I cannot fathom how a holy God has been able to put up with me marring His creation to the degree I have for three score and five years. For me to live another day requires a continuation of God’s gracious patience with my sin… It becomes even more difficult to fathom when we see a sinless Being being more patient with sinful beings that sinful beings are with each other.

Longsuffering, forbearing patience is to be the Christian’s reflection of the character of God. It is part of God’s character to be slow to anger and quick to be merciful. Part of the incomprehensibility of God in terms of my own relationship with Him is this: I cannot fathom how a holy God has been able to put up with me marring His creation to the degree I have for three score and five years. For me to live another day requires a continuation of God’s gracious patience with my sin… It becomes even more difficult to fathom when we see a sinless Being being more patient with sinful beings that sinful beings are with each other.

Reference:   Tabletalk, p. 7, v. 28, n. 9, Ligonier Ministries, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
37.
To demand from others what the Spirit Himself patiently endures is to exalt ourselves above God.

To demand from others what the Spirit Himself patiently endures is to exalt ourselves above God.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 39.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Patience
38.
When we speak of spiritual union or mystical union with Christ, we must be careful not to fall into heretical forms of mysticism.  In Eastern forms of mysticism the religious goal is a kind of unity (unio) with the deity by which the individual is so absorbed by the ‘ultimate one’ that personal identity is obliterated.  In Christian mystical union, the self is not lost or erased by being merged with some oversoul or universal essence.

When we speak of spiritual union or mystical union with Christ, we must be careful not to fall into heretical forms of mysticism.  In Eastern forms of mysticism the religious goal is a kind of unity (unio) with the deity by which the individual is so absorbed by the ‘ultimate one’ that personal identity is obliterated.  In Christian mystical union, the self is not lost or erased by being merged with some oversoul or universal essence.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 90.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Mysticism
39.
God’s plan never changes because He never changes and because perfection admits to no degrees and cannot be improved upon.

God’s plan never changes because He never changes and because perfection admits to no degrees and cannot be improved upon.

Reference:   The Blueprint of Redemption, Tabletalk, Feb. 2004, p. 6, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
40.
At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution.

At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution.

Reference:   Is the Reformation Over? September 2009, Tabletalk, p. 7. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Catholicism
41.
In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action.

In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 53.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Love-Defined
42.
But the blessing Christ promised, the blessing of great reward, is a reward of grace.  The blessing is promised even though it is not earned.  Augustine said it this way:  Our rewards in heaven are a result of God’s crowning His own gifts.

But the blessing Christ promised, the blessing of great reward, is a reward of grace.  The blessing is promised even though it is not earned.  Augustine said it this way:  Our rewards in heaven are a result of God’s crowning His own gifts.

Reference:   Suffering and Merit? Tabletalk magazine, Ligonier Ministries, v. 13, n. 1, February 1989, p. 5. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Rewards-Eternal
43.
People only have true understanding (wisdom) when they look at everything from God’s perspective. Authentic wisdom begins when we understand that God is to be the object of our devotion, our adoration, and our reverence (Psalm 111:6).

People only have true understanding (wisdom) when they look at everything from God’s perspective. Authentic wisdom begins when we understand that God is to be the object of our devotion, our adoration, and our reverence (Psalm 111:6).

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 38.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Wisdom-Human
44.
The Bible does not provide a uniform formula for the proper physical or emotional reactions to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The presence of tears, convulsions, jerking, laughter, etc. are no measure of the Spirit’s presence. When we canvass the Scripture to see how the saints reacted to the outpouring of the Spirit, we see no prescribed form of bodily behavior. Habakkuk had a quivering lip and a trembling belly. Others fell to the ground as though dead. Some wept, some sang, some were reduced to stunned silence. In light of the diversity of human personalities and indeed the very nature of man, the presence or absence of these responses is no true test of the authenticity of the Spirit’s work. However, I hasten to add that though a wide variety of emotional responses may be detected in Scripture by those who encounter the living God, there is at least one emotion that may safely be excluded from the list – namely, boredom. It is hardly possible for a creature made in the image of God to be awakened or revived by the Spirit of God and be bored in the process.

The Bible does not provide a uniform formula for the proper physical or emotional reactions to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The presence of tears, convulsions, jerking, laughter, etc. are no measure of the Spirit’s presence. When we canvass the Scripture to see how the saints reacted to the outpouring of the Spirit, we see no prescribed form of bodily behavior. Habakkuk had a quivering lip and a trembling belly. Others fell to the ground as though dead. Some wept, some sang, some were reduced to stunned silence. In light of the diversity of human personalities and indeed the very nature of man, the presence or absence of these responses is no true test of the authenticity of the Spirit’s work. However, I hasten to add that though a wide variety of emotional responses may be detected in Scripture by those who encounter the living God, there is at least one emotion that may safely be excluded from the list – namely, boredom. It is hardly possible for a creature made in the image of God to be awakened or revived by the Spirit of God and be bored in the process.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 25-26.


45.
We tend to be far more ungenerous in forgiving others than God is in forgiving us. If God were to be as reluctant to forgive as we are in forgiving those who sin against us, we would be in serious trouble. As Christians we are forgiven people. We are likewise called to be forgiving people. Jesus clearly sets forth an ethic of charity in His teaching and in His behavior with those who wrong us. An unwillingness to forgive clearly has no place in the kingdom, and may in fact signal that such a one has not experienced the initial forgiveness of God in his or her life.

