7 Quotes For Preachers

PreachingI love getting counsel from been-there-done-that people, because I’m always looking for ways to grow and improve. I was reading these quotes for myself, but I thought my fellow pastors might enjoy them as well.

“A sermon is not like a Chinese firecracker to be fired off for the noise which it makes. It is the hunter’s gun, and at every discharge he should look to see his game fall.” ―Henry Ward Beecher

“That is not the best sermon which makes the hearers go away talking to one another, and praising the speaker, but which makes them go away thoughtful and serious, and hastening to be alone.” ―Gilbert Burnet

“Great sermons lead the people to praise the preacher. Good preaching leads to people to praise the Savior.” ―Charles G. Finney

“The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, with the jargon of Plato, or Aristotle, and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime Preacher of the Sermon on the Mount.” ―Thomas Jefferson

“The sermon edifies, the example destroys. Practice what you preach.” ―Abbé de Villiers

“Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.” ―John Wesley, in his journal

“It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher.” ―George Whitefield

“Brethren, The Fault Is Ours…”

Pastor, these are incredible words spoken by the great Charles Finney nearly 140 years ago! I encourage you to take the time to hear these words with an open heart.

I believe it is a fact generally admitted that there is much less conscience manifested, by men and women, in nearly all the walks of life, than there was forty years ago. There is justly much complaint of this, and there seems to be but little prospect of reformation. The rings and frauds and villainies in high and low places, among all ranks of men, are most alarming, and one is almost compelled to ask: “Can nobody be safely trusted?” Now, what is the cause of this degeneracy? Doubtless there are many causes that contribute more or less directly to it; but I am persuaded that the fault is more in the ministry and public press than in any and all things else. It has been fashionable now for many years to ridicule and decry Puritanism. Ministers have ceased, in a great measure, to probe the consciences of men with the spiritual law of God. So far as my knowledge extends, there has been a great letting down and ignoring the searching claims of God’s law, as revealed in his Word. This law is the only standard of true morality. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law is the quickener of the human conscience. Just in proportion as the spirituality of the law of God is kept out of view will there be manifest a decay of conscience. …The proper guardians of the public conscience have, I fear, very much neglected to expound and insist upon obedience to the moral law.

…The true Gospel is not preached where obedience to the moral law as the only rule of life is not insisted upon. Wherever there is a failure to do this in the instructions of any pulpit it will inevitably be seen that the hearers of such a mutilated Gospel will have very little conscience. …The universal literature of the present day shows conclusively that the moral sense of the people needs toning up, and some of our most fascinating preachers have become the favorites of infidels, skeptics of every grade, Universalists, and the most abandoned characters.

…My beloved brethren in the ministry, is there not a great want in the public inculcations of the pulpit upon this subject? We are set for the defense of the blessed Gospel and for the vindication of God’s holy law. I pray you let us probe the consciences of our hearers, let us thunder forth the law and Gospel of God until our voices reach the capital of this nation, through our representatives in Congress. It is now very common for the secular papers even to publish extracts of sermons. Let us give the reporters of the press such work to do as will make their ears and the ears of their readers tingle. Let our railroad rings, our stock gamblers, our officials of every grade hear from its pulpit, if they come within the sound, such wholesome Puritanical preaching as will arouse them to better thoughts and a better life. Away with this milk-and-water preaching of a love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it. Away with preaching a love of God that is not angry with sinners every day. Away with preaching a Christ not crucified for sin.

…Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. —Charles Finney (December 4, 1873)

15 Quotes From “Spirit Rising”

Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala makes a compelling case for diving into the full life in Christ that can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit (you can read my full review of this book by clicking here).

Here are 15 of my favorite quotes from this book (unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from Pastor Cymbala):

“No outward teaching can compare to the inward power of the Holy Spirit.”

“The Christian religion is hopeless without the Holy Ghost.” —Samuel Chadwick 

“We are not such fools to refuse good bank notes because there are false ones in circulation; and although we see here and there manifestations of what appears to be nothing more than mere earthly fire, we none the less prize and value, and seek for the genuine fire which comes from the altar of the Lord.” —William Booth

“An undeniable expression of Spirit-controlled living is that we will be lifted above the limitations of mere natural talents and abilities.”

“When we see only what we want to see in the Bible, it loses all power to transform us.”

“Thousands stand ready to split doctrinal hairs and instruct others in the fine meaning of Scriptural words—but there are so few through whom the Holy Spirit can work to bring [people] to new birth in the kingdom of God.” —William Law

“Paul warned, ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’ (Eph. 4:30). If the Spirit is grieved, He’s vexed and sad. Although we know our salvation isn’t lost by our sin, we also become painfully aware that there’s a strain in our relationship. Communion with God is affected, and we feel an uncomfortable emptiness. The sun is still there and shining, but we no longer feel its warmth. It is as if a cloud blocks it.”

“Without the Holy Spirit’s power, we’ll never have enough of what we need to become the people God wants us to be.”

“I believe one of the reasons Jesus picked those men [the twelve apostles] was specifically because they lacked natural resources. They would have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“The Holy Spirit was sent to accomplish many divine purposes, but at the top of the list was the empowering of God’s people to reach the world with the gospel of Christ. …If we lose sight of God’s heart of love for the world—including our own cities and neighborhoods—we will experience little of the Spirit’s power, since we are on a different page than our Lord is on.”

“It’s interesting to note the first reason Mark gives for appointing the Twelve [Mark 3:13-15]. That they might be with Him. When Jesus called someone, fellowship came before ministry.”

“It’s easy to understand how prayers can be stopped in public schools filled with unbelieving students and teachers. But when God’s own people and Christian churches have little or no time for prayer, that’s another story. The angels must weep when they see our disinterest in prayer! Do we realize we’re forfeiting the help and strength promised by a faithful God to those who will simple take time to ask?”

“We are never really men of prayer in the best sense until we are ‘filled with the Holy Ghost.’” —Samuel Chadwick

“We can easily settle for ‘church’ instead of God. And every succeeding generation shaped in that mold makes it harder for anyone to dare ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’”

“Without the Spirit, Christianity is reduced to head knowledge about God, empty traditions, and a social club mentality.”

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