“Christians are not to destroy error by force, but should work the salvation of men by persuasion, instruction, and love” – St. Chrysostom
“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, ‘What must we do to be saved?” Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Don’t use John 3:16. Such drastic action is needed because we have a gospel hardened generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding why they need to be saved.”
“A person repents when he comes to the place where he discovers that the will of God is the government of his life and the glory of God is the reason for his life. He only has repented who has changed his mind about his reason for being.”
― Paris Reidhead
“If you have no opposition in the place you serve, you’re serving in the wrong place.” – G. Campbell Morgan
“My soul! I beg you to pray for the men of God who are preaching a Christ Who is holy and is very offensive; instead of the nice Jesus that everybody loves today. God’s children need to pray for the men of God to have broken hearts and open doors.” – Rolfe Barnard
“If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism.” – J. Vernon McGee
“Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them.” – Vance Havner
“Now, mark this: by this shall you know whether you are a child of God, or not; by the respect that you have to your Father’s Word. If you have small respect for that Word, the evidences of a bastard are upon you.” – C.H. Spurgeon
“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.” – George Whitfield
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” – Jonathan Edwards
“Let us beware of loving the world more than Christ. Entreat people to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to count the cost.” – J.C. Ryle
“Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus ‘Lord,’ but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law.” – Ray Comfort
“If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew. Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?” – Billy Graham
“Why grow we weary when asked to watch with our Lord? Up, sluggish heart, Jesus calls thee! Rise and go forth to meet the Heavenly Friend in the place where He manifests Himself.” – E.M. Bounds
“A spiritual awakening is no more than God’s people seeing God in His holiness, turning from their wicked ways, and being transformed into His likeness.” – Lewis Drummond
“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.” – Tertullian
“Satan tempts to sin under a pretence of religion. He is most to be feared when he transforms himself into an angel of light. He came to Christ with Scriptures in his mouth.” – Thomas Watson
“The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“God’s patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh
“O, God of wonder, enlarge my capacity to be amazed at what is amazing, and end my attraction to the insignificant.” – John Piper
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” – Corrie ten Boom
“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” – A.W. Tozer
“Christian living is not a method or technique. It is the principle of an exchanged life.” – Major Ian Thomas
“The one thing we are missing is pentecost. how we have forgotten this in our churches.” – Bill McLeod
“I think we, every one of us, ought to be humiliated or humbled every time we pick up the book of Acts and read the glory that attended the life of that first church.” – Art Katz
“George Mueller, nothing. The Lord Jesus, everything. In himself worse than nothing. By grace, in Christ, the son of the King.” – George Mueller
To close these excerpts from those who God entrusted with the good news of the Gospel!
Borrowing from George Mueller: Dan nothing. The Lord Jesus everything. In myself worse than nothing! By grace, in Christ, the son of the King!!
The greatest way to express God’s love to a lost soul is to show how great the sin is using the Law!
Romans 7:12-13 ESV
(12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
(13) Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
Galatians 3:24 ESV
(24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
“Christians are not to destroy error by force, but should work the salvation of men by persuasion, instruction, and love” – St. Chrysostom
John 14:23 ESV
(23) Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 14:23 AMP
(23) Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.
With this statement and after the resurrection is there any doubt regarding the members of the Godhead?
Jesus makes a declarative statement we are to keep his (Jesus) word and his (Jesus) Father will love that person (us) and “we” will come and make “our” home with him (us). The first question that comes to mind is who is the “we and us” in the scripture? Jesus is speaking 1st person and making definitive statements regarding his words and placing them in reverence with the Father. Second he gives a result of keeping that word with a promise of the two persons coming to indwell that creature that is obedient. Unless you hold to one of two beliefs then this scripture is fatal to a Unitarian view. First this statement would lead to a polytheistic understanding if taken from the context of scripture and monotheism. We and “our” are plural definitions of God and his Son. In Unitarian and Oneness thinking you have a rather large hurdle to overcome and trying to explain this as an office, function, manifestation or title takes away a direct promise from Jesus himself. Jesus wasn’t confused or confusing when he promised the Father would love the person who kept his word. Then to add even more to the reward we would have an indwelling of the Father and the Son as believers who are obedient.
If a man love me (ean tis agapāi me). Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive, “if one keep on loving me.” That is key to the spiritual manifestation (emphanizō).
We will come (eleusometha). Future middle of erchomai and first person plural (the Father and I), not at the judgment, but here and now.
And make our abode with him (kai monēn par’ autōi poiēsometha). See Joh_14:2 for the word monē (dwelling, abiding place). If the Holy Spirit “abides” (menei, Joh_14:17) in you, that heart becomes a temple (naos) of the Holy Spirit (1Co_3:16.), and so a fit dwelling place for the Father and the Son, a glorious and uplifting reality.
(John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible}
Jesus answered and said unto him,…. This answer is returned, and these words are spoken, for the further confirmation and explanation of what was before said:
if a man love me, he will keep my words; by his “words” are meant not his doctrines, but his ordinances; the same with his commandments, Joh_14:21, which he has said, ordered, and commanded to be observed, and which are observed by such who truly love him, and that from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: and for the encouragement of such persons as before, he says,
and my Father will love him: which is to be understood not of the love of the Father, as in his own heart, which is not taken up in time, but was in him from all eternity; nor of the first discovery of it to his people, but of greater manifestations of it to them, and a quicker sense of it in their hearts, and also of some other effects of it, to be enjoyed by them in an higher manner; such as larger measures of grace, more communion with him here, and eternal honour and glory hereafter:
and we will come unto him: I who am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, I have promised to pray for: hence a proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, of a trinity of persons, of there being neither more nor fewer than three; since neither more nor less can be collected from the context; and of their distinct personality, or it could not be said with any propriety, “we” each of us “will come unto him”; not locally and visibly, but spiritually, by affording our gracious and comfortable presence, the continuance of which is promised next:
and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints are the dwelling places or temples of the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the constancy and perpetuity of their residence in them, not as a wayfaring man, but always, though this may not be always discerned by believers; and is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men; and a far greater one it is, than if the most mighty potentate on earth should take up his abode in a poor despicable cottage with the meanest of his subjects.
