Churchgoers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them. They claim that God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put their sin to death and serve the church. Christians talk about being born again and say that they were dead but now have come to life. We have become hardened to those words, but they are powerful words that have significant meaning. Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, our sanity, or even worse, our God. And can you blame them?
– Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 32-33
Churches for years have struggled over whether their worship services ought to be geared toward Christians (to encourage and strengthen them) or non-Christians (to appeal to and win them). But this debate and struggle over it are misguided. We’re asking the wrong questions and making the wrong assumptions. The truth is that our worship services should be geared to sinners in need of God’s rescue – and that includes both Christians and non-Christians.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 154-155
It’s not just atheists and agnostics and other non-Christians who write God off. Christians too, can put him on the shelf. In fact, every time we sin, we’re in that moment dismissing God. ANd it’s always because in that moment, we fail to understand the size of our sin, the size of God’s grace and the size of God’s mission.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 144
Some Christians, who don’t know what they believe about how God relates to us, through the mind, lose their bearings and drift into the practices of Eastern religions [like yoga] without any sense that they may be cutting themselves off from Christ.
– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 112
It moves from the absolute certainty that the new birth radically changes people, to the observation that many professing Christians are indeed (as the Barna Group says) not radically changed, to the conclusion that they are not born again. The New Testament, unlike the Barna Group, does not define the new birth with the worldliness of unregenerate, professing Christians (I John 2:29; I John 3:9; I John 4:7; I John 5:4; I John 5:18)
– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 15
Soren Kierkegaard, the father of Christian existentialism, describes two kinds of Christians: those who imitate Jesus Christ and a second, much cheaper brand – those who are content to admire him.
– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 45
Christians, by offering obedience to God in their lives and conversation, do what the apostle calls offering their bodies, to holy uses and purposes; they yield their members as instruments of righteousness unto holiness. And in this Christians serve God; they yield their eyes, their ears, their tongues, their hands, and feet as servants to God, to be obedient to the dictates of his word, and of his Holy Spirit in the soul. (Romans 12:1-2)
– Jonathan Edwards, On Knowing Christ, The Banner of Truth Trust, copyright 1990, page 225