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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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Salvation through Jesus Christ

James Montgomery Boice:

The Reformers taught that salvation is by and through the work of Jesus Christ only, which is what the slogan “solus Christus” refers to. It means that [through the cross and the empty tomb] Jesus has done it all so that now no merit on the part of man, no merit of the saints, no works of ours performed either here or in purgatory can add to that completed saving work.

Findings from the Time of Moses

Archaeology and the Bible:

More new and exciting archaeological research has been carried out by the British Egyptologist, David Rohl. Until a few years ago we only had archaeological evidence for the Patriarchal, Davidic and New Testament periods, but little to none for the Mosaic period. Yet one would expect much data on this period due to the cataclysmic events which occurred during that time. David Rohl (in A Test of Time) has given us a possible reason why, and it is rather simple. It seems that we have simply been off in our dates by almost 300 years! By redating the Pharaonic lists in Egypt he has been able to now identify the abandoned city of the Israelite slaves (called Avaris), the death pits from the tenth plague, and Joseph’s original tomb and home.

God Came Down!

We shall never know Jesus Christ to be our Savior, until we know that He was God from everlasting. Therefore let us resolve that whenever we speak of Jesus Christ, that we lift our thoughts on high and worship this majesty which He had from everlasting. John Calvin writes:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)

If there be one day in the week reserved for religious instruction, when they have spent six days in their own business, they are apt to spend the day which is set apart for worship, in play and pastime; some rove about the fields, others go to the taverns to quaff: and there are undoubtedly at this time as many at the last mentioned place, as are here assembled in the name of God. Therefore, when we see so many shun and flee from this doctrine, can we marvel that there is such brutishness, that we know not the rudiments of Christianity? We are apt to consider it as a strange language, when men tell us that God was manifest in the flesh.

But this sentence cannot be put out of God’s register. We have no faith, if we know not that our Lord Jesus Christ is joined to us, that we may become His members. It seems that God would stir us up to think upon this mystery, seeing we are so sleepy and drowsy. We see how the devil stirs up these old makebates to deny the humanity of Jesus Christ, and His Godhead: and sometimes to confound them both; that we may not perceive two distinct natures in Him: or else to cause us to believe that He is not the man who fulfilled the promises in the law; and consequently descended from the stock of Abraham and David.

Is it indeed the case that such errors and heresies as were in the church of Christ at the beginning, are set forth in these days? Let us mark well the words that are here used by St. Paul: God was manifest in the flesh. When he calls Jesus Christ God, he admits this nature which He had before the world was made. It is true, there is but one God, but in this one essence we must comprehend the Father, and a wisdom which cannot be severed from Him, and an everlasting virtue, which always was, and shall forever be in Him.

Thus, Jesus Christ was true God as He was the wisdom of God before the world was made, and before everlastingness. It is said, He was made manifest in the flesh. By the word flesh, St. Paul gives us to understand that He was true man, and took upon Him our nature. By the word manifest, He shows that in Him there were two natures. But we must not think that there is one Jesus Christ which is God, and another Jesus Christ which is man! We must know Him only as God and man. Let us so distinguish the two natures which are in Him, that we may know that the Son of God is our brother. God suffers the old heresies, which in times past troubled the church, to make a stir again in our days, to stir us up to diligence. The devil goes about to destroy this article of our belief, knowing it to be the main prop and stay of our salvation.

If we have not this knowledge of which St. Paul speaks, what will become of us? We are all in the bottomless pit of death. There is nothing but death and condemnation in us, until we know that God came down to seek and save us. (“The Mystery of Godliness”)

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