Ajith Fernando Quotes
“Deuteronomy is an exciting book that is very relevant today. I first realized this about twenty-five years ago when, early in my ministry, I read the book for my devotions. I found that there was so much I can learn about the Christian life and ministry that I began to list it all. I ended up with a huge list that has had a huge impact on my ministry. For example, I made a list of 142 incentives to obedience from Deuteronomy. So when I was asked by my friends at Crossway whether I would be interested in writing the Deuteronomy commentary in the series I responded with an enthusiastic yes. Why am I so excited about Deuteronomy? Primarily because in this book Moses is attempting to do something that is still so important for all Christians. He is close to death, and they are close to entering the promised land without him, the one who led them for forty years. Deuteronomy gives Moses’ farewell addresses to them. His aim is to motivate them to go forward and conquer the land and to help them to be faithful to God amidst all the challenges to such faithfulness that they will face. He warns them of challenges, he encourages them to a life of holiness, and he tells them the consequences of living and of failing to live such a life. All the time Moses was aware of the temptation the people would have to compromise their faith by assimilating aspects of Canaanite religion. Are these not some of our greatest challenges today? How can we remain faithful to God? How can we avoid compromise when the lure of the society around us is so powerful? And how can we help our children and the people we lead to be faithful? Deuteronomy tells us how Moses tackled these challenges. After citing a story that appears in Deuteronomy, Paul writes, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Therefore I have approached every passage of Deuteronomy as having significance to Christians today. Because all of Deuteronomy is part of God’s inspired Word, that affirmation should be accepted without question. But it is often not, for many Christians think that in this era of grace many of the teachings of the Old Testament are not significant for us. Indeed we may not use some of the laws and regulations that are given there because they apply only to the Jewish nation. But the religion of this nation had the same basic ingredients that the Christian religion has today. Their life was to be a response of faith and obedience to the God who had graciously acted to redeem them. So even the laws that are specific to Israel have principles behind them that help us in the life of faith today. When I studied Deuteronomy this time around with a view to writing this book, I found another feature that makes it extremely helpful.”
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
- Description: Ajith Fernando serves as Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after being National Director for 35 years. Ajith is a visiting lecturer and Council President of Colombo Theological Seminary and also serves as Visiting Scholar at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto. He has written 15 books and his books have been published in 19 different languages. The Call to Joy and Pain was awarded the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award for church and pastoral leadership.