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Sermon Quotes: "A Pastor's Heart"

“I have lived with the apostle Paul for over sixty years-admired him, envied him, feared him, pounded on him, memorized him, written poems about him, wept over his sufferings, soared with him, sunk to the brink of death with him, spent eight years preaching through his longest letter, imitated him. Ha-imitated him! In ten lives, I would not come close to his sufferings-or what he saw.Can you really know a man who lived two thousand years ago? We have thirteen letters that he wrote and a short travelogue of his ministry-the book of Acts-written by his personal physician, Luke. My answer is yes, you can know him.” John Piper

“I owe my life to the gospel of Jesus and no one has taken me deeper into the mysteries of the gospel than Paul…I love him for the Christ he shows me.” John Piper

“You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thess. 1:5

“Paul was a follower of the crucified One and was not about to let mistreatment in one place keep him from telling people about Christ in another.” Gordon Fee

“It is a lovely thing that a man as tough and masculine as the apostle Paul should have used this feminine metaphor. He displayed the gentleness, love and self-sacrifice of a mother.” John Stott

“I suspect that many of us who chat warmly about blessings we have received from Paul’s writings would find it more than a little unsettling to engage him in personal conversation…Who of us would not be nervous at the prospect of sitting down to a meal with him?” J. Knox Chamblin

“My aim has been to help you along the way in getting to know the apostle Paul and what he taught and how he lived. Behind this aim is the hope and prayer that this man’s God-entranced soul and his unparalleled vision of Jesus Christ and the authenticity of his life would move you to admire him and believe his message and embrace his Lord…Though Paul has never seen me, he has diagnosed my hopeless, sinful condition before God. He has looked me in the eye and told me the truth. There is no hope in myself. And then, through a life of almost unremitting suffering, he has labored to show me and teach me where there is relief and life and hope. He put it in the form of a personal testimony to help me feel its preciousness:

‘For [Christ’s] sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.’ (Phil. 3:8-9)

Here is the dawning of the light of hope for the darkness of my dread, a righteousness that is not my own. A righteousness that is from God, not myself. Yet a righteousness that would count as mine, if I could be found in Christ. And how might I be found in Christ? Not be law-keeping, but by faith. It is a righteousness ‘which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. Which means that at the last judgment, Christ would be my advocate, not my adversary.

Martin Luther said that if this news were true, he would stand on his head for joy. I suspect he kept his word, and all of Wittenberg leaped with gladness as Paul’s gospel turned the world upside down.” John Piper