Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Problem of Pain - by C. S. Lewis

"All men alike stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt." (pg. 11)

"Whatever human freedom means, Divine freedom cannot mean indeterminacy between alternatives and choice of one of them. Perfect goodness can never debate about the end to be attained, and perfect wisdom cannot debate about the means most suited to achieve it. The freedom of God consists in the fact that no cause other than Himself produces His acts and no external obstacle impedes them - that His own goodness is the root from which they all grow and His own omnipotence the air in which they all flower." (pg. 26-27)

"Our life is, at every moment, supplied by Him: our tiny, miraculous power of free will only operates on bodies which His continual energy keeps in existence - our very power to think is His power communicated to us." (pg. 33)

"When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some 'disinterested', because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one." (pg. 39)

"The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word 'love', and look on things as if man were the centre of them. Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake." [Rev. 4:11] (pg. 40)

"The first answer, then, to the question why our cure should be painful, is that to render back the will which we have so long claimed for our own, is in itself, wherever and however it is done, a grievous pain." (pg. 88-89)

"It is hardly complementary to God that we should choose Him as an alternative to Hell: yet even this He accepts. The creature's illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the creature's sake, be shattered; and by trouble or fear of trouble on earth, by crude fear of the eternal flames, God shatters it 'unmindful of His glory's diminution'." (pg. 96)

"The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination." (pg. 98)

"But if suffering is good, ought it not to be pursued rather than avoided? I answer that suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads." (pg. 110-111)

"In the fallen and partially redeemed universe we may distinguish (1) the simple good descending from God, (2) the simple evil produced by rebellious creatures, and (3) the exploitation of that evil by God for His redemptive purpose, which produces (4) the complex good to which accepted suffering and repented sin contribute." (pg. 111)

"To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity." (pg. 127-128)

C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2001)

Holy Spirit Power - by Charles Spurgeon

"Paraclete is the Holy Ghost, and it is the original Greek word, but it has other meanings besides 'Comforter.' Sometimes it means 'monitor' or 'instructor.' Frequently it means 'advocate,' but the most common meaning of the word is 'comforter.'" (pg. 10)

"No man ever learns anything correctly unless he is taught by the Spirit. No man can know Jesus Christ unless he is taught by God." (pg. 11)

"He (Holy Ghost) is the mighty Advocate when He pleads in the soul. He makes us aware of sin, of righteousness, and of the judgment to come." (pg. 13)

"The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. [John 14:26]" (pg. 20)

"If you have one blessing, you will have all. God will never divide the Gospel. He will not give justification to one and sanctification to another, or pardon to one and holiness to another." (pg. 24)

"The Spirit comes to Convict before He comforts..." (pg. 25)

"Now, man can guide us to a truth, but it is only the Holy Spirit who can guide us into a truth. [John 16:13]" (pg. 69)

"...the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth by suggesting ideas, directing our thoughts, and illuminating the Scriptures when we read them." (pg. 75)

"...wherever there is a real work of grace in any soul, it begins with a pulling down. The Holy Ghost does not build on the old foundation." (pg. 91)

"We cannot fetch anything from elsewhere and bring it to God, but the praises of God are simply the facts about Himself." (pg. 163)

"That it came from Christ is the best thing about the best thing that ever came from Christ. That He saves me is somehow better than my being saved. It is a blessed thing to go to heaven, but I do not know that it is not a better thing to be in Christ and so, as the result of it, to get into heaven." (pg. 164)

"The Holy Ghost will glorify Christ by making us see that these things from Christ are indeed of Christ, completely from Christ, and still in connection with Christ, and we only enjoy them because we are in connection with Christ." (pg. 165)

Charles Spurgeon, Holy Spirit Power (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1996)

Authority - by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"Use your reason, use your intellect; do so honestly, and you will come to the conclusion that there is a limit to reason. And then wait. It is at that point that God in His infinite grace and kindness meets us in revelation." (pg. 13)

"We must never conceive of revelation as existing only in Jesus Christ or beginning with His coming into the world. God had revealed Himself in times past, ..." (pg. 31)

"You cannot separate the Lord Jesus Christ from the background and the context of the Old Testament Scriptures." (pg. 32)

"The whole Bible comes to us and offers itself to us in exactly the same way, and as a whole. There is no hint, no suspicion of a suggestion that parts of it are important and parts are not. All come to us in the same form." (pg. 35)

"Just as a man may have an intellectual conception of, and give an intellectual assent to, the truth about Christ without really receiving Him and becoming a Christian, so he can do exactly the same with the Scriptures." (pg. 38)

"...the only adequate view of the world as it is today is to be found in the biblical view of man, the biblical view of the fall, and of sin. It is only in the light of this teaching that you can understand the whole process of history." (pg. 42)

"...all that we believe about the Scriptures and about the Lord Himself can only be applied in our ministry, and so become relevant to the world and its situation, as we are under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit." (pg. 62)

"We are so concerned about ourselves and our self-importance that we are almost afraid to allow the Holy Spirit to gain control, lest we find ourselves doing something or saying something, or appearing in a guise which does not accord fully with our ideas of what befits the modern educated, sophisticated individual." (pg. 66)

"We seem to have forgotten that God has done most of His deeds in the Church throughout its history through 'remnants'. We seem to have forgotten the great story of Gideon, for instance, and how God insisted on reducing the thirty-two thousand men down to three hundred, before He would make use of them." (pg. 71)

"You can be an advocate of Christianity without being a Christian. ... You may be talking about something which you do not really know, about Someone you have never met. You are an advocate, perhaps even a brilliant advocate. But note what the Lord said to the apostles: 'Ye shall be my witnesses.'" (pg. 82)

"A revival is something that can never be arranged and organized by men. A revival is the result of the direct action of the Holy Ghost in authority and power." (pg. 89)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authority (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner Of Truth Trust, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1997)