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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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Entering the Kingdom

The Gospel for Real LifeJerry Bridges:

We do not have the ability to enter the kingdom unless the Spirit of God gives us life through the new birth. We are born again, then, by a sovereign, monergistic (that is, the Spirit working alone) act of the Holy Spirit. Then, as a result of that new birth, we exercise the faith given to us, and enter the kingdom of God. (The Gospel for Real Life, p. 133)

Was Jesus an Unbalanced Person?

The Tomb of Christ on the Morning of the Third DayWilbur Smith:

It was this same Jesus, the Christ who, among many other remarkable things, who said and repeated something which, proceeding from any other being would have condemned him at once as either a bloated egotist or a dangerously unbalanced person. When He said He himself would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said something that only a fool would dare say, if he expected longer the devotion of any disciples—unless He was sure He was going to rise. No founder of any world religion known to men ever dared say a thing like that!

The Bible will give you Confidence and Boldness

John GillDo you wish to have more confidence in your faith? Read the Bible. It will give you boldness in times of adversity. John Gill writes:

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)

[It is] by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts; that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, his Spirit and grace; that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy; that the work of faith is a work of power, of the operation of God, and is carried on by it, and is even according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure (Zech. 4:6; John 1:13; 3:5; Rom. 9:15, 16; Col. 2:12; 2 Thess. 1:11; Eph. 1:10; Phil. 2:13). . . .

Read over the gracious promises and declarations in the word of God, and they will serve to confirm you in it; as that the righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger; that God will put his fear into the hearts of his people, and they shall not depart from him: that they are preferred in Christ Jesus, and in his hands, out of whose hands none can pluck them; who is able to keep them from falling, and will; and that they are, and shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (Job 17:9; Jer. 32:40; John 10:28, 29; Jude 1:24; 1 Pet. 1:5). . . .

If the doctrines of the Resurrection of the dead, and a future Judgment, should be called in question, read the divine oracles, and there you are told, that there will be a resurrection both of the just and unjust; that the one shall come forth from their graves to the resurrection of life, and the other to the resurrection of damnation; that there is a judgment to come; that there is a righteous Judge appointed, and a day let when just judgment will be executed; and that all, small and great, good and bad, must appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, to receive for the things done in the body, whether they be good, or whether they be evil (Acts 24:16; John 5:28, 20; Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:12; 2 Cor. 5:10). (“The Scriptures: The Only Guide in Matters of Faith”)

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