We tend to be far more ungenerous in forgiving others than God is in forgiving us. If God were to be as reluctant to forgive as we are in forgiving those who sin against us, we would be in serious trouble. As Christians we are forgiven people. We are likewise called to be forgiving people. Jesus clearly sets forth an ethic of charity in His teaching and in His behavior with those who wrong us. An unwillingness to forgive clearly has no place in the kingdom, and may in fact signal that such a one has not experienced the initial forgiveness of God in his or her life.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 120.


46.
Touching His human nature, Jesus is no longer present with us. Touching his Divine nature, He is never absent from us.

Touching His human nature, Jesus is no longer present with us. Touching his Divine nature, He is never absent from us.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 22.


47.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the fourteenth question, “What is sin?” by the response, “Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.” Here we see sin described both in terms of passive and active disobedience. We speak of sins of commission and sins of omission. When we fail to do what God requires, we see this lack of conformity to His will. But not only are we guilty of failing to do what God requires, we also actively do what God prohibits. Thus, sin is a transgression against the law of God.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the fourteenth question, “What is sin?” by the response, “Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.” Here we see sin described both in terms of passive and active disobedience. We speak of sins of commission and sins of omission. When we fail to do what God requires, we see this lack of conformity to His will. But not only are we guilty of failing to do what God requires, we also actively do what God prohibits. Thus, sin is a transgression against the law of God.

Reference:   Cosmic Treason, Tabletalk, May 2008, p. 7, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Sin-Defined
48.
When the New Testament speaks of the church’s glory, it is speaking of its dignity.  By analogy, the husband is called to give himself to the purpose of establishing his wife in the fullness of dignity.  When he uses his authority to destroy his wife’s dignity, he becomes the direct antithesis of Christ.  He mirrors not Christ but the Antichrist.

When the New Testament speaks of the church’s glory, it is speaking of its dignity.  By analogy, the husband is called to give himself to the purpose of establishing his wife in the fullness of dignity.  When he uses his authority to destroy his wife’s dignity, he becomes the direct antithesis of Christ.  He mirrors not Christ but the Antichrist.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 57-58.


49.
The Reformation was not merely a Great Awakening; it was the Greatest Awakening to the true Gospel since the Apostolic Age.

The Reformation was not merely a Great Awakening; it was the Greatest Awakening to the true Gospel since the Apostolic Age.

Reference:   R.C. Sproul The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 17.


50.
[God] has no malice in His purity, no maliciousness in His actions. God does not “delight” in the death of the wicked – even though He decrees it. His judgments upon evil are rooted in His righteousness, not in some distorted malice in His character. Like an earthly judge weeps when he sends the guilty for punishment, God rejoices in the justness of it but gets no glee from the pain of those justly punished.

[God] has no malice in His purity, no maliciousness in His actions. God does not “delight” in the death of the wicked – even though He decrees it. His judgments upon evil are rooted in His righteousness, not in some distorted malice in His character. Like an earthly judge weeps when he sends the guilty for punishment, God rejoices in the justness of it but gets no glee from the pain of those justly punished.

Reference:   Abundant Love, Tabletalk Magazine, May 2004, p. 6. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: God-Justice
51.
God is not obligated to save anybody, to make any special act of grace, to draw anyone to Himself. He could leave the whole world to perish, and such would be a righteous judgment.

God is not obligated to save anybody, to make any special act of grace, to draw anyone to Himself. He could leave the whole world to perish, and such would be a righteous judgment.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 25.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: God-Justice
52.
Faith…involves trusting in the future promises of God and waiting for their fulfillment.

Faith…involves trusting in the future promises of God and waiting for their fulfillment.

Reference:   Tabletalk, p. 6, v. 28, n. 9, Ligonier Ministries, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Faith-Defined
53.
Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion.  Our problem is that we are lazy.

Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion.  Our problem is that we are lazy.

Reference:   Knowing Scripture, Copyright (c) 1977 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Used with permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. www.ivpress.com.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Bible-Reading
54.
We are so accustomed to equating holiness with purity or ethical perfection that we look for the idea when the word holy appears. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is transcendent purity.

We are so accustomed to equating holiness with purity or ethical perfection that we look for the idea when the word holy appears. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is transcendent purity.

Reference:   Taken from: The Holiness of God, © 1985. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved, p. 57.


Author: R.C. Sproul
55.
The Antinomian heresy is the view that the law of God revealed in the Old Testament has nothing to do with the New Testament church; that the New Testament church is a church without law, a church that lives and breathes exclusively on the basis of grace… But the New Testament is far from abolishing God’s moral law. Jesus calls His disciples to obedience. He says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).

The Antinomian heresy is the view that the law of God revealed in the Old Testament has nothing to do with the New Testament church; that the New Testament church is a church without law, a church that lives and breathes exclusively on the basis of grace… But the New Testament is far from abolishing God’s moral law. Jesus calls His disciples to obedience. He says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 64-65.


56.
[Obedience] is not to be done slavishly, out of servile fear or out of some rigid, stoical desire for rule-keeping, but rather from a profound desire to express our love for the Father.

