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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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Do We Honor God Sufficiently?

“The Lord says, Those who honor Me I will honor.” (1 Sam. 2:30)

It is dangerous to study the Bible in any other light than its own. Guided by this precept, let us consider the words of God which suggest our present meditation–“Those who honor Me I will honor.” God is justly jealous of His honor. He would not be God, righteous and pure, were He to part with one molecule of His glory. The how may I, trusting that, through electing love and sovereign grace, I am His adopted child and His chosen servant–best honor Him?

We must fully believe in the divinity of His revealed Word. To cast a doubt upon the truth of God’s Word, is to cast the highest dishonor upon God himself. Beware of low views of inspiration and tampering with the Bible. We must stand in awe of its divinity and bow unquestioningly to its authority. God will then honor you, by making His Word your light in darkness and your joy in grief. The Gospel must be fully accepted, then it will soothe you in life, support you in death. Therefore, if you honor God in His Word, God will honor you by making that Word the joy and rejoicing of your soul.

There is not a more God-glorifying grace than the faith that rests in Him, with a childlike and unquestioning confidence. This is a faith that trusts His power to perform all that He is pledged in His covenant and Word to do. Now is the time to bring honor and glory to His great Name by a simple, unhesitating trust in His power, faithfulness, and love. Then will your God honor you. The faith that trusts in God, believing His promise, though not yet performed, and that the prayer, not answered, still will be, shall be crowned with a full realization of all it needed.

Honor Christ by fully accepting His salvation. What a dishonor I bring to the Savior to doubt the efficacy of His blood to pardon, and the merit of His righteousness to justify the very chief of sinners. We honor God that He has put upon us the grace to believe–to accept–to be saved!

Sola Gratia

Quoting Dr. K. Riddlebarger:

Simply stated, if the Scriptures are clear that men and women are sinful by nature and cannot do anything to save themselves or even prepare themselves to be saved, the Scriptures are equally clear that it is God who saves by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone. This means that it is God who acts first, upon the sinner, while the sinner is dead in sin. For as we have seen, the sinner is enslaved to the sinful nature and its passions, and will not come to God, as Paul declares. But the good news is that while sinners do not seek God, God seeks sinners. And this is what we mean by the phrase, grace alone.

George Washington On The Public Debt

Philadelphia - Old City: Second Bank Portrait ...

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.”

More On The Cultural Preacher

Many preachers today do not emphasize repentance in any real sense. They make a wide gate leading to salvation and a broad highway leading to heaven. Don’t worry about sinfulness; you do not need to understand your sinful nature. Just make a decision for Christ and you are now safe. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans, Whitefield and others, where men who taught the terrifying  judgment of God.

Repentance means you know you are a guilty sinner in the presence of God. You know that you deserve the wrath of God. True repentance acknowledges that you are hell-bound. You realize that this thing called sin is in you and you long to get rid of it. You are now willing to turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world system that operates in sin no matter the cost. You take up your cross and you follow Christ. You may suffer for following Christ but that is the price of repentance.

The false preacher does not teach it like this. He counsels the hurts of his congregation in order to temporarily heal them through psychological encouragement. He promises that things are OK and you simply need to make a decision for Christ and all will be well. Therefore, circumstances govern their attempt at conversion rather than the conviction of the Holy Spirit who demands it. God, give us men obedient to the Holy Spirit to fill our pulpits!

We Must Know God

It is one thing to say that God reveals nothing to His people apart from the Bible, but is it true that He makes known to His people only what is there directly revealed? We must not expect to know the mind of God but by means of the written word. The Scriptures must be our only guide. Dr. John Kennedy writes of this:

True Christians differ from all others because with them only is “the secret of the Lord.” “The secret” which is within them is hidden in the mind of God from all to whom He does not reveal it. “Thou hast hid these things,” saith Jesus to the Father, “from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25)

This surely means more than that they have the Bible in their hands. True, in it, there is a complete revelation of the will of God. It is by it, too, that God communicates all the knowledge of His mind to which men shall attain on earth. But many have the Bible in whom the fear of the Lord is not found, and to whom the secret of the Lord is not given. They who fear the Lord have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that they might know the things that are freely given to them of God. It is thus that they are made to differ.

“He will manifest to them His covenant.” This covenant – the covenant of grace – was once known only to God Himself. It was then written only in the volume of the book which contained a record of the eternal counsels of the Godhead, and on which no eye looked but that of God Himself. But He gradually revealed the plan and provision of that covenant, when the earth was formed, and men were, and then were sinners, on it. The revelation of that covenant, intended for men on earth, is now complete. A clearer light from heaven shall never shine on earth than that which now illumines these last Gospel days. The word of the Lord, as it now is, abideth for ever. But not only does the Lord shine with Gospel light on them that fear Him, as He does on all around them; He hath also shined into their hearts, giving them the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6) He has taught them their need of the grace of the everlasting covenant. He has made known to them its plan and its provision. They, and they only, have tasted that the Lord is gracious. But they know only a very little. They need that He would still continue to manifest His covenant to them. And He will do so. Into all truth the Spirit of God shall guide them. All the lessons appointed by their Father shall be learned by them; and all their darkness and folly shall, at the last, be utterly removed. (John 16:13) (“The Secret of the Lord”)

Richard Baxter On Diligence With God

Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Richard Baxter

Quoting Richard Baxter:

The ministerial work must be carried on diligently and laboriously, as being of such unspeakable consequence to ourselves and others. We are seeking to uphold the world, to save it from the curse of God, to perfect the creation, to attain the ends of Christ’s death, to save ourselves and others from damnation, to overcome the devil, and demolish his kingdom, to set up the kingdom of Christ, and to attain and help others to the kingdom of glory. And are these works to be done with a careless mind, or a lazy hand? O see, then, that this work be done with all your might! Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. . . . But especially be laborious in the practice and exercise of your knowledge. Let Paul’s words ring continually in your ears, ‘Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! ’ Ever think with yourselves what lieth upon your hands: ‘If I do not bestir myself, Satan may prevail, and the people everlastingly perish, and their blood be required at my hand. By avoiding labor and suffering, I shall draw on myself a thousand times more than I avoid; whereas, by present diligence, I shall prepare for future blessedness.’ No man was ever a loser by God. (The Reformed Pastor, Banner of Truth, 1981)

 

C. S. Lewis On Tyranny

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

Quoting British author C.S. Lewis (1898-1963):

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

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