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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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Revival!

This article is by N. L. DeMoss:

WE NEED REVIVAL:

• when we do not love Him as we once did.

• when earthly interests and occupations are more important to us than eternal ones.

• when we would rather watch TV and read secular books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.

• when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.

• when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.

• when we have little or no desire for prayer.

• when we would rather make money than give money.

• when we put people into leadership positions in our churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.

• when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.

• when we know truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives.

• when we make little effort to witness to the lost.

• when we have time for sports, recreation, and entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.

• when we do not tremble at the Word of God.

• when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation, and divine fire and anointing.

• when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.

• when God’s people are more concerned about their jobs and their careers, than about the Kingdom of Christ and the salvation of the lost.

• when God’s people get together with other believers and the conversation is primarily about the news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.

• when church services are predictable and “business as usual.”

• when believers can be at odds with each other and not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.

• when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.

• when our marriages are co-existing rather than full of the love of Christ.

• when our children are growing up to adopt worldly values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.

• when we are more concerned about our children’s education and their athletic activities than about the condition of their souls.

• when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.

• when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical process of discipline and restoration.

• when we tolerate “little” sins of gossip, a critical spirit, and lack of love.

• when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.

• when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.

• when we have ceased to weep and mourn and grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.

• when we are bored with worship.

• when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.

• when our music and dress become patterned after the world.

• when we start fitting into and adapting to the world, rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s standards of holiness.

• when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.

• when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.

• when we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.

• when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors, business associates, and acquaintances who are lost and without Christ.

• when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.

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Why Are We Saved by Grace through Faith?

Faith is like a beautiful stream through which the blessings of Christ flow to us. We are justified through faith; not on account of it. Faith is the work of God. It is not our faith that brings salvation. Faith is a gift of God to undeserving sinners. Charles H. Spurgeon elaborates more on this:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

Why is faith selected as the channel of salvation? No doubt this inquiry is often made. “By grace are ye saved through faith,” is assuredly the doctrine of Holy Scripture and the ordinance of God; but why is it so? Why is faith selected rather than hope, or love, or patience?

It becomes us to be modest in answering such a question, for God’s ways are not always to be understood; nor are we allowed presumptuously to question them. Humbly we would reply that, as far as we can tell, faith has been selected as the channel of grace, because there is a natural adaptation in faith to be used as the receiver. Suppose that I am about to give a poor man alms: I put it into his hand—why? Well, it would hardly be fitting to put it into his ear, or to lay it upon his foot; the hand seems made on purpose to receive. So, in our mental frame, faith is created on purpose to be a receiver: it is the hand of the man, and there is a fitness in receiving grace by its means.

Do let me put this very plainly. Faith which receives Christ is as simple an act as when your child receives an apple from you, because you hold it out and promise to give him the apple if he comes for it. The belief and the receiving relate only to an apple; but they make up precisely the same act as the faith which deals with eternal salvation. What the child’s hand is to the apple, that your faith is to the perfect salvation of Christ. The child’s hand does not make the apple, nor improve the apple, nor deserve the apple; it only takes it; and faith is chosen by God to be the receiver of salvation, because it does not pretend to create salvation, nor to help in it, but it is content humbly to receive it. “Faith is the tongue that begs pardon, the hand which receives it and the eye which sees it; but it is not the price which buys it.” Faith never makes herself her own plea, she rests all her argument upon the blood of Christ. She becomes a good servant to bring the riches of the Lord Jesus to the soul, because she acknowledges whence she drew them, and owns that grace alone entrusted her with them.

Faith, again, is doubtless selected because it gives all the glory to God. It is of faith that it might be by grace, and it is of grace that there might be no boasting; for God cannot endure pride. “The proud he knoweth afar off,” and He has no wish to come nearer to them. He will not give salvation in a way which will suggest or foster pride. Paul saith, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Now, faith excludes all boasting. The hand which receives charity does not say, “I am to be thanked for accepting the gift”; that would be absurd. . . So God has selected faith to receive the unspeakable gift of His grace, because it cannot take to itself any credit, but must adore the gracious God who is the giver of all good. . . .

God selects faith as the channel of salvation because it is a sure method, linking man with God. When man confides in God, there is a point of union between them, and that union guarantees blessing. Faith saves us because it makes us cling to God, and so brings us into connection with Him. (All of Grace)

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