11 Quotes On The Gospel Of John

Alongside my daily Bible study time in the Gospels of the New Testament, I have been reading J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts On The Gospels. You can check out my review of this book by clicking here. 

These are a few of the quotes I especially appreciated from Ryle’s comments on the Gospel of John.

“Ignorance of Scripture is the root of every error in religion and the source of every heresy. To be allowed to remove a few grains of ignorance, and to throw a few rays of light on God’s precious Word is, in my opinion, the greatest honor that can be put on a Christian.” 

“It is a real misfortune to Christianity when a Christian cannot smile. A merry heart and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften the prejudices, to take up stumbling blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the Gospel.” 

“We must maintain firmly that God hates wickedness, and that the end of all who persist in wickedness will be destruction. It is not true that God’s love is lower than hell. It is not true that God so loved the world that all mankind will be finally saved, but that He so loved the world that He gave His Son to be the Savior of all who believe. His love is offered to all men freely, fully, honestly, and unreservedly, but it is only through the one channel of Christ’s redemption.” 

“Nothing so defiles Christianity and gives the enemies of truth such occasion to blaspheme as jealousy and party-spirit among Christians. Wherever there is real grace, we should be ready and willing to acknowledge it, even though it may be outside our own pale. We should strive to say with the apostle, ‘If Christ be preached, I rejoice, yes! and will rejoice’ (Philippians 1:18). If good is done, we are to be thankful, though it even may not be done in what we think the best way. If souls are saved, we ought to be glad, whatever be the means that God may think fit to employ.” 

“Well may we be told to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom! Well may we be told to long for the Second Advent of Jesus Christ! Then, and not until then, shall there be no more curse on the earth, no more suffering, no more sorrow, and no more sin. Tears shall be wiped from the faces of all who love Christ’s appearing, when their Master returns. Weakness and infirmity shall all pass away. Hope deferred shall no longer make hearts sick. There will be no chronic invalids and incurable cases when Christ has renewed this earth.” 

“The ‘Scriptures’ of which our Lord speaks are of course the Old Testament. And His words show the important truth which too many are apt to overlook, that every part of our Bibles is meant to teach us about Christ. Christ is not merely in the Gospels and Epistles. Christ is to be found directly and indirectly in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. In the promises to Adam, Abraham, Moses, and David; in the types and emblems of the ceremonial law; in the predictions of Isaiah and the other prophets—Jesus, the Messiah, is everywhere to be found in the Old Testament. How is it that men see these things so little? The answer is plain: they do not ‘search the Scriptures.’ They do not dig into that wondrous mine of wisdom and knowledge, and seek to become acquainted with its contents. Simple, regular reading of our Bibles is the grand secret of establishment in the faith. Ignorance of the Scriptures is the root of all error.” 

“Trial, we must distinctly understand, is part of the diet which all true Christians must expect. It is one of the means by which their grace is proved and by which they find out what there is in themselves. Winter as well as summer—cold as well as heat—clouds as well as sunshine—are all necessary to bring the fruit of the Spirit to ripeness and maturity.” 

“Well would it be for men if they would act upon the truth they know. Instead of saying, as some do, ‘I must first know everything clearly and then I will act,’ we should say, ‘I will diligently use such knowledge as I possess and believe that in the using fresh knowledge will be given to me.’ How many mysteries this simple plan would solve! How many hard things would soon become plain if men would honestly live up to their light and ‘follow on to know the Lord’ (Hosea 6:3). … The plain things in religion are undeniably very many. Let a man honestly attend to them and he shall be taught the deep things of God.” 

“Happy is he who never stifles his conscience, but strives to keep it tender! Still happier is he who prays to have it enlightened by the Holy Spirit and sprinkled with Christ’s blood.” 

“Let us resist procrastination as we would resist the devil. Whatever our hand finds to do, let us do it with our might. ‘The night comes when no man can work.’” 

“It is noteworthy that the resurrection of our Lord in some places is attributed to His Father’s act (Acts 2:24-32), once, at least, to the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18), and here [John 10:18] and in John 2:19 to Christ Himself. All leads to the same great conclusion—that the resurrection of our Lord, as well as every part of His mediatorial work, was an act in which all three Persons of the Trinity concurred and cooperated.” 

You can read Ryle’s quote on The Gospel of Matthew here, on the Gospel of Mark here, and on the Gospel of Luke here.

