Sermon Quotes: "The Imperfect Church"

“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all. And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.” Charles Spurgeon

“It is a very simple passage. There are no mysteries and complexities. It says, ‘Admonish the idle,’ and it means you are supposed to admonish people who are idle. And then it says you are to encourage the fainthearted and it means you are to encourage the fainthearted. And it says you are to help the weak and it means you are to help the weak. And then it says you are to be patient with everybody and it means you are to be patient with everybody. So that’s the Greek background to this passage. It is a really basic passage. It says exactly what it means. It means what it says and then makes us grapple with the implications.” David Powlison

“Thus the command is to stir up these loafers and order them to their duty.” Edmond Hiebert

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:9-11

“At any one time, any one of us fits in the shoes of any of these types. So 5:14 is not given so that you ‘type’ a person with a fixed label. View them as functional categories, as ways of thinking about whatever is going on in front of you. These are only tendencies, not fixed definitions.” David Powlison

“The church is a hospital in which nobody is completely well, and anyone can relapse at any time.” J.I. Packer

“We must show patience to everyone, even those with whom it is hardest to be patient. After all, Christian growth is a slow process, and it takes time to mature in the faith. If we do not bear with one another, there will be no space for any of us to grow. We are not to tolerate gross sin, but we are to be exceedingly patient with each other.” John Calvin

“The proper Christian response to harmful treatment from others, regardless of its source and nature, is not merely that of patience and nonretaliation but additionally the aggressive pursuit of what is best for the offending person and party.” Jeffrey Weima

“The real difficulty most of God’s people have with this admonition is that God may not give such people what they deserve, but may show them the same kind of mercy that he showed themselves!” Gordon Fee

“Appreciate the patience of God. Think how he has borne with you, and still bears with you, when so much of your life is unworthy of him, and you have so richly deserved his rejection. Learn to marvel at his patience, and seek grace to imitate it in your dealings with others; and try not to try his patience any more.” J.I. Packer

“The long-suffering of God is very wonderful. He bears innumerable injuries from men, and those which are very great. If we consider the wickedness there is in the world, and then consider how God continues the world, does not destroy it, but is continually blessing it with innumerable streams of good...And if we consider the goodness of God to some particular populous cities, how vast the quantity of the fruits of God’s goodness is which is daily spent upon them, and consumed by them, and then consider what wickedness there was in these very cities, it will show us how amazingly great is his long-suffering. He is long-suffering to the sinners that he spares and to whom he offers his mercy, even while they are rebelling against him. And especially if we consider God’s long-suffering towards his elect, many of whom live long in sin, and are great sinners, and God bears with them, yea, bears to the end, and finally is pleased to forgive, and never punishes them, but makes them vessels of mercy and glory, and shows mercy to them even while enemies…” Jonathan Edwards