“Whatever men please to think or say, the Romish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued to its legitimate consequences, obscures every leading doctrine of the Gospel, and damages and interferes with the whole system of Christ’s truth. Grant for a moment that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice, and not a sacrament–grant that every time the words of consecration are used the natural body and blood of Christ are present on the Communion Table under the forms of bread and wine–grant that every one who eats that consecrated bread and drinks that consecrated wine does really eat and drink the natural body and blood of Christ–grant for a moment these things, and then see what momentous consequences result from these premises. You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ’s finished work when he died on the cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable of God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the Scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful man into the position of mediators between God and man. You give to the sacramental elements of bread and wine an honour and veneration they were never meant to receive, and produce an idolatry to be abhorred by faithful Christians. Last, but not least, you overthrow the true doctrine of Christ’s human nature. If the body born of the Virgin Mary can be in more places than one at the same time, it is not a body like our own, and Jesus was not ‘the second Adam’ in the truth of our nature. I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly than we do, and, seeing and feeling them, chose to die rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence. Feeling them, they would not give way by subjection for a moment, and cheerfully laid down their lives. Let this fact be deeply graven in our minds. Wherever the English language is spoken on the face of the globe this fact ought to be clearly understood by every Englishman who reads history.”
– J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers, p.26-27
“Oh, you who want unfailing comfort, I commend you to Christ! In Him alone, there is no failure. Rich men are disappointed in their treasures. Learned men are disappointed in their books. Husbands are disappointed in their wives. Wives are disappointed in their husbands. Parents are disappointed in their children. Statesmen are disappointed when, after many a struggle, they attain place and power. They find out, to their cost, that it is more pain than pleasure and that it is disappointment, annoyance, incessant trouble, worry, vanity, and frustration of spirit. But no one was ever disappointed in Christ.”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.381
“…change is about discovering the delight of knowing and serving God. Our job is to stop wallowing around in the dirt and instead to enjoy knowing God, to give up our cheap imitations and enjoy the real thing. All too often we think of holiness as giving up the pleasures of sin for some worthy but drab life. But holiness means recognizing that the pleasures of sin are empty and temporary, while God is inviting us to magnificent, true, full, and rich pleasures that last forever.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.36
Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel, “You thought I was just like you” (Psalm 50:21). Such must now be His indictment against an apostate Christendom. Men imagine that the Most High is moved by sentiment, rather that actuated by principle. They suppose that His omnipotence is such an idle fiction that Satan is thwarting His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s ‘free will’ and reduce him to a ‘machine.’ They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which has actually redeemed everyone for whom it was made, to a mere ‘remedy,’ which sin-sick souls may use if they feel disposed to; and they enervate the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to an ‘offer’ of the Gospel which sinners may accept or reject as they please.
The god of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ, than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The god who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of mushy sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt!”
– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.21-22
“Sin is the rejection of God’s authority. Sin is based on a denial of God’s goodness and truth. Sin involves idolatry. In this case, Adam gave Eve the place in his life reserved for God alone. He made her the ultimate object of his worship; now that Adam had turned from God, she would have to be the source for blessing in his life. Eve was not designed to do this. She was made to be a suitable helper for him, not a goddess.”
– Richard Phillips & Sharon Phillips, Holding Hands Holding Hearts, p.39
“The prophet Jonah, in the digestive tract of a great fish beneath the Mediterranean Sea, made this observation: ‘Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could have been their’ (Jonah 2:8).
An idol is something more than a grotesque statue with big lips and a ruby in its navel. It’s a God-substitute. It’s something–anything–that we value higher than God. In order to cling to such an idol, we make a trade.
Our sexual behavior reveals who or what rules our lives (see Romans 1:18-29). Sexual sin is idolatry because it puts our desires in the place of God.
Those who turn from God to embrace a God-substitute suffer terrible loss. Why? Because they were made to find joy in God, not the substitute. They swap God’s present and future blessing for something they can immediately see, taste, or feel. But that something never satisfies.
– Randy Alcorn, The Purity Principle, p.12
“When we put it plainly like this–as a direct choice between God and our stuff–most of us would hope that we would choose God. But we need to realize that how we spend our time, what our money goes toward, and where we will invest in our energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting Him. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?
We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him against the things of this world. It makes Him sick when we actually decide those things are better for us than God Himself. We believe we don’t need anything Jesus offers, but we fail to realize that slowly, almost imperceptibly, we are drifting downstream. And in the process we are becoming blind, being stripped naked, and turning into impoverished wretches.
No wonder Jesus says He will spit lukewarm people out of His mouth! [Revelation 3:15-17]”
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love, p.97
“He continues to act towards sinful men in the way that He does in the Bible story. Still He shows His freedom and lordship by discriminating between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel while others do not hear it, and moving some of those who hear it to repentance while leaving others in their unbelief; thus teaching His saints he owes mercy to none, and that it is entirely of His grace, not at all through their own effort, that themselves have found life. Still He blesses those on whom He sets His love in a way that humble them, so that all the glory may be His alone. Still He hates the sins of His people, and uses all kinds of inward and outward pains and griefs to wean the hearts from compromise and disobedience. Still He seeks the fellowship of His people, and sends them both sorrows and joys in order to detach their love from other things and attach it to Himself. Still He teaches the believer to value His promise gifts by making him wait for them, and compelling him to pray persistently for them, before He bestows them. So we read of Him dealing with His people in the Scripture record, and so He deals with them still. His aims and principles of action remain consistent; He does not at any time act out of character. Man’s ways, we know, are pathetically inconsistent–but not God’s.
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.70-71
“The heart of the objection to pictures and images is that they inevitability conceal most, if not all, of the truth about the personal nature and character of the divine Being whom they represent.
To illustrate: Aaron made a golden calf (that is, a bull-image). It was meant as a visible symbol of Jehovah, the mighty God who had brought Israel out of Egypt. No doubt the images was thought to honor Him, as being a fitting symbol of His great strength. But it is not hard to see that such a symbol in fact insults Him: for what idea of His moral character, His righteousness, goodness, and patience, could one gather from looking at a statue of Him as a bull? Thus Aaron’s image hid Jehovah’s glory. In a similar way, the pathos of the crucifix obscures the glory of Christ, for it hides the fact of His deity, His victory on the cross, and His present kingdom. It displays His human weakness, but it conceals His divine strength; it depicts the reality of His pain, but keeps out of our sight the reality of His joy and His power. In both these cases, the symbol is unworthy most of all because of what it fails to display. And so are all other visible representations of Deity.”
– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.40-41