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Quote Archive

the-word-is-the-swordDuring my readings and sermon preparation, I am led to share a poingnant or relevant quote.

Below is a listing of the compiled quotes collected over the years.

A bit of the world

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“So why should the world persecute a Church which is only a bit of the world under another name?”

Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture [Baker], on Hebrews 12:4 , p. 217.

A Deck of Cards or The Bible?

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"The Lord wrote the law with his own finger, but though God took pains to write, men will not take pains to read. They would rather look at a deck of cards than at a Bible."

Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's Picture"

A Flabby Church

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"What wonder that a Church which picks and chooses what it wants out of the Bible should become confused in its theology, flabby in its morals, and with little to state but the worldly obvious—the day after worldly liberals have stated it more convincingly?"

T. H. L. Parker, Calvin's Preaching [Westminster/John Knox Press], p. x.

A Most Excellent Personal Mission Statement

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"I am persuaded that I shall obtain the highest amount of present happiness, I shall do most for God's glory and the good of man, and I shall have the fullest reward in eternity, by maintaining a conscience always washed in Christ's blood, by being filled with the Holy Spirit at all times, and by attaining the most entire likeness to Christ in mind, will, and heart, that is possible for a redeemed sinner to attain in this world."

Robert Murray McCheyne, in Robert Murray McCheyne, by A. A. Bonar [Zondervan], pp. 167-168.

A sinner begets a sinner

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“Grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint.”

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary [Revell], 1:47.

Absolute sovereignty

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“There is no doctrine to which the natural heart is more bitterly opposed than that of the absolute sovereignty of Jehovah.”

Asahel Nettleton, in Asahel Nettleton: Life and Labors, by B. Tyler & A. Bonar [Banner of Truth], p. 199.

Act like a dog

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"A dog barks and stands at bay if he sees any one assault his master. I should be indeed remiss, if, seeing the truth of God thus attacked, I should remain dumb, without giving one note of warning."

John Calvin, Letters, Part 1, Letter 130, to the Queen of Navarre, April 28, 1545 (Ages Software).

Acts 26:18

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"None can be happy that are not holy; nor shall any be saints in heaven that are not first saints on earth."

Matthew Henry, on Acts 26:18 , Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible [Revell], 6:332.

Acts 26:20

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This place teaches that these men do unskillfully pervert the gospel who separate the grace of Christ from repentance.

John Calvin, commenting on Acts 26:20

Be Killing Sin

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"Be killing sin or it will be killing you."

John Owen, The Works of John Owen [Banner of Truth], 6:9.


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“God is the best friend, but the worst enemy.”

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity [Banner of Truth], p. 44.


on .

“What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of God’s goodness, should be so empty of his praises, and that of the multitudes that live upon his bounty there are so few that live to his glory!”

Matthew Henry, on Psalm 33:5 , Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible [Revell], 3:351

Broken heart

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“This, then, it is to have the heart broken; namely, to have it lamed, disabled, and taken off by sense of God’s wrath due to sin, from that course of life it formerly was conversant in.”

John Bunyan, “The Acceptable Sacrifice, or the Excellency of a Broken Heart,” 1:695 in Bunyan’s Works [Baker].


on .

“To me, Calvinism means the placing of the eternal God at the head of all things. I look at everything through its relation to God’s glory. I see God first, and man far down in the list.”

Charles Spurgeon, An All Round Ministry [Banner of Truth], p. 337.

Ceremonies exalt

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“I cannot therefore believe that any system of worship in which the sermon is made little of, or thrust into a corner, can be a Scriptural system, or one likely to have the blessing of God. I hold firmly with Bishop Latimer that it is one of Satan’s great aims to exalt ceremonies and put down preaching.”

J. C. Ryle, Home Truths [Triangle Press], 1:99.

Christ for Christ's Sake

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"A man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ's sake—until he gives up striving to attract people to himself and seeks only to attract them to Christ."

Robert Murray M'Cheyne.

Christ valued

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“Christ is never fully valued, until sin is clearly seen.”

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker],on Luke 20:9-19 , p. 326.

Conversion power

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“The conversion of the soul is not a small matter; nor is it a work effected by any human power. It is a resurrection due to the exceeding greatness of the power of God.”

Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians [Eerdmans], pp. 78-79.

Crontrite spirit

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“Whoever has heard the Word preached, and has not heard the voice of the living God therein, has not as yet had their hearts broken, nor their spirits made contrite for their sins.”

John Bunyan, "The Acceptable Sacrifice," in The Works of John Bunyan [Baker], 1:694.

