Wit and Wisdom

Various bits of wit and wisdom I thought important enough to collect on this page. On my Christian history site, I have collections of quotes from early Christians on over 100 subjects.

A special thanks to Revival List. Most of the quotes for which I do not give sources come from them.

I don't have quotes to fill the whole alphabet yet, but we'll get there.
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M  
N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

A

Anabaptists

  • A 16th century man who did not drink to excess, curse, or abuse his workmen or family could be suspected of being an Anabaptist and thus persecuted. ("Fascinating Facts About the Anabaptists". Accessed May 4, 2015. Italics in original.)

Assurance

  • Children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in action and truth. By this we are knowing we are from the truth, and before him we shall be persuading our hearts. (1 Jn. 3:19)
  • Heart-suffering because of sin is the best proof that the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart. (Johann Arndt)

Atonement

  • But our Lord was trampled on by Death; and in His turn trod out a way over Death. This is He Who made Himself subject to and endured death of His own will, that He might cast down death against his will. For our Lord bare His cross and went forth according to the will of Death:but He cried upon the cross and brought forth the dead from within Sheol against the will of Death. For in that very thing by which Death had slain Him, in that as armor He bore off the victory over Death. But the Godhead concealed itself in the manhood and fought against Death, Death slew and was slain. Death slew the natural life; and the supernatural life slew Him. (Ephraim the Syrian. First Homily. "On Our Lord." Par. 3. c. AD 360.)

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B

Baptism

  • See also water baptism quotes on my Christian history site.
  • I am obliged to take God's Word as I find it, and here I read these words of our Lord Jesus Christ, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
       "Do not dwell on the baptism," says one; "leave that out." That is what you say, my dear Sir; I cannot see your face, but I do not believe that you are my master. My Master is the Lord who taught holy men to write this Book, and I can only go by the Book; the Book has the baptism in it, so I must stick to the truth as it is in the Book: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Charles Spurgeon)

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C

Communication

  • The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. (George Bernard Shaw. Cited by Joyce, Declan (Ed.). (2011, 2012). University Success: E2. Phoenix, AZ: Grand Canyon University Media.)

Condition of the Modern Christianity

  • I doubt that more than two percent of professing Christians in the United States are truly born again. (Leonard Ravenhill, d. 1994)
  • I see no hope for a revival among God´s people today. They are so enamored and so cluttered up with Hollywood and newspapers and magazines and parties and bowling alleys and camping trips and everything else. How in the world are they going to get still long enough to see anything from God? (Lester Roloff)

Counterfeit Christianity

  • Satan is not fighting churches; he is joining them. He does moreharm by sowing tares than by pulling up wheat. He accomplishes more by imitation than by outright opposition. (Vance Havner)

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D

Devil

  • Satan is not fighting churches; he is joining them. He does moreharm by sowing tares than by pulling up wheat. He accomplishes more by imitation than by outright opposition. (Vance Havner)

Discipleship

  • We only have to serve God for two minutes. This one and the next one. (Paul Pavao)
  • May the fire in my heart melt the lead in my feet. (Unknown)

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E

Early Church Fathers

  • Can any who spend several years in those seats of learning, be excused if they do not add to that the reading of the Fathers the most authentic commentators on Scripture, as being both nearest the fountain, eminently endued with that Spirit by whom all Scripture was given. It will be easily perceived, I speak chiefly of those who wrote before the council of Nicea. (John Wesley).

Endurance

  • When your heart is weak, and the way seems long, his love is strong. (Heritage Homestead Singers)

Evangelism

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F

Faith: Faith and Works

  • Unless people know the works required of them by God, they will not seek the power to do them. (Paul Pavao)

Faith: True Faith

  • For what benefit is it to know the truth in words, and to pollute the body with evil works? (Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching. Transl. Robinson, Armitage D.D. Published by Macmillan Co. Put online by Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Thank you to Matthew Bryan, author of Forgotten Gospel, for updating the quotes to more modern English.)

