Steve Lawson Quotes

Much to ponder here from Dr. Steve Lawson’s twitter feed:

Jesus is eternally God, perfectly man, the God-man, the only One who could be the Mediator between God and man.

To those who preach: You are the mouthpiece for the biblical text. You have nothing apart from the text. Let the text talk.

When Jesus calls us to follow Him, He sets the terms. There is no room for negotiation. Either we follow, or we do not, and follow we must.

We can never be half in, half out in following Christ. Either we are following or we are not.

A preacher is not ready to preach until he is ready to die.

There is no knowledge of God apart from knowing Jesus Christ. The Son has an exclusive monopoly on knowing the Father.

To those who preach: You may not preach in the biggest church in town, but you can preach the biggest God in town.

No one ever influenced the world with the gospel who did not suffer for the gospel.

Our life is not about being comfortable, but about being committed to make Christ known.

At the cross, the worst about us–our sin–was laid upon Christ, and the best about Him–His righteousness–was laid upon us.

The gospel has not been crafted by any church, drafted by any denomination, nor scripted by any seminary, but has come down from God Himself.

God must grant saving faith. The new birth precedes faith, and it produces faith.

Gospel ministry requires thick skin and a tender heart.

A high view of God leads to a humble view of self. A low view of God leads to a haughty view of self.

The doctrine of sovereign election guarantees the success of our evangelism around the world.

Theology, which is the proper study of God, should always lead to doxology, the proper worship of God.

The road that leads to life is narrow, demanding, and sparsely traveled, but is paved with abundant blessings and takes us home.

When the Bible speaks, God speaks–inerrantly, infallibly, and powerfully.

There is no heart God cannot conquer. There is no life He cannot change. There is no past He cannot forgive.

Jesus will not ride in anyone’s backseat. He must be behind the steering wheel, driving, or He is not along for the ride.

A Christian no longer lives for self but for Christ, yet is convicted, grieved, and repents when he fails to do so.

In the minister, God values godliness over giftedness, humility over popularity, and substance over the size of his following.

If we do not discipline ourselves, God Himself will discipline us. One way or another, there will be discipline.

Those of you who preach: Start with the text, stay with the text, support it with other texts, and then stress the relevance of the text.

To those who preach: Go where the text goes. Say what the text says. Promise what the text promises. Warn what the text warns.

Repentance is far more than a mere change of mind, but a change of heart and will that changes the life.

You are either at peace with God or at war with Him. There is no middle ground. Continue reading

Miscellaneous Quotes (111)

“Much of the evangelical preaching with which I am familiar inspires neither a terror of God’s righteousness nor praise for the depths of God’s grace in His gift of righteousness.” – Dr. Michael Horton

“First, we bid a man to begin by examining himself, and this not in a superficial and perfunctory manner, but to cite his conscience before the tribunal of God, and when sufficiently convinced of his iniquity, to reflect on the strictness of the sentence pronounced on all sinners. This confounded and amazed at his misery, he is prostrated and humbled before God; and, casting away all self-confidence, groans as if given up to final perdition. Then we must show that the only haven of safety is in the mercy of God, as manifested in Christ, in whom every part of our salvation is complete. As all mankind are, in the sight of God, lost sinners, we hold that Christ is their only righteousness, since, by His obedience, He has wiped off our transgressions; by His sacrifice, appeased the divine anger.” – John Calvin

“We shall all do well to remember the charge: ‘Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.’ (Heb. 10:25). Never to be absent from God’s house on Sundays, without good reason – never to miss the Lord’s Supper when administered in our own congregation – never to let our place be empty when means of grace are going on, this is one way to be a growing and prosperous Christian.

The very sermon that we needlessly miss, may contain a precious word in season for our souls. The very assembly for prayer and praise from which we stay away, may be the very gathering that would have cheered, established, and revived our hearts. We know very little how dependent our spiritual health is on little, regular, habitual helps, and how much we suffer if we miss our medicine.” – J.C. Ryle

“…the findings of modern science are confirming the biblical material that complexity and intelligence are basic building blocks in the universe. Professor Michael Behe has shown that Darwin did not have the tools to observe what we can observe today on the biochemical level, and what we do observe establishes that the fundamental tenets of Darwinian evolution (i.e., random mutations over long periods of time) are insufficient to generate even the ‘simple’ complexity seen in the most basic life forms.” – Craig A. Parton

