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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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Faith

According to John Calvin:

“It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility “faith”!

“…a man will be justified by faith when, excluded from righteousness of works, he by faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ, and clothed in it, appears in the sight of God not as a sinner, but as righteous…”

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Attitudes That Keep Us from Growing in Christ

A member of a church was once asked why he didn’t attend Adult Sunday School: “Don’t you want to grow in Christ?” the education minister asked. “No thank you,” said this person. “I’m satisfied where I am.”

Unfortunately, the conversation above is true. Why do some people’s attitudes tend to be less enthusiastic after years of church attendance? Why would a Christian desire less and less to grow in Christ? Let’s look at some of the possibilities:

Perhaps this person has an inconsistent habit of Bible reading and prayer. The Scriptures are a unique source of information unlike any other. How can we know God’s purpose in our lives without reading His revelation to us? His Word points out the consequences of sin and how He saves us from that sin. Prayer also is a wonderful blessing to the saint. It is the opportunity to communicate with God. Our Lord Jesus often prayed and encouraged the disciples not to grow weary in prayer.

It is also possible that such a person has allowed other activities to prevent him from being with God’s people. He is inconsistently attending services to worship God. The Psalmist reminds us of the correct attitude; “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’ (Psalm 122:1 ESV) Being present, however, extends beyond the services of the church. We need to be concerned with edifying one another. Do you encourage people in their daily walk with Christ?

When was the last time you shared the gospel with someone or discussed some topic in the Bible with a fellow Christian outside of church? A person such as this has allowed the zeal of his faith to be diminished. Perhaps he is fearful of what others may say if he talks about Christ.

Perhaps worldly honors have come to mean much more than they should to a servant of Christ. Do you find more pleasure in some worldly activity than meeting with others to worship God?

We must always be on guard against temptation. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”(Galatians 5:16-17 ESV)

We must beware of allowing ourselves to be satisfied with our spiritual growth. It is an attitude of arrogance that none can afford. Our sanctification is an ongoing process throughout our lives. Have the courage to call out to God when such signs as those above creep into your life with Christ. We have been given the greatest gift of all. Do not neglect this blessing.

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