We know that in mutually loving relationships, both parties must be active agents, able to contradict as well as affirm each other. If person A is never allowed to express a contradictory opinion to person B, then person B has a power relationship with person A, but not a personal one.
Now, if you choose to believe only those things in the Bible that you agree with, in what way do you have a God who can contradict you? Only if your God can say things that upset you will you know you have a real God and not a creation of your imagination. So an authoritative Bible . . . is not the enemy of a personal love relationship with God. . . . It is the precondition.
Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism, p. 113
The vigor of our spiritual life will be in direct proportion to the place held by our Bible in our life and thoughts.
George Müller (1805-1898)
We will not imitate God by accident. We will not wake up ten years from now and find we have passively taken on the character of God.
Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word
When we glorify God, we are not giving Him something substantial that He would not otherwise have. We are simply ascribing to Him what is His. But when we are glorified … we are being made more like Him, we are being strengthened or empowered to exhibit characteristics that we would not otherwise display.
D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1992), 59.
The cross … is that divine grace and power which crosses the carnal wills of men, and gives a contradiction to their corrupt affections, and that constantly opposes itself to the inordinate and fleshly appetite of their minds, and so may be justly termed the instrument of man’s holy dying to the world, and being made conformable to the will of God. For nothing else can mortify sin, or make it easy for us to submit to the divine will, in things otherwise contrary to our own.
William Penn, No Cross, No Crown, p. 20
If I am not today all that I hope to be, yet I see Jesus and that assures me that I shall one day be like Him.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
It is only because he became like us that we can become like him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
There are degrees in our sanctification. In our justification there are none.
J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Carlisle, PA: EP Books, 2011), 105.
If it is not strong upon your heart to practice what you read, to what end do you read? To increase your own condemnation?
Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)