“Pastors today face a tremendous amount of pressure to do everything but preach the Word. Church growth experts tell them they must address people’s ‘felt needs.’ They are encouraged to be storytellers, comedians, psychologists, and motivational speakers. They are warned to steer clear of topics that people find unpleasant. Many have given up biblical preaching in favor of devotional homilies designed to make people feel good. Some have even replaced preaching with drama and other forms of staged entertainment. But the pastor whose passion is biblical has only one option: ‘Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction’ (2 Timothy 4:2).” – John MacArthur

The proud says: Who is God that I should consider Him?
The humble says: Who is God that He should consider me?

“The first thing the sinner needs is life. He cannot ask for life, for he is dead. God gives him life, and he proves that he has it by believing the gospel. Quickening is the first step. It is the first thing that happens. I do not ask to be quickened. If I asked to be quickened I would not need to be quickened. I would already have life.” – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Ephesians – God’s Way Of Reconciliation)

“I cannot agree with those who say that they have ‘new truth’ to teach. The two words seem to me to contradict each other; that which is new is not true. It is the old that is true, for truth is as old as God.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.” – John Calvin

“Thank God for the bucket orchid, a great example of our Intelligent Biblical Designer. The surface of the orchid’s petal is slimy, causing bees to slip & fall into the bucket of the flower where the only way of escape is thru a tunnel that leads outside. But, after entering the tunnel, the walls contract & hold the bee while the plant glues a pollen sack to its back. Once the glue dries, the bee is released & when it flies to another bucket orchid, the process is repeated (it’s probably thinking, De Ja Vu, didn’t I just go thru this?) but this time a hook removes the pollen sack, completing the pollination process. Wow! Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day & put your faith in our Intelligent Biblical Designer.” – Russ Miller

“Trials are God’s unannounced exams to see how we are doing in the school of faith.
Justification and sanctification are inseparably bound together. Entering through the narrow gate can only lead down the narrow path.
To those who preach: Either put some fire into your sermons or put your sermons into the fire.
The cost of discipleship is never marked down, never discounted, never cheapened. Following Christ always requires the high price of being a living sacrifice.” – Steve Lawson

“Forgiveness does not mean one forgets (as in, has the ability to remember no more) the offense, but that is spite of the memory, one erases the debt.” – Voddie Baucham

“I should be surprised to see an Agnostic lay down his life for the defence of nothing.” – Charles Spurgeon

“From every little village in England—it does not matter where it is—there is sure to be a road to London. Though there may not be a road to certain other places, there is certain to be a road to London. Now, from every text in the Bible there is a road to Jesus Christ…” – Charles Spurgeon (How to Read the Bible)

“Up with you, men and Christians! Publish Christ again. The only way to put this false fire out is with the old fire of the gospel; men fear that fire. Put down the new heresy with the old orthodoxy. Bring out Christ crucified. Cry again, with Luther’s earnestness, ‘Believe and live!’ Cry again, with Calvinistic determination, ‘Salvation is all of grace, of grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ.’ I would to God that we might all preach thus. If we had but all our church-members resolved to testify the gospel of the grace of God, then should we see men hearing; then should we find men believing; and men believing are men saved.” Spurgeon, C. H. (1893). The Whole Machinery of Salvation. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 39, p. 463).

“Faith is nothing but the instrument of our salvation. Nowhere in Scripture will you find that we are justified because of our faith; nowhere in Scripture will you find that we are justified on account of our faith. The Scripture says that we are justified by faith or through faith. Faith is nothing but the instrument or the channel by which this righteousness of God in Christ becomes ours. It is not faith that saves us. What saves us is the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect work. It is the death of Christ upon Calvary’s Cross that saves us. It is His perfect life that saves us. It is His appealing on our behalf in the presence of God that saves us. It is God putting Christ’s righteousness to our account that saves us. That is the righteousness that saves; faith is but the channel and the instrument by which His righteousness becomes mine. The righteousness is entirely Christ’s. My faith is not my righteousness and I must never think of faith as righteousness. Faith is nothing but that which links us to the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness.” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“The only one who can produce genuine repentance in your soul is God.” – R.C. Sproul Continue reading

Miscellaneous Quotes (109)

