Sermon Quotes: "Goodness and Severity"

“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God’ writes Paul in Romans 11:22. The crucial word here is and. The apostle is explaining the relation between Jew and Gentile in the plan of God. He has just reminded the Gentile readers that God rejected the great mass of their Jewish contemporaries for unbelief, while at the same time bringing many pagans like themselves to saving faith. Now he invites them to take note of the two sides of God’s character which appeared in this transaction. ‘Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity, but toward thee, goodness.’ The Christians at Rome are not to dwell on God’s goodness alone, nor on his severity alone, but to contemplate both together. Both are attributes of God-aspects, that is, of his revealed character. Both appear alongside each other in the economy of grace. Both must be acknowledged together if God is to be truly known.” J.I. Packer

“Revival does not guarantee the absence of sin in a community. When many people are converted and genuinely transformed, when many are renewed and truly learn to hate sin, others find it more attractive to be thought holy than to be holy. Revival offers
many temptations to hypocrisy that would be less potent when the temper of the age is secularistic or pagan.” Don Carson

“If the devil’s first tactic was to destroy the church by force from without, his second was to destroy it by falsehood from within.” John Stott

“The sin of attempting to deceive God cost Ananias his life.” Darrell Bock

“It was this claim to sanctity and self-denial, this pretense of generosity and piety, that was so offensive. Left unchecked, it might well multiply. It would certainly place into positions of honor people whose conduct did not deserve it. But worse, it was a blatant lie against the Holy Spirit-as if the Spirit of God could not know the truth, or would not care…When God walks away from the church and lets the multiplying sin take its course, that is the worst judgment of all; it will inevitably end in irretrievable disaster. But when God responds to sin with prompt severity, lessons are learned, and the church is spared a worse drift. In this case, great fear fell not only on the church but also on all who heard of these events (5:5,11).” Don Carson

“The temptation to seek a higher reputation than is our due for generosity or some other virtue is not so uncommon that we can afford to adopt a self-righteous attitude toward poor Ananias. Let us rather take warning from his example.” F.F. Bruce

“The age of the internet, it is said, is the age of the self and the selfie. The world is full of people full of themselves…From the shortest texts and tweets to the humblest website, to the angriest blog, to the most visited social networks, the daily communications of the wired world attest that everyone is now in the business of relentless self-promotion-presenting themselves, explaining themselves, defending themselves, selling themselves
or sharing their inner thoughts and emotions as never before in human history…The great goals of life, we are told, are to gain the widest possible public attention and to reach as many people in the world with our products-and always, our leading product is
Us. Are Christian’s ready for this new age?” Os Guinness

“He is indeed long-suffering, patient and slow to anger. In fact He is so slow anger that when His anger does erupt we are shocked and offended by it. We forget rather quickly that God’s patience is designed to lead us to repentance, to give us time to be redeemed. Instead of taking advantage of this patience by coming humbly to Him for forgiveness, we use this grace as an opportunity to become more bold in our sin. We delude ourselves into thinking that either God doesn’t care about it or that He is powerless to punish us. The supreme folly is to think we will get away with our revolt.” R.C. Sproul

“By reserving the use of such a significant term for this climactic moment in his narrative, Luke was characterizing the group that God had been gathering to himself through the preaching of the gospel as the community saved by Jesus for entrance into his end-time kingdom. By the positive work of the Spirit in their midst (illustrated in Acts 2-4) and by this summary act of judgment, excluding from among them those who were not ‘one in heart and mind’ (4:32), God was unmistakably designating them as his own, the new Israel in the midst of the old.” David Peterson