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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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Sovereignty Rules!

The Reformed Doctrine of PredestinationLoraine Boettner D.D.:

Every thinking person readily sees that some sovereignty rules his life. He was not asked whether or not he would have existence; nor when, where, or what he would be born; whether in the twentieth century or before the flood; whether white or [black]; whether in America or in China. It has been recognized by Christians in all ages that God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and that as the Creator and Ruler of the universe He is the ultimate source of all the power that is found in the creatures. Hence nothing can come to pass apart from His sovereign will; and when we dwell upon this truth we find that it involves considerations which establish the Calvinistic and disprove the Arminian position. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

The Caiaphas Ossuary

Caiaphas OssuaryArchaeology and the Bible:

An ossuary is a box constructed to hold the bones of the dead after decomposition. In 1990 a discovery was made that excited biblical scholars and archaeologists alike. In the Peace Forest section of Jerusalem was discovered a burial cave containing twelve ossuaries. One of them belonged to none other than Caiaphas, the high priest who presided at the trial of Jesus. This amazing discovery provides us with a powerful historical connection to the events described in the Gospels.

Guidance from the Scriptures!

John GillMany Christians want guidance or a word from the Lord to help them navigate the problems of life. Unfortunately, they have not mastered the discipline of regularly reading the Scriptures through which the Holy Spirit speaks to us. John Gill explains:

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein; and ye shall find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

We are to call no man father or master on earth; we have but one father in heaven, and one master, which is Christ, whose doctrines, rules, and ordinances we should receive and observe. We are not to be influenced by men of learning and wealth; though there should be on the other side of the question, it should be no stumbling to us; had this been a rule to be attended to, Christianity had never got footing in the world: Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people, who knoweth not the law, are cursed. (John 7:48, 49)

It pleased the Lord, in the first times of the gospel, to hide the things of it from the wise and prudent, and reveal them unto babes; and to call by his grace, not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but the foolish, weak, and base things of the world, and things that are not, to confound the wise and mighty, and bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence (Matthew 11:25, 26; 1 Cor. 1:26-29): nor should it concern us that the greatest number is on the opposite side; we are not to follow a multitude to do evil; the whole world once wondered after the beast; Christ’s flock is but a little flock.

The scriptures are the only external guide in matters of religion; they are the way-posts we should look up unto, and take our direction from, and should steer our course accordingly: To the law and to the testimony: if men speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20); we should not believe every spirit, but try them, whether they are of God (1 John 4:1); and the trial should be made according to the word of God; the scriptures should be searched, as they were by the noble Bereans, to see whether the things delivered to consideration are so or no; the inscriptions on these way-posts should be read, which are written so plain, that he that runs may read them; and they direct to a way, in which men, though fools, shall not err: if therefore the inquiry is, 1st, About the way of Salvation; if that is the affair the doubt is concerning, look up to the Bibleway-posts, look into the word of God, and read what that says; search the scriptures, for therein is the way of eternal life; life and immortality, or the way to an immortal life, is brought to light by the gospel. The scriptures, under a divine influence, and with a divine blessing, are able to make a man wise unto salvation, and they do point unto men the way of it: it is not the light of nature, nor the law of Moses, but the gospel-part of the scriptures which direct to this; there will show you, that God saves and calls men with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to his purpose and grace; that it is not by works of righteousness done by men, but according to the mercy of God, that men are saved; and that it is not by works, but by grace, lest men should boast (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5: Eph. 2:8,9). … Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved: these words, Salvation alone by Christ, salvation alone by Christ, are written as with a sunbeam on them; just as the way-posts, set up in places where two or more ways met, to direct the manslayer when he was fleeing to one of the cities of refuge from the avenger of blood, had written on them in very legible characters, refuge, refuge.

If the question is about any point of Doctrine; if there is any hesitation concerning any truth of the gospel, look up to the way-posts, look into the scriptures, search them, see and read what they say; for they are profitable for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16); for finding it out, explaining, confirming, and defending it: there will tell you whether the thing in debate is so or no, and will direct you which side of the question to take; if you seek for knowledge and understanding in gospel-truths diligently and constantly, as you would for silver, and search after them as for hid treasures, then will you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:4, 5). (“The Scriptures: The Only Guide in Matters of Faith”)

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