Excerpts from Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow by R.C. Sproul
Pg. 12 Though sin often brings immediate pleasure, it gives no lasting joy. If we understand the difference, we can avoid the pitfalls that entice the believer.
Pg. 21-22 If I don't like something I read in Scripture, perhaps I simply don't understand it. If so, studying it again may help. If, in fact, I do understand the passage and still don't like it, this is not an indication there is something wrong with the Bible. It's an indication that something is wrong with me, something that needs to change. Often, before we can get something right, we need to first discover what we're doing wrong.
Pg. 22 When we experience the "changing of the mind" that is repentance, we are not suddenly cleansed of all wrong thinking. The renewing of our minds is a lifelong process. We can accelerate this process by focusing on those passages of Scripture that we don't like. This is part of the "instruction in righteousness" of which Paul speaks.
Pg. 24 I think one of the reasons many Christians never get to the meat of the Word but remain at the milk level is because they never really learned how to drink the milk. There is a reason why scales are important to the piano player and the grip to the golfer. We must master these basics if we are to reach higher levels of proficiency.
Pg. 48 Just as God uses the preaching of the gospel as the power unto salvation, so He uses the power of prayer to bring about redemption. Our prayers cannot force God to do anything, but He uses them as His own instruments to bring about His will.
Pg. 76-77 Nobody wants to come near to God with an uneasy conscience. Sin is one of the reasons why we like to keep a safe distance from Him.
Pg. 78 If we don't feel like going to church, we are to do it anyway. It's a privilege to come near to God and to worship with other believers, but it's also a sacred duty.
Pg. 80 The primary reason to be in church is to worship the living God, and for this we must bring a sense of reverence and adoration for His transcendent majesty. There's nothing common about this. We walk through the door. We step across the threshold. We enter into His presence. We know that God is not restricted to the building, but we are aware that this is a sacred hour that God has set apart and declared to be a holy time of visitation between Himself and His people. So we leave worldly cares and concerns for a while and focus on God. We come to hear a word from God, and it is the pastor's responsibility to make sure what we hear from the pulpit is the Word of God, not pop psychology. The power is in the Word, for it is the truth. That's what we all desperately need to hear, and more than once a week. And so we come to hear and respond in a way that will honor God, in a way that will honor His majesty.
Pg. 87 This is a glorious story of redemption, but there is great irony here. We see what God redeemed His people from, but we must not miss what God redeemed them to. He called His people out of Egypt, out of slavery, not to become autonomous or to do whatever they please. He called them to serve Him. The Israelites were called out of service to Pharaoh and into service to God.
Pg. 90 Service...is not high on the list of things we enjoy. In our culture, we struggle with the image and role of the servant. We think it's beneath our dignity to fulfill that role.
Pg. 98 I have no "profit" of my own because I earn nothing by doing what I am required to do. That's why our redemption is by grace and grace alone. There is only one thing that I can place before God that is, properly speaking, my ownâ€”my sin. The only thing that can redeem me is not my work, but the work that Christ has performed on my behalf. He freely came to do the Father's will and to submit Himself to the law for our sake. He, and He alone, is a profitable servant.
Pg. 105-106 Our servanthood should require no supervision. We should not need to have someone constantly watching us to ensure that we are working. Our goal should be to please Christ, not perform merely for the applause of people. People-pleasers cannot be true servants of Christ. We must keep our eyes on Christ and not on the judges of this world.
Pg. 108 There is widespread cynicism today about giving to the church. Some unscrupulous televangelists and pastors have made it seem unwise, thanks to their lavish lifestyles. Yet the Bible clearly commands Christians to give and to practice good stewardship. We take an offering every Sunday in our church. Right before the offering, I usually say, "Let us now worship God with our tithes and offerings." The point I'm stressing to our congregation is that giving should be an act of worship.
Pg. 122 Failure to tithe also limits the ministry of the church. One of the greatest barriers to expanding the kingdom of Christ in this world is financial.
Pg. 124 I often hear people say, "I'd like to tithe, but I can't afford to." I honestly believe that if you invest in the kingdom of God, you won't lose anything in the final analysis.