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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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Christian Leadership

Quoting Samuel Brengle:

“Spiritual Leadership is not won by promotion, but by prayers and tears.

It is attained by much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncompromising, and uncomplaining embracing of the cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified.

This is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him who would be a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth and in hell.”

The Offensive Christ

The following is from Charles H. Spurgeon:

There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness.

He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ, if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness, their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no man can see the Lord.”

Human nature kicks at this.

“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a new creature in Christ Jesus?”

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan flowing with milk and honey.

Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin. (“Unbelievers stumbling; Believers rejoicing”)

“I am the Life”

Jesus Christ is a believer’s life. The believer’s suffering, loss, and adversity is now for the glory of Christ and in Christ. His happiness is also in Christ! Is there anything he should not do for Jesus? Jesus is his breath and life. A.W. Pink offers his thoughts on this subject:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

“I am the life.” Christ is the Emancipator from death. The whole Bible bears solemn witness to the fact that the natural man is spiritually lifeless. He walks according to the course of this world; he has no love for the things of God. The fear of God is not upon him, nor has he any concern for His glory. Self is the center and circumference of his existence. He is alive to the things of the world, but he is dead to heavenly things. The one who is out of Christ exists, but he has not spiritual life. . . . The one who believes in Christ has passed out of death unto life (John 5:24). “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36). Then turn to Him who is the Life.

“I am the way.” Without Christ men are Cains–wanderers. “They are all gone out of the way” (Rom. 3:12). Christ is not merely a Guide who came to show men the path in which they ought to walk: He is Himself the Way to the Father. “I am the truth.” Without Christ men are under the power of the Devil, the father of lies. Christ is not merely a Teacher who came to reveal to men a doctrine regarding God: He is Himself the Truth about God. “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” “I am the life.” Without Christ men are dead in trespasses and sins. Christ is not merely a Physician. . . “I am come,” said He, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

“No man comes unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). Christ is the only way to God. It is utterly impossible to win God’s favor by any efforts of our own (Exposition of the Gospel of John, p. 212-214).

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