Miscellaneous Quotes (104)

quotes“However painful it may be to open up your life there is no safety in staying superficial.” – Brian Chesemore

If we stand at a distance we are missing out on the great privilege purchased by the gospel: fellowship with God.

A Bible-teaching church will help you avoid sin. But sin will definitely make you avoid a BIble-teaching church.

“All our sins are sunk in his precious blood as in a deep sea, so that, even if sought for, they can no more be found.” – John Newton

“He was cut down in his prime, but for our sin, not his (Isa. 53).” – Christopher Ash

“There is no such thing as an unnecessary member of your church (1 Cor. 12:7).”

“I do believe that we slander Christ when we think we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“Let me revel in this one thought: before God made the heavens and the earth, He set His love upon me.” C. H. Spurgeon

“People learn how to read the Bible from how their pastor preaches the Bible.”

“Think against your feelings; unmask the unbelief they have nourished; let evangelical thinking correct emotional thinking.” – J.I. Packer

“We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God’s grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.” Spurgeon

“The humble athlete is modest in victory and gracious in defeat.”

“All shall work together for good: everything is needful that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds.” – John Newton

“When facing the apparent denial of my request, God gave me the opportunity to honor him by trusting His Word.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“The Sovereign Lord has spared you ten thousand more losses than he has sent you. Let every moment be a thousand thanks.” – John Piper

“Life, death, hell and world’s unknown may hang on the preaching and hearing of a sermon.” Spurgeon (So please pray for your pastor)

“The gospel is the announcement of concrete, historical, divine accomplishment. Because the gospel is objective, it is unchanging—it doesn’t depend upon us, our circumstances, how we feel or how we perform.”

“Sin never does what it promises. Does it promise pleasure? Be sure it will bring pain and remorse.” – Alec Motyer

“Evil tastes good, but evil always leads to nausea and vomiting.” – Christopher Ash

“The world: Your biggest problem is without. The solution is within. The Bible: Your biggest problem is within. The solution is without.” – Matt Smethurst

“There is unspeakable comfort in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.” – J.I. Packer

“Our deepest, strongest, purest affections should be reserved for God himself, and he gave us singing to help us express them.” – Bob Kauflin

“Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you.” – Elisabeth Elliot

“There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me.” – J.I. Packer

“It is easy to be oblivious of the thousand evidences of his care.” – Elisabeth Elliot

“Everything is necessary that God sends our way; nothing can be necessary that he withholds.” – John Newton

“No marriage can survive without forgiveness. Marriage is a long term commitment between two sinners.” Elisabeth Elliot

“Studying the Bible will yield more joy in this life and the next than all the things that lure us from it.” John Piper

“Think against your feelings; argue yourself out of the gloom they have spread; look up from your problems to the God of the gospel.” – J. I. Packer

“Sunday is the best day of the week because we celebrate the risen Christ of the cross in the local church, the dearest place on earth.” – C J Mahaney

“The gospel cannot be preached and heard enough, for it cannot be grasped well enough.” – Martin Luther

“Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be.” -John Stott

“God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.” – John Stott

“Instead of inflicting upon us the judgment we deserved, God in Christ endured it in our place.” – John Stott

“Known to the Lord from the beginning were all your sins. Nevertheless, He still loved you.” – Charles Spurgeon

“The greatest sorrow you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you.” John Owen

“The Spirit does not take his pupils beyond the cross, but ever more deeply into it.” – J. Knox Chamblin

“The debt was so great, that while man alone owed it, only God could pay it.” – Anselm

“Your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.” – Jerry Bridges

“When you get to heaven, you will not complain of the way by which the Lord brought you.” – John Newton

“Most Christians neglect their Bible not out of conscious disloyalty to Jesus, but because of failure to plan a time to read it.” – John Piper

“One of the most counter-cultural things you can do is become an engaged member of a faithful local church.” – David Mathis

1 Timothy 2:12

DanielWallace1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (KJV)

Transcript (excerpt) of a lecture by Dr. Dan Wallace, “From the KJV to the RV”:

“In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul gives his instructions to Timothy, and in the King James he says essentially, ‘I do not permit a woman to usurp authority over a man.’ Now usurp means to take that authority on for oneself illegitimately or to steal it if you will.

Every once in a while we have some women preachers who come to the Seminary – its a rare opportunity, but when they come in they get behind a pulpit and they say, ‘I am not usurping anyone’s authority here today to speak to you. This authority has been granted to me by the Chaplain.’

Well, when they say that, their view is based on the wording of the King James Version of 1 Timothy 2:12, but its not based on the meaning of the Greek text.

