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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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  • Recommended Reading

No Excuses

James Montgomery Boice:

Today you and I may look back at Joseph’s brothers and fault them for their ignorance of Joseph’s identity and their slowness to repudiate past sin. But if we try, we can find at least some partial excuses for them. Their sin was long past. There was nothing they could do to change its consequences. As far as their recognition of Joseph was concerned, how could they possibly guess that this powerful Egyptian was the despised brother they had last seen as he was led off as a teenager into slavery?

There are no such excuses for us. We know there is God; the Bible says that only fools deny it (Ps. 14:1). We know that all we are and have come from God’s hand; the Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). When we stop to think about it, we even know that God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to save us by giving his life in our place. But do we acknowledge this? We do not–unless God awakens our consciences and turns us from our manifest ingratitude.

That is what you must allow God to do for you–if you have not turned from sin previously. You must allow him to turn you to faith in your older brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has loved and continues to love you perfectly. (“Common Grace”)

Read more here. . . .

The Arian Heresy

Christianity and Arianism:

Arianism is a Christian heresy that was first advocated early in the 4th century by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. It taught that Christ is not truly divine but is instead a created being. His basic assertion was the uniqueness of God. Arius believed that God alone is self-existent and immutable. Arius taught that Jesus was not self-existent and therefore cannot be God. The Godhead is unique and cannot be shared or communicated. Therefore, Jesus cannot be God. Arius also believed that Jesus was mutable because the Gospels portrayed Him as subject to growth and change. Because of this mutability, Arius believed that Jesus could not be God. He mistakenly believed that Jesus was only a creature.

The Bible teaches us:

“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 ESV)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58 ESV)

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. . . .” (Colossians 2:9 ESV)

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20 ESV)

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10 ESV)

“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31 ESV)

The Birthright of the Elect

Do not doubt that God cares for His own. Thomas Adams writes:

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8)

[Christ is], subjectively, in his power the same; and that (1) Yesterday, for he made the world; (2) To-day, for he governs the world; (3) For ever, for he shall judge the world.

“He upholds all things by the word of his power.” (Heb. 1:3) He is pater familias (the ruler of the family), and disposes all things in this universe with greater care and providence than any householder can manage the business of his private family. He leaves it not, as the carpenter having built the frame of a house, to others to perfect it, but looks to it himself. His creation and providence are like the mother and the nurse, the one produces, the other preserves … But let me say, Hath God care of fowls and flowers, and will he not care for you, his own image? (Matt. 6:26-30) Yea let me go further; hath God care of the wicked? Doth He pour down the happy influences of heaven on the ‘unjust man’s ground?’ (Matt. 5:45) And shall the faithful go without his blessing? Doth he provide for the sons of Belial, and shall his own children lack? He may give meat and raiment to the rest, but his bounty to Benjamin shall exceed. If Moab, his wash-pot, should taste of his benefits, then Judah, the signet on his finger, cannot be forgotten. The king governs all the subjects in his dominions, but his servants that wait in his court partake of his most princely favours. God heals the sores of the very wicked; but if it be told him, “Lord, he whom thou loves is sick.” (John 11:3) It is enough – he shall be healed. The wicked may have outward blessings without inward, and that is Esau’s pottage without his birthright; but the elect have inward blessings, though they lack outward, and that is Jacob’s inheritance without his pottage. (“The Immutable Mercy of Jesus Christ”)

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