J. I. Packer quote

"There is a tremendous relief in knowing that {God's} love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me."

J. I. Packer

Born: July 22, 1926

Occupation: Christian Theologian

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More quotes of J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer

A wise man had said that your Christian life is like a three-legged stool. The legs are doctrine, experience and practice, which is obedience; and you, will not stay upright unless all three are there....

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J. I. Packer

The simple statement, 'God is for us', is in truth one of the richest and weightiest utterances that the Bible contains.

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J. I. Packer

Nothing can alter the character of God. In the course of a human life, tastes and outlook and temper may change radically: a kind, equable man may turn bitter and crotchety: a man of good-will may grow...

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J. I. Packer

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God.

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J. I. Packer

Scripture is the most up-to-date and relevant reading that ever comes my way.

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J. I. Packer

Trying to describe what I do in prayer would be like telling the world how I make love to my wife.

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J. I. Packer

The most universally awesome experience that mankind knows is to stand alone on a clear night and look at the stars. It was God who first set the stars in space; He is their Maker and Master . . . such...

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J. I. Packer

The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction...

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J. I. Packer

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die...

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J. I. Packer

We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of...

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J. I. Packer

Certainly true worship invigorates, but to plan invigoration is not necessarily to order worship.

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J. I. Packer

The fruit of wisdom is Christlikeness, peace, humility and love. And, the root of it is faith in Christ as the manifested wisdom of God

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J. I. Packer

All true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action.

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J. I. Packer

God made life, and God alone can tell us its meaning.

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J. I. Packer

To know that nothing happens in God's world apart from God's will may frighten the godless, but it stabilizes the saints.

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J. I. Packer

We meet God through entering into a relationship both of dependance on Jesus as our Saviour and Friend and of discipleship to Him as our Lord and Master.

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J. I. Packer

How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each Truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God,...

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J. I. Packer

There is nothing more irreligious than self-absorbed religion.

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J. I. Packer

The Trinity is the basis of the gospel, and the gospel is a declaration of the Trinity in action.

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J. I. Packer

The stars may fall, but God's promises will stand and be fulfilled.

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J. I. Packer

Only when it is seen that what decides each individual's destiny is whether or not God decides to save him from his sins, and that this is a decision that God need not make in any individual case, can...

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J. I. Packer

In the New Testament grace means God's love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves.

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J. I. Packer

What is less often noticed is that it is precisely the kind of moral instruction that parents are constantly trying to give their children — concrete, imaginative, teaching general principles from particular...

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J. I. Packer

Not until we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God's holiness and sovereignty...a cknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned...

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J. I. Packer

We approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world....It is easy to be unaware that it...

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J. I. Packer

One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and the censorious.

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J. I. Packer

It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the most profound unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. God became man; Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth...

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J. I. Packer

The most excellent study of expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.

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J. I. Packer

God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives. Felt weakness deepens dependence on Christ for strength each day. The weaker we feel, the harder...

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J. I. Packer

Jesus' pattern prayer, which is both crutch, road, and walking lesson for the spiritually lame like ourselves, tells us to start with God: for God matters infinitely more than we do.

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J. I. Packer

We must learn to measure ourselves, not by our knowledge about God, not by our gifts and responsibilities in the church, but by how we pray and what goes on in our hearts. Many of us, I suspect, have no...

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J. I. Packer

Our high and privileged calling is to do the will of God in the power of God for the glory of God.

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J. I. Packer

The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God.

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J. I. Packer

Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as king in self's place.

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J. I. Packer

The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. And the harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away.

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J. I. Packer

This one word 'grace' contains within itself the whole of New Testament theology.

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J. I. Packer

Adoption is the highest privilege the gospel offers.

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J. I. Packer

When we reach the outer limit of what Scripture says, it is time to stop arguing and start worshipping.

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J. I. Packer

The modern way with God is to set him at a distance, if not to deny him altogether; and the irony is that modern Christians, preoccupied with maintaining religious practices in an irreligous world, have...

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J. I. Packer

Repentance, as we know, is basically not moaning and remorse, but turning and change.

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J. I. Packer

The way to be truly happy is to be truly human, and the way to be truly human is to be truly godly.

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J. I. Packer

The grace of God is love freely shown toward guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit.

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J. I. Packer

God's love is an exercise of his goodness toward sinners who merit only condemnation.

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J. I. Packer

It is staggering that God should love sinners, yet it is true.

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J. I. Packer

For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?

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J. I. Packer

A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.

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J. I. Packer

Arminianism is 'natural' in one sense, in that it represents a characteristic perversion of Biblical teaching by the fallen mind of man.

