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Quotes by Iain Duguid


Honesty may not always be the best policy, as a policy, but dishonesty is always a miserable policy, even when it succeeds.


[We can find] that it was one thing to “believe God and have it credited to [us] as righteousness” (Gen . 15:6) but quite another to move that belief from [our] head into [our] heart and trust God completely in the everyday decisions of life.


It sometimes turns out that the longest-delayed answers to prayer are the most faith-building, because when they are finally answered we see in them most clearly the hand of God.


Those who are passed over by God will never complain that God is being unfair. Left to themselves, they have no desire to be chosen.


That is how the process of election always works. Those who remain outside God’s kingdom, who have not received His election and calling to become part of His people, do not lose something they sought to have but rather something they counted of no value. Noah does not have to fight to keep the masses out of the ark, as if it were the last lifeboat to leave a sinking ship. He does not have to stand by the gangplank with a shotgun, warding off the crowds. In fact, quite the reverse: only those whose hearts God has changed would want to take shelter within its confining walls.


Grace may be free to us, but it is so only because God has borne all the cost Himself in Jesus.


We’re Christians, yes. But we also want to have our part of the world. We must have our slice of the action. We feel that we can’t possibly give it up completely; that would simply be too great a cost to bear. So, like Lot, we seek instead to do our best in a hopelessly compromised situation, trying to maintain dual citizenship in the world and in heaven.


If my own righteousness is all that I am relying on, then I have no hope of finding favor in God’s sight. This is perhaps the hardest part of the Christian message to get across to people – the fact that we are not automatically headed for heaven. The truth is that our sin – not just the wrong things that we have done, but the very attitudes of our hearts – drives us away from God. That’s why the gospel has always been better received among the prostitutes and drug addicts and losers than among the rich and famous. These people don’t find it hard to believe that they have nothing to offer God.


Even doubting thoughts and feelings that border on sin are better laid out before the gracious eyes of the Lord than nursed in our hearts. God will not be shocked! He knows our inmost thoughts anyway!


To be sure, sometimes truly helping someone demands tough love, matching assistance with signs of repentance, Sometimes we must refuse to give a handout that would simply allow someone to remain enslaved in sinful habits. But our criterion for refusing to give assistance can only be whether our action can genuinely help the person, not whether he deserves the help or whether we will be inconvenienced.


Like a whirlpool, sin has a powerful vortex effect. Before we know it, we find ourselves in over our heads – and getting out is so much harder than getting in.


That has always been the way of materialism, which is quite eager to reach heaven, but has no interest in heaven’s God.


That’s what it means to live by faith – God reveals Himself to us, and we respond to Him trustingly, taking Him at His Word.


Our adoption as sons of God…comes through union with Christ and cannot be experienced apart from it. In Christ, and in Him alone, we receive the adoption that gives us an undeserved share in the promises that were made to Him and the privileges that He has earned as God’s Son (Gal. 3:29). Indeed, the reason that Christ came to this earth was so that He might give us adoption as God’s sons (Gal. 4:5).


Properly understood, adoption is one of the most precious, heartwarming, and practical of all our theological beliefs… [It] focuses our attention on a relational image and points us to the joy and assurance that comes from receiving a father who loves us and a family with whom we can enjoy our new freedom in Christ.


In God’s program, growing means becoming smaller. As Jesus put it, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Greatness in His kingdom is a gift God gives to the humble, not a prize to be grasped by the proud.


Sin is not an option for the believer. How can you continue in sin when that sin was paid for in the torn flesh of Jesus? How can you look longingly upon Satan’s offerings when the cross of Christ is in front of your eyes? Christ’s love constrains our hearts to seek holiness. The fact that sin has no lasting benefits remains true, but it is not simply because sin doesn’t pay that you are to turn your back on the tempter. The fact that sin will not get you what you really want in life is not nearly a powerful enough defense to guard you against the attractiveness of Satan’s lies and the fickleness of your heart. Only a deep grasp of the gospel has the power to bring about deep change in your heart. It is knowing the terrible price that has already been paid for your sin that enables you to say no to sin.


Most people hope to go to heaven when they die. This is not surprising, given the generally acknowledged alternatives (either hell or nothingness). However, it is quite revealing to ask people what they hope to do when they get to heaven. Most people anticipate the joys of this world writ large: golf courses with no sand traps or water hazards, heavenly mansions with no worries about mortgage payments. If they could have all of those things without leaving this planet, they would be more than content. Christians, however, long for heaven because they long to be in the nearer presence of the God whom they love with all their hearts, joining in the unstinted, eternal worship of the Lamb.


Are you settling for a vision that is too small in your life? Are you choosing the easy option because you don’t really believe God can bring about something great in your life? Yes, God sometimes calls us to be faithful in the little things, but is that really your calling, or are you afraid to hope for anything more? And what about your church? Do you expect to see God do great things there? Do you pray for God to do great things there, or are you content just to survive? All too often we don’t really expect God to do anything dramatic, do we? It seems too difficult to imagine.


The Lord waits so long in His graciousness that people think He cannot judge, but when He does come in judgment, it is so decisive that it seems as if He cannot show mercy. For this is not the sudden anger of an irritable temper, easily inflamed but equally easily pacified. This is deliberate, measure wrath, following a full investigation of the facts. There can be no last-minute appeals or reprieves, for there is no higher court to whom appeal can be made, and no pertinent facts have been overlooked in reaching the verdict. So it was with Sodom and Gomorrah, and so it shall be at the end of history [see Luke 17:28-30].


The judgment executed on Christ puts to death any thought that God could otherwise forgive sin. Unless there was no other way for us to be redeemed, the cross makes no sense… If there was any way to save the world other than by Jesus’ death on the cross, then His death was unnecessary and foolish. Would not a viable alternative make a mockery of Jesus’ own agonized words in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me” (Matt. 26:39)? The cup was not removed, for there was no other way.


We often forget that temptation can come from any quarter, even from within our own family circle. We expect the Devil to assault us like a roaring lion, as ugly and fearsome as can be. We don’t expect him to come to us dressed up like an angel of light, speaking in the honey-sweet tones of the ones we love. Yet the Bible warns us that such an approach is easy for him to adopt (2 Cor. 11:14). Thus, Satan didn’t only confront Jesus head-on in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11); he also tempted him more subtly through the words of one of his closest disciples, Peter (Matt. 16:23).


The further you go in obedience, the more you see of God’s plan. God doesn’t often tell us the end from the beginning. He prefers to lead us on step-by-step in dependence upon Him.


Satan has been a liar from the beginning. His constant goal is to get believers to turn their backs on the promises of God and pursue apparently rosier dreams.


You are in danger of desiring the blessing more than you desire God, and when that happens you may be easy prey for Satan to offer you a shortcut.