Category Archives: Quotes

Born Again

 

“In the mid-1970s, Charles Colson, an adviser to President Nixon who became embroiled in the Watergate scandal, was converted to Christ and wrote a book titled Born Again, which sold millions of copies. A few years later, President Carter revealed that he was a “born-again Christian.” Suddenly, the words “born again” became part of the nomenclature of American culture. Many people began to call themselves “born-again Christians”. That term, however, is a kind of stuttering, because “born-again Christian” is really a redundancy. It’s like speaking about “an unmarried bachelor” or “three-sided triangle.” All bachelors are unmarried and all triangles have three sides. The simple reality is this:  everyone who is truly a Christian is born again. There’s no such thing as a non-born-again Christian or an unregenerate Christian. Yes, there are plenty of unregenerate church members and plenty of unregenerate people who profess to be Christians, but a person cannot be in Christ unless he or she is regenerate. By the same token, if you are regenerate, you are a Christian.

…there is an absolute requirement that must be met if a person is to enter God’s kingdom. A person must be changed by God; the disposition of his heart, which by nature does not want to do God’s bidding, must be altered by God the Holy Spirit. Man’s natural tendency is to flee from the presence of God and to have no affection for the biblical Christ. Therefore, if you have in your heart today any affection for Christ at all, it is because God the Holy Spirit in His sweetness, in His power, in His mercy, and in His grace has been to the cemetery of your soul and has raised you from the dead. So you are now alive to the things of Christ and you rejoice in the kingdom into which He has brought you.”

~ R.C. Sproul,  John (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:3-8

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Should Christians read non-Christian books?

 

Should Christians read non-Christian books? I would say yes, but I’m young and you probably shouldn’t heed too much of what I say. However, there are several old, and very much dead church leaders who have said the same thing. Perhaps you should listen to them. (Please do note that when Calvin says “profane authors” he does not mean raunchy romance writers, but merely thoughtful non-Christian writers.)

“Therefore, in reading profane authors, the admirable light of truth displayed in them should remind us that the human mind, however much fallen and perverted from its original integrity, is still adorned and invested with admirable gifts from its Creator. If we reflect that the Spirit of God is the only fountain of truth, we will be careful, as we would avoid offering insults to him, not to reject or condemn truth wherever it appears. In despising gifts, we insult the giver.” ~ John Calvin

“All truth is from God; and consequently, if wicked men have said anything that is true and just,  we ought not reject it; for it has come from God. Besides, all things are of God; and, therefore, why should it not be lawful to dedicate to his glory everything that can properly be employed for such a purpose.” ~ John Calvin

“All branches of heathen learning have not only false and superstitious fancies and heavy burdens of unnecessary toil, which every one of us, when going out under the leadership of Christ from the fellowship of the heathen, ought to abhor and avoid; but they contain also liberal instruction which is better adapted to the use of truth, and some most excellent precepts of morality; and some truths in regard even to the worship of the One God are found among them.” ~ Augustine of Hippo

“Heathen learning is not unprofitable for the soul…”~ Basil of Caesarea

“For the journey of this life eternal I would advise you to husband resources, leaving no stone unturned, as the proverb has it, whence you might derive aid.” ~ Basil of Caesarea


John Owen – Labor to Fill Your Hearts with the Cross of Christ

As to the object of your affections, in a special manner, let it be the cross of Christ, which has exceeding efficacy toward the disappointment of the whole work of indwelling sin: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). The cross of Christ he gloried and rejoiced in; this his heart was set upon; and these were the effects of it—it crucified the world unto him, made it a dead and undesirable thing. The baits and pleasures of sin are taken all of them out of the world, and the things that are in the world— namely, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” These are the things that are in the world; from these does sin take all its baits, whereby it entices and entangles our souls. If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesirableness upon them all; it leaves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure or comeliness, in them. Again, says he, “It crucifies me to the world; makes my heart, my affections, my desires, dead unto any of these things.” It roots up corrupt lusts and affections, leaves no principle to go forth and make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Labor, therefore, to fill your hearts with the cross of Christ. Consider the sorrows he underwent, the curse he bore, the blood he shed, the cries he put forth, the love that was in all this to your souls, and the mystery of the grace of God therein. Meditate on the vileness, the demerit, and punishment of sin as rep resented in the cross, the blood, the death of Christ. Is Christ crucified for sin, and shall not our hearts be crucified with him unto sin? Shall we give enter tainment unto that, or hearken unto its dalliances, which wounded, which pierced, which slew our dear Lord Jesus? God forbid! Fill your affections with the cross of Christ, that there may be no room for sin. The world once put him out of the house into a stable, when he came to save us; let him now turn the world out of doors, when he is come to sanctify us.

~John Owen


The saint most ripe for heaven…

The saint most ripe for heaven is the most aware of his own shortcomings. —C.H. Spurgeon


Is the doctrine of election really that important?

“Although this may be said to be the turning point between these great systems, which have divided the Church in all ages, yet that point of necessity involves all the other mattes of difference; namely, the nature of original sin; the motive of God in providing redemption; the nature and design of the work of Christ; and the nature of divine grace, or the work of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in a great measure, the whole system of theology, and of necessity, the character of our religion, depend upon the view taken of this particular question. It is, therefore, a question of the highest practical importance, and not a matter of idle speculation.”

~ Charles Hodge


Are You Controlled By the Future?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“Take no thought for the morrow,’ means ‘Do not be guilty of anxious thoughts about the morrow’. It does not mean that you do not take any thought at all, otherwise the farmer would not plough and harrow and sow. He is looking to the future, but he does not spend the whole of his time wondering and worrying about the end results of his work. No, he takes reasonable thought and then he leaves it.

Here again the whole question is where to draw the line. Thinking is right up to a point, but if you go beyond that point it becomes worry and anxiety and it paralyzes and cripples. In other words, although it is very right to think about the future, it is very wrong to be controlled by it.

The difficulty with people who are prey to these fears is that they are controlled by the future, they are dominated by thoughts of it, and there they are wringing their hands, doing nothing, depressed by fears about it. In fact, they are completely governed and mastered by the unknown future, and that is always wrong. To take thought is right, but to be controlled by the future is all wrong.”

Spiritual Depression


Do You Bleed Bibline?

Charles Spurgeon:

Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.

I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.

—”Mr. Spurgeon as a Literary Man,” in The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, Compiled from His Letters, Diaries, and Records by His Wife and Private Secretary