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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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Grace

The following is by Arthur Pink:

“Grace is a divine provision for those who are so depraved they cannot change their own nature, so averse from God they will not turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their malady nor the remedy, so spiritually dead…

Grace is the sinner’s last and only hope; if he is not saved by grace, he will never be saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions, and regards the most zealous religionist on the same plane as the most profligate . . . foul prostitute. Therefore God is perfectly free to save the chief of sinners and bestow His mercy on the vilest of the vile.”

A Trimming of Principles

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

You may go to hell as well dressed in the ‘garnishings of morality’ as in the ‘rags of immorality’. It is still the old nature – wash it, and cleanse it, and bind it, and curb it, and bridle it – it is still the old fallen nature, and cannot understand spiritual things. (“The Heart – A Den of Evil” No. 732)

Spiritual Blindness Removed

God has established in ordinary cases a link between the word and regeneration. Through the experience of your own salvation you should be able to see the importance of sending the gospel into the entire world. It glorifies God when we assist to plant the true seed of the Word as much as possible in every soul. According to Archibald Alexander:

There is need of a quickening influence on the dead soul of the sinner to render it capable of apprehending and appreciating the truth. In the order of causation life must precede action, but in the order of time the communication of life and the acts of the new creature are simultaneous. Lazarus was called from the dead by the voice of Christ, but he must have been inspired with life before he could hear that voice. But still it is proper to say, that he was called into life by the omnipotent voice of our Savior. So when the gospel is preached, the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live. Or we may illustrate the instrumentality of the word by the case of the blind man whose eyes our Lord opened. This man, when he first looked up, saw objects indistinctly, “men as trees walking;” but when he looked a second time, he saw things clearly. Christ caused this man to see by the light of heaven which shone around him; but the power causing him to see was exerted on the eye, removing the obstacles to vision, or supplying what was defective in the organ. As soon as this was done, the light was the medium of the perception of surrounding objects. Thus the soul of every man is by nature blind. The light may shine around him, but he comprehendeth it not. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.”

By the energy of the Holy Spirit this incapacity of spiritual vision is taken away; the eyes of the understanding are enlightened. The blindness is removed, and spiritual objects are perceived; but alas! With most, very indistinctly at first. “The light of the just increaseth more and more unto the perfect day.” Truth is just as necessary to every spiritual act and exercise, as light is to vision. Where the truth is not apprehended there can be no faith, for faith is a belief of the truth; there can be no love, for it is by the truth that the excellencies of the character of God and Christ are made known. Without the knowledge of the truth, there can be no repentance, for this is the light which shows the holiness and extent of the law and the evil of sin. Thus it is evident that without the truth there can be no holy exercise and no true obedience. Therefore, we never find the Holy Spirit operating on adults but as accompanying the word of truth. We can conceive of a preparation of the heart to receive the truth before it is known, as in fact the knowledge of the truth is acquired very gradually. Thus we can conceive of a divine agency on the heart of a heathen, by which he would be disposed to receive the truth as soon as it should be made known. Such a divine influence does probably prepare the way for the success of the gospel; but where the word is never sent; there we have no evidence that the Spirit exerts his renovating influence on the minds of men. (“A Practical View of Regeneration”)

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