Quotes by Kevin De Young

Kevin De Young

The greatest need of my people is my own holiness

In my experience, Matthew 5:8—”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”—has been the most helpful verse in the Bible in battling the temptation to lust. The key is that Jesus fights pleasure with pleasure.

To be cool means you differentiate yourself from others. That often means pushing the boundaries with language, with entertainment, with alcohol, and with fashion. Of course, holiness is much more than these things, but in an effort to be hip, many Christians have figured holiness has nothing to do with these things. They’ve willingly embraced Christian freedom but without an...

[Jesus’] mission was to fulfil Scripture, and his teaching always upheld Scripture. He never disrespected, never disregarded, never disagreed with a single text of Scripture. He affirmed every bit of law, prophecy, narrative, and poetry. He never for a moment accepted the legitimacy of anyone anywhere violating, ignoring, refining, or rejecting Scripture.

The church needs lifers and those who can be counted on for the long haul.

Tradition certainly has a place in understanding God’s word and formulating the church’s doctrinal convictions. The diversity most easily overlooked today is the diversity of the dead.

We need more Christians on our campuses, in our cities, in our churches, and in our seminaries who will say with Paul, “Look carefully then how you walk” (Eph. 5:15)

Sing, speak, study, store up, obey, praise, and pray—this is how men and women of God handle the Scriptures.

I have no interest in making anyone feel bad for being passionate about Bach, bass fishing, or Herman Bavink. There are a hundred good things you may be called to pursue as a Christian. All I’m saying is that, according to the Bible, holiness, for ever single Christian, should be right at the top of that list.

You can think of holiness, to employ a metaphor, as the sanctification of your body. The mind is filled with the knowledge of God and fixed on what is good. The eyes turn away from sensuality and shudder at the sight of evil. The mouth tells the truth and refuses to gossip, slander, or speak what is coarse or obscene. The spirit is earnest, steadfast, and gentle. The heart is full of joy...

But who is this Christ, the Judge of Scripture? Not the Christ of the New Testament and of history. That Christ does not judge Scripture; He obeys it and fulfils it. By word and deed He endorses the authority of the whole of it.

Why do we imagine God to be so unmoved by our heart-felt attempts at obedience? He is, after all, our heavenly Father. What sort of father looks at his daughter’s homemade birthday card and complains that the colour scheme is all wrong? What kind of mother says to her son, after he gladly cleaned the garage but put the paint cans on the wrong shelf, “This is worthless in my sight”?...

Our freedom to do anything and go anywhere ends up feeling like bondage more than liberty, because decision making feels like pain, not pleasure.

The hole in our holiness is that we don’t really care much about it.

Sanctification is like a man walking up the stairs with a yo-yo. There are a lot of ups and downs, but ultimate progress nonetheless.

When was the last time we took a verse like, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4) and even began to try to apply this to our conversation, our movies, our YouTube clips, our television and commercial intake? What does it mean that there must not be even a hint of immorality among the saints (v....

The Christian life still entails obedience. It still involves a fight. But it’s a fight we’ll win. You have the Spirit of Christ in your corner, rubbing your shoulders, holding the bucket, putting his arm around you and saying before the next round with sin, “You’re going to knock him out, kid.” Sin may get in some good jabs. It may clean your clock once in a while. It may...

Your friends and family, your colleagues and kids—they don’t need you to do miracles or transform civilisation. They need you to be holy.

The Son is our Great Superlative, surpassing all others because in him we have the fullness and finality of God’s redemption and revelation.

Progress is not only what God expects from me but what he allows from me.

I sometimes think Christians apologise too much for learning. We are wary of being bigheaded, small-hearted people, and that’s a valid concern. But isn’t knowing God the goal? Some sermons should not end with three points of “practical” application, because simply knowing God better is the point. Of course, this knowledge is more than mere cognition. But if God is the point, as the...

Counsellors can counsel meaningfully because Scripture is sufficient. Bible study leaders can lead confidently because Scripture is clear. Preachers can preach with boldness because the biblical text is authoritative. And evangelists can evangelise with urgency because Scripture is necessary.

We go to the Bible to learn about the Bible because to judge the Bible by any other standard would be to make the Bible less than what it claims to be.

There is no shortcut to sanctification by trying to relive the glory days of some bygone era. “If only things could be like they used to be.” Well, that might help with public standards of sexual decency, but the good ol’ days weren’t so good on race relations. Every generation has both its insights and its blind spots. It takes wisdom to learn from the good and avoid the bad.

It sounds really spiritual to say God is interested in a relationship not in rules. But it’s not biblical. From top to bottom the Bible is full of commands. They aren’t meant to stifle a relationship with God, but to protect it, seal it, and define it.

