Here are a few more quotes from my studies and reading last week.
Taking God at His Word
If you are a non-Christian, ask yourself, what would change in your life if you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that there is a God and that he is in charge? What would change in your life if you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that he is both completely good and morally pure and that you are not? If you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that you are in rebellion against him, no matter how “polite” your rebellion may look? – Mark Dever, Promises Made, pp. 828-829.
The following two quotes are a little “meatier”. You will have to chew them over and think about them, but they offer some wise counsel on what the Church must do to glorify God in a culture that ignores Him.
On the need to recover the concept of God’s Holiness in the Church
What has been lost needs most to be recovered – namely, the unsettling, disconcerting fact that God is holy and we place ourselves in great peril if we seek to render him a plaything of our piety, an ornamental decoration on the religious life, a product to answer our inward dissatisfactions. God offers himself on his own terms or not at all. David Wells, God in the Wasteland, p.145.
On Proclaiming the Cross, not searching for what God is doing.
In our rush to identify where God has shown his presence actively, we frequently overlook the biblical assertions that the providential work of God is hidden in the world and that we are called to walk not by sight but by faith, because sin is pervasively present in human nature that human beings will always be inclined to find ways of dominating and controlling the reality of God unless God’s grace redeems them from this proclivity. Unless God specifically grants an individual the power to declare what he is “doing” in the world (as in the case of the biblical prophets), the attempt to name such things is nothing more or less than an attempt at such control. More than that, it actually detracts from Christ’s cross, which is the one thing that the church today is called to declare with assurance and conviction that God has done. – David Wells, God in the Wasteland, pp. 182-183.
The church is called to declare the message of the cross, not to uncover God’s hidden purposes in the world or the secrets of his inner therapy. It is called to tell the world what God has said about its sin, not to guess at what he might be saying through daily circumstances or whispering to private intuition. And it is called to make known the coming judgment. — David Wells, God in the Wasteland, p.185
Pastor Mike Walters