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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

Thoughts Determine Character

The Pursuit of HolinessJerry Bridges:

The Bible indicates that our thought lives ultimately determine our character. Solomon said, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is”. (The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 116)

Pilate Dedication Stone

Pilate Dedication StoneArchaeology and the Bible:

In June 1961 an inscription on a limestone block, found at a Roman amphitheater in Caesarea Maritima, rocked the scholarly world. The block, which was once used as a dedication stone of a nearby temple and now reused for seating at the local amphitheater, had an extraordinary inscription. It read: .Tiberieum, (Pon)tius Pilatus, (Praef)ectus Iuda(eae)… Those scholars who questioned Pilate‘s existence stood refuted.

John Calvin: The Mystery of the God-Man

John CalvinJohn Calvin did not view the preacher as a free agent, working on his own behalf, but as a minister or servant of the word of God. He preached the Word of Christ to rule in the hearts of men. In the following excerpts he preaches mightily on Christ – the God-man:

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 ESV)

We have two eyes in our head, each performing its office: but when we look steadfastly upon a thing, our sight, which is separate of itself, is joined together, and becomes one; and is wholly occupied in beholding that which is set before us: even so are there two diverse natures in Jesus Christ. Is there anything in the world more different than the body and soul of man? His soul is an invisible spirit that cannot be seen or touched; which hath none of these fleshly passions. The body is a corruptible lump, subject to rottenness; a visible thing which can be touched: the body has its properties, which are entirely different from that of the soul. And thus we ask, what is man? [He is] a creature, formed of body and soul.

If God used such a workmanship in us, when He made us of two diverse natures, why should we think it strange, that He used a far greater miracle in Jesus Christ? St. Paul uses these words, “was manifest”, that we may distinguish His Godhead from His manhood; that we may receive Him, as God manifest in the flesh; that is to say. . . .

St. Paul adds, “He was justified in the spirit.” The word justified is oftentimes used in Scripture, for approved. When it is said. He was justified, it is not that He became just, it is not that He was acquitted by men, as though they were His judges, and He bound to give them an account: no, no; there is no such thing; but it is when the glory is given Him which He deserves, and we confess Him to be what indeed He really is. . . .

We must not content ourselves by looking at the bodily presence of Jesus Christ, which was visible, but we must look higher. St. John says God was made flesh; or the Word of God, which is the same. The Word of God, which was God before the creation of the world, was made flesh; that is, was united to our nature; so that the Son of the virgin Mary, is God; yea, the everlasting God! …

It is not enough for us to behold Him with our natural eyes; for in this case, we should rise no higher than man: but when we see, that by miracles and mighty works, He showed Himself to be the Son of God, it is a seal and proof, that in abasing Himself, He did not leave off His heavenly majesty! Therefore, we may come to Him as our brother: and at the same time worship Him as the everlasting God; by whom we were made, and by whom we are preserved.

Were it not for this, we could have no church; were it not for this, we could have no religion; were it not for this, we could have no salvation. It would be better for us to be brute beasts, without reason and understanding, than to be destitute of this knowledge: to wit, that Jesus came and joined His Godhead with our nature; which was so wretched and miserable. . . .

When we become possessed of this knowledge, that the Son of God is joined to us, we should cast our eyes upon that which is so highly set forth in Him; that is, the virtue and power of the Holy Ghost. So then, Jesus Christ did not only appear as man, but showed indeed that He was Almighty God as all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him. If we once know this, we may well perceive that it is not without cause that St. Paul saith all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we have once laid hold on the promises of this Mediator, we shall know the height and depth, the length and breadth, yea, and whatsoever is necessary for our salvation: so that we may stay our faith upon Him, as upon the only true God; and likewise behold Him as our brother; who hath not only come near to us, but hath united and joined Himself to us in such a manner, that He hath become the same substance. . . . (“The Mystery of Godliness”)

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