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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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John Stott On Christian Leadership

Quoting John Stott:

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.”

A Charter For The Protection Of Citizens Against Big Government

Quoting author and philosopher Ayn Rand:

“The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals … it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government … it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.”

The Genuineness Of Saving Faith Is Proved By Personal Holiness

A. W. Pink

Arthur W. Pink writes:

“That opinion that personal holiness is unnecessary to final glorification is in direct opposition to every dictate of reason; to every declaration of Scripture.” (Augustus Toplady)

By our fall in Adam we not only lost the favor of God but also the purity of our nature, and therefore we need to be both reconciled to God and renewed in our inner man, for without personal holiness “no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). “As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior); because it it written, Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:15, 16). God’s nature is such that unless we be sanctified, there can be no communion between Him and us.

But can persons be sinful and holy at one and the same time? Genuine Christians discover so much carnality, filth, and vileness in themselves that they find it almost impossible to be assured they are holy. Nor is this difficulty solved, as in justification, by recognizing that though completely unholy in ourselves we are holy in Christ, for Scripture teaches that those who are sanctified by God are holy in themselves, though the evil nature has not been removed from them.

None but “the pure in heart” will ever “see God” (Matt. 5:8). There must be that renovation of soul whereby our minds, affections and wills are brought into harmony with God. There must be that impartial compliance with the revealed will of God and abstinence from evil which issues from faith and love. There must be that directing of all our actions to the glory of God, by Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel. There must be a spirit of holiness working within the believer’s heart so as to sanctify his outward actions if they are to be acceptable unto Him in whom “there is no darkness”. True, there is perfect holiness in Christ for the believer, but there must also be a holy nature received from Him. There are some who appear to delight in the imputed obedience of Christ who make little or no concern about personal holiness. . . .

How many there are today who suppose that if they have trusted in Christ, all is sure to be well with them at the last even though they are not personally holy. Under the pretense of honoring faith, Satan as an angel of light, has deceived and is now deceiving multitudes of souls. When their “faith” is examined and tested, what is it worth? Nothing at all so far as insuring an entrance into heaven is concerned: it is a powerless, lifeless, fruitless thing. The faith of God’s elect is unto “the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Titus 1:1). It is a faith which purifieth the heart (Acts 15:9), and it grieves over all impurity. It is a faith which produces an unquestioning obedience (Heb. 11:8). They therefore do but delude themselves who suppose they are daily drawing nearer to heaven while they are following those courses which lead only to hell. He who thinks to come to the enjoyment of God without being personally holy, makes Him out to be an unholy God, and puts the highest indignity upon Him. The genuineness of saving faith is only proved as it bears the blossoms of experimental godliness and the fruits of true piety. (“Personal Holiness”)

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