“Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two–but your life preaches all the week!
If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating–he has ruined your ministry.
In great measure, according to the purity and graces of the instrument, will be success. It is not great talents God blesses, so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an powerful weapon in the hand of God!”
– Robert Murray M’Cheyne
“The glory of God is the sum of all that he is: his love, goodness, beauty, purity, judgment, splendor, power, wisdom, and majesty.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.13
“Sanctification is the invariable result of that vital union with Christ which true faith gives to a Christian. ‘He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit’ (John 15:5). The branch which bears no fruit is no living branch of the vine. The union with Christ which produces no effect on heart and life is a mere formal union, which is worthless before God. The faith which has not a sanctifying influence on the character is no better than the faith of devils. It is a ‘dead faith, because it is alone.’ It is not the gift of God. It is not the faith of God’s elect. In short, where there is no sanctification of life, there is no real faith in Christ. True faith works by love. It constrains a man to live unto the Lord from a deep sense of gratitude for redemption. It makes him feel that he can never do too much for Him that died for him. Being much forgiven, he loves much. He whom the blood cleanses walks in the light. He who has real lively hope in Christ purifies himself even as He is pure (James 2:17–20; Titus 1:1; Gal. 5:6; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 3:3).”
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.21
“There it is–what I’m calling The Purity Principle:
Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.
Always. You’re not an exception. I’m not an exception. There are no exceptions.
A holy God made the universe in such a way that actions true to His character, and the laws derived from His character, are always rewarded. Actions that violate His character, however are always punished. He reward acts of justice; He punishes every act of injustice.”
– Randy Alcorn, The Purity Principle, p.16
“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
“That is, do not grieve the indwelling One from whom we have received so many and great blessings, especially the keeping of our souls till the day of redemption! He is grieved by our sin as a tender and loving friend is grieved by wounds from a close friend. The Holy Spirit has chosen our hearts for a dwelling place, and He is there to do for us all that our souls desire. He is therefore grieved by harboring His enemies, and that which He is seeking to destroy in our hearts.
‘He does not afflict willingly or grieve the children of men’ (Lam. 3:33). Shall we then daily grieve Him? If there is any gracious character in our soul, if it is not entirely hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, then not grieving the Spirit is surely a great motive for purity. Consider who you are, and who the Spirit is whom you are grieving. Consider what He has done for you already and be ashamed! Among those who walk with God, there is no greater motive or incentive to universal holiness, and the preserving of our hearts and spirits in all purity and cleanness, that is, that we keep our hearts undefiled for the blessed Spirit Who dwells in us as the temple of God, and keeps us for the Lord. Zimri aggravated his sin when he displayed it in the sight of Mose and rest (Num. 25:6). Is it not also a serious aggravation of the guilt of our sin when it is (as it must be, if we are believers) performed under the eye of the Holy Spirit who desires His dwelling place to be pure and holy?
– John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.73-74
Here is a quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones‘ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount commenting on Matthew 5:8:
“But of course that is a mere nothing as compared with what is yet to be. ‘Now we see through a glass, darkly.'[1 Corinthians 13:12]. We see in a way we had not seen before, but it is still much of an enigma. But then we shall see ‘face-to-face’. ‘Beloved, now we are the sons of God,’ John says, ‘and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like; for we shall see him as he is'[1 John 3:2]. This is surely the most amazing thing that has ever been said to man, that you and I, such as we are, pressed with all the problems and troubles of this modern world, are going to see Him face-to-face. If we but grasped this, it would revolutionize our lives. You and I are meant for the audience chamber of God; you and I are being prepared to enter the presence of the King of kings. Do you believe it, do you know it as true for you? Do you realize that a day is coming when you are going to see the blessed God face-to-face? Not as in a glass, darkly; but face-to-face. Surely the moment we grasp this, everything else pales into insignificance. You and I are going to enjoy God, and to spend our eternity in His glorious and eternal presence. Read the book of Revelation, and listen to the redeemed of the Lord as they praise and ascribe all glory to Him. The blessedness is inconceivable, beyond our imagination. And we are destined for that. ‘The pure in heart shall see God'[Matthew 5:8], nothing less than that. How foolish we are to rob ourselves of these glories that are held out before our wondering gaze. Have you in a partial sense already seen God? Do you realize you are being prepared for this, and do you set your affection on it? ‘Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth'[Colossians 3:2]. Are you looking at these things which are unseen and eternal? Do you spend time meditating upon the glory that awaits you? If you do, the greatest concern of your life will be to have a pure heart” (p. 97-98).
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