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Sinclair B. Ferguson Quotes
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Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Living in the Spirit means a daily commitment to please Christ and not to please self.”

Living in the Spirit means a daily commitment to please Christ and not to please self.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson



Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Every day we need our gaze redirected from ourselves to God.”

Every day we need our gaze redirected from ourselves to God.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “We best defend the Lord’s glory by speaking first TO Him about unbelieving men rather than speaking first ABOUT Him to unbelieving men.”

We best defend the Lord’s glory by speaking first TO Him about unbelieving men rather than speaking first ABOUT Him to unbelieving men.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Our first priority in ministry must be love. Love for His Word, love for His people, and love for His appearing.”

Our first priority in ministry must be love. Love for His Word, love for His people, and love for His appearing.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “I began to read for myself and realised that here was somebody who could teach me profound biblical theology, get inside my heart with his spiritual analysis, and help me to become a minister of the gospel, which is what I wanted to be.”

I began to read for myself and realised that here was somebody who could teach me profound biblical theology, get inside my heart with his spiritual analysis, and help me to become a minister of the gospel, which is what I wanted to be.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The Son of God came to dwell in human flesh for us in order that He might come to dwell in us by His Spirit.”

The Son of God came to dwell in human flesh for us in order that He might come to dwell in us by His Spirit.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “When you look at the Cross, what do you see? You see God’s awesome faithfulness. Nothing – not even the instinct to spare His own Son – will turn him back from keeping His word.”

When you look at the Cross, what do you see? You see God’s awesome faithfulness. Nothing – not even the instinct to spare His own Son – will turn him back from keeping His word.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “In the New Testament the basic command of old covenant life, ‘Be holy as I am holy’, now means, ‘Become like Jesus.’ God involves himself in this work as the triune Lord: the Father commands it; the Son has died to provide the resources for it; the Spirit indwells us in order to effect it in our lives. As Augustine famously prayed, God commands what he wills and gives what he commands.”

In the New Testament the basic command of old covenant life, ‘Be holy as I am holy’, now means, ‘Become like Jesus.’ God involves himself in this work as the triune Lord: the Father commands it; the Son has died to provide the resources for it; the Spirit indwells us in order to effect it in our lives. As Augustine famously prayed, God commands what he wills and gives what he commands.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The determining factor of my existence is no longer my past.”

The determining factor of my existence is no longer my past.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Without the spirit of the Lord Jesus, we will look upon ‘the least of these’ simply as the least.”

Without the spirit of the Lord Jesus, we will look upon ‘the least of these’ simply as the least.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “There is a difference between a well-instructed congregation and a well-nourished one.”

There is a difference between a well-instructed congregation and a well-nourished one.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Jesus undid everything that Adam did, and did everything Adam failed to do.”

Jesus undid everything that Adam did, and did everything Adam failed to do.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Thankfulness grows best in the seed-bed of conviction, just as some plants must be placed in the soil in the winter if they are to flower in the summer.”

Thankfulness grows best in the seed-bed of conviction, just as some plants must be placed in the soil in the winter if they are to flower in the summer.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “We can never reflect too much on God’s grace.”

We can never reflect too much on God’s grace.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Where God is at the center of things, worship inevitably follows.”

Where God is at the center of things, worship inevitably follows.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “God’s promises are not fortune cookies. We do not use them in order to get a spiritual “fix” for the day.”

God’s promises are not fortune cookies. We do not use them in order to get a spiritual “fix” for the day.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “There is a difference between going to a service “for the worship” and going to a service “to worship the Lord.” The distinction appears to be a minor one, but it may imply the difference between the worship of God and the worship of music!”

There is a difference between going to a service “for the worship” and going to a service “to worship the Lord.” The distinction appears to be a minor one, but it may imply the difference between the worship of God and the worship of music!

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “When I am tempted and feel the power of sin and its tug on my affections, the gospel gives me something to say: ‘Christ bled and died for this sin – I will therefore have nothing to do with it. I am now united to Christ by the indwelling of the Spirit – how can I drag him into my sin?”

When I am tempted and feel the power of sin and its tug on my affections, the gospel gives me something to say: ‘Christ bled and died for this sin – I will therefore have nothing to do with it. I am now united to Christ by the indwelling of the Spirit – how can I drag him into my sin?

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “God does something to us as well as for us through the cross. He persuades us that He loves us.”

God does something to us as well as for us through the cross. He persuades us that He loves us.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Such contentment is never the result of the momentary decision of the will. It cannot be produced merely by having a well-ordered and thought-through time- and life-management plan calculated to guard us against unexpected twists of divine providence. No, true contentment means embracing the Lord’s will in every aspect of His providence simply because it is His providence. It involves what we are in our very being, not just what we do and can accomplish.”