Flesh

  • Yet these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling our lives. Our desires for sex, for material and emotional security, and for an important place in society often tyrannize us. When thus out of joint, man's natural desires cause him great trouble, practically all the trouble there is. No human being, however good, is exempt from these troubles. Nearly every serious emotional problem can be seen as a case of misdirected instinct.(Acoholics Anonymous. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. 1953. Reprint. New York, NY:Alcoholic Anonymous World Services, Inc, 2012. Step 4, p. 42. Retrieved August 18, 2016 from http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/twelve-steps-and-twelve-traditions)

Food

  • Do not be carried away with various strange doctrines because it is good for the heart to be established by grace, not by food, which has not profited those who live their life in such things. (Heb. 13:9)

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G

Giving

  • But what is the common talk [of the rich]? "He has," they say, "the common allowance." What is that to you? For you will not be saved because I give, nor if the church bestows have you blotted out your own sins. Is it for this reason that you don't give, because the church ought to give to the needy? Because the priests pray, will you never pray yourself? And because others fast, will you be continually drunk? Do you not know that God did enacted almsgiving not so much for the sake of the poor as for the sake of the persons themselves who bestow? (John Chrysostom. Homilies on First Corithians. Homily XXII.)

Goals

  • Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll show you a man who will make history, but give me a man without a goal and I'll show you a stock clerk. (J.C. Penney. Cited by Boe, J. (2011). SMART goals keep you focused. Senior Market Advisor, 12(6), 62.)

Gospel

  • Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. (John R. W. Stott. Basic Christianity.)
  • He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. He that does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. (Jesus. Matthew 10:37-38. Holy Bible.)
  • If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, and siblings—yes, and his own life as well—he cannot be my disciple. ... So likewise, whoever it is who does not forsake all his possessions cannot be my disciple. (Jesus. Luke 14:26,33. Holy Bible)

Grace

  • For there are certain men who crept in without notice, men who were of old appointed to this condemnation, ungodly men who turn the grace of our God into loose living and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus the Anointed One. (Jude 4. Holy Bible.)
  • The grace of God—the grace that saves everyone—has appeared, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age. (Apostle Paul. Titus 2:11-12. Holy Bible.)
  • Sin shall not rule you because you are not under law but under grace. (Apostle Paul. Romans 6:14. Holy Bible)
  • Let everyone, in the way he has received a gift, be serving it to one another as good stewards of the changeful/multifarious grace of God. (Apostle Peter. First Peter 4:10. Holy Bible.)
  • Grace does not empower God to overlook sin, it empowers us to overcome sin. (Paul Pavao)
  • Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God's grace never encourages us to live in sin, on the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth. (Randy Alcorn)

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H

Holiness

  • Michael W. Holmes writes in his introduction to the letter, "For [Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, writing AD 125-150], orthopraxy is the other side of the coin of orthodoxy; if the community is behaving properly, it is also likely believing properly." (George Aldhizer citing Holmes, Michael W. The Apostolic Fathers in English. [Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006])
  • And if anyone, on a candid consideration of these things, shall admit that no improvement ever takes place among men without divine help, how much more confidently shall he make the same assertion regarding Jesus, when he compares the former lives of many converts to His doctrine with their after-conduct, and reflects in what acts of licentiousness and injustice and covetousness they formerly indulged, until, as Celsus, and they who think with him, allege, "They were deceived," and accepted a doctrine which, as these individuals assert, is destructive of the life of men; but who, from the time that they adopted it, have become in some way meeker, and more religious, and more consistent, so that certain among them, from a desire of exceeding chastity, and a wish to worship God with greater purity, abstain even from the permitted indulgences of [lawful] love.(Origen. Against Celsus. I:26. c. AD 230)
  • When holiness loses its sweetness it is a fierce thing to come in contact with. (Frank Bartleman)
  • God wants your life to be like His Son’s life. He wants it to be pure and holy. He wants to talk to you. He wants to use you. But you are the limiting factor… What do you mean, you ask? I mean that He has called you and equipped you for ministry, for His service but you are the limiting factor in how much, how far, how fast and when His service is implemented. We all grow at different rates and there are a lot of factors that contribute to that growth rate. You must come to the point in your spiritual journey that you allow God to do His good will and pleasure in your life. It is true: Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So it is also true: Whosoever will surrender to the Lord will be used. (Robert Maynard—my father-in-law)
  • What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace. (John Wesley)
  • It is perilously easy to have amazing sympathy with God's truth and remain in sin. (Oswald Chambers)
  • Taking it easy is often the prelude to backsliding. Comfort precedes collapse. (Vance Havner)