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J. I. Packer

There is a tremendous relief in knowing that {God's} love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me,...

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J. I. Packer

Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God's near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound...

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J. I. Packer

Calvary not merely made possible the salvation of those for whom Christ died; it ensured that they would be brought to faith and their salvation made actual.

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J. I. Packer

Joy is a condition that is experienced, but it is more than a feeling; it is, primarily, a state of mind.

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J. I. Packer

Even when we cannot see the why and wherefore of God's dealings, we know that there is love in and behind them, and so we can rejoice always.

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J. I. Packer

What God does in time, He planned from eternity. And all that He planned in eternity He carries out in time.

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J. I. Packer

William Wilberforce...w as a great man who impacted the Western world as few others have done. Blessed with brains, charm, influence and initiative, much wealth ... he put evangelism on Britain's map as...

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J. I. Packer

The preachers commission is to declare the whole counsel of God; but the cross is the center of that counsel.

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J. I. Packer

Every time we mention God we become theologians, and the only question is whether we are going to be good ones or bad ones.

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J. I. Packer

What we do every time we pray is to confess our impotence and God's sovereignty.

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J. I. Packer

Grace means God sending his only Son to the cross to descend into hell so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven.

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J. I. Packer

Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology.

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J. I. Packer

Read two old books for every new one.

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J. I. Packer

The truth is that, though we were justified by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone (it always produces fruit, 'good works,'...a transformed life).

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J. I. Packer

The Son of God came to seek us where we are in order that he might bring us to be with him where he is,

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J. I. Packer

There are no small sins against a great God

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J. I. Packer

Our best works are shot through with sin and contain something for which we need to be forgiven.

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J. I. Packer

What is a Christian? The richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.

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J. I. Packer

The task of the church is to make the invisible Kingdom visible through faithful Christian living and witness-bearing .

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J. I. Packer

A God whom we could understand exhaustively, and whose revelation of Himself confronted us with no mysteries whatsoever, would be a God in man's image, and therefore an imaginary God, not the God of the...

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J. I. Packer

We must seek, in studying God, to be led to God.

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J. I. Packer

Pelagianism is the natural heresy of zealous Christians who are not interested in theology.

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J. I. Packer

If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and...

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J. I. Packer

To know God's love is indeed heaven on earth.

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J. I. Packer

The Spirit is not given to make Bible study needless, but to make it effective.

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J. I. Packer

Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity.

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J. I. Packer

The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God's presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God's word, who lets it dwell...

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J. I. Packer

God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives.

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J. I. Packer

We are to order our lives by the light of His Law, not by our guesses about His plan.

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J. I. Packer

If one preaches the Bible biblically, one cannot help preaching the gospel all the time...

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J. I. Packer

Creatures are not entitled to register complaints about their Creator.

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J. I. Packer

We are only living truly human lives just so far as we are labouring to keep God's commandments; no further.

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J. I. Packer

He that has learned to feel his sins, and to trust Christ as a Saviour, has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity.

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J. I. Packer

We never move on FROM the Gospel, we move on IN the Gospel

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J. I. Packer

Thank you, Mr.Lewis, for being you. I wouldn't have missed you for the world.

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J. I. Packer

Simple assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by Biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving, and to elicit only assent of this kind would be...

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J. I. Packer

Whatever else in the Bible catches your eye, do not let it distract you from Him.

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J. I. Packer

What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we have in life? To know God. What is the eternal life that Jesus gives? To know God. What is the best thing in life? To know God. What in humans gives...

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J. I. Packer

There's a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve Him, boldness to share Him, and contentment in Him.

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J. I. Packer

Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded.

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J. I. Packer

The Puritan ethic of marriage was first to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, then to proceed...

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J. I. Packer

Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future...

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J. I. Packer

Guidance, like all God's acts of blessing under the covenant of grace, is a sovereign act. Not merely does God will to guide us in the sense of showing us his way, that we may tread it; he wills also to...

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J. I. Packer

Suffering is getting what you do not want while wanting what you do not get.

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J. I. Packer

Adoption is the highest privilege that the gospel offers: higher even than justification.. . To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.

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J. I. Packer

I need not torment myself with the fear that my faith may fail; as grace led me to faith in the first place, so grace will keep me believing to the end. Faith, both in its origin and continuance, is a...

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J. I. Packer

The Christian's life in all its aspects-intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness-is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So...

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J. I. Packer

The Holy Spirit's main ministry is not to give thrills but to create in us Christlike character.

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J. I. Packer

Confidence that one's impressions are God-given is no guarantee that this is really so, even when they persist and grow stronger through long seasons of prayer. Bible-based wisdom must judge them.