“..we make the Holy Scriptures the canon and the rule of every dogma; we of necessity look upon that, and receive alone that which may be made conformable to the intention of those writings.” (On the Soul and Resurrection).” – Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395)

“God has never looked into the future and learned anything.” –
Steve Lawson

“Either sin is lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God – and if it is resting on Christ, you are free.” – Martin Luther

“We shall never be clothed in the righteousness of Christ except we first know assuredly that we have no righteousness of our own.” – John Calvin

“We cannot be unjustified any more than Christ can be uncrucified.” – Burk Parsons

“Regeneration and conversion are two sides of the same coin. Regeneration is God’s sovereign activity by the Holy Spirit in the soul of one who is spiritually dead in sin. Regeneration is the implantation of new life in the soul. Regeneration gives the gifts of repentance and faith. On the other side of the coin, conversion is the response of the one who is regenerated. Regeneration is the cause, and conversion is the effect.” – Steve Lawson

“Christ reigns whenever he subdues the world to Himself by the preaching of His word.” – John Calvin

H. Richard Niebuhr famously described the liberal theology of the 1930s with this statement: “A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

“Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.” – John MacArthur

“True repentance is displeasure at sin, arising out of fear and reverence for God, and producing, at the same time, a love and desire of righteousness.” – John Calvin

“You will never turn from a sin you don’t hate.” – Jen Wilkin Continue reading

Quotes on the Church

quotes“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.” – John Calvin

“I well remember how I joined the church after my conversion. I forced myself into it by telling the pastor, who was lax and slow, after I had called four or five times and could not see him, that I had done my duty, and if he did not see me and interview me for church membership, I would call a church meeting myself and tell them I believed in Christ and ask them if they would have me.” – Charles Spurgeon

“The church, as defined by the Word of God, is a group of Christians who dedicate themselves to meeting together for the regular preaching of the Word of God; who submit themselves to biblical eldership; who regularly celebrate the ordinances of the church (baptism and the Lord’s Supper); and who practice and submit themselves to church discipline as laid out in Scripture.” – Wayne Mack

“Scripture speaks very clearly to the fact that identification with God’s people in a formal, public way was considered essential. A careful study of the New Testament reveals not even a hint of any believer who was truly saved, but not part of a local church.” – Wayne Mack

“To unite with the Church is to take one’s place among the followers of the Master. It is a public act. It is a confession of Christ before men. It is not a profession of superior saintliness. On the other hand, it is a distinct avowal of personal sinfulness and unworthiness. Those who seek admission into the church come as sinners, needing and accepting the mercy of God and depending upon the atonement of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. They come confessing Christ. They have heard his call, “Follow me,” and have responded. Uniting with the Church is taking a place among the friends of Christ; it is coming out from the world to be on Christ’s side. There are but two parties among men. ‘He who is not with me is against me,’ said Jesus. The Church consists of those who are with Christ. This suggests one of the reasons why those who love Christ should take their place in the Church. By so doing they declare to all the world where they stand—and cast all the influence of their life and example on Christ’s side.” – J.R. Miller

“The man who attempts Christianity without the church shoots himself in the foot, shoots his children in the leg, and shoots his grandchildren in the heart.” Kevin DeYoung

Miscellaneous Quotes (108)

quotes“Our faith in Christ does not free us from works, but from false opinions concerning works, from the foolish presumption that justification is acquired by works.” – Martin Luther

“Faith does not depend on miracles, or on any extraordinary sign, but is the peculiar gift of the Spirit, and is produced by means of the Word.” – John Calvin

“I believe that Christ came into the world not to put men into a salvable state, but into a saved state. Not to put them where they could save themselves, but to do the work in them and for them, from first to last. If I did not believe that there was might going forth with the word of Jesus which makes men willing, and which turns them from the error of their ways by the mighty, overwhelming, constraining force of divine influence, I should cease to glory in the cross of Christ.” – C. H. Spurgeon, Sermons Vol 3 p.34

“It is no more narrow to claim that one religion is right than to claim that your way to think about all religions is right.” – Timothy J. Keller

“Many who claim the name of Christ would rather live peacefully on the reservation than disturb the world with the good news.” – R. C. Sproul