Humility

  • I have great knowledge in God, but I restrain myself, lest, I should perish through boasting. For now it is needful for me to be the more fearful; and not give heed to those that puff me up. For they that speak to me [in the way of commendation] scourge me. For I do indeed desire to suffer, but I know not if I be worthy to do so. For this longing, though it is not manifest to many, all the more vehemently assails me. I therefore have need of meekness, by which the prince of this world is brought to nought. (Ignatius. Epistle to the Trallians 4. AD 107 or 116)

Hypocrisy (Lit. "acting";"pretending")

  • For what benefit is it to know the truth in words, and to pollute the body with evil works? (Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching. Transl. Robinson, Armitage D.D. Published by Macmillan Co. Put online by Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Thank you to Matthew Bryan, author of Forgotten Gospel, for updating the quotes to more modern English.)

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J

Judging

  • We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others. (John Wesley)

Judgment

  • To silence a preacher from preaching judgment is like being awoke from sleep by a fire alarm, and just silencing the alarm, and going back to sleep. (unknown)

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K

Knowledge

  • Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge. (John Wesley)

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L

Love

  • Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge. (John Wesley)

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M

Martyrdom

  • I also have a longer list of martyrdom quotes on my Christian history site.
  • It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists' ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy. (Richard Wurmbrand. Tortured for Christ.)

Methodists

  • I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. (John Wesley, founder of Methodism)

Ministry

  • Ministry is the overflow of our relationship with God. (unknown)
  • Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times. (Smith Wigglesworth)
  • A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience. (Leonard Ravenhill)
  • Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth. (John Wesley)
  • Catch on fire and others will love to come watch you burn. (John Wesley)
  • They tell me that I rub the fur the wrong way. I don't; let the cat turn around. (Billy Sunday)
  • I like my way of doing evangelism better than your way of not doing it. (Billy Sunday)
  • I want to preach so plainly that men could come from the factory and not have to bring a dictionary. (Billy Sunday)
  • I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go to glory and it goes to perdition. (Billy Sunday)
  • It is not necessary to be in a big place to do big things. (Billy Sunday)
  • When Holy God draws near in true revival, people come under terrible conviction of sin. The outstanding feature of spiritual awakening has been the profound consciousness of the Presence and holiness of God. (Henry Blackaby)
  • The Jesus that men want to see is not the Jesus they really need to see. (G. Campbell Morgan)
  • It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher. (George Whitefield)
  • Rash preaching, disgusts; timid preaching, leaves poor souls fast asleep; bold preaching is the only preaching that is owned of God. (Rowland Hill)
  • The great reason why we have so little good preaching is that we have so little piety. To be eloquent one must be in earnest; he must not only act as if he were in earnest, or try to be in earnest, but be in earnest. (Charles Spurgeon)
  • Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or cleverness of expression, but operates "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (Arthur Wallis)
  • If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying "Peace, peace," where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love. (Amy Carmichael. If)
  • Unless we have invested a great deal of time in our secret ministry to the Lord then the shallowness of our public ministry will be very evident. Today it is abundantly clear that not enough time is spent ministering to the Lord, and way too much time is spent ministering to people; hence, most of what is done in the name of ministry is performed in a fleshly, human way which never bears any lasting fruit. (Chip Brogden)
  • We all have to come to the realization that, as Jesus said "Apart from me, YOU CAN DO NOTHING". We cannot preach with any effect upon the souls of men at any time or at any place. But it is like falling off a log to Him. For Christ to win souls is a daily occurrence. (Tim Gogerty; cited by Revival School)

Modern Christianity

Money

  • Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can. (John Wesley)
  • When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart. (John Wesley)
  • It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honoured in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean, and despised. (George Mueller)

Money and Ministry

  • Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying; theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken! (Leonard Ravenhill)

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N

New Covenant (way of thinking)

  • I will run in the path of your commandments when you enlarge my heart. (Ps. 119:32)
  • "Behold, the days come," says the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I was a husband to them," says the Lord. "Instead this will be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: after those days," says the Lord, "I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. They will no longer teach their neighbor and their brother to know the Lord because they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them," says the Lord. "I will forgive their sin, and I will remember their iniquity no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

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O

Obedience

  • I will run in the path of your commandments when you enlarge my heart. (Ps. 119:32)

Offense, being Offended, and Offending

  • Will we ever learn that all who come must stumble? (Michael Card. "Scandalon." Song.)

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P

Pastors

Protestant Christianity

  • A 16th century man who did not drink to excess, curse, or abuse his workmen or family could be suspected of being an Anabaptist and thus persecuted. ("Fascinating Facts About the Anabaptists". Accessed May 4, 2015. Italics in original.)
  • Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them. (Vance Havner)

Persecution

  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Rejoice, and be exceptionally glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets which were before you. (Jesus. Matthew 5:11-12.)
  • The only reason some of us are not exiled or thrown into prison is simply because we do not preach as fervently and as sternly as did Paul, John, Peter and others. This modern "santa claus" religion that is sweeping country today is not the religion Jesus taught and John practiced. (Oliver B. Greene)

Perseverance

Prayer

  • Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying; theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken! (Leonard Ravenhill)
  • The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. (Samuel Chadwick)
  • I have so much business to do today that I shall not be able to get through it with less than three hours' prayer. (Martin Luther)
  • We read in the biographies of our forefathers, who were most successful in winning souls, that they prayed for hours in private. The question therefore arises, can we get the same results without following their example? (Oswald J. Smith). [Note: Oswald Smith probably meant other examples, but I would like to point out Jesus, Peter, and Paul as examples.]

Preaching the Gospel

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R

Repentance

  • [I] showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout the coasts of Judea, and to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God and do works suitable for repentance.
  • Many mourn for their sins that do not truly repent of them, weep bitterly for them, and yet continue in love and league with them. (Matthew Henry)
  • Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance. (Matthew Henry)
  • Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as king in self's place. (J.I. Packer)
  • A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today! (Billy Sunday)

Resurrection

  • For our Lord gave His resurrection as a pledge to mortals, that He would remove them from Sheol, which receives the departed without distinction, to the Kingdom which admits the invited with distinction; so that, from [the plan] which makes equal the bodies of all men within it, we may come to [the plan] which distinguishes the works of all men within it. (Ephraim the Syrian. First Homily. "On Our Lord." Par. 1. c. AD 360.)
  • But our Lord was trampled on by Death; and in His turn trod out a way over Death. This is He Who made Himself subject to and endured death of His own will, that He might cast down death against his will. For our Lord bare His cross and went forth according to the will of Death:but He cried upon the cross and brought forth the dead from within Sheol against the will of Death. For in that very thing by which Death had slain Him, in that as armor He bore off the victory over Death. But the Godhead concealed itself in the manhood and fought against Death, Death slew and was slain. Death slew the natural life; and the supernatural life slew Him. (Ephraim the Syrian. First Homily. "On Our Lord." Par. 3. c. AD 360.)