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J. I. Packer

Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life's problems fall into place of their own accord.

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J. I. Packer

Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.

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J. I. Packer

Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge...

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J. I. Packer

The Life of true holiness is rooted in the soil of awed adoration

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J. I. Packer

...love and pity for hell's occupants will not enter our hearts.

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J. I. Packer

[N]obody can produce new evidence of your depravity that will make God change his mind. For God justified you with (so to speak) his eyes open. He knew the worst about you at the time when he accepted...

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J. I. Packer

Do I as a Christian understand myself? Do I know my own real identity? My own real destiny? I am a child of God, God is my Father; heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Saviour is my brother;...

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J. I. Packer

Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice...

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J. I. Packer

What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance, and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what...

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J. I. Packer

Real spiritual growth is always growth downward, so to speak, into profounder humility, which in healthy souls will become more and more apparent as they age.

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J. I. Packer

God was happy without humans before they were made; he would have continued happy had he simply destroyed them after they had sinned; but as it is he has set his love upon particular sinners, and this...

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J. I. Packer

There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in...

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J. I. Packer

Wisdom is the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.

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J. I. Packer

Christian minds have been conformed to the modern spirit: the spirit, that is, that spawns great thoughts of man and leaves room for only small thoughts of God.

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J. I. Packer

It has been said that in the New Testament doctrine is grace; and ethics is gratitude; and something is wrong with any form of Christianity in which, experimentally and practically, this saying is not...

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J. I. Packer

Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives... Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense...

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J. I. Packer

Our aim in studying the Godhead must be to know God himself better. Our concern must be to enlarge our acquaintance, not simply with the doctrine of God’s attributes, but with the living God whose attributes...

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J. I. Packer

Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity? In the faith of the New Testament it is central. The love of God, the taking of human form by the Son, the meaning of the cross, Christ's heavenly...

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J. I. Packer

Underlying the preaching of the Puritans are three basic axioms: 1. The unique place of preaching is to convert, feed and sustain, 2. The life of the preacher must radiate the reality of what he preaches,...

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J. I. Packer

Revelation does not mean man finding God, but God finding man, God sharing His secrets with us, God showing us Himself. In revelation, God is the agent as well as the object.

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J. I. Packer

Our business is to present the Christian faith clothed in modern terms, not to propagate modern thought clothed in Christian terms... Confusion here is fatal.

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J. I. Packer

I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know...

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J. I. Packer

The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity--hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory--because at the Father's will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that...

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J. I. Packer

We complain today that ministers do not know how to preach; but is it not equally true that our congregations do not know how to hear?

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J. I. Packer

Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ's sheep.

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J. I. Packer

Sinners cannot obey the gospel, any more than the law, without renewal of heart.

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J. I. Packer

If our theology does not quicken the conscience and soften the heart, it actually hardens both.

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J. I. Packer

Men who know their God are before anything else men who pray, and the first point where their zeal and energy for God's glory come to expression is in their prayers. If there is little energy for such...

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J. I. Packer

God has spoken to man, and the Bible is his Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation... Godliness means responding to God's revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise,...

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J. I. Packer

God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the...

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J. I. Packer

A little knowledge OF God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge ABOUT him.

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J. I. Packer

The God of Israel is King of kings and Lord of lords... He know, and foreknows, all things, and his foreknowledge is foreordination; he, therefore, will have the last word, both in world history and in...

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J. I. Packer

We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us, bringing us to know him by making his love known to us... The word know, when used of God in this way, is a sovereign-grace word, pointing to...

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J. I. Packer

The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor...

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J. I. Packer

Were it not for the work of the Holy Spirit there would be no gospel, no faith, no church, no Christianity in the world at all.

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J. I. Packer

It is not for us to imagine that we can prove the truth of Christianity by our own arguments; nobody can prove the truth of Christianity except the Holy Spirit, by his own almighty work of renewing the...

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J. I. Packer

God's ways do not change... Still he shows his freedom and lordship by discriminating between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel while others do not hear it, and moving some of those who hear it...

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J. I. Packer

The character of God is today, and always will be, exactly what it was in Bible times.

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J. I. Packer

Living becomes an awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent Creator.

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J. I. Packer

God's wisdom is not, and never was, pledged to keep a fallen world happy, or to make ungodliness comfortable.

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J. I. Packer

The Christian's instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God. But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack: and that is one reason why...

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J. I. Packer

God has not abandoned us any more than he abandoned Job. He never abandons anyone on whom he has set his love; nor does Christ, the good shepherd, ever lose track of his sheep.

