“Gather up a group of men and women, young and old, black and white, Asian and African, rich and poor, uneducated and educated, with all the diverse talents and gifts and offerings. Just make sure all of them know they’re sick, sinful, and saved by grace alone. What do you have? You have the makings for a church!”
-Mark Dever, What is a Healthy Church? p. 29
“[In 2 Timothy 3:16-17], Paul is telling Timothy that the Scriptures are able to equip him totally for each ministry he will ever have to perform. Counseling is clearly one of those good works Paul had in mind when he wrote these assuring words to Pastor Timothy.
” ‘Yes, but aren’t some problems too deep for a pastor to handle?’
“Those problems are usually too deep for a pastor not to handle: ‘For the Word of God is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even the division of soul and spirit …’ (Heb. 4:12). You cannot get to a deeper part of human personality than the division of soul and spirit. ‘… and it (Scripture) is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’ You cannot get to a deeper level of human motivation than the thoughts and intents (or motives) of the heart. Only a man of God equipped with Scripture is capable of discerning those deeper thoughts and motivations. All that is necessary to equip the pastor to fulfill his ministry of changing people is found in the Bible.
-Lou Priolo on “Presupposition Four: The Bible and Psychology,” The Journal of Modern Ministry 2.1, p. 65.
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“We are not to speculate as to whether our unconverted friends are elect or not (that is none of our business): we are to look simply to their need of Christ, and to do all we can in honest Christian compassion to meet that need by our witness and our prayers.”
J.I. Packer on “Election,” 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know, pp. 158-159.
This is one of the most beautiful statements I’ve ever read on God’s sovereignty in our salvation. Just chew on it awhile like a good bite of steak…
“Original sin renders all human beings naturally dead (unresponsive) to God, but in effectual calling God quickens the dead. As the outward call of God to faith in Christ is communicated through the reading, preaching, and explaining of the contents of the Bible, the Holy Spirit enlightens and renews the heart of elect sinners so that they understand the gospel and embrace it as truth from God, and God in Christ becomes to them an object of desire and affection. Being now regenerate and able by the use of their freed will to choose God and the good, they turn away from their former pattern of living to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to start a new life with him.”
-J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993).
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