Tag Archives: Gospel of John

“Sharing the Light together” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“I implore you all, love with me, run with me by believing. Let us long for the country up above. Let us pant and sigh for that country up above. Let us realize that we are strangers here.

What will we see then? Let the Gospel say it now: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,’ (John 1:1).

You will come to the fountain from which you have been sprayed with dew-drops, from where a ray has been sent obliquely by roundabout ways into the darkness of your heart. You will see the naked Light itself.

You are being purified so as to see and bear it. ‘Beloved,’ says John himself, as I reminded you yesterday, ‘we are the children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be; we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is,’ (1 John 3:2).

I really do sense your feelings of yearning, of eagerness, being lifted up with me to what is above. But the body which is perishable is weighing upon the soul, and this earthly dwelling is pressing down the mind filled with many thoughts.

So I too then am going to put away this copy of the Gospel. You are all going to depart as well, each to your own home. It has been good, sharing the Light together, good rejoicing in it, good exulting in it together; but when we depart from each other, let us not depart from Him.”

–Augustine of Hippo, Homilies on the Gospel of John, The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, Trans. Edmund Hill (New York: New City Press, 2009), 550. Augustine is concluding his sermon on John 8:13-14.

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“How can we be wise apart from the Wisdom of God?” by John Calvin

“We are taught in this passage that the knowledge of Christ must be sought from the Scriptures. Those who imagine what they like about Christ will ultimately have nothing but a shadowy ghost in His place.

First then, we must hold that Christ cannot be properly known from anywhere but the Scriptures. And if that is so, it follows that the Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them.

Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, will never reach the knowledge of the truth. For how can we be wise apart from the Wisdom of God?

Moreover, as we are commanded to seek Christ in the Scriptures, so He declares in this passage that our work will not be fruitless, for there the Father bears witness to His Son in such a way that He will manifest Him to us beyond all fought.

But what hinders most men is that they look at them only carelessly and as it were in passing. But it needed the utmost application, and so Christ commanded them to search diligently for this hidden treasure.

Accordingly, the abhorrence for Christ which the Jews feel, who have the Law constantly in their hands, must be imputed to their laziness. For the brightness of God’s glory shines clearly in Moses, but they want to have a veil to obscure that brightness.

‘By the Scriptures,’ of course, is here meant the Old Testament. For Christ did not first begin to be manifested in the Gospel; but the One to whom the Law and the Prophets bore witness was openly revealed in the Gospel.”

–John Calvin, The Gospel According to St John: 1-10, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 4; trans. T.H.L. Parker, Ed. David Torrance and Thomas Torrance (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1961), 139. Calvin is commenting on John 5:39.

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“The peace which Christ gives” by J.C. Ryle

“‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you.’ Peace is Christ’s peculiar gift: not money, not worldly ease, not temporal prosperity. These are at best very questionable possessions. They often do more harm than good to the soul.

They act as clogs and weights to our spiritual life. Inward peace of conscience, arising from a sense of pardoned sin and reconciliation with God, is a far greater blessing. This peace is the property of all believers, whether high or low, rich or poor.

The peace which Christ gives He calls ‘My peace.’ It is specially His own to give, because He bought it by His own blood, purchased it by His own substitution, and is appointed by the Father to dispense it to a perishing world.

Just as Joseph was sealed and commissioned to give corn to the starving Egyptians, so is Christ specially commissioned, in the counsels of the Eternal Trinity, to give peace to mankind.

The peace that Christ gives is not given as the world gives. What He gives the world cannot give at all, and what He gives is given neither unwillingly, nor sparingly, nor for a little time. Christ is far more willing to give than the world is to receive.

What He gives He gives to all eternity, and never takes away. He is ready to give abundantly above all that we can ask or think. ‘Open thy mouth wide,’ He says, ‘and I will fill it.’ (Psalm 81:10.)

Who can wonder that a legacy like this should be backed by the renewed emphatic charge, ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid?’ There is nothing lacking on Christ’s part for our comfort, if we will only come to Him, believe, and receive.

The chief of sinners has no cause to be afraid. If we will only look to the one true Saviour, there is medicine for every trouble of heart. Half our doubts and fears arise from dim perceptions of the real nature of Christ’s Gospel.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 3 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1880), 87-88. Ryle is commenting on John 14:27-31.

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