[Obedience] is not to be done slavishly, out of servile fear or out of some rigid, stoical desire for rule-keeping, but rather from a profound desire to express our love for the Father.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 123.


Author: R.C. Sproul
57.
The church has been established by Christ to be an army…(but) armies, in order to be effective, must be very sensitive in caring for their wounded… There is always a major work to be done within the church in terms of ministering to the needs of the people.

The church has been established by Christ to be an army…(but) armies, in order to be effective, must be very sensitive in caring for their wounded… There is always a major work to be done within the church in terms of ministering to the needs of the people.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 103.


58.
Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King.

Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King.

Reference:   R.C. Sproul Cosmic Treason, Tabletalk, May 2008, p. 6, Used by Permission.


59.
Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him… To love a holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce our hardened hearts and awaken our moribund souls.

Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him… To love a holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce our hardened hearts and awaken our moribund souls.

Reference:   Taken from: The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul. Copyright © 1990. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


60.
Isn’t it amazing that almost everyone has an opinion to offer about the Bible, and yet so few have studied it?

Isn’t it amazing that almost everyone has an opinion to offer about the Bible, and yet so few have studied it?


Author: R.C. Sproul
61.
We have substituted the “unconditional love” of God for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. If God loves us all unconditionally, who needs the righteousness of Christ?

We have substituted the “unconditional love” of God for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. If God loves us all unconditionally, who needs the righteousness of Christ?

Reference:   None Righteous, Tabletalk, April 2004, p. 6, Used by Permission.


62.
The equation is simple. If God requires perfect righteousness and perfect holiness to survive His perfect judgment, then we are left with a serious problem. Either we rest our hope in our own righteousness, which is altogether inadequate, or we flee to another’s righteousness, an alien righteousness, a righteousness not our own inherently. The only place such righteousness can be found is in Christ – that is the good news of the Gospel.

The equation is simple. If God requires perfect righteousness and perfect holiness to survive His perfect judgment, then we are left with a serious problem. Either we rest our hope in our own righteousness, which is altogether inadequate, or we flee to another’s righteousness, an alien righteousness, a righteousness not our own inherently. The only place such righteousness can be found is in Christ – that is the good news of the Gospel.

Reference:   None Righteous, Tabletalk, April 2004, p. 7, Used by Permission.


63.
We must keep the law of God before the people so that they may lay hold of the gospel… If all you preach is the “good news,” and you never preach the “bad news,” the “good news” becomes “no news,” and it is not significant to people.

We must keep the law of God before the people so that they may lay hold of the gospel… If all you preach is the “good news,” and you never preach the “bad news,” the “good news” becomes “no news,” and it is not significant to people.

Reference:   Feed My Sheep, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002, p. 151-152.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Preaching-Law
64.
We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves.  The idea is to give all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God.  That is what the Christian life is all about.

We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves.  The idea is to give all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God.  That is what the Christian life is all about.


65.
Jim Boice had all the academic credentials a person could ever want to go to the top of the ladder in the academic world, but that was not his call.  His call was to be a pastor.  For over thirty years he broke open the Word of God in his preaching, in his teaching, and in his writings.  Fidelity to Scripture is what drove him, and a more courageous Christian I have never met.

Jim Boice had all the academic credentials a person could ever want to go to the top of the ladder in the academic world, but that was not his call.  His call was to be a pastor.  For over thirty years he broke open the Word of God in his preaching, in his teaching, and in his writings.  Fidelity to Scripture is what drove him, and a more courageous Christian I have never met.

Reference:   Feed My Sheep, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002, p. 137.


66.
Jesus’ life was a storm of controversy. The apostles, like the prophets before them, could hardly go a day without controversy. Paul said that he debated daily in the marketplace. To avoid controversy is to avoid Christ. We can have peace, but it is a servile and carnal peace where truth is slain n the streets.

Jesus' life was a storm of controversy. The apostles, like the prophets before them, could hardly go a day without controversy. Paul said that he debated daily in the marketplace. To avoid controversy is to avoid Christ. We can have peace, but it is a servile and carnal peace where truth is slain n the streets.

Reference:   Taken from: Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R. C. Sproul, Copyright © 1992 (Sproul), p. xv, Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


67.
The biblical union of two people into one flesh did not involve the annihilation of personal identity. The unity of marriage is not to be monistic but a unity in duality.

The biblical union of two people into one flesh did not involve the annihilation of personal identity. The unity of marriage is not to be monistic but a unity in duality.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 31.


68.
Perhaps the reason you feel guilty is because you are guilty.  The answer to your guilt problem is not rationalization or self-justification, but forgiveness.  The price of forgiveness is repentance.  Without it there is no forgiveness and no relief from the reality of guilt.

Perhaps the reason you feel guilty is because you are guilty.  The answer to your guilt problem is not rationalization or self-justification, but forgiveness.  The price of forgiveness is repentance.  Without it there is no forgiveness and no relief from the reality of guilt.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 127.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Guilt
69.
When a person becomes a Christian and has authentic faith, he has a real mystical union with Christ, so that Christ really comes to indwell the believer. When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, His righteousness is counted towards us and we are justified. At that same moment, Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell inside of us.

When a person becomes a Christian and has authentic faith, he has a real mystical union with Christ, so that Christ really comes to indwell the believer. When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, His righteousness is counted towards us and we are justified. At that same moment, Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell inside of us.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 85.


