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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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Are Christians Narrow-Minded?

The following video is from The One Minute Apologist, Bobby Conway. Bobby serves as the Lead Pastor of LIFE Fellowship Church in Lake Norman, NC.

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Common Grace And Weak Saving Grace

William Bridge

Quoting English Puritan Preacher William Bridge (1600-1670):

“I will tell you what small, weak, little grace will do, and not do, to distinguish it from common grace. It will not oppose much grace; the least spark of fire will not oppose the flame, or resist the flame. Water will, because fire and water are contrary: and so, false grace will oppose the highest degree of grace, saying, “Why need you be so strict and precise?” You may go to heaven with less ado: but the least degree of true grace will not oppose the highest. True grace loves examination. It loves to examine, and to be examined; for it is sincere, and sincerity is much in examination.” (“A Lifting Up for the Downcast” by William Bridge)

Marriage

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story

Quoting Justice Joseph Story:

“Marriage is … in its origin a contract of natural law… It is the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort of seminary of the republic.”

A True Spiritual Experience Transforms The Heart!

In my personal readings of Christian sermons, I have found that Jonathan Edwards, more than others, shows best how excellent is the true religion that comes from beholding the beauty of Christ. His written works reveal a most wonderful experience of Jesus Christ Himself. In the following article, Edwards describes how men may have a sort of participation in God’s own beauty:

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.” (James 2:19)

When a most wicked sinner is caused to see Christ’s divine loveliness, he no longer speculates why God should be interested in him, to save him. Before, he could not understand how the blood of Christ could pay the penalty for sins. But now he can see the preciousness of Christ’s blood, and how it is worthy to be accepted as the ransom for the worst of sins. Now the soul can recognize that he is accepted by God, not because of who he is, but because of the value God puts on the blood, obedience, and intercession of Christ. Seeing this value and worth gives the poor guilty soul rest which cannot be found in any sermon or booklet.

When a person comes to see the proper foundation of faith and trust with his own eyes, this is saving faith. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.” (John 6:40) “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” (John 17:6-8)

It is this sight of the divine beauty of Christ that captivates the wills and draws the hearts of men. A sight of the outward greatness of God in His glory may overwhelm men, and be more than they can endure. This will be seen on the Day of Judgment, when the wicked will be brought before God. They will be overwhelmed, yes, but the hostility of the heart will remain in full strength and the opposition of the will continue. But on the other hand, a single ray of the moral and spiritual glory of God and of the supreme loveliness of Christ shone into the heart overcomes all hostility. The soul is inclined to love God as if by an omnipotent power, so that now not only the understanding, but the whole being receives and embraces the loving Savior.

This sense of the beauty of Christ is the beginning of true saving faith in the life of a true convert. . . . [A] glimpse of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ causes in the heart a supreme genuine love for God. This is because the divine light shows the excellent loveliness of God’s nature. A love based on this is far, far above anything coming from self-love, which demons can have as well as men. The true love of God which comes from this sight of His beauty causes a spiritual and holy joy in the soul; a joy in God, and exulting in Him. There is no rejoicing in ourselves, but rather in God alone.

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