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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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Christianity And The American Revolution

From the desk of David B. Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute:

King George III reportedly denounced the American Revolution as “a Presbyterian rebellion.” Horace Walpole, a distinguished man of letters, told his fellow members of Parliament, “There is no use crying about it. Cousin American has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.” Many other British sympathizers in American blamed the Presbyterians for the war.

In 1775, the great statesman Edmund Burke tried to warn the British Parliament that the Americans could not be subjugated: “the people are Protestants, and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion”. . . .

Historian John Patrick Diggins writes that American historians have concentrated on political ideas while underplaying “the religious convictions that often undergird them, especially the Calvinist convictions that Locke himself held: resistance to tyranny….”

[I]t was American religion, especially New England religion, which provided Americans with an intellectual frame for understanding their disputes with England. It was religion which told the colonists that the English government was not merely adopting unwise policy; rather, the King and Parliament were trampling the God-given rights of the Americans, and were in effect warring against God. It was religion which convinced the American that they had a sacred duty to start a revolution. The black-robed American clergymen were described as the “black regiment” for their crucial role in building popular support for war against England.

Do you want to learn more about Christianity and the American Revolution? If so, you may find the following book to be of interest:

Westminster Confession Of Faith: CHAPTER 11 – OF JUSTIFICATION

Westminster Assembly

In 1643, the English “Long Parliament” convened an Assembly of Divines at Westminster Abbey in London. Their task was to advise Parliament on how to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland and the Continental Reformed churches. The Westminster Assembly produced documents on doctrine, church government, and worship. I have been providing one chapter of the Confession every few days in order to encourage the general knowledge of its contents:

CHAPTER 11

1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.

2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.

3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them; and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.

4. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.

5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and, although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.

6. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.

Election And Righteousness

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:2-3)

Have you ever wondered why the same Bible that teaches sovereign election also teaches human responsibility? No church may use the doctrine of election as an excuse for not preaching the Gospel of God’s grace. You see – God makes a real offer of salvation to all men. Any man can be saved by repenting from his sins and believing the Gospel. Yet, most men will go headlong into hell and they are responsible for it.

I believe it was D. L. Moody who once said: “The whosoever will are the elect of God and the whosoever will-nots are the non-elect”. It is like the two lines of a train track. You see very plainly that they run beside one another. Look on one as God’s sovereignty and the other as man’s responsibility. If you look down the rails, you will see what appears to be the eventual coming together of the tracks. Where we stand, we can only see two separate, parallel tracks. One day we will plainly see where God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility come together.

Election is in Christ. If you are one of the elect, it is because God sees you in Christ. You are in Christ because God has placed you in Christ. The natural man has the choice placed before him, but he does not choose Christ because his natural inclination is opposed to God. He will not accept God’s authority. God, however, chooses to save some according to His mercy. God sends the Holy Spirit to change the natural inclination of a man’s heart – not according to his works or “good deeds” – solely based on His mercy.

If you are elected of God, you will begin to live a holy and blameless life. You cannot say “Because I am elected I will live anyway I want to”. To believe this is self-deception and a certain sign of unbelief. The chosen of God, however, will desire to live a life of righteousness. They will not live perfectly holy lives, but they will desire to and strive for it. God will look upon His children and see the holiness of Jesus Christ through Whom we are justified.

What I cannot do for myself, He can. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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