Such contentment is never the result of the momentary decision of the will. It cannot be produced merely by having a well-ordered and thought-through time- and life-management plan calculated to guard us against unexpected twists of divine providence. No, true contentment means embracing the Lord’s will in every aspect of His providence simply because it is His providence. It involves what we are in our very being, not just what we do and can accomplish.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The gospel is designed to deliver us from this lie. For it reveals that behind and manifested in the coming of Christ and his death for us is the love of a Father who gives us everything he has: first his Son to die for us and then his Spirit to live within us.27.”

The gospel is designed to deliver us from this lie. For it reveals that behind and manifested in the coming of Christ and his death for us is the love of a Father who gives us everything he has: first his Son to die for us and then his Spirit to live within us.27.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Those who are most conscious of forgiveness are invariably those who have been most acutely convicted of their sin.”

Those who are most conscious of forgiveness are invariably those who have been most acutely convicted of their sin.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “So long as Jesus Christ is there, in heaven before God for us, our salvation will last.”

So long as Jesus Christ is there, in heaven before God for us, our salvation will last.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Jesus’ sinlessness should not be equated with emotionlessness.”

Jesus’ sinlessness should not be equated with emotionlessness.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Most Christians have more Bibles than they know what to do with, but have little understanding of what is in them.”

Most Christians have more Bibles than they know what to do with, but have little understanding of what is in them.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “No one can will the will to will what it will not will!”

No one can will the will to will what it will not will!

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Repentance, turning from sin, and degrees of conviction of sin do not constitute the grounds on which Christ is offered to us. They may constitute ways in which the Spirit works as the gospel makes its impact on us. But they never form the warrant for repentance and faith.”

Repentance, turning from sin, and degrees of conviction of sin do not constitute the grounds on which Christ is offered to us. They may constitute ways in which the Spirit works as the gospel makes its impact on us. But they never form the warrant for repentance and faith.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Inerrancy matters because it honors the Spirit, who wants to honor the Son, who wants to honor the Father.”

Inerrancy matters because it honors the Spirit, who wants to honor the Son, who wants to honor the Father.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Thus the essence of legalism is rooted not merely in our view of law as such but in a distorted view of God as the giver of his law.”

Thus the essence of legalism is rooted not merely in our view of law as such but in a distorted view of God as the giver of his law.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “When we see salvation whole, its every single part is found in Christ, And so we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else.”

When we see salvation whole, its every single part is found in Christ, And so we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The benefits of the gospel are in Christ. They do not exist apart from him. They are ours only in him. They cannot be abstracted from him as if we ourselves could possess them independently of him.”

The benefits of the gospel are in Christ. They do not exist apart from him. They are ours only in him. They cannot be abstracted from him as if we ourselves could possess them independently of him.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “When we behold the glory of Christ in the gospel, it reorders the loves of our hearts, so we delight in him supremely, and the other things that have ruled our lives lose their enslaving power over us.”

When we behold the glory of Christ in the gospel, it reorders the loves of our hearts, so we delight in him supremely, and the other things that have ruled our lives lose their enslaving power over us.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Failure to deal with the presence of sin can often be traced back to spiritual amnesia – forgetting our new, true, real identity. As a believer, I am someone who has been delivered from the dominion of sin and who therefore is free and motivated to fight against the remnants of sin in my heart. You must know, rest in, think through, and act upon your new identity – you are in Christ.”

Failure to deal with the presence of sin can often be traced back to spiritual amnesia – forgetting our new, true, real identity. As a believer, I am someone who has been delivered from the dominion of sin and who therefore is free and motivated to fight against the remnants of sin in my heart. You must know, rest in, think through, and act upon your new identity – you are in Christ.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The human heart” wrote Calvin, “has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.”

The human heart” wrote Calvin, “has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “That life begins with God’s working, not with our “doing.”

That life begins with God’s working, not with our “doing.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The subtle danger here should be obvious: if we speak of the cross of Christ as the cause of the love of the Father, we imply that behind the cross and apart from it he may not actually love us at all. He needs to be “paid” a ransom price in order to love us.”

The subtle danger here should be obvious: if we speak of the cross of Christ as the cause of the love of the Father, we imply that behind the cross and apart from it he may not actually love us at all. He needs to be “paid” a ransom price in order to love us.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “For if we seek salvation, the very name ofJesus teaches us that he possesses it.”

For if we seek salvation, the very name ofJesus teaches us that he possesses it.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Yes, people will tell us they believe in a “God of love.” But they are self-deceived, and their lives reveal it. They neither love Him with heart, soul, mind, and strength in return, nor do they worship Him with zeal and energy. The truth is that their mantra “My God is a God of love” is a smokescreen, a phantasm of their imagination. Underneath it all is a deep mistrust of God – otherwise, why not yield the whole of life in joyful abandon to whatever He says or asks?”