70.
Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our salvation. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace.  Grace is for other people – for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.

Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our salvation. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people – for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.

Reference:   Suffering and Merit? Tabletalk Magazine, Ligonier Ministries, 1989, p. 5. Used by Permission.


71.
If you are of the truth, if you have learned the truth, if you see the sanctity of the truth, then speak truth. We are not called to be deceivers or liars. God is a God of truth, and His people are called to have an enormously high standard of truth.

If you are of the truth, if you have learned the truth, if you see the sanctity of the truth, then speak truth. We are not called to be deceivers or liars. God is a God of truth, and His people are called to have an enormously high standard of truth.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 114.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Honesty
72.
The first thing to understand about anger is that it isn’t always a bad thing.  Many people, especially Christians, have the mistaken notion that anger is intrinsically evil.  As a result, they feel needless guilt.  The idea that a Christian is never allowed to be angry is a demonic myth that tends to produce neurotic anxiety.  I’ve had to struggle with this myth nearly all my life.

The first thing to understand about anger is that it isn’t always a bad thing.  Many people, especially Christians, have the mistaken notion that anger is intrinsically evil.  As a result, they feel needless guilt.  The idea that a Christian is never allowed to be angry is a demonic myth that tends to produce neurotic anxiety.  I’ve had to struggle with this myth nearly all my life.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 71.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Anger-Righteous
73.
Indeed, it’s a misnomer to call [pluralism] a system, because it is the idea of a consistent, coherent view of truth that is unacceptable to the pluralist.

Indeed, it’s a misnomer to call [pluralism] a system, because it is the idea of a consistent, coherent view of truth that is unacceptable to the pluralist.

Reference:   Twilight of the Idols, Tabletalk, June 2008, p. 7, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Pluralism
74.
There cannot be only one Mediator between man and God. There must be many according to pluralists today. It is equally a truism among pluralists that if there is one way to God, there must be many ways to God, and certainly it cannot be accepted that there is only one way. The exclusive claims of Christianity in terms of God, in terms of Christ, in terms of salvation, cannot live in peaceful coexistence with pluralists.

There cannot be only one Mediator between man and God. There must be many according to pluralists today. It is equally a truism among pluralists that if there is one way to God, there must be many ways to God, and certainly it cannot be accepted that there is only one way. The exclusive claims of Christianity in terms of God, in terms of Christ, in terms of salvation, cannot live in peaceful coexistence with pluralists.

Reference:   Twilight of the Idols, Tabletalk, June 2008, p. 6, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Pluralism
75.
Built into our law system is the idea of the equal toleration under the law of all religions. It is a short step in people’s thinking from equal toleration under the law to equal validity. The principle that all religions should be treated equally under the law and have equal rights does not carry with it the necessary inference that therefore all religions are valid. Even a cursory, comparative examination of the world’s religions reveals points of radical contradiction among them, and unless one is prepared to affirm the equal truth of contradictories, one must not be able to embrace this fallacious assumption.

Built into our law system is the idea of the equal toleration under the law of all religions. It is a short step in people’s thinking from equal toleration under the law to equal validity. The principle that all religions should be treated equally under the law and have equal rights does not carry with it the necessary inference that therefore all religions are valid. Even a cursory, comparative examination of the world’s religions reveals points of radical contradiction among them, and unless one is prepared to affirm the equal truth of contradictories, one must not be able to embrace this fallacious assumption.

Reference:   Twilight of the Idols, Tabletalk, June 2008, p. 7, Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Pluralism
76.
Your task, O preacher, is to make sure that you are faithful to the text, that you are faithful to the proclamation of that gospel, that you are faithful to set forth the whole counsel of God, and then step back and let it happen.

Your task, O preacher, is to make sure that you are faithful to the text, that you are faithful to the proclamation of that gospel, that you are faithful to set forth the whole counsel of God, and then step back and let it happen.

Reference:   Feed My Sheep, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002, p. 159.


Author: R.C. Sproul
77.
What is meant by the concept of total depravity is not that man is wicked as he could possibly be. Bad as we are, we can still conceive of ourselves doing worse things than we do. Rather, it means that sin has such a hold upon us in our natural state, that we never have a positive desire for Christ.

What is meant by the concept of total depravity is not that man is wicked as he could possibly be. Bad as we are, we can still conceive of ourselves doing worse things than we do. Rather, it means that sin has such a hold upon us in our natural state, that we never have a positive desire for Christ.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 48.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Depravity-Human
78.
The fall left the human will intact insofar as we still have the faculty of choosing. Our minds have been darkened by sin and our desires bound by the wicked impulses. But we can still think, choose and act. Yet something terrible has happened to us. We have lost all desire for God. The thoughts and desires of our heart are only evil continuously. The freedom of our will is a curse. Because we can still choose according to our desires, we choose to sin and thus we become accountable to the judgment of God.

The fall left the human will intact insofar as we still have the faculty of choosing. Our minds have been darkened by sin and our desires bound by the wicked impulses. But we can still think, choose and act. Yet something terrible has happened to us. We have lost all desire for God. The thoughts and desires of our heart are only evil continuously. The freedom of our will is a curse. Because we can still choose according to our desires, we choose to sin and thus we become accountable to the judgment of God.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Depravity-Human
79.
There is a vast difference, however, between childlike faith and childish faith, though the two are often confused. [Childlike faith calls the believer] to remain forever in a state of awe and trust of their heavenly Father, while a childish faith balks at learning the things of God in depth. It refuses the meat of the gospel while clinging to a diet of milk…The call of the New Testament is to maturity.

