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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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The Life Of A Christian

Richard Sibbes

Quoting Richard Sibbes:

The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God; we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise.

Dead Is Dead!

We are looking at today a text which may incite you to shut your eyes to the facts recorded in the Scriptures. Truth, however, must be spoken even if we find it condemning. When a man is not serving God with body, soul, and spirit, he is not really alive. He is an unprofitable servant and in God’s sight he is dead. Bishop J. C. Ryle explains this to us:

“And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)

“Dead” is a strong word—but it is not my own coining and invention. I did not choose it. The Holy Spirit taught Paul to write it down about the Ephesians, “”And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins.” The Lord Jesus Christ made use of it in the parable of the prodigal son, “This my son was dead and is alive again.” (Luke 15:24, 32.) You will read it also in the first Epistle to Timothy, “She that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.” (1 Tim. 5:6.) Shall a mortal man be wise above that which is written? Must I not take heed to speak that which I find in the Bible, and neither less nor more?

“Dead” is an awful idea, and one that man is most unwilling to receive. He does not like to allow the whole extent of his soul’s disease—he shuts his eyes to the real amount of his danger. Many a one will allow us to say, that naturally most people “are not quite what they ought to be—they are thoughtless—they are unsteady—they are mirthful—they are wild—they are not serious enough.” But dead? Oh, no! We must not mention it. It is going too far to say that. The idea is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”

“This is the reason we are no better, because our disease is not perfectly known—this is the reason we are no better, because we know not how bad we are.” (Usher’s Sermons, preached at Oxford, 1650)

But what we like in religion is of very little consequence. The only question is, What is written? What says the Lord? God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, and God’s words are not man’s words. God says of every living person who is not a real, thorough, genuine, decided Christian, be he high or low, rich or poor, old or young—he is spiritually dead. . . .

Now I say this is just the condition of every man by nature in the matter of his soul. I say this is just the state of the vast majority of people around us in spiritual things. God calls to them continually—by mercies . . . but they do not regard it. The crown and glory of their being, that precious jewel, their immortal soul, is being seized, plundered, and taken away—and they are utterly unconcerned. The devil is carrying them away, day after day, along the broad road that leads to destruction—and they allow him to make them his captives without a struggle. . . .

Yes! when a man’s heart is cold and unconcerned about religion—when his hands are never employed in doing God’s work—when his feet are not familiar with God’s ways—when his tongue is seldom or never used in prayer and praise—when his ears are deaf to the voice of Christ in the Gospel—when his eyes are blind to the beauty of the kingdom of heaven—when his mind is full of the world, and has no room for spiritual things—when these marks are to be found in a man, the word of the Bible is the right word to use about him—and that word is, “Dead.” (From sermon: “Alive or Dead?”)

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