Peter Jeffery on Evangelism and Being Different

The following is a quote from Peter Jeffery’s small book “Moving Out With the Christian Faith”.  This small book packs a much needed punch.  It will challenge you, convict you, strengthen you, and encourage you in the area of true evangelism.

The Christians in the Acts of the Apostles caused a stir everywhere they went because they were different.  Their lives, actions, ambitions and believes were different, and people took note of them.  Today we try desperately to make our faith acceptable to people by making our Christianity no different from their lifestyle.  So Christians go to the pub after church for a drink; Christians laugh at the world’s unsavoury jokes; Christians delight in the world’s ungodly music.  We are desperately trying to show them that really we are exactly like them.

The result is that the church has no effect upon the world.  The world ignores us.  Why should it bother if we are not different?  But the Bible calls us to be different; and this difference can be a very importan means of evangelism.  Howe often have you heard a testimony of salvation in which the person says that what first attracted him to Christianity was a friend who ‘had something I did not have’?

Creeds & Confessions by Carl Trueman

While the objection to them is often couched in language that appears to be jealous for biblical authority, there are also powerful forces at work within our modern world that militate against adherence to historical statements of the Christin faith. As the goldfish swimming in the bowl is unaware of the temperature and taste of the water in which he swims, so often the most powerfully formative forces of our societies and cultures are those with which we are so familiar as to be functionally unaware of how they shape our thinking, even our thinking about what exactly it means to say that Scripture has supreme and unique authority. It would be tragic irony if the rejection of creeds and confessions by so many of those who sincerely wish to be biblically faithful turned out to be not an act of faithfulness but rather an unwitting capitulation to the spirit of the age.

In other words, we are impacted by our society more than we think.  Therefore, we should not lean on our own understanding so much or so quickly.  Trueman rightfully asserts that we all are confessional, “the difference is simply whether one adheres to a public confession, subject to public scrutiny, or to a private confession that is, but its very nature, immune to such examination.”  More simply stated, we all abide by a confession, most people today abide by a private confession of their own, rather than one that is agreed upon and tested.

Francis Schaeffer on Who is Jesus?

I have come to the point where, when I hear the word ‘Jesus’ which means so much to me because of the Person of the historic Jesus and his work – I listen carefully because I have with sorrow become more afraid about the word ‘Jesus’ than almost any other word in the modern world.  The word is used as a content-less banner, and our generation is invited to follow it.  But there is no rational scriptural content by which to test it, and thus the word is being used to teach the very opposite things from those taught by Jesus.  We have come to this fearsome place where the word ‘Jesus’ has become the enemy of the Person Jesus, and the enemy of what Jesus taught.

Peter Jeffery on True Happiness in the New Year

In the Psalms ‘blessed’ means happy, so Psalm 1 is telling us
what is necessary to make a man happy.
At this time of the year you will be wishing friends a happy
New Year and they will be doing the same to you. The words
give a certain amount of pleasure, but what exactly do they
They generally mean that we hope that the circumstances
of life will shine favourably upon our loved ones. For most
people happiness depends entirely upon circumstances. This
is a fallacy, but people believe it, with the result that happiness
becomes a fleeting allusion, always dancing in and out
of our lives and never constant or permanent.
For the psalmist happiness is independent of circumstances and
depends upon our relationship with God.
The happy man does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
(v. 1) — he does not take his standards and lifestyle from the
current whims of the world.
So what is it that makes him happy? We are told in verse 2.
He has a standard that does not change. He takes God seriously.
Because of this he has stability (v. 3) and is not shaken
by every adverse circumstance.
Here is a good thought to start the new year with — be
determined that you will take God seriously. Don’t be like so
many who just play around with Christianity as if it is a Sunday
Give more time to God so that your private devotions are
not a duty but a delight.
Learn to enjoy God. If you do this you will find that your
whole spiritual life will take on a new dimension and God will
be your happiness. Happy New Year.

Pride and Humility by JC Ryle

I found this a very helpful reminder:

Do you want to know the root and spring of humility?
One word describes it. The root of humility is right knowledge.

The person who really knows himself and his own heart,
who knows God and his infinite majesty and holiness,
who knows Christ and the price at which he was redeemed,
that person will never be a proud person.

He will count himself, like Jacob, unworthy of the least
of all God’s mercies. He will say of himself, like Job,
“I am unworthy.” He will cry, like Paul, “I am the worst
of sinners” He will consider others better than himself
(Philippians 2:3).

Ignorance–nothing but sheer ignorance, ignorance of
self, of God, and of Christ–is the real secret of pride.

From that miserable self-ignorance may we daily pray
to be delivered. The wise person knows himself and
will find nothing within to make him proud.

Quote: John MacArthur on Selfishness

Selfishness is one telltale sign of immaturity. Babies are completely self-centered. They scream if they don’t get what they want when they want it. All they are aware of are their own needs and desires. They never say thanks for anything. They can’t help others; they can’t give anything. They can only receive.

And certainly there’s nothing wrong with that when it occurs in the natural stage of infancy. But to see a child whose development is arrested so that he never gets beyond that stage of helpless selfishness—that is a tragedy.

And that is exactly the spiritual state of multitudes in the church today. They are utterly preoccupied with self. They want their own problems solved and their own comfort elevated. Their spiritual development is arrested, and they remain in a perpetual state of selfish helplessness. It is evidence of a tragic abnormality.

From an article “The Marks of Immaturity”

Quote on Local Church by Mack Tomlinson

The Local Church
If you neglect the church, you neglect your soul. Your attitude towards the priority of a local church reveals much about the condition of your soul and whether you are really part of the body of Christ. One of the first signs of backsliding toward apostasy is neglecting meeting with the brethren faithfully. If you don’t love the church that Christ died for, then it’s an evidence that you’re probably unregenerate. You cannot be connected to the Vine without being among the branches.
Can you say honestly with your heart: “I need my church?” If you have access to a Biblical church, you are without excuse if you neglect it.

-Mack Tomlinson


Quote: Spurgeon on True Worship

It is not your worshipping God by words in hymns and prayers, or sitting in a certain place, or covering your faces at certain times that is acceptable to him; true worship lies in your heart paying reverence to him, your soul obeying him, and your inner nature coming into conformity to his own nature, by the work of his Spirit in your soul; and because men can scarcely get the idea of this till the Holy Spirit gives it to them, this is a reason why it is so rare, so exceedingly rare.

Charles Spurgeon

Quotes: CS Lewis on Love

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

We were not meant to keep our life and heart intact, but to be broken and redeemed.