Revival

  • The impulse appears to have been sporadic and spontaneous. In remote country hamlets, in mining villages buried in distant valleys, one man or one woman would have it laid upon his or her soul to pray that the Holy Spirit might be poured out... There does not seem to have been any organized effort anywhere. (Evan Roberts. The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses.)
  • There was absolutely nothing wild, violent, hysterical, unless it be hysterical for the laboring breast to heave with sobbing that cannot be repressed, and the throat to choke with emotion as a sense of the awful horror and shame of a wasted life suddenly bursts upon the soul. (Evan Roberts. The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses.)
  • The revival is borne along upon billowing waves of sacred song. It is the singing, not the preaching, that is the instrument which is most efficacious in striking the hearts of men. (Evan Roberts. The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses.)
  • Whence has it come? All over Wales... a praying remnant have been agonizing before God about the state of the beloved land, and it is through that the answer of fire has come. (Evan Roberts. The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses.)
  • All revival begins, and continues, in the prayer meeting. Some have also called prayer the "great fruit of revival." In times of revival,thousands may be found on their knees for hours, lifting up their heartfelt cries, with thanksgiving, to heaven. (Henry Blackaby)
  • A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today! (Billy Sunday)

Riches

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S

Salvation

  • For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it. The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His suffering, His life is not in us. (Ignatius. Letter to the Magnesians 5. AD 107-116. Ignatius was possibly the first bishop of Antioch, Paul's "home church," and was appointed by apostles.)

Satan

Service/Ministry

  • God wants your life to be like His Son’s life. He wants it to be pure and holy. He wants to talk to you. He wants to use you. But you are the limiting factor ... What do you mean, you ask? I mean that He has called you and equipped you for ministry, for His service but you are the limiting factor in how much, how far, how fast and when His service is implemented. We all grow at different rates and there are a lot of factors that contribute to that growth rate. You must come to the point in your spiritual journey that you allow God to do His good will and pleasure in your life. It is true: Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So it is also true: Whosoever will surrender to the Lord will be used. (Robert Maynard—my father-in-law)

Shepherds

  • I have not pulled back from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay attention to yourselves and to the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you supervisors [or "overseers" or "bishops"], to feed [or "shepherd"] the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. ... Therefore watch and remember that for the space of three years I did not stop warning you day and night with tears. (Apostle Paul. Acts 20:27-28,31)
  • A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way. (Leonard Ravenhill)
  • The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn't hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees. (Billy Sunday)
  • It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher. (George Whitefield)

Sin

  • Jesus reserved his hardest words for the hidden sins of hypocrisy, pride, greed and legalism. (Philip Yancey)
  • Heart-suffering because of sin is the best proof that the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart. (Johann Arndt)
  • Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony. (John R. W. Stott)

Spiritual Power

  • I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. (D.L. Moody)
  • Will God ever ask you to do something you are not able to do? The answer is yes—all the time! It must be that way, for God's glory and kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world. (Henry Blackaby)
  • The secret of spiritual success is a hunger that persists ... It is an awful condition to be satisfied with one´s spiritual attainments ... God was and is looking for hungry, thirsty people. (Smith Wigglesworth)

Spread of Christianity

  • After this, Celsus proceeding to speak of the Christians teaching and practising their favourite doctrines in secret, and saying that they do this to some purpose, seeing they escape the penalty ofdeath which is imminent, he compares their dangers with those which were encountered by such men as Socrates for the sake of philosophy; and here he might have mentioned Pythagoras as well, and other philosophers. But our answer to this is, that in the case of Socrates the Athenians immediately afterwards repented; and no feeling of bitterness remained in their minds regarding him, as also happened in the history of Pythagoras. The followers of the latter, indeed, for a considerable time established their schools in that part of Italy called Magna Græcia; but in the case of the Christians, the Roman Senate, and the princes of the time, and the soldiery, and the people, and the relatives of those who had become converts to the faith, made war upon their doctrine, and would have prevented (its progress), overcoming it by a confederacy of so powerful a nature, had it not, by the help of God, escaped the danger, and risen above it, so as (finally) to defeat the whole world in its conspiracy against it. (Origen. Against Celsus. I:3. c. AD 230)

