“What ‘scholarly’ would mean for me is that the greatest object of knowledge is God and that he has revealed himself authoritatively in a book; and that I should work with all my might and all my heart and all my soul and all my mind to know and enjoy him and to make him known for the joy of others” (p. 67).
“Where Jesus is proclaimed as Lord and Savior and Treasure, God raises the spiritually dead and opens the eyes of the spiritually blind. And in that moment, Christ is seen as glorious. He is trusted and treasured, and therefore honored. This is what is at stake, and why I have written this book” (p. 15-16).
“The events took place over three thousand years ago. Could it be relevant and helpful for your life? I think so. The sovereignty of God, the sexual nature of man, and the gospel never change. And since God is still sovereign, and you are male or female, and Christ is alive and powerful, the book has a message for you” (p. 11).
“What overwhelms me, as I ponder this and trace the lives of William Tyndale, John Paton, and Adoniram Judson, is how strategic it was that they died so many times and in so many ways before their lives on earth ended. This is no rhetorical flourish. The Bible speaks this way, and these followers of Christ knew it” (p. 13).
“The aim of this book is to enlarge your vision of what marriage is. As Bonhoeffer says, it is more than your love for each other. Vastly more. Its meaning is infinitely great. I say that with care. The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people” (p. 15).
“In other words, offending God is the essential consideration, not killing man or imperiling a nation. That is what made Wilberforce tick. He was not a political pragmatist. He was a radically God-centered Christian who was a politician. And his true affections for God based on the ‘peculiar doctrines’ of Christianity were the roots of his endurance in the cause of justice” (p. 25).
“Battling unbelief and fighting for faith in future grace means that we fight fire with fire. We throw against the promises of sin the promises of God. We take hold of some great promise God made about our future and say to a particular sin, ‘Match that!’” (p. 16).
“So my prayer for this book is that God would stand forth and reassert his Creator-rights in our lives, and show us his crucified and risen Son who has all authority in heaven and on earth, and waken in us the strongest faith in the supremacy of Christ, and the deepest comforts in suffering, and the sweetest fellowship with Jesus that we have ever known” (p. 18).
“I do love the Bible and try to steep my mind and heart in it year after year. So what I have written here is partly meditations on biblical reality and partly applications to contemporary life” (p. 11).
“Some swans are alive and sing in our day. But not many. And only time will tell if their song will survive the centuries. But time has already rendered that judgment for hundreds of swans. They have died, and their work has stood the test of time. Their song is, therefore, especially valuable for us to hear” (p. 9).
“Jesus Christ came into this world – this fleeting, fallen, fickle world – and did the greatest thing that will ever be done” (p. 12).
“I long to be of help to believers and unbelievers who are seeing some of the radical heart- changes demanded by the Bible in the Christian life—especially that we must desire God more than anything. I am not interested in superficial, external behavior changes, which the Pharisees were so good at” (p. 15).
“If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full. This is not a book about how to avoid a wounded life, but how to avoid a wasted life. Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life above Christ is a tragedy” (p. 10).
“Yes, the Word pierces. And there is pain. But for those who trust in the living word, Jesus Christ, all the piercing will be pleasant in the end” (p. 11).
“How can I not cry, Look! Believe! Be satisfied! It may cost you your life to see it. But it will be worth it, because we know on good authority that ‘The steadfast love of the LORD is better than life’ (Psalm 63:3 RSV). Infinite delight is a dangerous duty. But you will not regret the pursuit” (p. 3).
“The very thing the tilting ship needs in the storm is the ballast of God’s good sovereignty, not the unburdening of deep and precious truth. What makes the crush of calamity sufferable is not that God shares our shock, but that his bitter providences are laden with the bounty of love” (p. 9).
“As I have preached through the first eight chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans in the last four years, I have found my mind and heart moving toward Luther’s estimation of the doctrine of justification, and particularly the imputation of Christ’s righteousness as the precious foundation of our full acceptance and everlasting inheritance of life and joy” (p. 13).
“More than ever I believe in preaching as a part of worship in the gathered church. Preaching is worship, and it belongs in the regular worship life of the church no matter the size of the church” (p. 9).
“I do not consider my conclusions novel from a historical viewpoint. Nevertheless, with regard to both the righteousness of God and the election of men, the conclusions are not in vogue today, and so exegetical explanation and defense are needed” (p. 15).
“God’s delight in being God is not sung the way it should be, with wonder and passion, in the worship places of the word. And we are the poorer and weaker for it. My hope and prayer in writing this book is that more and more people would meditate with me on the pleasures of God” (p. 7).
“By future I do not merely mean the grace of heaven and the age to come. I mean the grace that begins now, this very second, and sustains your life to the end of this paragraph. By grace I do not merely mean the pardon of God in passing over your sins, but also the power and beauty of God to keep you from sinning” (p. 5).
“My prayer is that God might be pleased to take the short readings of this book and set a sentence or paragraph on fire in your mind” (p. 14).
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more” (p. 15).