There is a vast difference, however, between childlike faith and childish faith, though the two are often confused. [Childlike faith calls the believer] to remain forever in a state of awe and trust of their heavenly Father, while a childish faith balks at learning the things of God in depth. It refuses the meat of the gospel while clinging to a diet of milk...The call of the New Testament is to maturity.

Reference:   Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, Tyndale, 1992, xi.


80.
1. Regeneration is the divine work of God the Holy Spirit upon the minds and souls of fallen people, by which the Spirit quickens those who are spiritually dead and makes them spiritually alive. This supernatural work rescues that person from his bondage to sin and his moral inability to incline himself towards the things of God. Regeneration, by being a supernatural work, is obviously a work that cannot be accomplished by natural man on his own. If it were a natural work, it would not require the intervention of God the Holy Spirit.

2. Regeneration is a monergistic work. “Monergistic” means that it is the work of one person who exercises his power. In the case of regeneration, it is God alone who is able, and it is God alone who performs the work of regenerating the human soul. The work of regeneration is not a joint venture between the fallen person and the divine Spirit; it is solely the work of God.

3. The monergistic work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is an immediate work. It is immediate with respect to time, and it is immediate with respect to the principle of operating without intervening means. The Holy Spirit does not use something apart from His own power to bring a person from spiritual death to spiritual life, and when that work is accomplished, it is accomplished instantaneously. No one is partly regenerate, or almost regenerate. Here we have a classic either/or situation. A person is either born again, or he is not born again. There is no nine-month gestation period with respect to this birth. When the Spirit changes the disposition of the human soul, He does it instantly. A person may not be aware of this internal work accomplished by God for some time after it has actually occurred. But though our awareness of it may be gradual, the action of it is instantaneous.

4. The work of regeneration is effectual. That is, when the Holy Spirit regenerates a human soul, the purpose of that regeneration is to bring that person to saving faith in Jesus Christ. That purpose is effected and accomplished as God purposes in the intervention. Regeneration is more than giving a person the possibility of having faith, it gives him the certainty of possessing that saving faith.

5. Regeneration is a gift that God disposes sovereignly to all of those whom He determines to bring into His family.

1. Regeneration is the divine work of God the Holy Spirit upon the minds and souls of fallen people, by which the Spirit quickens those who are spiritually dead and makes them spiritually alive. This supernatural work rescues that person from his bondage to sin and his moral inability to incline himself towards the things of God. Regeneration, by being a supernatural work, is obviously a work that cannot be accomplished by natural man on his own. If it were a natural work, it would not require the intervention of God the Holy Spirit. 2. Regeneration is a monergistic work. “Monergistic” means that it is the work of one person who exercises his power. In the case of regeneration, it is God alone who is able, and it is God alone who performs the work of regenerating the human soul. The work of regeneration is not a joint venture between the fallen person and the divine Spirit; it is solely the work of God. 3. The monergistic work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is an immediate work. It is immediate with respect to time, and it is immediate with respect to the principle of operating without intervening means. The Holy Spirit does not use something apart from His own power to bring a person from spiritual death to spiritual life, and when that work is accomplished, it is accomplished instantaneously. No one is partly regenerate, or almost regenerate. Here we have a classic either/or situation. A person is either born again, or he is not born again. There is no nine-month gestation period with respect to this birth. When the Spirit changes the disposition of the human soul, He does it instantly. A person may not be aware of this internal work accomplished by God for some time after it has actually occurred. But though our awareness of it may be gradual, the action of it is instantaneous. 4. The work of regeneration is effectual. That is, when the Holy Spirit regenerates a human soul, the purpose of that regeneration is to bring that person to saving faith in Jesus Christ. That purpose is effected and accomplished as God purposes in the intervention. Regeneration is more than giving a person the possibility of having faith, it gives him the certainty of possessing that saving faith. 5. Regeneration is a gift that God disposes sovereignly to all of those whom He determines to bring into His family.

Reference:   The New Birth, Tabletalk, March 2007, p. 6-7. Used by Permission of Ligonier Ministries.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Regeneration
81.
Rebirth or regeneration is monergistic, not synergistic. It is done by God and by God alone. A dead man cannot cooperate with his resurrection. Lazarus did not cooperate in his resurrection. Regeneration is a sovereign act of God in which man plays no role. After God brings us to life, of course, we certainly are involved in “cooperating” with Him. We are to believe, trust, obey, and work for Him. But unless God acts first, we will never be reborn in the first place. We must also realize it is not as if dead people have faith, and because of their faith God agrees to regenerate them. Rather, it is because God has regenerated us and given us new life that we have faith.

Rebirth or regeneration is monergistic, not synergistic. It is done by God and by God alone. A dead man cannot cooperate with his resurrection. Lazarus did not cooperate in his resurrection. Regeneration is a sovereign act of God in which man plays no role. After God brings us to life, of course, we certainly are involved in “cooperating” with Him. We are to believe, trust, obey, and work for Him. But unless God acts first, we will never be reborn in the first place. We must also realize it is not as if dead people have faith, and because of their faith God agrees to regenerate them. Rather, it is because God has regenerated us and given us new life that we have faith.

