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John R.W. Stott quotes Showing 1-30 of 203

“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”
John Stott
“Our love grows soft if it is not strengthened by truth, and our truth grows hard if it is not softened by love.”
John Stott
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.”
John Stott
“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as 'God on the cross.' In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. 'The cross of Christ ... is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours....' 'The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”
John Stott, Cross
“Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.”
John Stott
“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.”
John R.W. Stott
“Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. He brought no pressure to bear on any inquirer. He sent irresponsible enthusiasts away empty. Luke tells of three men who either volunteered, or were invited, to follow Jesus; but no one passed the Lord’s test. The rich young ruler, too, moral, earnest and attractive, who wanted eternal life on his own terms, went away sorrowful, with his riches intact but with neither life nor Christ as his possession…The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called “nominal Christianity.” In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism…The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“The truth is that there are such things as Christian tears, and too few of us ever weep them.”
John Stott
“Why is it that some Christians cross land and sea, continents and cultures, as missionaries? What on earth impels them? It is not in order to commend a civilization, an institution or an ideology, but rather a person, Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be unique. ”
John Stott
“Social responsibility becomes an aspect not of Christian mission only, but also of Christian conversion. It is impossible to be truly converted to God without being thereby converted to our neighbor.”
John Stott
“God intends us to penetrate the world. Christian salt has no business to remain snugly in elegant little ecclesiastical salt cellars; our place is to be rubbed into the secular community, as salt is rubbed into meat, to stop it going bad. And when society does go bad, we Christians tend to throw up our hands in pious horror and reproach the non-Christian world; but should we not rather reproach ourselves? One can hardly blame unsalted meat for going bad. It cannot do anything else. The real question to ask is: Where is the salt?”
John Stott
“The overriding reason why we should take other people's cultures seriously is because God has taken ours seriously.”
John Stott
“Many people visualize a God who sits comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested, and indifferent to the needs of mortals, until, it may be, they can badger him into taking action on their behalf. Such a view is wholly false. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds him.”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“There is evidence for the deity of Jesus -- good, strong,
historical , cumulative evidence; evidence to which an honest
person can subscribe without committing intellectual suicide.”
John Stott
“Good conduct arises out of good doctrine.”
John Stott
“In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?”
John R. W. Stott
“Envy! Envy is the reverse side of a coin called vanity. Nobody is ever envious of others who is not first proud of himself.”
John Stott, The Cross of Christ
“His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us with no other choice.”
John Stott
“[E]very heresy is due to an overemphasis upon some truth, without allowing other truths to qualify and balance it.”
John Stott
“Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection.”
John R.W. Stott
“[Christian rebellion] arises from the doctrine of mankind made in the image of God, and therefore protests against all forms of dehumanization. It sets itself against the social injustices which insult God the Creator, seeks to protect human beings from oppression and longs to liberate them… it protests against every authoritarian regime, whether of the left or of the right, which discriminates against minorities, denies people their civil rights, forbids the free expression of opinions or imprisons people for their views alone.”
John Stott
“The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching and of Christian experience is this: if we lose ourselves in following Christ, we actually find ourselves. True self-denial is self-discovery. To live for ourselves is insanity and suicide; to live for God and for man is wisdom and life indeed. We do not begin to find ourselves until we have become willing to lose ourselves in the service of Christ and of our fellows.”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“Your call is clear, cold centuries across;
You bid me follow you, and take my cross,
And daily lose myself, myself deny,
And stern against myself shout ‘Crucify’.

My stubborn nature rises to rebel
Against your call. Proud choruses of hell
Unite to magnify my restless hate
Of servitude, lest I capitulate.

The world, to see my cross, would pause and jeer.
I have no choice, but still to persevere
To save myself – and follow you from far,
More slow than Magi-for I have no star.

And yet you call me still. Your cross
Eclipses mine, transforms the bitter loss
I thought that I would suffer if I came
To you- into immeasurable gain.

I kneel before you, Jesus, crucified,
My cross is shouldered and my self denied;
I’ll follow daily, closely, not refuse
For love of you and man myself to lose.”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“Jesus Christ is indeed a crutch for the lame, to help us walk upright, just as he is also medicine for the spiritually sick, bread for the hungry and water for the thirsty. We do not deny this; it is perfectly true. But then all human beings are lame, sick, hungry and thirsty. The only difference between us is not that some are needy, while others are not. It is rather that some know and acknowledge their need, while others either don't through ignorance or won't through pride.”
John Stott
“The Bible isn’t about people trying to discover God, but about God reaching out to find us.”
John Stott, Basic Christianity
“The Christian message has a moral challenge. If the message is true, the moral challenge has to be accepted. So God is not a fit object for man’s detached scrutiny. You cannot fix God at the end of a telescope or a microscope and say “How interesting!” God is not interesting. He is deeply upsetting. The same is true of Jesus Christ … We know that to find God and to accept Jesus Christ would be a very inconvenient experience. It would involve the rethinking of our whole outlook on life and the readjustment of our whole manner of life. And it is a combination of intellectual and moral cowardice which makes us hesitate. We do not find because we do not seek. We do not seek because we do not want to find, and we know that the way to be certain of not finding is not to seek … Christ’s promise is plain: "Seek and you will find.”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“It is now time for us to ask the personal question put to Jesus Christ by Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, ‘What shall I do Lord?’ or the similar question asked by the Philippian jailer, ’What must I do to be saved?’ Clearly we must do something. Christianity is no mere passive acquiescence in a series of propositions, however true. We may believe in the deity and the salvation of Christ, and acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in need of his salvation, but this does not make us Christians. We have to make a personal response to Jesus Christ, committing ourselves unreservedly to him as our Savior and Lord … At its simplest Christ’s call was “Follow me.” He asked men and women for their personal allegiance. He invited them to learn from him, to obey his words and to identify themselves with his cause … Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to renounce all lesser loyalties … let me be more explicit about the forsaking which cannot be separated from the following of Jesus Christ. First, there must be a renunciation of sin. This, in a word, is repentance. It is the first part of Christian conversion. It can in no circumstances be bypassed. Repentance and faith belong together. We cannot follow Christ without forsaking sin … Repentance is a definite turn from every thought, word, deed, and habit which is known to be wrong … There can be no compromise here. There may be sins in our lives which we do not think we could ever renounce, but we must be willing to let them go as we cry to God for deliverance from them. If you are in doubt regarding what is right and what is wrong, do not be too greatly influenced by the customs and conventions of Christians you may know. Go by the clear teaching of the Bible and by the prompting of your conscience, and Christ will gradually lead you further along the path of righteousness. When he puts his finger on anything, give it up. It may be some association or recreation, some literature we read, or some attitude of pride, jealousy or resentment, or an unforgiving spirit. Jesus told his followers to pluck out their eye and cut off their hand or foot if it caused them to sin. We are not to obey this with dead literalism, of course, and mutilate our bodies. It is a figure of speech for dealing ruthlessly with the avenues along which temptation comes to us.”
John R.W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“We must be global Christians with a global vision because we serve a global God.”
John Stott
“The gift of singleness is more a vocation than an empowerment, although to be sure God is faithful in supporting those He calls.”
John R.W. Stott
“110. When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God’s Word to expound.”
John Stott

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