Yes, people will tell us they believe in a “God of love.” But they are self-deceived, and their lives reveal it. They neither love Him with heart, soul, mind, and strength in return, nor do they worship Him with zeal and energy. The truth is that their mantra “My God is a God of love” is a smokescreen, a phantasm of their imagination. Underneath it all is a deep mistrust of God – otherwise, why not yield the whole of life in joyful abandon to whatever He says or asks?

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Seeing human need with perfect clarity, Jesus felt it with unparalleled intensity.”

Seeing human need with perfect clarity, Jesus felt it with unparalleled intensity.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “To be free from the possibility of discouragements would be more ‘spiritual’ than Jesus-and therefore not truly spiritual at all.”

To be free from the possibility of discouragements would be more ‘spiritual’ than Jesus-and therefore not truly spiritual at all.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Confessional orthodoxy coupled with a view of a heavenly Father whose love is conditioned on his Son’s suffering, and further conditioned by our repentance, leads inevitably to a restriction in the preaching of the gospel. Why? Because it leads to a restriction in the heart of the preacher that matches the restriction he sees in the heart of God!”

Confessional orthodoxy coupled with a view of a heavenly Father whose love is conditioned on his Son’s suffering, and further conditioned by our repentance, leads inevitably to a restriction in the preaching of the gospel. Why? Because it leads to a restriction in the heart of the preacher that matches the restriction he sees in the heart of God!

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Fast-forward to Calvary and the coming of the Spirit. As Moses ascended Mount Sinai and brought down the Law on tablets of stone, now Christ has ascended into the heavenly Mount, but in contrast to Moses, he has sent down the Spirit who rewrites the law not now merely on tablets of stone but in our hearts.”

Fast-forward to Calvary and the coming of the Spirit. As Moses ascended Mount Sinai and brought down the Law on tablets of stone, now Christ has ascended into the heavenly Mount, but in contrast to Moses, he has sent down the Spirit who rewrites the law not now merely on tablets of stone but in our hearts.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Our thinking about who we are as Christians should not begin with what we can discover about ourselves by self-analysis. Rather, it begins with what God says about those who trust in Christ.”

Our thinking about who we are as Christians should not begin with what we can discover about ourselves by self-analysis. Rather, it begins with what God says about those who trust in Christ.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “No short-cut that tries to bypass the patient unfolding of the true character of God, and our relationship to him as his children, can ever succeed in providing long-term spiritual therapy.”

No short-cut that tries to bypass the patient unfolding of the true character of God, and our relationship to him as his children, can ever succeed in providing long-term spiritual therapy.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “As the early church fathers delighted in saying, Christ took what was ours so that we might receive what was His.”

As the early church fathers delighted in saying, Christ took what was ours so that we might receive what was His.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Thus the motivation, energy and drive for holiness are all found in the reality and power of God’s grace in Christ. And so if I am to make any progress in sanctification, the place where I must always begin is the gospel of the mercy of God to me in Christ Jesus.”

Thus the motivation, energy and drive for holiness are all found in the reality and power of God’s grace in Christ. And so if I am to make any progress in sanctification, the place where I must always begin is the gospel of the mercy of God to me in Christ Jesus.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The fallacy here? The subtle movement from seeing forsaking sin as the fruit of grace that is rooted in election, to making the forsaking of sin the necessary precursor for experiencing that grace. Repentance, which is the fruit of grace, thus becomes a qualification for grace. This.”

The fallacy here? The subtle movement from seeing forsaking sin as the fruit of grace that is rooted in election, to making the forsaking of sin the necessary precursor for experiencing that grace. Repentance, which is the fruit of grace, thus becomes a qualification for grace. This.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “The ongoing function of God’s law is not to serve as a standard to be met for justification but as a guide for Christian living. Thus, according to the Confession of Faith: True believers be not under the law as a covenant of works to be thereby justified or condemned yet it is of great use to them as well as to others as a rule of life.34.”

The ongoing function of God’s law is not to serve as a standard to be met for justification but as a guide for Christian living. Thus, according to the Confession of Faith: True believers be not under the law as a covenant of works to be thereby justified or condemned yet it is of great use to them as well as to others as a rule of life.34.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “Karl Barth once wittily remarked, “One can not speak of God simply by speaking of man in a loud voice.”

Karl Barth once wittily remarked, “One can not speak of God simply by speaking of man in a loud voice.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson


Sinclair B. Ferguson Quote: “In undiluted monergism, He called the galaxies into being, and He gives life to the dead in the same way.”

In undiluted monergism, He called the galaxies into being, and He gives life to the dead in the same way.

— Sinclair B. Ferguson

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