Suffering

  • See also: Martyrdom and persecution.
  • Nov. 19, 2014: We don't have to make the best of the suffering that comes our way. It already is the best. We just have to embrace it (Jam. 1:2-4). (Paul Pavao)
  • Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times. (Smith Wigglesworth)
  • Jan. 10, 2015: I'm telling you, tragedy is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Sometimes it can be the best thing. Ungratefulness, self-pity. I understand why it happens to some, but that doesn't change the fact that either are much worse things to happen to you than tragedy. (Paul Pavao)
  • March 15, 2015: Trials are good for us. I'm always sorry for other people's trials, but I don't think that's necessarily good. I'm never sorry for my trials. I don't consider God's commands to be beyond what we can do, so I trust God's grace and obey them. I rejoice in trials because they will perfect me for that final day.
       I'm as guilty as everyone else for feeling sorry for others who might be being perfected like I am, but maybe I should start praying, "God, give them grace to grow from this trial/sickness/sorrow and to glorify you through it," rather than praying for them to be delivered out of it. It is certainly the advice I would give them sitting in front of them: rejoice, grow, and give thanks. (Paul Pavao)
  • We grow in the valleys. You don't see plants on the tops of the mountains. (Laura Logie, Facebook comment)
  • For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it. The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His suffering, His life is not in us. (Ignatius. Letter to the Magnesians 5. AD 107-116. Ignatius was possible the first bishop of Antioch, Paul's "home church," and was appointed by apostles.)

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T

Teachers

  • Your doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel—and just as empty! (Leonard Ravenhill)
  • It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher. (George Whitefield)
  • The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. (George Bernard Shaw. Cited by Joyce, Declan (Ed.). (2011, 2012). University Success: E2. Phoenix, AZ: Grand Canyon University Media.)

Theology

  • It is a lot easier to prove something is false than to prove, or even find, what is true. (Paul Pavao)

Trinity

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W

Wealth

Word of God

  • Luke's description of the growth of the Word of God in the summaries in Acts 6,7; 12,24; 19,20 is a result of his reflection on the parable of the sower and the biblical tradition within which it was situated. The flourishing of the early Christian community was proof positive for Luke that the word had fallen on good soil and was bearing fruit (Lk 8,15). The context of growth in the parable, however, is individual and personal: the word takes root in the heart of the believer and "grows" as his faith and devotion increases. In the context of summaries, the growth is external and communitarian: the church is growing numerically (Kodell, 517). (Kodell, J. 1974. "The Word of God grew" The Ecclesiastical Tendency of Λογοσ in Acts 6,7; 12,24; 19,20. Biblica. 55(4). 505-519. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42613467)
  • He emphasized the external flourishing of the church by situating his statements about the growth of the word of God within a series of summaries describing the addition of members to the community, and by selecting terminology which would clearly point to external expansion (Kodell, 518). (Kodell, J. 1974. "The Word of God grew" The Ecclesiastical Tendency of Λογοσ in Acts 6,7; 12,24; 19,20. Biblica. 55(4). 505-519. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42613467)
  • Thus, Luke intended to describe the numerical expansion of the church in referring to the "growth" of the word of God in the summaries at Acts 6,7; 12,24; 19,20. He made λογοσ involve the meaning of "church" or "community" in these summaries, and in so doing went beyond the parable of the sower. With more typical words like εκκλησια, πληθοσ, and λαοσ at his disposal, Luke did not have to resort to λογοσ to describe the growing Christian community. His decision to do so was thelogically motivated. (Kodell, 518). (Kodell, J. 1974. "The Word of God grew" The Ecclesiastical Tendency of Λογοσ in Acts 6,7; 12,24; 19,20. Biblica. 55(4). 505-519. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42613467)

Works: Faith and Works

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