Dead for Evermore

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"Man is alien to all spiritual good. He is insensible and dead in sin. Spiritual life must come to him from the Giver of life, or he must remain dead for evermore."

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Perseverance of the Saints" #872, on Phil.1:6.

Deadly faith

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“But if you have a faith which never touches your heart, a faith which never causes you to rejoice or mourn, a faith which neither makes you hate sin nor love the Lord Jesus, I charge you shake off your faith as Paul shook the viper from his hand, for it is a deadly faith…. Only the living faith which works upon the heart and influences the desires and the affections can be the faith of God’s elect.”

Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 23, (Albany, OR: Ages Software) 1998, on Acts 15:9 .

Denying Christ

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“You cannot preach Jesus Christ without preaching holiness; it is inconceivable! And if you attempt to do it you are denying Him.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Darkness and Light [Baker], p. 107.

Desire Christ

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“To desire Christ in the heart makes us ready to give up everything until we have Him.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ [Baker], p. 176.

Destitute with everything

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"To have God is to have all, though bereft of everything. To be destitute of God is to be bereft of everything, though having all."

F. B. Meyer, Abraham [Christian Literature Crusade], p. 63.

Discernment Survival

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"Sound doctrine divides, confronts, separates, judges, convicts, reproves, rebukes, exhorts, and refutes error. None of these things is very highly esteemed in postmodern thought. But the health of the church depends on our holding firmly to the truth, for where strong convictions are not tolerated, discernment cannot survive."

John MacArthur, The Truth War [Thomas Nelson], p. 198.


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“Doctrine is meant and designed to bring us to God. It is meant to be practical.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ [Baker], p. 94.

Empty Buckets

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"Be emptied of all opinion of self-worthiness. God pours the golden oil of mercy into empty vessels."

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity [Banner of Truth], p. 97.

Ending Captivity

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"Often depression of spirit and great misery of soul are removed as soon as we quit our idols and bow ourselves to obedience before the living God. We must do this with all our hearts and all our souls, and then our captivity will end."

Charles Spurgeon

Enough to do...

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“The danger lies, at this time, in setting up theatricals, semi-theatricals, concerts, and so forth. Until I see that the Lord Jesus Christ has set up a theatre, or planned a miracle-play, I shall not think of emulating the stage or competing with the music-hall. If I mind my own business, by preaching the gospel, I shall have enough to do.”

Charles Spurgeon, An All Round Ministry [Banner of Truth], p. 274.

Estimate of sin

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"Never was there a heresy, but it had something to do with an insufficient estimate of sin."

H. C. G. Moule, Ephesian Studies [Christian Literature Crusade], p. 70.

Eternal good

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“But to the soul that is awakened, and that is made to see things as they are, to him God is what he is in himself, the blessed, the highest, the only eternal good, and he without the enjoyment of whom all things would sound by emptily in the ears of that soul.”

John Bunyan, “Christ: A Complete Savior,” The Works of John Bunyan [Baker], 1:222.

Expository Outlines of the Bible

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"That only is the true Gospel, which leaves to man no ground of glorying in himself, but gives all the glory of his salvation to God alone."

Charles Simeon, Expository Outlines of the Whole Bible [Zondervan], on Acts 28:28 , p. 601.


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"Faith is not work, nor merit, nor effort; but the cessation from all these, and the acceptance in place of them of what another has done—done completely, and forever."

Horatius Bonar, cited by Joel Beeke, Puritan Reformed Spirituality [Evangelical Press], p. 382.

Faith in God's Word

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“Sincere faith in God must treat all God’s Word alike; for the faith which accepts one word of God and rejects another is evidently not faith in God, but faith in our own judgment, faith in our own taste.”

C. H. Spurgeon, “Noah’s Faith, Fear, Obedience, and Salvation,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, [Logos Software], p. 382.

Fearing God

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“For as a man drinks good doctrine into his soul, so he fears God.”

John Bunyan, “A Treatise on the Fear of God,” The Works of John Bunyan [Baker], 1:460.

Fly to Christ

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"Wherefore, the more you see your sins, the faster fly to Jesus Christ."

John Bunyan, "Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ," The Works of John Bunyan [Baker], 1:282.

Get rid of self-love

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“Our hearts also need to be strengthened, because while we love ourselves, Christ will not come into our hearts…. The ultimate battle in the Christian life is to get rid of self and of self-love.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ [Baker], p. 164.

Give all the glory

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“If your view of salvation in any respect does not give all the glory to God, you have probably not understood it.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: The Gospel of God [Zondervan], p. 30.

