What Distinguishes Us From Animals

The idea of God as infinitely wise is at the root of all truth.  It is a datum of belief necessary to the soundness of all other beliefs about God.  Being what He is without regard to creatures, God is of course unaffected by our opinions of Him, but our moral sanity requires that we attribute to the maker and sustainer of the universe a wisdom entirely perfect.  To refuse to do this is to betray the very thing in us that distinguishes us from the beasts.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 48

The Fight for Joy is a Gift of God

First, we embrace the truth that not only our joy in God, but also the fight for joy itself is a gift of God.  In other words, God works in us to enable us to fight.  Embracing this truth prevents us from thinking that the joy we fight for is ultimately our achievement.  Joy remains a gift and continues to be spontaneous, even though we ourselves are engaged in its cause.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 41

They Don’t Believe Their Eternal Life Depends on It

One of the reasons that today in the Western church our joy is so fragile and thin is that this truth is so little understood – the truth, namely, that eternal life is laid hold of only by a persevering fight for joy of faith.  Joy will not be rugged and durable and deep through suffering where there is no resolve to fight for it.  But today, by and large, there is a devil-may-care, cavalier, superficial attitude toward the ongoing, daily intensity of personal joy in Christ, because people do not believe that their eternal life depends on it.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 37

Is the Gospel ‘From’ God or ‘About’ God?

Historically Christianity claimed to be and was received as revealed truth, not truth discovered via human insight or ingenuity.  Paul begins his Epistle to the Romans with these words:” “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1)  What does the phrase “gospel of  God” mean?  Does the word of indicate possession or does it mean simply “about”?  Is Paul saying that the gospel is something about God, or something from God?  Historic Christianity would consider this question an exercise in the fallacy of the false dilemma or the either/or fallacy.  Classical Christianity would say that the gospel is a message that is both about God and from God.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 12

The Mind is Renewed When…

The mind is renewed when, under the influence of the Spirit, the truth is understood and believed, so as to displace the ignorance and error that previously prevailed.  It is the truth, understood and believed, that purifies the heart from the love of the world; and, just in proportion as that truth is understood and believed, are men transformed.  It is by men’s being formed to a right way of thinking, that they are formed to a right way of feeling and acting with regard to this world and the next – to God, and our brethren of mankind.

– John Brown

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 169

The Great Enemies of the Truth

A reading of the letters that address the conflicts that arose over various issues in the days of the New Testament reveals that legalism (adding rules and doctrine to the Bible) and libertinism (removing moral limits from the Bible) are usually the great enemies of the truth of Jesus Christ that the church needs to defend against.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 137

My Feelings Are Not God

My feelings are not God.  God is God.  My feelings do not define truth.  God’s word defines truth.  My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives.  And sometimes – many times – my feelings are out fo sync with the truth.  When that happens – and it happens every day in some measure – I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with truth.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 165-166