Biblical Exegesis

“An evangelical believes that God humbled Himself not only in the incarnation of the Son, but also in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The manger and the cross were not sensational. Neither is grammar and syntax. But that is how God has chosen to reveal Himself.

A poor Jewish Peasant and a prepositional phrase have this in common, that they are both human and both ordinary. Therefore, if God humbled Himself to take on human flesh and to speak human language, woe to us if we arrogantly presume to ignore the humanity of Christ and the grammar of Scripture.”

–John Piper, Biblical Exegesis: Discovering the Meaning of Scriptural Texts, as cited on http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/booklets/BTBX.pdf (accessed November 10, 2009).

Men of God

How we should be…

“And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men who are willing to be ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labour and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth’s accolades, but to win the Master’s approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness ‘signs and wonders following’ in the transformation of multitudes of human lives.”

Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival, p. 16

The Happy Walk

“Believers, if you would have an increase of happiness in Christ’s service, labor every year to grow in grace. Beware of standing still. The holiest men are always the happiest. Let your aim be every year to be more holy–to know more, to feel more, to see more of the fullness of Christ. Do not rest on old grace: do not be content with the degree of Christianity which you have attained. Search the Scriptures more earnestly; pray more fervently; hate sin more; mortify self-will more; become more humble the nearer you draw to your end; seek more direct personal communion with the Lord Jesus; strive to be more like Enoch– daily walking with God; keep your conscience clear of little sins; grieve not the Spirit; avoid arguments and disputes about the lesser matters of religion: lay more firm hold upon those great truths, without which no man can be saved. Remember and practice these things, and you will be more happy.”

-J.C. Ryle

Practical Religion, “Happiness”, 259.

http://jcrylequotes.com/2011/07/29/the-secret-of-the-happy-christian/

The Importance of Bible Study

“Before his conversion Ryle hardly ever opened his Bible, but after he became a Christian he formed the habit of daily Bible study, which continued without a break for more than a half a century. He rose early each morning so that he could study the Word without interruption. Words and verses of special significance to him were carefully underlined in his large black-bound Bible.

“Every page from Genesis to Revelation showed evidence of painstaking study. He often said there are ‘no gains without pains’. His parish visiting and conversations with people led him to conclude that there had been a serious decline in the practice of Bible reading in his day, so he preached and wrote tracts urging believers to read their Bibles, assuring them that ‘no book in existence contains such important matter as the Bible’. Moreover, ‘the man who has the Bible and the Holy Spirit in his heart, has everything which is absolutely needful to make him spiritually wise’.”

~ Eric Russell [Ryle’s Biographer]

J.C. Ryle: That Man of Granite with the Heart of a Child, [Ross-shire, UK:Christian Focus, 2001], 113.

Confidence in Christ

I know not why God’s wondrous grace

To me He hath made known,

Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love

Redeemed me for His own.
 
I know not how this saving faith

To me He did impart,

Nor how believing in His Word

Wrought peace within my heart.
 
I know not how the Spirit moves,

Convincing us of sin,

Revealing Jesus through the Word,

Creating faith in Him.
 
I know not what of good or ill

May be reserved for me,

Of weary ways or golden days,

Before His face I see.
 
I know not when my Lord may come,

At night or noonday fair,

Nor if I walk the vale with Him,

Or meet Him in the air.
 
But I know Whom I have believed,

And am persuaded that He is able

To keep that which I’ve committed

Unto Him against that day.
 
-Daniel W. Whittle, Gospel Hymns No. 4, 1883.
 
“…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 KJV

Faith in the Unseen

“The essence of Christianity consists in believing. Reason makes us men, but faith makes us true Christians.”

“If you would attain this love unto Jesus christ, whom you have never seen, you must get a thorough persuasion that there is such a person as Jesus Christ, and that He is such a person indeed as the Scriptures have revealed Him to be. The reason why heathens and infidels are without love to Christ is because they have never heard of Him; and the reason many nominal Christians that have heard of Christ are without love to Him is because they are not really persuaded that there is, or ever was, such a person Jesus Christ in the world. If you would attain this love, you must give a firm assent to this truth (which is the greatest of all, the very pillar and foundation of the whole Christian religion), that Christ really is, and the history of Him is no cunningly devised fable.”

-Thomas Vincent, 1677, The True Christian’s Love for the Unseen Christ, 10, 66

Charismatic Chaos

Ian Murray speaking of John MacArthur’s concerns about the charismatic movement “…the enthusiasm for revelatory prophecies, and for apostles today, ignored the uniqueness and sufficiency of Scripture.”

-Murray, Ian, John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock, p. 121

“Genuine experience must grow out of sound doctrine. We are not to base what we believe on what we have experienced The reverse is true. Our experiences will grow out of what we believe.”

-MacArthur, John, Charismatic Chaos, p. 65

“No genuine revival or orthodox movement has ever been led by people whose authority is based in any way on private revelations from God…A longing for something new and eoteric has replaced historic Christianity’s settled confidence in the Word of God–and that is an invitation to Satan’s counterfeit.”

-MacArthur, John, Charismatic Chaos, pp. 58, 73

God’s Word is the only lamp to our feet and light unto our path (Ps. 119:105). It alone is settled in heaven (Ps. 199:89). Galatians 1:6-9 even pronounces curses on those who alter or add to the revelation that God has already given in canonical Scripture.