Category Archives: The Gospel

“The best way to shorten winter” by G.K. Chesterton

“The best way to shorten winter is to prolong Christmas.”

–G.K. Chesterton, Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, Vol. 11 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989), 11: 376.

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Filed under Quotable Quotes, Christian Theology, Puritanical, The Gospel, G.K. Chesterton, Jesus Christ, Advent

“It cannot be grasped or held enough or too much” by Martin Luther

“It should not bore you if we repeat here what we teach, preach, sing, and write at other times and places. For if we lose the doctrine of justification, we lose simply everything.

Hence the most necessary and important thing is that we teach and repeat this doctrine daily, as Moses says about his Law (Deut. 6:7). For it cannot be grasped or held enough or too much. In fact, though we may urge and inculcate it vigorously, no one grasps it perfectly or believes it with all his heart.

So frail is our flesh and so disobedient to the Spirit!”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 26; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 26: 26.

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“It’s His song, not mine, that I’m here to sing” by Elisabeth Elliot

“There are sometimes spaces in our lives that seem empty and silent. Things grind to a halt for one reason or another. Not long ago, the ‘music’ in my life seemed to stop because of a rejection, a loss, and what seemed to me at the time a monumental failure.

I was feeling rather desolate when I came across a paragraph written more than a hundred years ago by the artist John Ruskin:

There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody, the music is broken off here and there by ‘rests,’ and we foolishly think we have come to the end of time. God sends a time of forced leisure– sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts– and makes us a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of the Creator. How does the musician read the rest? See him beat time with unvarying count and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between. Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed at the ‘rests.’ They are not to be slurred over, nor to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. In the end we will see that in order to have a complete song, we must have the ‘rests’ in between the notes. If we look up, God Himself will beat time for us. With the eye on Him we shall strike the next note full and clear.

So the Lord brought to me precisely the word I needed at the moment: There was ‘the making of music’ in what seemed a hollow emptiness.

It’s His song, not mine, that I’m here to sing. It’s His will, not mine, that I’m here to do. Let me focus my vision unwaveringly on Him who alone knows the complete score, ‘and in the night His song shall be with me,’ (Psalm 42:8).”

–Elisabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2002), 161-162.

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“He is completely unlike us in every way” by Paul David Tripp

“Our hope is not found in understanding why God allowed suffering into our lives.

Our hope is not found in the belief that somehow we will tough our way through.

Our hope is not found in doctors, lawyers, pastors, family, or friends.

Our hope is not found in our resilience or ingenuity.

Our hope is not found in ideas or things.

Though we may look to all those for temporary help, ultimately our hope rests in the faithful and gracious presence of the Lord with us.

He is not weakened by what weakens us.

He is not confused by what confuses us.

He does not suffer from the mood swings that afflict us.

He is not afraid like we are.

He never makes a bad decision.

He never finds Himself out of control.

He never wants to take back His words.

He never regrets the way He’s behaved.

He never responds impulsively.

His choices are never driven by anxiety.

He never dreads the next day.

He never wants to give up.

He is never frustrated by an inability to make a difference.

He is with us, but the reason this is so wonderfully comforting is that He is completely unlike us in every way.

He is limitless in power, He has authority over everything, He is perfect in every way, He dwells with us, and He assures us that He’s not leaving.”

–Paul David Tripp, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 147-148.

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“Take hold of Him and cling to Him with all your heart” by Martin Luther

“If you want to be safe and out of danger to your conscience and your salvation, put a check on this speculative spirit.

Take hold of God as Scripture instructs you (1 Cor. 1:21, 24): “Since, in wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Therefore begin where Christ began—in the Virgin’s womb, in the manger, and at His mother’s breasts. For this purpose He came down, was born, lived among men, suffered, was crucified, and died, so that in every possible way He might present Himself to our sight. He wanted us to fix the gaze of our hearts upon Himself and thus to prevent us from clambering into heaven and speculating about the Divine Majesty.

Therefore whenever you consider the doctrine of justification and wonder how or where or in what condition to find a God who justifies or accepts sinners, then you must know that there is no other God than this Man Jesus Christ.

Take hold of Him; cling to Him with all your heart, and spurn all speculation about the Divine Majesty; for whoever investigates the majesty of God will be consumed by His glory. I know from experience what I am talking about.

But these fanatics, who deal with God apart from this Man, will not believe me. Christ Himself says: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6).

Outside Christ, the Way, therefore, you will find no other way to the Father; you will find only wandering, not truth, but hypocrisy and lies, not life, but eternal death.

Take note, therefore, in the doctrine of justification or grace that when we all must struggle with the Law, sin, death, and the devil, we must look at no other God than this incarnate and human God.”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 26; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 26: 29.

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“Christ is truly God by nature” by Martin Luther

“The true deity of Christ is proved by this conclusion: Paul attributes to Him the ability to grant the very same things that the Father does—grace, peace of conscience, the forgiveness of sins, life, and victory over sin, death, the devil, and hell.

This would be illegitimate, in fact, sacrilegious, if Christ were not true God. For no one grants peace unless he himself has it in his hands. But since Christ grants it, He must have it in His hands.

Christ gives grace and peace, not as the apostles did, by preaching the Gospel, but as its Author and Creator. The Father creates and gives life, grace, peace, etc.; the Son creates and gives the very same things.

To give grace, peace, eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, justification, life, and deliverance from death and the devil—these are the works, not of any creature but only of the Divine Majesty.

The angels can neither create these things nor grant them. Therefore these works belong only to the glory of the sovereign Majesty, the Maker of all things.

And since Paul attributes the very same power to create and give all this to Christ just as much as to the Father, it follows necessarily that Christ is truly God by nature.”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 26; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 26: 31.

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“These words are a veritable thunderbolt from heaven” by Martin Luther

“In a sense Paul treats the argument of this epistle in every word. He has nothing in his mouth but Christ.

Therefore in every word there is a fervor of spirit and life. Note how precisely he speaks.

He does not say: “Who has received our works from us” or “Who has received the sacrifices required by the Law of Moses—acts of worship, monastic orders, Masses, vows, and pilgrimages.”

Instead, he says: “Who has given.” Has given what? Neither gold nor silver nor cattle nor Passover lambs nor an angel, but “Himself.”

For what? Neither for a crown nor for a kingdom nor for our holiness or righteousness, but “for our sins.”

These words are a veritable thunderbolt from heaven against every kind of righteousness, as is the statement (John 1:29): “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Therefore we must pay careful attention to every word and not look at it casually or pass over it lightly; for these words are filled with comfort, and they give great encouragement to timid consciences.”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 26; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 26: 32.

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