Sermon Quotes: "Keep Doing What You Did"

“Paul mentions the subject of thanksgiving in his letters more often, line for line, than any other Hellenistic author, pagan or Christian... Pauline thanksgiving approximates what we understand by 'praise,' for it is broader than the expression of gratitude for personal benefits received. The apostle regularly gave thanks for God's graces effected in the lives of others. Thanksgiving is a response to God's saving activity in creation and redemption. It is always the second word, never the first.” Peter O'Brien, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters

“For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:3–5)

"We should bear in mind that Paul and his companions are not fomenting anti-Semitism with the strong rhetoric of this passage. They stand in the prophetic tradition, and that of Jesus, by announcing judgment on those who stood firmly opposed to the new thing God was doing among the Gentiles." Gene Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians

“And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.'” (Acts 17:2–3)

The word of God that they received was not a meaningless idea or a doctrine to be maintained; it was a source of power in the lives of those who believed. Paul does not specify here how the gospel is effective, but undoubtedly the Thessalonians would have understood it in terms of the way in which they experienced the work of the Spirit (cf. 1:5–6), both at the time of their conversion and later in the life of their community (cf. 5:15f.)." Charles Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians

“You must remember, we are all creatures of imitation… There is something in us all, that we are always disposed to catch the ways of those with whom we live; and the more we like them, the stronger does the disposition grow. Without our being aware of it, they influence our tastes and opinions.” J.C. Ryle, Thoughts for Young Men

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12)

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4)

“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.” N. D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire

"I do not, in my private capacity, believe that a baby gets his best physical food by sucking his thumb; nor that a man gets his best moral food by sucking his soul, and denying its dependence on God or other good things. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." G. K. Chesterton, A Short History of England