God's Blessed Presence

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What is the secret of our being kept from what this world has to give us? It is the sense of God's blessed presence, the reality of being perfectly blest through Christ our Lord."

Samuel Ridout, Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Loizeaux Brothers], p. 116.

God's wise disposal

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“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

Jeremiah Burroughs [exact reference unknown]

Good enough for God

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"Surely Christ is an object sufficient for the satisfaction of the Father. Surely, then, Christ is an object sufficient for the satisfaction of any soul!"

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Saints' Treasury.


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“There … is no one further from God than the man who thinks that his goodness is of the slightest value in the presence of that burning fire, that consuming fire, the holiness of God.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation [Baker], p. 188.

Half the Love of God

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"In order to measure the love of God you have first to go down before you can go up. You do not start on the level and go up. We have to be brought up from a dungeon, from a horrible pit; and unless you know something of the measure of that depth you will only be measuring half the love of God."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God's Way of Reconciliation [Baker], p. 201.

Hate your sin

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"Always preach in such a way that if the people listening do not come to hate their sin, they will instead hate you."

Martin Luther, cited in The Company of the Preachers, by David Larsen [Kregel], p. 157.

Heart Attraction

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"There is therefore heart-attracting glory in the Lord Jesus Christ, which, when discovered, subjects the heart to the Word, and makes us come to him."

John Bunyan, on John 6:37 , The Works of John Bunyan [Baker], 1:260.

Heart of Grace / Knowledge of Sin

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"The more real grace men have in their hearts, the deeper is their sense of sin."

J. C. Ryle, Holiness [James Clarke & Co.], p. 281.

Heaven is Hell for a sinner

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"If the Lord should bring a wicked man to heaven, heaven would be hell to him; for he who loves not grace upon earth will never love it in heaven."

Christopher Love

Heaven without Hell

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William Booth was asked in 1901 what he regarded as the chief dangers ahead for the 20th Century. He replied, "Religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God and heaven without hell."

Cited by Iain Murray, The Old Evangelicalism [Banner of Truth], p. xi.

His Life to Give

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"If we are not clear about who Jesus is, then we shall never know anything about the life which he came to give, and certainly we shall never know it in the abundance that we are meant to experience."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Path to True Happiness [Baker], p. 8.

Holy church

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“… the main characteristic of the Church is always that it should be holy—not that it should be large or influential.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Way of Reconciliation (Eph. 2 ) [Baker], p. 343.

It may be too late...

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"You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late."

Thomas Fuller, cited by C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David [Baker], 4:328.

Jest Not

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"Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest."

Puritan John Flavel (source unknown)

Joy Hindering Faith

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When men talk of a little hell, it is because they think they have only a little sin, and believe in a little Savior; it is all little together. But when you get a great sense of sin, you want a great Savior, and feel that, if you do not have him, you will fall into a great destruction, and suffer a great punishment at the hands of the great God.

Charles H. Spurgeon, “Joy Hindering Faith,” (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 38 [Ages Software]).

Kill sin

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"Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death."

John Owen

Kind master

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“There is no master so kind as Christ; no service so pleasant and profitable as that of Christ; and no reward so full, satisfying, and permanent as that of Christ. Let us, therefore, begin all things from Christ; carry on all things with and through Christ; and let all things aim at and end in Christ.”

John Brown (of Haddington, 1722-1787), cited by Joel Beeke, Puritan Reformed Spirituality [Evangelical Press], p. 213.

Knowledge of Him

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"The whole foundation of all gospel faith rests in the glory of Christ's person and offices.... It is this knowledge of him alone that will make us despise all other things in comparison with him."

John Owen, Apostasy from the Gospel [Banner of Truth], p. 93.

Loss is gain

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“No one ever sought eternal things in earnest, and was disappointed of his hope: no one ever suffered loss for them, but he found it to be gain in the end.”

Charles Simeon, Expository Outlines on the Whole Bible [Zondervan], 19:148.

Make war with...

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"If you would have peace, make war with sin."

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity [Banner of Truth], p. 265.

Measure sin

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“It is because man has an inadequate conception of sin that he has an inadequate conception of the grace of God. If you want to measure grace you must measure the depths of sin.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Ultimate Purpose (Eph. 1 ) [Baker], pp. 40-41.

Melting you heart

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“The heart, as it is by nature hard, stupid, and impenetrable, so it remains, and so will remain, until God, as was said, bruises it with his hammer, and melts it with his fire.”

John Bunyan, “The Acceptable Sacrifice, or the Excellency of a Broken Heart,” 1:709 in Bunyan’s Works [Baker].