40 Quotes from R. C. Sproul (1939–2017)

Photo from Ligonier Ministries Website

R. C. Sproul (1939–2017) went home to be with his Savior today at the age of 78. (Read Justin Taylor’s obituary.) The former pastor of St. Andrews Chapel and founder of Ligonier Ministries was also a prolific author who had a way with words.

Here are 40 of my favorite R. C. quotes. Thank you, God, for his life and legacy.


“There are only two ways of dying. We can die in faith or we can die in our sins.”

“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because he holds tightly to us.”

“To know that God knows everything about me and yet loves me is indeed my ultimate consolation.”

‎”There is no greater state than to get up from your knees knowing that God has forgiven every sin you’ve ever committed.”

“If God is not sovereign, then God is not God.”

“When God says something, the argument is over.”

“A god who is all love, all grace, all mercy, no sovereignty, no justice, no holiness, and no wrath is an idol.”

“As soon as we think God owes us mercy, we’re not thinking about mercy any more.”

“When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God. It’s with me.”

By James Thompson from Louisville, KY, USA (R.C. Sproul) CC BY 2.0

“You are required to believe, to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is true, not what you want the Bible to say is true.”

“God does not always act with justice. Sometimes he acts with mercy. Mercy is not justice, but it also is not injustice. Injustice violates righteousness. Mercy manifests kindness and grace and does no violence to righteousness. We may see nonjustice in God, which is mercy, but we never see injustice in God.”

“People in awe never complain that church is boring.”

“I’ll retire when they pry my cold, dead fingers off of my Bible.”

“If ever a person had room to complain of injustice, it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused. If we have cause for moral outrage, let it be directed at Golgotha.”

“No matter how much injustice I have suffered from the hands of other people, I have never suffered the slightest injustice from the hand of God.”

“God answered Job’s questions not with words but with himself.”

“The Christian life is a life of non-conformity.”

“Not only does Christ take our sins, our debts, and our demerits, but he also gives us his obedience, his assets, and his merits.”

“If there is no sanctification, it means that there never was any justification.”

“If we despise the justice of God, we are not Christians.”

“The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands.”

“We are not really surprised that God has redeemed us. Somewhere deep inside, in the secret chambers of our hearts we harbor the notion that God owes us his mercy. Heaven would not be quite the same if we were excluded from it. We know that we are sinners, but we are surely not as bad as we could be. There are enough redeeming features to our personalities that if God is really just he will include us in salvation. What amazes us is justice, not grace.”

“There are no draws with God, no split decisions. When we wrestle with the Almighty, we lose. He is the undefeated champion of the universe.”

Photo from My Morning Meditations

“The justice of God is always and ever an expression of his holy character. . . . What God does is always consistent with who God is.”

“When we sin, we not only commit treason against God, but we also do violence to each other. Sin violates people. There is nothing abstract about it. By my sin I hurt human beings. I injure their person; I despoil their goods; I impair their reputation; I rob from them a precious quality of life; I crush their dreams and aspirations for happiness. When I dishonor God, I dishonor all people who bear his image. Is it any wonder, then, that God takes sin so seriously?”

“The problem we face is that the word holy is foreign to all languages. No dictionary is adequate to the task.”

“Death reminds us that we are creatures. Yet as fearsome as death is, it is nothing compared with meeting a holy God. When we encounter him, the totality of our creatureliness breaks upon us and shatters the myth that we have believed about ourselves, the myth that we are demigods, junior-grade deities who will try to live forever.”

“Only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree. Only once is a characteristic of God mentioned three times in succession. The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy.”

“God has entrusted to us the ministry of the Word, not its results.”

‎”The cross was a glorious outworking of the grace of God, by which the Father commissioned the Son to make full satisfaction so that sinners might be saved with no sacrifice of God’s justice.”

“A Substitute has appeared in space and time, appointed by God himself, to bear the weight and the burden of our transgressions, to make expiation for our guilt, and to propitiate the wrath of God on our behalf. This is the gospel.”

“If I want the words of eternal life, there’s only one place I can go to get them—to the One who gave his life that we might live.”

“Nobody was ever saved by a profession of faith. You have to possess faith.”

Photo from Reformation Theology

“God doesn’t want me to play with religion. He doesn’t want me to dabble in church. He wants me—body and soul.”

“We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.”

“The grounds of your justification are the perfect works of Jesus Christ. We’re saved by works, but they’re not our own.”

“Without the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the gospel is not merely compromised; it’s lost altogether.”

“We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.”

“You can’t open your eyes in this universe without seeing a theater of divine revelation.”

“You can’t love Jesus and not love his Word.”

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