Reference:   Tabletalk, 1989. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Regeneration
82.
Our natural prejudgment of reality is against God. To receive the truth of God requires that our “anti” bias be changed. The key work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not giving new knowledge to the brain but changing the disposition of the heart. Before the Spirit turns that heart of stone into a heart of flesh, we have no desire for the things of God. We may desire the blessings that only God can give us, but we have no affection for the things of God. At the moment of regeneration, the eyes of the heart are opened somewhat, but this is just the beginning. The whole Christian life involves an unfolding and enlarging of the heart’s openness to the things of God.

Our natural prejudgment of reality is against God. To receive the truth of God requires that our “anti” bias be changed. The key work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not giving new knowledge to the brain but changing the disposition of the heart. Before the Spirit turns that heart of stone into a heart of flesh, we have no desire for the things of God. We may desire the blessings that only God can give us, but we have no affection for the things of God. At the moment of regeneration, the eyes of the heart are opened somewhat, but this is just the beginning. The whole Christian life involves an unfolding and enlarging of the heart’s openness to the things of God.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 40.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Regeneration
83.
Man and woman are one in essence. That is to say, Adam and Eve are equal in dignity, value, and glory. In essential unity there is absolutely no room for inferiority of person. The man and woman are equal in every respect except one – authority. Two different tasks are given to people of equal value and dignity. In the economy of marriage, only the job descriptions are different.

Man and woman are one in essence. That is to say, Adam and Eve are equal in dignity, value, and glory. In essential unity there is absolutely no room for inferiority of person. The man and woman are equal in every respect except one – authority. Two different tasks are given to people of equal value and dignity. In the economy of marriage, only the job descriptions are different.

Reference:   The Intimate Marriage, P&R Publishing, 1975, p. 44.


84.
One of the most difficult things to admit or to understand is that there is probably nothing that a man wants more from his wife than her admiration. There is probably nothing that a woman wants more from her husband than his attention, taking her seriously and treating her with the greatest dignity. Here what we are getting at is the question of respect.  If I exercise my headship over my wife in a tyrannical way, I am not respecting my wife. If my wife gives slavish obedience to me without any love, she is not respecting me. The whole basis of the relationship is built upon love, cherishing and respecting one another.

One of the most difficult things to admit or to understand is that there is probably nothing that a man wants more from his wife than her admiration. There is probably nothing that a woman wants more from her husband than his attention, taking her seriously and treating her with the greatest dignity. Here what we are getting at is the question of respect.  If I exercise my headship over my wife in a tyrannical way, I am not respecting my wife. If my wife gives slavish obedience to me without any love, she is not respecting me. The whole basis of the relationship is built upon love, cherishing and respecting one another.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 139.


85.
The very word authority has within it the word author. An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.

The very word authority has within it the word author. An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.

Reference:   The Divine Foundation of Authority, Tabletalk, March, 2009, p. 6. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Authority-God
86.
The authority by which God governs all things is His autonomous authority. To say that God’s authority is autonomous is to say that God is a law unto Himself. He is not bound by some abstract system of law that exists outside of Himself or independent from Him (ex lex). Nor is God under some external law (sub lego); rather, He is a law unto Himself. This does not mean that He acts or behaves in an arbitrary manner. Rather, God’s activity is directed by God’s own character. And His character is completely righteous. All that He does flows out of His own internal righteousness. His external authority comes from His internal righteousness. In this sense God’s authority is intrinsic. It is found within Himself. It is not borrowed, delegated, or assigned from any other source.

The authority by which God governs all things is His autonomous authority. To say that God’s authority is autonomous is to say that God is a law unto Himself. He is not bound by some abstract system of law that exists outside of Himself or independent from Him (ex lex). Nor is God under some external law (sub lego); rather, He is a law unto Himself. This does not mean that He acts or behaves in an arbitrary manner. Rather, God’s activity is directed by God’s own character. And His character is completely righteous. All that He does flows out of His own internal righteousness. His external authority comes from His internal righteousness. In this sense God’s authority is intrinsic. It is found within Himself. It is not borrowed, delegated, or assigned from any other source.

Reference:   The Divine Foundation of Authority, Tabletalk, March, 2009, p. 7. Used by Permission.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Authority-God
87.
In the Old Testament the idea of ascending was linked to two activities.  First, it described drawing near to the presence of God.  The Tabernacle was set on a hill and people went up to it.  Later, the Temple was built on a mountain in Jerusalem and there is a section in the Book of Psalms, called the Psalms of Ascent (120-134), which describe the worshippers’ approach to the Temple at the festival periods of Israel.  So Jesus, when He ascended, entered God’s presence.

In the Old Testament the idea of ascending was linked to two activities.  First, it described drawing near to the presence of God.  The Tabernacle was set on a hill and people went up to it.  Later, the Temple was built on a mountain in Jerusalem and there is a section in the Book of Psalms, called the Psalms of Ascent (120-134), which describe the worshippers’ approach to the Temple at the festival periods of Israel.  So Jesus, when He ascended, entered God’s presence.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 102.