Good Coveting

Covet GodIf we simply state the last of the Ten Commandments like this—You shall not covet—we have missed the true intention of that commandment. You see, God created us to covet. The issue is not if we will covet, but what we will covet.

The word covet means (1) long for greatly, (2) take pleasure in, or (3) find desirable. Throughout the Old Testament this word is used twice as many times in the positive sense as in the negative. The Bible, in fact, encourages us to covet after a deeper relationship with God; to covet God’s ways; to covet our spouse … to covet all of the good and moral things God created for us.

The tenth commandment prohibits us from coveting immorally.

If we restate the first commandment like this—I am the Lord your God. You shall covet a relationship with Me alone—then we will immediately be able to obey all of the other commandments. But if we break the tenth commandment by coveting things other than God, we are liable to break every commandment.

Check this out:

  • Adam & Eve—their immoral coveting led to violating commandments 1, 5 and 8.
  • Achan—his immoral coveting led to violating commandments 2, 8 and 6.
  • David—his immoral coveting led to violating commandments 7, 8, 9 and 6.
  • Judas Iscariot—his immoral coveting led to violating commandments 1, 9, 3 and 6.

Augustine said, “I call the love to God the motion of the soul toward the enjoyment of God for His own sake, and the enjoyment of one’s self and of one’s neighbor for the sake of God.” Coveting God is good!

We were made to covet Him. satan wants us to covet our neighbor’s house, spouse, lifestyle, and possessions, but if we listen to him, we will end up miserable.

God coveting = good coveting!

11 Quotes From “Alone”

AloneAlone should be read and discussed by parents and teens to help find the right balance of technology usage in our lives. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that stood out to me from Alone.

“Maybe God created Adam to be needy. … Maybe Adam’s relationship with God was not built in fullness but contained a hole God created inside of humanity so we might recognize the importance of each other. It was (and is) brilliant.”

“Friendship has to be accompanied by experience. … The illusion of friendship is making everyone in the world think we’re perfect. … Instead of time spent experiencing life together, we’ve turned our world into a self-shaped, self-regulated, self-indulgent, me-centered life.”

“We are now a culture that wants to deal with relationships on our time. … Relationships are work. They’re inconvenient. They’re exciting and spontaneous. You can’t apply some formula for relationships and expect to walk out of the room with a load of friends.” 

“When you realize what role you have to play here on the planet, the most beautiful sense of belonging begins to awaken inside your soul. The world begins making sense. No matter what you’re doing, if God has gifted you in it, you’re going to have a high level of functioning.”

“Don’t get me wrong: Hard work and dedication are important factors as we help people understand significance, but in the end, our short lives are shaped by the relationships we make along our own journey. And if those relationships are filled with people who believe in us, the lonely factor fades away and we are recognized for the abilities we do have rather than the ones we don’t. Paul said it clearly: ‘I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands’ (2 Timothy 1:6). What can you do to fan someone else’s flame? Who in your life fans yours?”

“Maybe it’s because we’ve replaced the idea of risk and adventure with the idea of wealth and comfort. Loneliness begins to creep into a man’s life when adventure and risk are taken out of the equation, when men have to replace their God-given desires with something ‘more responsible.’ … Men need to sense that what they are doing in the world is courageous. They need to feel the sense of responsibility and freedom. They need to have opportunities to express their manhood.”

“There is no perfect girlfriend. There is no perfect employee. There is no perfect friend. There is no perfect body type or student or athlete. There’s no such thing as a perfect woman who finds the perfect role for her perfect situation. Those who continue to assign a high value to that mythical person who has it all together are driving themselves mad with the idea that they can achieve her. It’s from this feeling of failure, of never measuring up, that the loneliness sets in.” 

“The first step in understanding true joy is defining what joy actually is. It’s a feeling. It’s an emotion. It’s a state of mind. It’s the ability to know that the desires of your heart are being fulfilled. It’s not happiness. It’s not the constant state of euphoria. It’s not everything lining up perfectly. … In modern times, joy happens when we interact with each other. When we see a friend’s smile giving us validation that he or she is interested in being with us: joy. When we hear the words ‘How are you?’ in an honest tone, with honest body language behind it: joy. When we have an opportunity to rest in the fact that someone else wants us to be the person God created us to be: ultimate joy.”

