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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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  • February 2013
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Precious Repentance

Charles H. Spurgeon“And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye hate committed” (Ezekiel 20:43).

Charles H. Spurgeon:

When we are accepted of the LORD and are standing in the place of favor, and peace, and safety, then we are led to repent of all our failures and miscarriages toward our gracious God. So precious is repentance that we may call it a diamond of the first order, and this is sweetly promised to the people of God as one most sanctifying result of salvation. He who accepts repentance also gives repentance; and He gives it not out of “the bitter box” but from among those “wafers made with honey” on which He feeds His people. A sense of blood-bought pardon and of undeserved mercy is the best means of dissolving a heart of stone. Are we feeling hard? Let us think of covenant love, and then we shall leave sin, lament sin, and loathe sin; yea, we shall loathe ourselves for sinning against such infinite love. Let us come to God with this promise of penitence and ask Him to help us to remember, and repent, and regret, and re- turn. Oh, that we could enjoy the meltings of holy sorrow! What a relief would a flood of tears be! LORD, smite the rock, or speak to the rock, and cause the waters to flow! (Faith’s Checkbook)

Jesus and Simon

Simon of Cyrene and JesusThere was a man conscripted to help Jesus carry the cross up to Golgotha. This man’s name was Simon (Matthew 27:32). He was from Cyrene, which was also called Niger in Acts 13:1. This is not in the country known as Niger today. He was actually from the country of Libya. Simon had two sons who were apparently known to the early church. Mark 15:21 says that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus as if the readers of the Gospel would know who these men are.

Man is not Equal or Superior to God

Augustus TopladyMan is not equal or superior to God that he may confound God’s decree of election. Silly ideas, which make God’s Will dependent totally upon the will of man, make God no God at all. Augustus Montague Toplady writes:

Nothing can be more contrary to sound doctrine, and even to sound reason, than this. It proceeds on a supposition that man is beforehand with God in the business of salvation; and that the resolutions of God’s will are absolutely dependent on the will of his creatures: that he has, in short, created a set of sovereign beings, from whom he receives law; and that his own purpose and conduct are shaped and regulated according to the prior self-determinations of independent man. What is this but atheism in a mask? For where is the difference between the denial of a first cause and the assignation of a false one?

Quite opposite is the decision of inspiration, Romans xi. 6; where the apostle terms God’s choice of his people an election of grace, or a gratuitous election: and observes, that if it be of grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace were no more grace: but if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise, work were no more work. Conditional grace is a most palpable contradiction in terms. Grace is no longer grace than while it is absolute and free. You might, with far greater ease, bring the two poles together, than effect a coalition between grace and works in the affair of election. As far, and as high, as the heavens are above the earth, are the imminent acts of God superior to a dependence on any thing wrought by sinful, perishable man. (“A Caveat against Unsound Doctrines”)

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