“Do you not imagine that your preaching priorities would become clear under persecution? After all, if you are forced to meet with your congregation in a catacomb, and if you know that you might be arrested at any time, you are going to weigh every word. There is not going to be any time for pulpit frivolity. There is not going to be any time to promote the next youth program. You are going to be concerned with getting down to the reality of the eternal Word of God.” – Albert Mohler

“No man-pleaser preaches the whole counsel of God.” – R.C. Sproul

“So completely was Jesus bent upon saving sinners by the sacrifice of Himself, that He created the tree upon which He was to die–and nurtured from infancy, the men who were to nail Him to the accursed wood!” – Octavius Winslow

“God answers the prayer we ought to have made rather than the prayer we did make.” – J.I. Packer

“The Law tells us what to do. The Gospel tells us what God has done for us in Christ.” – Michael Horton

“The wisdom of God has ordained a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the justice of God.” – John Piper

“Never be absent from God’s house on Sundays, without good reason,—never to miss the Lord’s Supper when administered in our own congregation,—never to let our place be empty when means of grace are going on, this is one way to be a growing and prosperous Christian. The very sermon that we needlessly miss, may contain a precious word in season for our souls. The very assembly for prayer and praise from which we stay away, may be the very gathering that would have cheered, and established, and quickened our hearts.” – J. C. Ryle

“Now, wherever you hear or see this Word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do not doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica (Christian holy people) must be there… And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s Word cannot be without God’s people and, conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s Word.” – Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church Continue reading

The Most Important Thing Happening in the World

quotes“What is the really important thing that is happening in the world in our generation? Where are the really significant events taking place? What is the most important thing? Where do you need to look in the modern world to see the most significant event from a divine perspective? Where is the focus of God’s activity in history?

The most significant thing happening in history is the calling, redeeming, and perfecting of the people of God. God is building the church of Jesus Christ. The rest of history is simply a stage God erects for that purpose. He is calling out a people. He is perfecting them. He is changing them. History’s great climax comes when God brings down the curtain on this bankrupt world and the Lord Jesus Christ arrives in his infinite glory. The rest of history is simply the scaffolding for the real work.”

– Eric Alexander, ‘The Application of Redemption,’ in To Glorify and Enjoy God: A Commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the Westminster Assembly, ed, John L. Carson and David W. Hall (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994), 245

Who is this One?

Richard Barcellos:

The riddle to be solved is how and who brings the sin-stained, cursed creation to its new state of existence? The answer is the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), the son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1), the lion of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:9; Num. 24:9; Rev. 5:5), the one from Jacob who shall have dominion (Num. 24:19; Gen. 1:28; Zech. 9:9-10). He is the prophet greater than Moses (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22, 7:37), one greater than Joshua, the son of David (Matt. 1:1), the child of the virgin (Isa. 7:14; Micah 5:3; Matt. 1:23), the child born who governs the kingdom of David (Isa. 9:6-7; Mark 11:10; Luke 1:32-33). He is the branch of the LORD who will build the temple of the LORD and sit and rule on his throne as a priest (Jer. 33:14-15; Isa. 4:2; 11:1-2 [John 1:32 echoes Isa. 11:2]; 53:2; Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 6:11-13), the righteous, suffering servant of the LORD (Isa. 53). He is the embodiment of all that Israel was not (i.e., a faithful son of God). He is the one who went forth for the LORD “to be ruler in Israel,” whose “goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2), “the Lord, whom you seek, [who] suddenly [came] to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1; Luke 1:76). He is the one conceived of the Holy Spirit named “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21), “’IMMANUEL,’ which translated means, “GOD WITH US” (Matt. 1:23, citing or collating Isa. 7:14; 8:10; and 9:6). He is the Son of God called out of Egypt (Matt. 2:15; Hos. 11:1; Exod. 4:22-23), the one “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1). He is the one who said, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18b), the one who said, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning” (Luke 10:18) and “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31), “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), “the Word [who] became flesh” (John 1:14a), “the son of God” (John 1:34). He is the one who both cleansed the temple of God and claimed to be the temple of God (John 2:16-22; Mal. 3:1), the one who said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore . . .” (Matt. 28:18-19a). He is the one who suffered then entered into glory according to the Old Testament Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27, 44-46; Acts 26:22-23; 1 Pet. 1:10-12), the one who has “all things in subjection under His feet,” who is “head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22), the church being “a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 1:21), “a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 1:22), and “the household of God” (1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:1-6). He is the agent through whom “many sons [are brought] to glory” (Heb. 2:10), who is coming again that those he has called “may gain [his] glory” (2 Thess. 3:14), who will usher in “new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13). He is the one who was sent by the Father in “the fullness of the time . . . born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem” and “that [the redeemed] might receive the adoption as sons” and received the gift of the Spirit (Gal. 4:4-6). In other words, the one who brings the sin-stained, cursed creation to its new state of existence is our Lord Jesus Christ, the skull-crushing seed of the woman, the incarnate Son of God (for us and for our salvation). He is the second man, the last Adam, the Lord of glory, who is coming again to raise the dead, condemn the wicked, and make all things new. He does these things by virtue of his sufferings and glory.

