Quotes by John Stott

John Stott

The law sends us to Christ to be justified, and Christ sends us back to the law to be sanctified.

Jesus, of course, did not say, “You are the honey of the world.” He said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt bites, and the unadulterated message of the judgement and grace of God has always been a biting thing.

We need to be as critical of ourselves as we often are of others, and as generous to others as we always are to ourselves.

Christian salt has no business to remain snugly in elegant 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...

The sermon is ‘Mosissimus Moses’ (Luther’s expression); ‘It is Moses quadrupled, Moses multiplied to the highest degree’, because is is a law of inward righteousness which no child of Adam can possibly obey.

Work is one of the keys ways in which we express our Christian character

I myself am quite happy to recite the General Confession in church and call myself a ‘miserable sinner’. It causes me no great problem. I can take it in my stride. But let somebody else come up to me after church and call me a miserable sinner, and I want to punch him on the nose! In other words, I am not prepared to allow other people to think or speak of me what I have just acknowledged...

Far from contradicting the law, Jesus endorses it, insists on its authority and supplies its true interpretation.

When [Adoniram Judson] proposed to his wife Ann, he said to her: ‘Give me your hand to go with me to the jungles of Asia, and there die with me in the cause of Christ.’

We human beings are at our most human not so much when we work, as when we lay aside our work in order to worship

Becoming and being a Christian, according to the New Testament, is an event so radical that no language can do it justice except death and resurrection—death to the old life of self-centredness and resurrection to a new life of love.

It is not possible for affluent Christians to “stay rich”, in the sense of accepting no modification of economic lifestyle. We cannot maintain a “good life” (of extravagance) and a “good conscience” simultaneously. One or other has to be sacrificed. Either we keep our conscience and reduce our affluence, or we keep our affluence and smother our conscience. We have to choose between God and...

The main question the Sermon [on the Mount] forces upon us is not so much ‘What do you make of this teaching?’ as ‘Who on earth is this teacher?’

We are not to be like reeds shaken by the wind, bowing down before gusts of public opinion, but as immovable as rocks in a mountain stream. We are not to be like fish floating with the stream (for ‘only dead fish swim with the current as Malcolm Muggeridge put it), but to swim against the stream, even against the cultural mainstream. We are not to be like chameleons, lizards which change their...

We have given things priority over persons, we have built a civilisation based on things rather than on persons. Old people are discounted because they are purely and simply persons, whose only value is as persons and not as producers any more.
When we are old…, we have the time and the qualifications necessary to a true ministry of personal relationships.

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...

If society deteriorates and its standards decline, till it becomes like a dark night or stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society; that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness is left unchecked. The question to ask is, “Where is the church? Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing our society?” It is sheer...

Far more momentous than the choice even of a life-work or of a life-partner is the choice about life itself. Which road are we going to travel? On which foundation are we going to build?

Perhaps most striking of all is the fact that Jesus made deliberate provision for how he wished to be remembered. He instructed his disciples to take, break, and eat bread in memory of his body to be broken for them, and to take, pour out, and drink wine in memory of his blood to be shed for them. Death spoke from both elements. No symbolism could be more self-evident. How did he want to be...

If “the head of the woman is man” as “the head of Christ is God”, then man and woman must be equal as the Father and the Son are equal.

In the person of Christ we learn that dependence does not, cannot, deprive a person of their dignity, of their supreme worth. And if dependence was appropriate for the God of the universe, it is certainly appropriate for us.

[Christ’s] love and self-sacrifice for the church were positive and purposive, namely to free her from all defects and so display her in her full glory. The husband’s headship similarly is not to suppress or oppress his wife, but rather to liberate her into the fullness of her femininity

He who is our destination is also our forerunner, our escort, and our path

For Scripture is an amalgam of substance and form, of eternal truth which transcends culture and its transient cultural presentation. The former is universal and normative; the latter is local and changeable.

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