“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
Well, I know this will come as a shock (not really), but there were so many outstanding quotes in Eric Metaxas’ book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer that I didn’t have enough room to put all of them in the post I did a couple days ago on him. So, today I will give you a couple more solid quotes by Bonhoeffer…I just can’t get enough (I think my family is tired of hearing me talk about him, though. :)).
“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic [self-evident]…Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it…Trust to the Word.” p. 261
Bonhoeffer spoke these words to his students at a seminary he helped run in Finkenwalde (city in Poland). He was stressing the point that too often, sermons were preached and then watered down with man’s commentary and explanations, when often, they could use “a lot more Jesus” and “a little less of man.” That applies to us today. God’s Word is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). We need to read the Word, live the Word, and speak the Word. It is relevant.
“Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption. Christ alone is the conquering of death.” p. 380
Here’s a fact- 10 out of 10 people die. All of us eventually end up at that place in life. Death came in to the world through Adam and Eve at the Fall of Creation (Genesis 3). Death shows us that we can’t do everything on our own, that we need to be redeemed. Death is why Christ was sent into the world, so that we could be reconciled with God. As believers, we have nothing to fear! Christ has overcome the world. (John 16:33) He has conquered death! (2 Timothy 1:10)
“This is the end…For me, the beginning of life.” p. 517
There is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His name has just been called by two German guards who are going to transport him to the place he will be executed the next morning. As he is about to leave, he pulls aside S. Payne Best, a British officer imprisoned with Bonhoeffer, and says, “This is the end…for me, the beginning of life.” What a way to leave. Bonhoeffer had his priorities straight. He knew that this world was not his home as a Christian.
“Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.” p. 517
Such a timeless truth and encouragement. Death is awful for those who are going to it separated from God. But for us who believe in Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, death is transformed! It is no longer something to dread or fear, but it is the necessary line to cross before we can be in God’s presence! It should be a joy and something to look forward to (although, I’ll admit, I’m still working on this last part).
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
This is the quote that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is most remembered for, and in a way, it sums up his life mission and why he did the things he did. When faced with the terrible tyranny and brutality of the Nazis toward the Jews, he recognized that God would hold people accountable for what they did or did not do, and this spurred him on. Christ tells us to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Stand up for what is right, even if there is opposition, because it is then that Christ shines through us the most.