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The most important thing about us, but not easy to discern

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. . . . For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. . . . Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is.  Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.”

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York, 1961), pages 9-10.

(HT: Ray Ortlund)

The Aseity of God

God is self-sufficient. Theologians refer to this attribute as “the aseity of God.” In his classic book Knowldge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer writes:

Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we see.

Twentieth Century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God’s free determination, not by our desert nor by divine necessity.

For further reflection, see John Piper’s article “I Believe in God’s Self-Sufficiency.”

(HT: Desiring God blog)

Can’t Worship?

My thanks to Rick Ianniello for this. I can’t believe we still have to say this. It’s so basic it hurts!

This is excellent from Tim Hughes

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment.” A.W. Tozer.

This is quite a challenge – especially as we all prepare to lead worship this Sunday. Are we going to pull out the classics, and try and force people into a time of worship? Are we going to rely on our own strength to make something happen? Or, are we going trust and follow God to lead us in a beautiful, deep and meaningful encounter of worship.

John 6:63
“The Spirit brings life; the flesh counts for nothing.”

Perhaps the best thing we could do in terms of our preparation for leading worship is to spend some time in God’s presence, seeking Him and asking that He may fill us up with the Holy Spirit and use us in power to bring glory to Him.

Let’s go for it. Who wants shallow entertainment when we can give people Jesus!

Genuine Faith?

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A.W. Towzer:
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“My fear is that the modern conception of faith is not the biblical one, that when the teachers of our day use the word they do not mean what the Bible writers meant when they used it. The causes of my uneasiness are these:

1. The lack of spiritual fruit in the lives of so many who claim to have faith.

2. The rarity of a radical change in the conduct and general outlook of persons professing their new faith in Christ as their personal Savior.

3. The failure of our teachers to define or even describe the thing to which the word ‘faith’ is supposed to refer.

4. The heartbreaking failure of multitudes of seekers, be they ever so earnest, to make anything out of the doctrine [of faith] or to receive any satisfying experience through it.

5. The real danger that a doctrine that is parroted so widely and received so uncritically by so many is false as understood by them.

6. I have seen faith put forward as a substitute for obedience, an escape from reality, a refuge from the necessity of hard thinking, a hiding place for weak character. I have known people to miscall by the name of faith high animal spirits, natural optimism, emotional thrills and nervous tics.

7. Plain horse sense ought to tell us that anything that makes no change in the man who professes it makes no difference to God either, and it is an easily observable fact that for countless numbers of persons the change from no-faith to faith makes no actual difference in the life.”

A. W. Tozer, “Faith: The Misunderstood Doctrine,” in Man the Dwelling Place of God, pages 30-31.

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(HT: Ray Ortlund)

Our Highest Blessedness: Knowing Him!

A.W. Tozer

“If God is the Supreme good then our highest blessedness on earth must lie in knowing Him as perfectly as possible.”


(A.W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian,WingSpread Publ., p. 65)

(HT: Doctrine Matters)


“The essence of idolatry”

“The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her.”
-A.W. Tozer

(HT: Reformed Voices)

Tozer on the Gifts of the Spirit

“For a generation certain evangelical teachers have told us that the gifts of the Spirit ceased at the death of the apostles or at the completion of the New Testament. This, of course, is a doctrine without a syllable of Biblical authority back of it. The result of this erroneous teaching is that spiritually gifted persons are ominously few among us. This frightening hour calls aloud for men with the gift of prophetic insight. Instead we have men who conduct surveys, polls and panel discussions. We need men with the gift of knowledge. In their place we have men with scholarship—nothing more. Thus, we may be preparing ourselves for the tragic hour when God may set us aside as so-called evangelicals and raise up another movement to keep New Testament Christianity alive in the earth.

The truth of the matter is that the Scriptures plainly imply the imperative of possessing the gifts of the Spirit. But I must also add a word of caution. The various spiritual gifts are not equally valuable, as Paul so carefully explains. Certain brethren have magnified one gift out of seventeen out of all proportion. Among these brethren there have been and are many godly souls, but the general moral results of this teaching have nevertheless not been good. In practice it has resulted in much shameless exhibitionism, a tendency to depend upon experiences instead of upon Christ and often a lack of ability to distinguish the works of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit. Those who deny that the gifts are for us today and those who insist upon making a hobby of one gift are both wrong, and we are all suffering the consequences of their error.”
-A.W. Tozer

(HT: Reformed Voices)

The Worldly Church

AW Tozer

AW Tozer

“Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care.”
-A.W. Tozer

(HT: Reformed Voices)

The Deeper Life!

“To speak of the ‘deeper life’ is not to speak of anything deeper than simple New Testament religion. The ‘deeper life’ is deeper only because the average Christian life is tragically shallow.”
- A.W. Tozer

(Tozer may have been reluctant to conclude that those average shallow Christians may actually not have been converted!)

(HT: Reformed Voices)

A Regenerate Church

My thanks to Rick Ianniello for posting this quote from Reformed voices.

“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.”
-A.W. Tozer

A low view of God

“The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us… The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them.”

(A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

(HT: Theocentric Preaching)

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