Sunday, July 31, 2011

quotes from john stott

"God’s Word is designed to make us Christians, not scientists, and to lead us to eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. It was not God’s intention to reveal in Scripture what human beings could discover by their own investigations and experiments."  (From Christian Basics)

"The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice—and so the pain—of the cross."  (From The Cross of Christ)

“The meaning of atonement is not to be found in our penitence evoked by the sight of Calvary, but rather in what God did when in Christ on the cross He took our place and bore our sin.”  (From The Cross of Christ)

“In our vision of ultimate reality, who is occupying the throne today? Are we authentic New Testament Christians, whose vision is filled with Christ crucified, risen and reigning? Is guilt still reigning, and death? Or is grace reigning, and life?  To be sure, sin and Satan may seem to be reigning still, since many continue to bow down to them. But their reign is an illusion, a bluff. For at the cross they were decisively defeated, dethroned and disarmed.  Now Christ reigns, exalted to the Father’s right hand, with all things under his feet, welcoming the nations, and waiting for his remaining enemies to be made his footstool.”  (From The Message of Romans)

“No theology is genuinely Christian which does not arise from and focus on the cross.”  (The Cross of Christ)

“All inadequate doctrines of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and man. If we bring God down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let alone for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God, and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely ‘hell-deserving sinners’, then and only then does the necessity of the cross appear so obvious that we are astonished we never saw it before.”  (The Cross of Christ)

“It is the cross that gives God his credibility. The only God I believe in is the one Nietzsche (the nineteenth-century German philosopher) ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?  In the course of my travels I have entered a number of Buddhist temples in different Asian countries. I have stood respectfully before a statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing around his mouth, serene and silent, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time, after a while, I have had to turn away. And in my imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness.  The crucified one is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us, dying in our place in order that we might be forgiven. Our sufferings become more manageable in light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross, which symbolizes divine suffering.”  (From Why I Am a Christian)

“The concept of substitution may be said . . . to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accept penalties which belong to man alone.”  (The Cross of Christ)

"The Christian life is not just our own private affair. If we have been born again into God’s family, not only has he become our Father but every other Christian believer in the world, whatever his nation or denomination, has become our brother or sister in Christ. … But it is no good supposing that membership of the universal Church of Christ is enough; we must belong to some local branch of it. … Every Christian’s place is in a local church. … sharing in its worship, its fellowship, and its witness."  (From Basic Christianity)

"If you find it hard to believe in God, I strongly advise you to begin your search not with philosophical questions about the existence and being of God, but with Jesus of Nazareth. … If you read again the story of Jesus, and read it as an honest and humble seeker, Jesus Christ is able to reveal himself to you, and thus make God. … real to you."  (From I Believe in God)

"Social responsibility becomes an aspect not of Christian mission only, but also of Christian conversion. It is impossible to be truly converted to God without being thereby converted to our neighbor."  (From Christian Mission in the Modern World)

"Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony."  (From The Letters of John)

“Faith is a reasoning trust, a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God.”  (From Your Mind Matters)

“God condemned sin in Christ, so that holiness might appear in us.”  (From Men Made New)

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