Now the King James translators got that from Erasmus’ Latin text because the Greek word that is used there is used very rarely in all of Greek literature. And so, they did not know exactly what it meant. So they consulted Erasmus’ Latin text. You recall all of Erasmus’ Greek editions had Latin on one side and Greek on the other, and he had changed Jerome’s Latin Vulgate here incorrectly. The Latin word he used was ‘usurpare’ and consequently, the King James translators, put in ‘usurp.’

Almost all modern translations render it correctly as “exercise authority.'”

**1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve… (ESV)

**1 Timothy 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve… (NASB)

Bible Book Overviews

The Bible Project is a series of animated videos that walk through the narrative of the Bible book-by-book and theme-by-theme.

Here’s brief overviews of the first four books of the Bible.

The Book of Genesis Overview – Part 1 of 2

Part 2:

The Book of Exodus Overview – Part 1 of 2

Part 2:

The Book of Leviticus Overview

The Book of Numbers

Passage Context

Bible001Sometimes the key to a passage is to be discovered by observing in which part of a book it occurs. A pertinent example of this is found in Romans 2:6-10, to 3:21, wherein the universal need for God’s righteousness is demonstrated. Its second runs from 3:21, to 5:1, in which the manifestation of God’s righteousness is set forth. Its third, the imputation of God’s righteousness: 5:1, to 8:39. In 1:18-32, the apostle establishes the guilt of the Gentile world, and in chapter 2 that of the Jew. In its first sixteen verses he states the principles which will operate at the Great Assize, and in verses 17-24 makes direct application of them to the favored nation. Those principles are as follows:

(1) God’s judgment will proceed on the ground that man stands selfcondemned (v. 1);
(2) it will be according to the real state of the case (v. 2);
(3) mercy abused increases guilt (vv. 3-5);
(4) deeds, not external relations or lip profession, will decide the issue (vv. 6-10);
(5) God will be impartial, showing no favoritism (v. 11);
(6) full account will be taken of the various degrees of light enjoyed by different men (vv. 11-15);
(7) the judgment will be executed by Jesus Christ (v. 16).

From that brief analysis (which exhibits the scope of the passage) it is quite evident that the apostle was not making known the way of salvation when he declared, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life” (vv. 6, 7). So far from affirming that fallen men could secure everlasting felicity by their own well-doing or obedience to God, his design was the very opposite. His purpose was to show what the holy Law of God required, and that that requirement would be insisted upon in the Day of Judgment. Since his depraved nature makes it impossible for any man, Jew or Gentile, to render perfect and continual obedience to the Divine Law, then the utter hopelessness of his case is made apparent, and his dire need to look outside himself unto the righteousness of God in Christ is plainly evinced.

Arthur W. Pink – Interpretation of the Scriptures

HT: reformedontheweb

Handkerchiefs and Demons?

Acts 19:8-20

To enter the Kingdom is to enter a war zone. The Holy Spirit makes God’s invisible Kingdom visible, by the means of extraordinary miracles and deliverances. Yet only those commissioned by God should enter the fray.

God will often give us more than we can handle

bike-tyresMitch Chase (PhD, SBTS) is the Preaching Pastor at Kosmosdale Baptist Church and an adjunct professor at Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He’s the author of Behold Our Sovereign God. He writes:

Christians can make the strangest claims when comforting those who are suffering. What do you say to someone whose life is falling apart? If you have but few precious minutes with a person who’s lost a job, home, spouse, child, or all sense of purpose, what comfort do you give?

We might turn to conventional wisdom instead of Scripture and end up saying something like, “Don’t worry, this wouldn’t happen in your life if God didn’t think you could bear it.” The sufferer may object, head shaking and hands up. But you insist, “Look, seriously, the Bible promises God won’t ever give you more in life than you can handle.” There it is—conventional wisdom masquerading as biblical truth. You’ve promised what the Bible never does.

Temptations Versus Trials

In 1 Corinthians 10, the apostle Paul writes, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” His discussion is specific: he’s writing about “temptation,” a snare that breaks a sweat trying to drag us into sin. Using a predator metaphor, God warned Cain that “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it” (Gen. 4:7). Sin stalks us, but God is faithful. Sin desires to overcome us, but there is a merciful way of escape. Sin sets the bait, but for the believer—praise God!—sin is not irresistible.

Now if people apply Paul’s words about temptation to general sufferings, you can see where the line “God will never give you more than you can handle” comes from. I don’t doubt the sincerity and good intentions of those who use this phrase, but sincerity isn’t enough. Even Job’s friends meant well.

The Twin Errors

There are at least two errors in the unbiblical notion of “God will never give you more than you can handle.” First, it plays on the cultural virtue of fairness. Second, it points the sufferer inward instead of Godward.