88.
All of our warfare and all of our activity must take place in the context of constant, unceasing prayer. Just as a soldier on the battle line has to keep in constant communication with his general headquarters and his commanding officer, so the Christian who is on the battle line must be in constant communication with his Lord. He might be fully equipped with all the armor, but if he is cut off from personal communication with his own commander, then he will be isolated and vulnerable.

All of our warfare and all of our activity must take place in the context of constant, unceasing prayer. Just as a soldier on the battle line has to keep in constant communication with his general headquarters and his commanding officer, so the Christian who is on the battle line must be in constant communication with his Lord. He might be fully equipped with all the armor, but if he is cut off from personal communication with his own commander, then he will be isolated and vulnerable.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 152.


89.
If indeed Christ provided a propitiation and expiation for all human beings and for all their sins, then, clearly, all persons would be saved.  Universal atonement, if it is actual, and not merely potential, means universal salvation.  However, the overwhelming majority of Christians who reject limited atonement also reject universal salvation.  They are particularists, not universalists.

If indeed Christ provided a propitiation and expiation for all human beings and for all their sins, then, clearly, all persons would be saved. Universal atonement, if it is actual, and not merely potential, means universal salvation. However, the overwhelming majority of Christians who reject limited atonement also reject universal salvation. They are particularists, not universalists.

Reference:   Biblical Scholasticism, Tabletalk, Oct. 2004, p. 6, Used by Permission.


90.
[People often say], “Christ’s atonement was sufficient for all, but efficient only for some.”  What does this mean?  The Calvinist would interpret this axiom to mean that the value of Christ’s sacrifice is so high, His merit so extensive, that its worth is equal to cover all the sins of the human race.  But the atonement’s benefits are only effective for believer’s, the elect.  The non-Calvinistic interprets this axiom in slightly different terms:  Christ’s atonement was good enough to save everyone – and was intended to make salvation possible for everyone.  But that intent is realized only by believers.  The atonement is efficient [or “works”] only for those who receive its benefits by faith.

[People often say], “Christ’s atonement was sufficient for all, but efficient only for some.” What does this mean? The Calvinist would interpret this axiom to mean that the value of Christ’s sacrifice is so high, His merit so extensive, that its worth is equal to cover all the sins of the human race. But the atonement’s benefits are only effective for believer’s, the elect. The non-Calvinistic interprets this axiom in slightly different terms: Christ’s atonement was good enough to save everyone – and was intended to make salvation possible for everyone. But that intent is realized only by believers. The atonement is efficient [or “works”] only for those who receive its benefits by faith.

Reference:   Biblical Scholasticism, Tabletalk, Oct. 2004, p. 7, Used by Permission.


91.
The real issue was the design, or purpose, of God’s plan in laying upon His Son the burden of the Cross.  Was it God’s purpose simply to make salvation possible for all but certain for none?  Did God have to wait to see if any would respond to Christ to make His atonement efficient?  Was it theoretically possible that Jesus would die “for all” yet never see the fruit of His travail and be satisfied?  Or was it God’s eternal purpose and design of the Cross to make salvation certain for His elect?  Was there a special sense in which Christ died for His own, for the sheep the Father had given Him?

The real issue was the design, or purpose, of God’s plan in laying upon His Son the burden of the Cross. Was it God’s purpose simply to make salvation possible for all but certain for none? Did God have to wait to see if any would respond to Christ to make His atonement efficient? Was it theoretically possible that Jesus would die “for all” yet never see the fruit of His travail and be satisfied? Or was it God’s eternal purpose and design of the Cross to make salvation certain for His elect? Was there a special sense in which Christ died for His own, for the sheep the Father had given Him?

Reference:   Biblical Scholasticism, Tabletalk, Oct. 2004, p. 7, Used by Permission.


92.
The invisible church refers to those persons who are truly redeemed, truly regenerate and spiritually united with Christ. The invisible church is distinguished from the visible church because no man can read another person’s heart. We look on the outward appearance, but God alone can read the heart.

The invisible church refers to those persons who are truly redeemed, truly regenerate and spiritually united with Christ. The invisible church is distinguished from the visible church because no man can read another person’s heart. We look on the outward appearance, but God alone can read the heart.

Reference:   The Purpose of God, An Exposition of Ephesians, Christian Focus Publications, 1994, p. 88.


Author: R.C. Sproul
93.
The modern movement of worship is designed to break down barriers between man and God, to remove the veil, as it were, from the fearsome holiness of God, which might cause us to tremble. It is designed to make us feel comfortable.

The modern movement of worship is designed to break down barriers between man and God, to remove the veil, as it were, from the fearsome holiness of God, which might cause us to tremble. It is designed to make us feel comfortable.

Reference:   How Should We Then Worship? Tabletalk, January 2005, p. 7. Used by Permission.


94.
One does not structure the church to meet the felt needs and desires of the tares. The purpose of corporate assembly, which has its roots in the Old Testament, is for the people of God to come together corporately to offer their sacrifices of praise and worship to God. So the first rule of worship is that it be designed for believers to worship God in a way that pleases God.

One does not structure the church to meet the felt needs and desires of the tares. The purpose of corporate assembly, which has its roots in the Old Testament, is for the people of God to come together corporately to offer their sacrifices of praise and worship to God. So the first rule of worship is that it be designed for believers to worship God in a way that pleases God.