“The quickest way to initiate friendship is to give people freedom to be themselves.”

“‘Oh, you did sooo well in your game,’ she said, walking past, rolling her eyes. Versus … ‘I can’t believe you! You’re the most awesome basketball player I’ve ever seen,’ she said, putting her arm around her friend in celebration. See the difference? Authentic versus agenda-driven. Caring for someone versus using someone. When a tribe is built … When experience glues relationships together … When you can rest in the joy that certain relationship gives you … Loneliness starts to fade away. But you can’t do that on Facebook.”

“If we can take the value of the social networking scene and combine it with real-time relationships, we might see this trend of loneliness take a positive direction. What would life look like if we could really experience life together? Community is important. To be able to contribute to the life of the community is even more fulfilling.” 

Total Victory!!

Jesus overcame“People outside the Christian tradition spend their time arguing the divinity of Christ. People inside the Christian tradition spend their time arguing the humanity of Christ.” —Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

Jesus came to earth fully human. This cannot be overstated, as it is crucial to how we can defeat temptation.

Our First Parents (Adam and Eve) listened to the tempting words of the devil, which caused them to sin against God. By this treachery, they handed over the dominion of earth to satan, and he has used that to keep people bound in deathly fear since that time (see Hebrews 2:14-15). But at the moment of sin—even as God was pronouncing judgment—there was an implicit promise made of the salvation Jesus would bring. God’s promise was that Eve’s offspring would crush satan under His foot.

This is why it was so important that Jesus be totally human in His work on earth, that He share in our humanity in every way (Hebrews 2:14, 17).

The devil has three weapons he uses: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Notice how he used these in his successful temptation of Adam and Eve—

  • The fruit was good for food = the lust of the flesh.
  • The fruit was pleasant to the eyes = the lust of the eyes.
  • The fruit was desirable to make one wise… to be like God = the pride of life.

Because this was successful for him, satan tempted the Second Adam (Jesus) using the exact same strategy—

  • Turn these stones to bread = the lust of the flesh.
  • I will give you the kingdom of the world and their glory = the lust of the eyes.
  • Cast yourself down from here and angels will protect you = the pride of life.”

Jesus didn’t overcome these temptations because He was God. Jesus overcame them as a Man anointed by the Spirit of God! Jesus used the same weapons that are available to us: the Word of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Not only do we have these two weapons, but we also have a victorious Savior who is helping us!

Because Jesus overcame temptation as a Man, He is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Because Jesus overcame the temptations of satan as a man, you can too! 

To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25)

“And Then He Died…”

That’s the end of his life. All those years living and that’s all his obituary says.

Genesis 5 is the lineage of Adam. A mind-numbing list of names and years scroll by:

  • Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
  • His son Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.
  • His son Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.
  • His son Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.
  • His son Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.
  • His son Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.
  • And on and on and on….

For each man we hear the name of one of his sons and how long he lived, but nothing more. Like a modern-day tombstone:

Birth Date Death Date

The dash between the dates covers the childhood, schooling, marriage, inventions, parenthood, and so many other things. But years later, more and more of the details are forgotten and only the dash remains to represent the sum total of the deceased’s life.

And then comes Enoch.

All of the same details are there. Well, except for the and then he died epitaph. But actually there’s so much more. Instead of a death, there’s a phrase that appears only for him: “Enoch walked with God.” The phrase literally means, “to be continually conversant.”

Because Enoch lived this way, he didn’t really die. Instead, “He was no more.” He wasn’t here any longer because he is still walking with God. What an incredible blessing to his future generations! He was a blessing while he was alive, and he continues to be a blessing after he is no more.

Enoch’s tombstone reads differently from everyone else. It’s the way I would want my tombstone to read:

Craig T. Owens

1966  He Walked With God He Is Still Walking With God

In The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey suggests living my life today consistent with what I would like said at my own funeral. It starts with a decision: “Today I will be continually conversant with God.” Then at my funeral they can say of me, like the Bible says of Enoch: “He didn’t die. He’s just not here any longer. He is walking with God in heaven, just like he walked with Him here on earth.”

What do you want said about your dash? Do you want your life to simply end with “And then he died”? Do you want something more? Make your dash a continual conversation, a daily walk, with God, and all of your future generations won’t see just a dash, they’ll remember “He is no more. He walked with God, and is still walking with God!

Start today!

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