The way to a satisfying knowledge of God

  “Sound Bible exposition is an imperative ‘must’ in the church of the living God.  Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term.  But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever.  For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth.  The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God.” A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (London, 1967), pages 9-10. (HT: Ray Ortlund)

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

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Genuine Faith?

. A.W. Towzer: . “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

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“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

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The Worldly Church

“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 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)