The Shepherds’ Conference ended about 10 days ago, but the benefit still lingers.  Over the weekend I read through my notes again, and have excerpted a few sentences that I found particularly helpful. 

[Because of the nature of my note-taking, these are likely not exact quotes, so I have refrained from putting quotation marks around the statements.  These do capture the essence of what the speakers said, however.]

If there is anything missing in the preaching of the church today it is the preaching of Jesus.  The great massive hole in the church is the vacuum of the dominating presence of Jesus Christ.  Paul said “I am determined to know nothing except Jesus and Him crucified.”  It’s always about Christ in the Scriptures. [John MacArthur]

True unity is not based on a feeling but on a shared commitment to the body of truth.  It’s built on an agreement of doctrine. [Tom Pennington]

Teach God’s people the Scripture and all the Scripture and the people will be united around that doctrine. [Tom Pennington]

Christianity is embracing Jesus and following and loving a person and obeying and living for and loving Him.  We know Him and we long to know more. [Tom Pennington]

The real destination [of ministry] has never changed and will never change.  It is for all the members of the body to reach perfect maturity in their Head.  Stay on course.  Don’t be tempted to reroute your church because others are.  No one is going to suddenly discover the secret map to spiritual success and maturity.  We already have the map.  And it is here (Eph. 4). [Tom Pennington]

There is very little interest in the Holy Spirit and His majesty, even in evangelicalism.  The Holy Spirit’s majesty seems to be lost on us.  He is the breath of the Almighty, the good Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of life, wisdom, grace, counsel, truth, glory, seven-fold Spirit, the comforter, and the power of the Most High (among others). [John MacArthur]

It’s time to give the Holy Spirit its rightful place and restore Him to full and complete and total worship. [John MacArthur]

The charismatic circus of confusion does not conform anywhere to the person of Christ.  It is a totally false paradigm of sanctification. [John MacArthur]

You don’t turn to your wife in hopes that you receive something from her that motivates you to love her; you turn to the Lord to learn to love her.  To love her in any other way is selfish and idolatrous.  If I view her as a child of the King that has been entrusted to me and the love that I give her is a sanctifying influence for her that flows from the King, then I don’t stop that.  I endure for Christ’s sake. [Voddie Baucham]

A stewardship of [your wife] is to love her in a way that brings her closer to Christ  — I bring her to Christ and He in turn says, “Yes.  Enjoy.  Enjoy the wife of your youth.”  She is a gift from Christ Himself. [Voddie Baucham]

The man who does not take care to evangelize the children at home does not need to be in pastoral ministry.  What should weigh on that man more than the salvation of his children. [Voddie Baucham]

Give us more men who are passionate for the souls of their children and passionate for the picture of the gospel in their marriage. [Voddie Baucham]

There is a deficit of teaching in most churches — not a deficit of meeting, but a deficit of teaching.  There is so much of so many other things that teaching doesn’t take place in the worship service. [Al Mohler]

The significance of the pastoral calling is eschatological.  Our responsibility is to work for their maturity so that on the final day they may be presented to Christ as mature. [Al Mohler]

Every atom in the universe exists so that we can do our job and declare the redemptive purposes of God.  Christ is holding the universe together so that we can do our job because there is nothing left to be done.  The only thing yet undone is the task assigned to the preacher (cf. Rev. 22:20).  The day of judgment is being withheld until this job is done.  So we better do it.  Suffer, toil, and rejoice in the work. [Al Mohler]

I hate legalism with a holy passion.  But justification by faith does not give license for unholy living.  Good works and obedience to God’s commands and admonitions to be holy are necessary aspects of the Christ life.

Our works are worthless and impotent to justify us, but obedience is the natural and essential expression of love to Christ and gratitude for His grace.  Grace compels us to love and good works.  Grace constrains us to purse righteousness. [Phil Johnson]

If we understand the principle of sola fide, we will be zealous for good works.  We don’t need to be hesitant to provoke one another to love and good works. [Phil Johnson]

The greatest threats to the gospel today are not governmental policies that undermine our values or secular beliefs or even atheists, but the greatest enemies of the gospel are worldly shepherds who trivialize the gospel.  They set their minds on earthly things and pervert their minds and pervert liberty into an opportunity to gratify the flesh.  None of the apostles were the least bit squeamish about calling them out, nor should we be. [Phil Johnson]

If you think grace renders moot all moral duty, you don’t understand grace at all.  The grace of God teaches us to renounce ungodliness! [Phil Johnson]

For Paul, preaching Christ and Him crucified speaks to the primacy, supremacy, sovereignty, finality, glory, efficacy, purity of the cross. [Steve Lawson]

“The best sermons are the sermons which are fullest of Christ.…A sermon without Christ is an abominable thing.…He must be the alpha and omega of our ministries.…Christ is everything and man is nothing.” [Spurgeon]   Is your preaching rooted in the centrality of Christ and do people think of you as a preacher of Christ? [Steve Lawson]

Paul was so weak that God could use Him.  There is no man who is to weak for God to use, only men who are too strong. [Steve Lawson]

As long as we minister, the heart of our message is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  You are not a barber if you do not cut hair and you are not a preacher if Christ and Him crucified is not at the center of your message. [Steve Lawson]

Do I know why I am on this earth and breath in my lungs and strength in my body?  It is so that I can proclaim the glorious news of Christ and of Him crucified.  This is the highest pinnacle of our purpose as men of God. [Steve Lawson]

We have two intercessors — the Holy Spirit interceding inside of us against corruption and Christ interceding at the throne of God against the accusations of Satan.  It takes two members of the Trinity working full-time to get us to glory!  We can’t keep our salvation — but the work of God in the Trinitarian members can and does. [John MacArthur]

Can Satan dislodge us from God?  Can Satan successfully go before the throne of God and produce a litany of charges against us and damn us?  No.  Because God is the One who justifies.  God alone is the One who condemns, and He is also the One who justifies.  There is no higher judge.  God wrote, enforces, and upholds the Law and He imputed the righteousness of Christ to us. [John MacArthur]