If we learn to read the Bible down (into our hearts), across (the plot line of Scripture), out (to the end of the story), and up (to the glory of God in the face of Christ), we will find every bit of the Bible is profitable for us.

We see all the virtues of holiness perfectly aligned in Christ. He was always gentle, but never soft. He was bold, but never brash. He was pure, but never prudish. He was full of mercy, but not at the expense of justice. He was full of truth, but not at the expense of grace. In everything he was submissive to his heavenly Father, and he gave everything for his sheep. He obeyed his parents,...

Saving yourself for marriage, staying sober on a Friday night, turning down a promotion to stay at your church, refusing to say the f-word, turning off the television—these are the things the world doesn’t understand. Don’t expect them to. The world provides no cheerleaders on the pathway to godliness.

Worldliness is whatever makes sin look normal and righteousness look strange.

If you read through the instructions to the New Testament churches you will find few explicit commands that tell us to take care of the needy in our communities and no explicit commands to do creation care, but there are dozens and dozens of verses that enjoin us, in one way or another, to be holy as God is holy.

So go marry someone, provided you’re equally yoked and you actually like being with each other. Go get a job, provided it’s not wicked. Go live somewhere in something with somebody or nobody. But put aside passivity and the quest for complete fulfilment and the perfectionism and preoccupation with the future, and for God’s sake start making some decisions in your life.

Finally, I exhort the young men reading this book to pray for wisdom (James 1:5–6), get a job, and get married. And do it sooner rather than later. To do so would be good for your sanctification, good for your purity, good for the church, and good for some godly woman out there who would be your wife, though she’s probably already better than you deserve, just like my bride was for me....

We need missionaries and we need pastors. But we also need entrepreneurs who create jobs so people can make money so they can support missionaries and pastors. And we need entrepreneurs because work is good. Please don’t ever think you’re a second class citizen in the kingdom of God if you aren’t in full-time ministry. You can honour the Lord as a teacher, mother, doctor, lawyer, loan officer...

There is nothing wrong with being single. It can be a gift from the Lord and a gift to the church. But when there is an overabundance of Christian singles who want to be married, this is a problem. And it’s a problem I put squarely at the feet of young men whose immaturity, passivity, and indecision are pushing their hormones to the limits of self-control, delaying the growing-up process, and...

God doesn’t say, “Relax, you were born this way.” But he does say, “Good news, you were reborn another way.”

The blessings of the gospel—election, justification, sanctification, glorification, and all the rest—have been deposited in no other treasury but Christ.

“Stay on target”—that was good advice as Luke Skywalker approached the Death Star, and it’s good advice for every Christian.

Christians work—they work to kill sin and they work to live in the Spirit. They have rest in the gospel, but never rest in their battle against the flesh and the devil. The child of God has two great marks about him: he is known for his inner warfare and his inner peace.

I know this may sound crass, and your parents might not appreciate the advice, but guys, if you like a girl and you’re both Christians and your friends and family aren’t alarmed and she actually likes you back, you should probably get married.

[What to pray for in job interviews]

Holiness is the sum of a million little things — the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little...

The simplest way to judge grey areas like movies, television, and music is to ask one simple question: can I thank God for this?

Millions have no Christian history to consider at all. But it still is the case—and, I would argue, by God’s design always will be the case—that the most natural way Christian commitment is spread is through the family.

If you try hard enough you can find idols of the heart lurking behind every good deed. Some Christians are prone to go on lengthy idol hunts and can’t feel good unless they feel bad about something. That’s why I tell my congregation at times, “You don’t have to feel conviction for every sermon. Some of you are actually obedient and faithful in this area.” Not perfectly, of course, but truly...

We have little longing left for our reward in the next life because we’ve come to expect such rewarding experiences in this life.

It’s not necessarily a sign of growth to move past the faith of your childhood, and not necessarily a weakness to believe the same thing throughout your whole life. What an inestimable privilege to be acquainted from childhood with the sacred writings.

So the end of the matter is this: Life for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.

It’s the central creed of postmodernism that you can march to the beat of your own drummer as long as it beats in time with mine.

When we sin, our union with Christ is not in jeopardy. But our communion is.

The whole of our salvation can be summed up with reference to this reality. Union with Christ is not a single specific blessing we receive in our salvation. Rather it is the best phrase to describe all the blessings of salvation, whether in eternity past (election), in history (redemption), in the present (effectual calling, justification and sanctification), or in the future (...

Many Christians have that mistaken notion that if only we were better Christians, everyone would appreciate us. They don’t realise holiness comes with a cost.

Instead of “letting go and letting God,” we need to make every effort to grow up in our faith (2 Peter 1:5ff).

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