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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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The Scriptures are Written in the Every-Day Language of Men

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

The Scriptures are written in the every-day language of men, and they often describe an act or a thing as it appears to be, rather than as it really is. The Bible speaks of “the four corners of the earth,” Isaiah 11:12, and of “the foundations of the earth,” Psalm 104:5; yet no one understands this to mean that the earth is square, or that it actually rests upon a foundation. We speak of the sun rising and setting, yet we know that it is not the motion of the sun but that of the earth as it turns over on its axis which causes this phenomenon. Likewise, when the Scriptures speak of God repenting, for instance, no one with proper ideas of God understands it to mean that He sees He has pursued a wrong course and changes His mind. It simply means that His action as seen from the human view-point appears to be like that of a man who repents.

In other places the Scriptures speak of the hands, or arms, or eyes of God. These are what are known as “anthropomorphisms,” instances in which God is referred to as if He were a man. When the word “repent,” for instance, is used in its strict sense God is said never to repent: “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent.” Numbers 23:19; and again, “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent,” 1 Samuel 15:29. (The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination)

As a People’s Morality Goes …

Americas Christian HistoryColumnist Selwyn Duke:

“Just as with religion, people bring their ideology with them. And unless you think you could talk a Muslim jihadist out of Islam, why suppose you could talk a socialist out of socialism? … As a people’s morality goes, so go its fortunes. You simply cannot be one kind of people but have another kind of government … And what has happened to our sense of virtue in America? So lost it is that even the word has been replaced with ‘values,’ that fixture of the atheistic literary style. For decades we have instilled children with leftism, nihilism, hedonism, relativism, and atheism through academia, the media, and popular culture; we have seduced them into sin and made them, as Ben Franklin wrote, ‘more corrupt and vicious, [so] they have more need of masters.’ For sure, masters will be one’s lot if he has not mastered himself. … There is a strong atheism-statism correlation the world over, which is why it’s no coincidence that ‘conservatives’ in heavily secular Western Europe are simpatico with our liberals. … Without the Christian right, there is no right at all.”

Continue reading here. . . .

To See God

Jonathan EdwardsThe Bible speaks of Abraham as seeing God Who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27) The Scriptures also teach us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV) Jesus teaches, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7 ESV) Do you desire to truly see God? Jonathan Edwards writes:

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

God is a spiritual being, and he is beheld with the understanding. The soul has in itself those powers which are capable of apprehending objects, and especially spiritual objects, without looking through the windows of the outward senses. This is a more perfect way of perception than by the eyes of the body. Yet it is not every apprehension of God by the understanding that may be called the seeing of We are so accustomed and habituated to depend upon our senses, and our intellectual powers are so neglected and disused, that we are ready to conceive that seeing things with the bodily eyes is the most perfect way of apprehending them. But it is not so. The eye of the soul is vastly more perfect than the eye of the body. . . .

If we hear of such a being as God, are educated in the belief that there is such a being, are told what sort of being he is, and what he has done, and are rightly told, and we give credit to what we hear, yet if we have no apprehension of God in any other way, we cannot be said to see God in the sense of the text. This is not the beatific sight of God.

If we have an apprehension of God merely by speculative reasoning; if we come to some apprehension of God’s being, and of his being almighty, all-wise, and good, by Glory of Godratiocination, that is not what the Scripture calls seeing God. It is some more immediate way of understanding and viewing that is called sight. Nor will such an apprehension as this merely ever make the soul truly blessed. . . .

The wicked spirits in the other world have doubtless more immediate apprehensions of the being of God, and of his power and wrath, than the wicked in this world. They stand before God to be judged, they receive the sentence from him, and they have a dreadful apprehension of his wrath and displeasure. But yet they are exceedingly remote from seeing God, in the sense of the text.

But to see God is this. It is to have an immediate, sensible, and certain understanding of God’s glorious excellency and love. There must be a direct and immediate sense of God’s glory and excellency. … It must be a more immediate, sensible discovery that must give the mind a real sense of the excellency and beauty of God. He that sees God has a direct and immediate view of God’s great and awful majesty, of his pure and beauteous holiness, of his wonderful and endearing grace and mercy.

There is a certain understanding of his love, there is a certain apprehension of his presence. He that beholds God, does not merely see him as present by his essence, for so he is present with all, both godly and ungodly. But he is more especially present with those whom he loves; he is graciously present with them. And when they see him, they see him and know him to be so. They have an understanding of his love to them. They see him from love manifesting himself to them. He that has a blessed-making sight of God, not only has a view of God’s glory and excellency, but he views it as having a property in it. He sees God’s love to him. He receives the testimonies and manifestations of that love. . . .

To see God, as in the text, implies the sight of him as glorious and as gracious, a vision of the light of his countenance, both as it is understood of the effulgence of his glory, and the manifestations of his favor and love. (“The Pure in Heart Blessed”)

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