If we are to understand scripture as being in context then the verses describing the Godhead make sense in the orthodox Trinitarian teaching:
Romans 1:20 ESV
(20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 KJV
(20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 1:20 AMP
(20) For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], [Ps. 19: 1-4.]
Acts 17:29 ESV
(29) Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
Acts 17:29 KJV
(29) Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Colossians 2:9 ESV
(9) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Colossians 2:9 KJV
(9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
John 14:24-31 ESV
(24) Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
(25) “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
(26) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
(27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
(28) You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
(29) And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.
(30) I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,
(31) but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
The repeated references to the distinction between Father and Son has to mean more than a plan or idea!
By Chuck McKnight
We know we ought to be studying the Scriptures, but sometimes we don’t know how. Here are five of 10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid:
10. Starting without prayer
The Bible is unlike any other book because it was inspired by God himself. Paul told us that “the things of the Spirit of God . . . are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and Jesus said that the Spirit guides us into the truth (John 16:13). We have access to God through prayer, so we should be looking to him for guidance as we seek to understand his Scriptures. It doesn’t matter what incredible resources and study tools we use if we do not first go to God.
9. Studying by yourself
Scripture was intended to be read and studied in community. We’ve all but lost sight of that in our modern individualistic culture. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do personal study—there is definitely a time and place for that. But if we study on our own in exclusion to studying with others, we’ll miss out on the rich insights the community of God has to offer. Additionally, we all need the checks and balances of other believers to keep us accountable. So do your personal study, but then bring what you learn to a group setting and discuss it together.
8. Bringing preconceptions to the text
It is tempting to read the Bible selectively, trying to prove an idea we already believe to be true. If we come to the Scriptures with a predetermined conclusion, we can force them to say whatever we want. That might make us feel better, but it won’t be doing us any good. Rather, we should open the Bible with humility, knowing that some of our beliefs are wrong and ought to be changed. We must let the text speak for itself without forcing our own preconceptions on it.
7. Reading from only one perspective
Similar to the above mistake, it is tempting to only use study resources we already agree with. But this severely limits our spiritual growth. I’ve found that those whose perspectives differ from my own often have the most to teach me. You’ll find contributions from such men as Timothy Keller, N. T. Wright, and everywhere in between. They all share a love for God, but their differing perspectives bring unique insights to the Scriptures.
6. Using only one translation
Different Bible versions follow different translation philosophies. The basic categories include formal equivalence (seeking word-for-word accuracy), dynamic equivalence (seeking thought-for-thought accuracy), and paraphrases (rewriting the overall message). Furthermore, the Greek and Hebrew texts have many nuances that can’t be captured by a single translation. If you don’t read Greek or Hebrew, comparing multiple translations can help you see the various nuances each passage has to offer. While Ray recommended pairing the NASB with NLT or the ESV with NIrV, my personal preference would be to pair the NET with the LEB.
5. Missing the historical setting
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible was not written to twenty-first century Americans. Each book of the Bible was written by a specific person, to a specific group of people, in a specific culture, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose. If we miss these details, we are likely to misunderstand much of what we are reading.
4. Assuming modern definitions of biblical words
Very few Greek or Hebrew words have an exact English equivalent. So we have to remember that the English words in a translation may not mean exactly the same thing as the original Greek or Hebrew. One way to get around this obstacle is to do a word study, examining every occurrence of a particular word in the Bible to see how it is used therein. However, this method is time consuming. A quicker way is to use a tool such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. This dictionary is a collection of such studies on almost every major word in the Bible. It makes it easy to understand what a given word actually means when used in the Bible.
3. Failing to understand the genre
The Bible is made up of 66 different books, and they include many different genres of literature. There are epistles and narratives, poems and parables, instances of wisdom literature and apocalyptic literature, and a host of other specific styles. Keeping them all straight can be confusing, but it’s a vital part of understanding what we read. Thankfully, there are tools to help us here as well. One great resource to add to your FSB is How to Read the Bible Book by Book. It provides an overview for each book of the Bible—including the genre—along with a number of other important details.
2. Ignoring biblical context
All too often, we read the Bible as if it were a collection of unconnected verses. A single verse taken by itself can appear to mean something totally contrary to the author’s intent. We wouldn’t skip to a sentence in the middle of Moby Dick and expect it to make sense, so why do we do this with the Bible? One good example is Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is frequently claimed as a promise for God’s specific blessing on an individual. But when we look at the context, we see that God was talking to the Israelites, whom he had sent into exile for their sins. Only after being in exile for 70 years would God bring them back to prosperity. Those are “the plans I have for you” according to Jeremiah’s full context.
1. Studying for the wrong reasons
It is easy to view Bible study as an intellectual exercise. But acquiring information about the Bible is not a proper end in itself. Paul described the purpose of Scripture: “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). If our studies do not equip us for good works, then they are unprofitable studies. As we read the Bible, our goal must be to ultimately apply it to our lives.
These mistakes are easy to make, but they can be avoided. Let’s all continue studying Scripture together, and continue living it out every day.