Reference:   Good Intentions Gone Bad, Tabletalk, October 2007, p. 6. Used by Permission of Ligonier Ministries.


95.
The gratuitous leap of logic comes when church leaders think that because people are searching for benefits only God can give them, they must therefore be searching after God. No, they want the benefits without the Giver of the benefits. And so structuring worship to accommodate unbelievers is misguided because these unbelievers are not seeking after God. Seeking after God begins at conversion, and if we are to structure our worship with a view to seekers, then we must structure it for believers, since only believers are seekers.

The gratuitous leap of logic comes when church leaders think that because people are searching for benefits only God can give them, they must therefore be searching after God. No, they want the benefits without the Giver of the benefits. And so structuring worship to accommodate unbelievers is misguided because these unbelievers are not seeking after God. Seeking after God begins at conversion, and if we are to structure our worship with a view to seekers, then we must structure it for believers, since only believers are seekers.

Reference:   Good Intentions Gone Bad, Tabletalk, October 2007, p. 6. Used by Permission of Ligonier Ministries.


96.
Relativism says this: “truth is what you perceive it to be, and what is true for you may be false for somebody else.”  In our present society, you’re perfectly free to believe whatever you like, but the one thing you may not do is to deny its antithesis.  You can say, “I believe that this is true.”  But you cannot say with impunity that that which opposes it is false.  We have a whole generation of Christians who have been brainwashed by the spirit of relativism so they’re completely hesitant to say, “I deny that error over there.”  We don’t have heresy trials anymore because, in relativism, there is no such thing as heresy.

Relativism says this: “truth is what you perceive it to be, and what is true for you may be false for somebody else.”  In our present society, you’re perfectly free to believe whatever you like, but the one thing you may not do is to deny its antithesis.  You can say, “I believe that this is true.”  But you cannot say with impunity that that which opposes it is false.  We have a whole generation of Christians who have been brainwashed by the spirit of relativism so they’re completely hesitant to say, “I deny that error over there.”  We don’t have heresy trials anymore because, in relativism, there is no such thing as heresy.

Reference:   Feed My Sheep, ed. Don Kistler, Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002, p. 144.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: Relativism
97.
I once read the following definition of a fanatic: "A fanatic is a person who, having lost sight of his goal, redoubles his effort to get there." The fanatic runs around frantically getting nowhere. He is a basketball player without a basket, a tennis player without a net, a golfer without a green. For a Christian to make progress in…learning to please God, he must have a clear idea of what his goal is… Jesus stated it this way: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

I once read the following definition of a fanatic: "A fanatic is a person who, having lost sight of his goal, redoubles his effort to get there." The fanatic runs around frantically getting nowhere. He is a basketball player without a basket, a tennis player without a net, a golfer without a green. For a Christian to make progress in…learning to please God, he must have a clear idea of what his goal is… Jesus stated it this way: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Reference:   Pleasing God. Christianity Today, v. 34, n. 9.


98.
Seeking God? We have totally revised corporate worship services to be sensitive to “seekers.” If worship were to be tailored for seekers, it would be directed exclusively to believers, for no one except believers ever seeks God (Rom. 3:9-12).

Seeking God? We have totally revised corporate worship services to be sensitive to “seekers.” If worship were to be tailored for seekers, it would be directed exclusively to believers, for no one except believers ever seeks God (Rom. 3:9-12).

Reference:   None Righteous, Tabletalk, April 2004, p. 7, Used by Permission.


99.
In Romans 3, Paul makes abundantly clear that unconverted people do not seek after God… To the naked eye it may seem that unbelievers are searching for God or seeking for the kingdom of God, while they are in fact fleeing from God with all of their might… People who are unconverted seek the “benefits” that only God can give them, such as ultimate meaning and purpose in their lives, relief from guilt, the presence of joy and happiness, and things of this nature. These are benefits the Christian recognizes can only come through a vital, saving relationship with Christ.

In Romans 3, Paul makes abundantly clear that unconverted people do not seek after God… To the naked eye it may seem that unbelievers are searching for God or seeking for the kingdom of God, while they are in fact fleeing from God with all of their might… People who are unconverted seek the “benefits” that only God can give them, such as ultimate meaning and purpose in their lives, relief from guilt, the presence of joy and happiness, and things of this nature. These are benefits the Christian recognizes can only come through a vital, saving relationship with Christ.

Reference:   Good Intentions Gone Bad, Tabletalk, October 2007, p. 6. Used by Permission of Ligonier Ministries.


Author: R.C. Sproul
Topics: God-Seeking
100.
Revival describes a renewal of spiritual life, while reformation describes a renewal of the forms and structures of society and culture. It is not possible to have true reformation without first having true revival. The renewal of spiritual life under the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessary condition for reformation but not a sufficient condition for it. Therefore, though it is not possible to have reformation without revival, it is possible to have revival without reformation.

Revival describes a renewal of spiritual life, while reformation describes a renewal of the forms and structures of society and culture. It is not possible to have true reformation without first having true revival. The renewal of spiritual life under the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessary condition for reformation but not a sufficient condition for it. Therefore, though it is not possible to have reformation without revival, it is possible to have revival without reformation.

Reference:   The Spirit of Revival by Archie Parrish, Introduction, Copyright 2000, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 17.