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J. I. Packer

It is often the case, as all the saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest.

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J. I. Packer

God in his wisdom, to make and keep us humble and to teach us to walk by faith, has hidden from us almost everything that we should like to know about the providential purposes which he is working out...

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J. I. Packer

To mend our own relationship with God, regaining God's favor after having once lost it, is beyond the power of any one of us. And one must see and bow to this before one can share the biblical faith in...

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J. I. Packer

Justification is the truly dramatic transition from the status of a condemned criminal awaiting a terrible sentence to that of an heir awaiting a fabulous inheritance.

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J. I. Packer

There are few things stressed more strongly in the Bible than the reality of God's work as Judge.

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J. I. Packer

To an age which has unashamedly sold itself to the gods of greed, pride, sex, and self-will, the church mumbles on about God's kindness but says virtually nothing about his judgment... The fact is that...

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J. I. Packer

The idea that all are children of God is not found in the Bible anywhere.

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J. I. Packer

The gift of sonship to God becomes ours not through being born, but through being born again.

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J. I. Packer

Were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be ADOPTION THROUGH PROPITIATION, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than...

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J. I. Packer

We are not fit for a place in God's family; the idea of his loving and exalting us sinners as he loves and has exalted the Lord Jesus sounds ludicrous and wild -- yet that, and nothing less than that,...

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J. I. Packer

The unceasing activity of the Creator whereby, in overflowing bounty and goodwill, He upholds His creatures in ordered existence, guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and...

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J. I. Packer

There is a tremendous relief in knowing that {God's} love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me,...

Read more


J. I. Packer

I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know...

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Lauren F. Winner

The only other person I have fallen in love with that way is Jesus, and I hope that goes more smoothly. I hope I remember, when I'm bored with Him, and antsy, and sick of brushing my teeth next to the...

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David Foster Wallace

Is it possible really to love other people? If I’m lonely and in pain, everyone outside me is potential relief—I need them. But can you really love what you need so badly? Isn’t a big part of love...

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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied Who told me time would ease me of my pain! I miss him in the weeping of the rain; I want him at the shrinking of the tide; The old snows melt from every mountain-side,...

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Richard Bach

Flying has always been to me this wonderful metaphor. In order to fly you have to trust what you can't see. Up on the mountain ridges where very few people have been I have thought back to what every flyer...

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Chris Rose

When I am introduced as someone from New Orleans, people sometimes say: "I'm so sorry." New Orleans. I'm so sorry. That's not the way it was before,not the way it's supposed to be. When people find out...

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Evelyn Glennie

I love out-of-the-way, rugged places. For me, holidays are about the experiences, and the people, and the memories, rather than sitting on a nice beach getting tanned. I try to plant myself where I am...

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Chris Hayes

I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of...

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Chuck Jones

I have come to know Bugs so well that I no longer have to think about what he is doing in any situation. I let the part of me that is Bugs come to the surface, knowing, with regret, that I can never match...

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Elizabeth Berg

The heart of myself has always been something just wanting so bad. I have had an empty center, black as a basement, but also knowing about light and waiting. Young as I am, I know now that everything...

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Rich Mullins

God notices you. The fact is he can't take his eyes off of you. However badly you think of yourself, God is crazy about you. God is in love with you. Some of us even fear that someday we'll do something...

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Maurice Blanchot

As reason returned to me, memory came with it, and I saw that even on the worst days, when I thought I was utterly and completely miserable, I was nevertheless, and nearly all the time, extremely happy....

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Jens Lehmann

My coach confirmed to me my impression that he uses a different measuring stick to evaluate Almunia. For me, this was a huge disappointment. That has forced me to think about my situation. I have to ask...

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Terry Teachout

I wouldn't care to speculate about what it is in Westlake's psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that...

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Brian Kolodiejchuk

There is so much deep contradiction in my soul. Such deep longing for God - so deep that it is painful - a suffering continual - and yet not wanted by God - repulsed - empty - no faith - no love - no zeal....

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Hermann Hesse

There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge-that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every...

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Sherrilyn Kenyon

I’m telling you right now I could make him pop an aneurysm and no one would know. (Nero) Doesn’t that kind of murder bother you at all? (Alix) Given everything people have done to me in my life, little...

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Emily Bronte

I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff...

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Louise Hay

I love myself, therefore I love totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright, and joyous and secure, for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe...

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Sigourney Weaver

What I love about the 'Alien' franchise is I would do all kinds of films - dramas, comedies, whatever - and every now and then I'd be in this science fiction blockbuster that would re-introduce the character...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss