Famous QuotesQuotes from Heroes of the Faith
Throughout the course of history, great men and women of God have spoken of their loyalty to Scripture and the gospel within the framework of their circumstances. Below is a collection of a few such statements that clearly display their fidelity to the God of the Bible and His truth as authoritative and sufficient.
Quotes Regarding the Authority of Scripture
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.”
~ Martin Luther (1483-1546) before the Diet of Worms – April, 1521
“To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may be one, even as we are one”? (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, ‘Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless… Unite, unite!’ Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord’s prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at verse 17: ‘Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.’ Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel.”
~ Charles H. Spurgeon, The Essence of Separation
Question: Are the Scriptures a Complete Rule?
Answer: The scripture is a full and perfect canon, containing in it all things necessary to salvation: 2 Timothy 3:15,……It shows the credenda, – what we are to believe; and agenda, – what we are to practice. It gives us an exact model of religion, and perfectly instructs us in the deep things of God……The scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret scripture but scripture; the sun best discovers itself by its own beams;…
~ Thomas Watson – A Body of Practical Divinity, Series of Sermons on the Shorter Catechism, “Of the Scriptures,” p. 25.
“If your imaginary revelation is not according to this Word, it has no weight with us; and if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing….The Scripture alone is absolute truth, essential truth, decisive truth, authoritative truth, undiluted truth, eternal, everlasting truth.”
~ Charles Spurgeon (Sermon # 1890 – Delivered Sunday, March 7, 1886)
“We must stress that the basis for our faith is neither experience nor emotion, but the truth as God has given it: in verbalized, propositional form in the Scripture and which we first of all apprehend with our minds – though, of course, the whole man must act upon it.”
~ Francis Schaeffer, The Complete Works, Vol. 3, Book 3, The New Super-Spirituality, Crossway Books, p. 397
“But here Reason may turn up her nose and say: ‘Why should God will these things to be done by means of words, when nothing is accomplished by such words, and the will is unable to turn itself in either direction? Why does he not do what he does without speaking a word, seeing he is able to do everything without a word, and the will of itself neither gains in strength nor effectiveness from hearing the word, if the inward movement of the Spirit is lacking, nor would it lose any strength or effectiveness through not hearing the word if the Spirit were present, since everything depends on the power and operation of the Holy Spirit?’ We shall reply: It has thus pleased God to impart the Spirit, not without the Word, but through the Word, so as to have us as cooperators with him [1 Cor. 3:9] when we sound forth outwardly what he himself alone breathes inwardly wherever he wills (John 3:8), thus doing things that he could of course do without the Word, though he does not will so to do. And who are we that we should inquire into the cause of the divine will [Rom. 9:20]? It is enough to know that God so wills, and it is becoming for us to reverence, love, and adore his will, putting a restraint on the rashness of Reason. Similarly, he could nourish us without bread, and in fact has provided a means of nourishing us without bread, as Matthew 4:4 says: Man is not nourished by bread alone, but by the Word of God, though it has pleased God by means of bread and together with bread brought to us from without, to nourish us with the Word inwardly.”
~ Martin Luther, Career of the Reformer III, Bondage of the Will, 33:154-55
“Doctrine and life must be distinguished….I don’t scold myself into becoming good, but I fight over the Word and whether our adversaries teach it in its purity. That doctrine should be attacked – this has never before happened. This is my calling. Others have censured only life, but to treat doctrine is to strike at the most sensitive point,…
When the Word remains pure, then the life (even if there is something lacking in it) can be molded properly. Everything depends on the Word, and the pope has abolished the Word and created another one. With this I have won, and I have won nothing else than that I teach aright….”
~ Martin Luther, Table Talk 54:110 (#624)
“The devil has no better way to conquer us than by leading us away from the Word and to the Spirit.”
~ Martin Luther, Table Talk 54:97 (cf. Bondage 33:154-155)
Quotes Regarding the Sufficiency of Scripture
“Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves. Their name may be Legion, for they are many; but truth is one, and one Scripture sweetly harmonizes with another. Hence it is, though they were many penmen of sacred writ, and those of several ages one after another, yet they all are said to have but one mouth: ‘As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.’ Luke 1:70 All had one mouth, because they accord so perfectly together. The best way therefore to know the mind of God in one text, is to lay it to another. The lapidary uses one diamond to cut another; so should we use one place of Scripture to interpret another. Scriptures compared, like glasses set one against another, cast a light each to the other.”
~ William Gurnall – The Christian in Complete Armor, Volume 3, Chapter 24, Section 5
“Highly prize the Scriptures – ‘The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver.’ (Psalm 119:72) Can he make a proficiency in any art, who doth slight and deprecate it? Prize this book of God above all other books. St. Gregory calls the Bible ‘the heart and soul of God.’ … The Scripture is the library of the Holy Ghost; it is a pandect of divine knowledge, an exact model and platform of religion. … ‘The Scripture is the standard of truth,’ the judge of controversies; it is the pole-star to direct us to heaven (Isaiah 8:20). …. The Scripture is the compass by which the rudder of our will is to be steered; it is the field in which Christ, the Pearl of price, is hid; it is a rock of diamonds, it is sacred ‘eye-salve;’ it mends their eyes that look upon it; it is a spiritual optic-glass in which the glory of God is resplendent; it is the panacea or ‘universal medicine’ for the soul. … The Scripture is both the breeder and feeder of grace. How is the convert born, but by ‘the word of truth’? James 1:18. How doth he grow, but by ‘the sincere milk of the word’? 1 Peter 2:2. … it is the sea-mark which shows us the rocks of sin to avoid; it is the antidote against error and apostasy, the two-edged sword which wounds the old serpent. It is our bulwark to withstand the force of lust; … The Scripture is the ‘tower of David,’ whereon the shields of our faith hang: … ‘Take away the Word, and you deprive us of the sun,’ said Luther. The word written is above an angelic embassy, or voice from heaven. ‘This voice which came from heaven we heard.’ We have also, ‘a more sure word’: 2 Peter 1:18,19. O prize the word written; prizing is the way to profiting. … ‘I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food’: Job 23:12.”
~ Thomas Watson, The Morning Exercises
“Some say that faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breathe it; so is bread, but you have to eat it. Some are wanting some miraculous kind of feeling. That is not faith. ‘Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’ (Rom 10:17). That is whence faith comes. It is not for me to sit down and wait for faith to come stealing over me with a strong sensation, but is for me to take God at His Word.”
~ D. L. Moody, The Way to God and How to Find It, Chapter 3
“In an age of relativity, the practice of truth when it is costly is the only way to cause the world to take seriously our protestations concerning truth. Cooperation and unity that do not lead to purity of life and purity of doctrine are just as faulty and incomplete as an orthodoxy which does not lead to a concern for, and a reaching out towards, those who are lost….All too often the only antithesis we have exhibited to the world and to our own children has been our talking about holiness or our talking about love, rather than the practice of holiness and love together as truth, in antithesis to what is false in theology, in the Church, and the surrounding culture.”
~ Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, closing thoughts.