Category Archives: R.C. Sproul

Great Quotes from What Is Reformed Theology?

The Ligonier blog posts a piece by Tim Challies listing some of his favorite quotes in R.C. Sproul’s great book What is Reformed Theology.

“In Reformed theology, if God is not sovereign over the entire created order, then he is not sovereign at all. The term sovereignty too easily becomes a chimera. If God is not sovereign, then he is not God.”

“Scripture teaches that we are created in the image and likeness of God. This does not mean that we are little gods. The image does not obscure the difference between God and man. It does assure, however, some point of likeness that makes communication possible, however limited it may be.”

“I love the church. It is the body of Christ. It nurtures my soul and aids in my sanctification. But the church cannot redeem me. Christ and Christ alone can save me. The sacraments are precious to me. They edify and strengthen me, but they cannot justify me.”

“It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron. “

“Reformed theology does not teach that God brings the elect “kicking and screaming, against their wills,” into his kingdom. It teaches that God so works in the hearts of the elect as to make them willing and pleased to come to Christ. They come to Christ because they want to. They want to because God has created in their hearts a desire for Christ. “

“It still seems that if God gives grace to one person, in the interest of fairness he “ought” to give grace equally to another. It is precisely this “oughtness” that is foreign to the biblical concept of grace. Among the mass of fallen humanity, all guilty of sin before God and exposed to his justice, no one has any claim or entitlement to God’s mercy. If God chooses to grant mercy to some of that group, this does not require that he give it to all.”

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From Brokenness to Mission is the Human Pattern

From Ligonier blog

Dr. R.C. Sproul conveys a powerful gospel dynamic here from Isaiah 6:

There is a pattern here, a pattern repeated in history. God appears, people quake in terror, God forgives and heals, God sends. From brokenness to mission is the human pattern. When God asked, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah understood the force of the word. To be “sent” meant to function as an emissary for God, to be a spokesman for the deity. In the New Testament the word apostle meant “one who is sent.” The Old Testament counterpart to the New Testament apostle was the prophet. God was looking for a volunteer to enter the lonely, grueling office of prophet. “Whom shall I send?”

Notice Isaiah’s answer: “Here am I, send me.” There is a crucial difference between saying, “Here am I” and saying, “Here I am.” Had he said, “Here I am,” that would have merely indicated his location. But he was interested in more than giving God his location. He said, “Here am I.” With these words Isaiah was stepping forward to volunteer. His answer was simply, “I will go. Look no further. Send me.”

From The Holiness of God

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Getting the Gospel Right, and not being ashamed to do it!

MacArthur and Sproul, getting the Gospel right!

Mike shares an interview by Kirk Cameron with John MacArthur, offering one of the best presentations of the Gospel messages ever. Also, a portion of a tremendous message by R.C. Sproul on “What is the Gospel?”

Listen now Podcast Download MP3

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R.C. Sproul-Confronting Paganism

from the Ligonier blog, 19 December 2010


Nehemiah served in a pagan government as a believer in God. He was humble and respectful to the king, but proper fear of his king did not stop him from acting to save his people. He prayed to God and made a request of the king, asking for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild it. He also asked for letters that he might present to various governors for safe conduct, and even a grant for building materials.

Not all the pagan governors were sanguine toward Nehemiah and his plans. Indeed, some were fiercely resistant to them. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite heard of his efforts, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.

When Nehemiah set about the task of rebuilding, his enemies laughed at him and despised him. Nehemiah, though, did not let his critics determine his agenda. Nehemiah’s temptation would have been to allow the pagans to alter the plans and engage in a joint venture of compromise in the mission. That would have eased the burden on his own people and won him the applause both of the Jews and the pagans. But Nehemiah cared nothing for the applause of men and was totally unwilling to compromise the mission he had undertaken for God.

Instead of worrying about accommodating the pagans, Nehemiah focused on the reforms needed among his own people. The paganism Nehemiah feared was not the paganism of the pagans; it was the paganism of his own people. It was not paganism outside the camp that threatened Israel so much as the paganism within the camp.

Coram Deo: Are you seeking the applause of men rather than the approval of God?

Nehemiah 2:18: “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to do this good work.”

Nehemiah 2:10: “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

Nehemiah 4:9: “Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.”

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What Is Reformation Day All About?

Reformation Day is October 31 each year. I was away on personal time and did not post this as I wanted, so I am sharing it now. It comes from Ligionier Ministries blog and is written by Robert Rothwell.

At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

An heir of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther is one of the most significant figures God has raised up since that time. This law student turned Augustinian monk became the center of a great controversy after his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.

This last issue is probably Luther’s most significant contribution to Christian theology. Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Eph. 2:8–10). Justification, God’s declaration that we are not guilty, forgiven of sin, and righteous in His sight comes because through our faith alone the Father imputes, or reckons to our account, the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

Martin Luther’s rediscovery of this truth led to a whole host of other church and societal reforms and much of what we take for granted in the West would have likely been impossible had he never graced the scene. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German put the Word of God in the hands of the people, and today Scripture is available in the vernacular language of many countries, enabling lay people to study it with profit. He reformed the Latin mass by putting the liturgy in the common tongue so that non-scholars could hear and understand the preached word of God and worship the Lord with clarity. Luther lifted the unbiblical ban on marriage for the clergy and by his own teaching and example radically transformed the institution itself. He recaptured the biblical view of the priesthood of all believers, showing all people that their work had purpose and dignity because in it they can serve their Creator.

Today, Luther’s legacy lives on in the creeds and confessions of Protestant bodies worldwide. As we consider his importance this Reformation Day, let us equip ourselves to be knowledgeable proclaimers and defenders of biblical truth. May we be eager to preach the Gospel of God to the world and thereby spark a new reformation of church and culture.

Free MP3 Downloads by R.C. Sproul (Right click on the links to save to your computer.):

The Making of the Protestant Reformation (Part 1) 
The Making of the Protestant Reformation (Part 2)

Martin Luther (Part 1) (From the series Heroes of the Christian Faith)
Martin Luther (Part 2)

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No sanctification….no justification

“When Luther declared the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, he said, “Justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” James had said it earlier in a different way. He said that “faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26). True faith, or saving faith, is what Luther called a fides viva, “a living faith”. It is a faith that immediately brings forth the fruits of repentance and righteousness. If we say we have faith, but no works follow, that is clear evidence that our faith is not genuine. True faith always produces real conformity to Christ. If justification happens to us, then sanctification will surely follow. If there is no sanctification, it means that there never was any justification.”

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Chapter 8

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Getting the Gospel Right, and not being ashamed to do so!

MacArthur and Sproul, getting the Gospel right!

Mike shares an interview by Kirk Cameron with John MacArthur, offering one of the best presentations of the Gospel messages ever. Also, a portion of a tremendous message by R.C. Sproul on “What is the Gospel?”

Listen now Podcast Download MP3

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