Miscellaneous Quotes (107)

quotes“If private revelations agree with Scripture, they are needless, and if they disagree they are false.” – John Owen

“So when the Devil throws your sins in your face, and declares that you deserve death and Hell, tell him this: I admit that I deserve death and Hell, what of it? For I know one who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God. Where He is there I shall be also!” – Martin Luther

“Unless, by the grace of God, you are willing give up all hope in yourself, all trust in your own morality, all pride in your own goodness, all trust in your good works, your praying, church attending and bible reading then you do not yet know Christ, nor have you experienced forgiveness from God. It is only when the Spirit grants a sinner such a sight of the holiness, beauty and majesty of God that he immediately despairs of all hope in himself … such that he flees out of himself and he trusts, rather, in Christ alone … he is the one who experiences the pardon of God. For Christ alone is worthy, righteous, and died in the place of all sinners who trust in Him.” – John Hendryx

“Do you think Jesus Christ is only for little sinners? Is He a doctor who only heals finger-aches? Beloved, it is not faith to trust Christ when I have no sin, but it is true faith when I am foul, and black, and filthy; when during the day I have tripped up and fallen, and done serious damage to my joy and peace—to go back again to that dear fountain and say, “Lord, I never loved washing as much before as I do tonight, for today I have made a fool of myself; I have said and done what I ought not to have done, and I am ashamed and full of confusion, but I believe Christ can save me, even me, and by His grace I will rest in Him still.” – C. H. Spurgeon

“The saving power of faith resides thus not in itself, but in the Almighty Savior on whom it rests. It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith, or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith. We could not more radically misconceive it than by transferring to faith even the smallest fraction of that saving energy which is attributed in the Scriptures wholly to Christ Himself.’ – Benjamin B. Warfield

“Two of the rarest sights are a young man who is humble and an old man who is content.” – J.C. Ryle

“Hell is eternity in the presence of God. Heaven is eternity in the presence of God with a Mediator.” – Roderick A. Finlayson

“God speaks through the Scriptures. He speaks with the Word, through the Word, and never against the Word.” – R. C. Sproul

Faith – the Gift of God

but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration.” – John Calvin

“The entire work of salvation is God’s work exclusively; nothing derives from humans, it is all pure grace.” – Herman Bavinck

“The reason that the brilliant minds do not accept Christianity is that all minds are blind, unless they are regenerated.” – Edwin Palmer

“If I was not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows.” – John Newton

“The Arminian says ‘I owe my election to my faith.’ The Calvinist says, ‘I owe my faith to my election.’” – J. I. Packer

Acts 13: 48; 16:14; Eph 2:8, 9; Phil 1:29

The Gospel Cannot Be A Product

if followed, empties the truth out of the gospel. First, the needs consumers have are needs they identify for themselves. The needs sinners have are needs God identifies for us, and the way we see our needs is rather different from the way he sees them. We suppress the truth about God, holding it down in ‘unrighteousness’ (Rom. 1:18). We are not subject to his moral law and in our fallenness are incapable of being obedient to it (Rom. 8:7), so how likely is it, outside the intervention of God through the Holy Spirit, that we will identify our needs as those arising from our rebellion against God?

No, the product we will seek naturally will not be the gospel. It will be a therapy of some kind, a technique for life, perhaps a way of connecting more deeply with our own spiritual selves on our own terms, terms that require no repentance and no redemption. It will not be the gospel. The gospel cannot be a product that the church sells because there are no consumers for it. When we find consumers, we will find that what they are interested in buying, on their own terms, is not the gospel.”

–David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 52-3.