1. Trials that Are . . . Fair?

If you give your children boxes to load into the car, you make visual and weight assessments that factor in their ages and strength. You don’t overload their arms and watch them crash to the ground with stuff splayed everywhere. That would be unfair. The saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” strikes a tone of fairness we instinctually like. There’s something pleasing about the idea that the scales are in balance, that God has assessed what we can handle and permits trials accordingly. Continue reading

Plurality of Elders v. Single Bishop

Were Early Churches Ruled by Elders or a Single Bishop? Michael J. Kruger Christians have disagreed about what leadership structure the church ought to use. From the bishop-led Anglicans to the informal Brethren churches, there is great diversity.

And one of the fundamental flash points in this debate is the practice of the early church. What form of government did the earliest Christians have? Of course, early Christian polity is a vast and complex subject with many different issues in play. But, I want to focus in upon a narrow one: Were the earliest churches ruled by a plurality of elders or a single bishop?

Now it needs to be noted from the outset that by the end of the second century, most churches were ruled by a single bishop. For whatever set of reasons, monepiscopacy had won the day. Many scholars attribute this development to Ignatius (pictured above).

But, what about earlier? Was there a single-bishop structure in the first and early second century?

The New Testament evidence itself seems to favor a plurality of elders as the standard model. The book of Acts tells us that as the apostles planted churches, they appointed “elders” (from the Greek term ???????????) to oversee them (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2; 20:17). Likewise, Titus is told to “appoint elders in every town” (Titus 1:5).

A very similar word, ???,??o??? (“bishop” or “overseer”), is used in other contexts to describe what appears to be the same ruling office (Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-7). The overlap between these two terms is evident in Acts 20:28 when Paul, while addressing the Ephesian “elders” (????????????), declares that “The Holy Spirit has made you overseers (??????????).” Thus, the New Testament writings indicate that the office of elder/bishop is functionally one and the same.

But, what about the church after the New Testament? Did they maintain the model of multiple elders? Three quick examples suggest they maintained this structure at least for a little while:

1. At one point, the Didache addresses the issue of church government directly, “And so, elect for yourselves bishops (??????????) and deacons who are worthy of the Lord, gentle men who are not fond of money, who are true and approved” (15.1). It is noteworthy that the author mentions plural bishops—not a single ruling bishop—and that he places these bishops alongside the office of deacon, as Paul himself does (e.g., Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-13). Thus, as noted above, it appears that the bishops described here are essentially equivalent to the office of “elder.”

2. A letter known as 1 Clement (c.96) also has much to say about early church governance. This letter is attributed to a “Clement”—whose identity remains uncertain—who represents the church in Rome and writes to the church at Corinth to deal with the fallout of a recent turnover in leadership. The author is writing to convince (not command) the Corinthians to reinstate its bishops (elders) who were wrongly deposed. The letter affirms the testimony of the book of Acts when it tells us that the apostles initially appointed “bishops (??????????) and deacons” in the various churches they visited (42.4). After the time of the apostles, bishops were appointed “by other reputable men with the entire church giving its approval” (44.3). This is an echo of the Didache which indicated that bishops were elected by the church.

3. The Shepherd of Hermas (c.150) provides another confirmation of this governance structure in the second century. After Hermas writes down the angelic vision in a book, he is told, “you will read yours in this city, with the presbyters who lead the church” (Vis. 8.3).Here we are told that the church leadership structure is a plurality of “presbyters” (???????????) or elders. The author also uses the term “bishop,” but always in the plural and often alongside the office of deacon (Vis. 13.1; Sim. 104.2).

In sum, the NT texts and texts from the early second century indicate that a plurality of elders was the standard structure in the earliest stages. But, as noted above, the idea of a singular bishop began to dominate by the end of the second century.

What led to this transition? Most scholars argue that it was the heretical battles fought by the church in the second century that led them to turn to key leaders to defend and represent the church.

This transition is described remarkably well by Jerome himself:

The presbyter is the same as the bishop, and before parties had been raised up in religion by the provocations of Satan, the churches were governed by the Senate of the presbyters. But as each one sought to appropriate to himself those whom he had baptized, instead of leading them to Christ, it was appointed that one of the presbyters, elected by his colleagues, should be set over all the others, and have chief supervision over the general well-being of the community. . . Without doubt it is the duty of the presbyters to bear in mind that by the discipline of the Church they are subordinated to him who has been given them as their head, but it is fitting that the bishops, on their side, do not forget that if they are set over the presbyters, it is the result of tradition, and not by the fact of a particular institution by the Lord (Comm. Tit. 1.7).

Jerome’s comments provide a great summary of this debate. While the single-bishop model might have developed for practical reasons, the plurality of elders model seems to go back to the very beginning.