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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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All Points To Him

Octavius Winslow

Quoting Octavius Winslow:

“But the Scriptures point to Me!” (John 5:39)

Search the Scriptures, my reader, with a view of seeing and knowing more of your Redeemer, compared with whom nothing else is worth knowing or making known.

Love your Bible, because it testifies of Jesus; because it unfolds a great Savior, an almighty Redeemer; because it reveals the glory of a sin pardoning God, in the person of Jesus Christ.

Aim to unravel Jesus in the types, to grasp Him amid the shadows, to trace Him through the predictions of the prophet, the records of the evangelist, and the letters of the apostles.

All speak of, and all lead to, Jesus! (“Morning Thoughts”)

Can A Man Be Frightened Into Holiness?

Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Christ’s love for us is the object which the Holy Spirit uses to draw us to the service of Christ. Christ’s love is also the means that the Holy Spirit uses to draw us to persevere to the end. As long as the believing eye is fixed upon His love, the path of the believer’s sanctification will be traveled. Christ’s love always constrains us. However, if the believing eye is directed elsewhere, the life of holiness becomes drudgery. Robert Murray M’Cheyne explains the necessity of love in living a holy life:

“For the love of Christ constrains us.” (II Cor. 5:14)

It is truly admirable to see how the Bible way of making us holy is suited to our nature. Had God proposed to frighten us into a holy life, how vain would have been the attempt! Men have always an idea, that if one came from the dead to tell us of the reality of the doleful regions where dwell in endless misery the spirits of the damned, that that would constrain us to live a holy life; but what ignorance does this not show of our mysterious nature!

Suppose that God should this hour unveil before our eyes the secrets of those dreadful abodes where hope never comes; suppose, if it were possible, that you were actually made to feel for a season the real pains of the lake of living agony, and the worm that never dies; and then that you were brought back again on earth, and placed in your old situation, among your old friends and companions; do you really think that there would be any chance of your walking with God as a child? I doubt not you would be frightened out of your positive sins; the cup of godless pleasure would drop from your hand; you would shudder at an oath, you would tremble at a falsehood, because you had seen and felt something of the torment that awaits the drunkard, and the swearer, and the liar, in the world beyond the grave; but do you really think that you would live to God any more than you did, that you would serve Him better than before? It is quite true you might be driven to give larger charity; yea, to give all your goods to feed the poor, and your body to be burned; you might live strictly and soberly, most fearful of breaking one of the commandments, all the rest of your days: but this would not be living to God, you would not love Him one whit more. You are sadly blinded to your curiously formed hearts, if you do not know that love cannot be forced; no man was ever frightened into love, and, therefore, no man was ever frightened into holiness.

But thrice blessed be God, He has invented a way more powerful than hell and all its terrors; an argument mightier far than even a sight of those torments; He has invented a way of drawing us to holiness. By showing us the love of his Son, He calls forth our love. He knew our frame; He remembered that we were dust; He knew all the peculiarities of our treacherous hearts; and, therefore, He suited His way of sanctifying to the creature to be sanctified. Thus, the Spirit does not make use of terror to sanctify us, but of love. (“The love of Christ constrains us”)

 

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