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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 Truth of the Resurrection

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.

The Pelagian Heresy

PelagiusPelagianism teaches that man’s free will is unimpaired. There is no influence that shackles or dominates man’s choice between good and evil. Man has all the power he ever had, or needs to have, to will and to do what is spiritually good. This teaching is contrary to the concept of Adam’s fall being the cause of man’s being born a sinner. Pelagianism argues that the consequences of Adam’s sins were restricted to him and were not transmitted to his posterity. Pelagianism argues that man enters the world with as pure a nature as Adam had possessed in innocence. This belief requires turning the Gospels into a remedial scheme rather than a plan to recover man from original sin by grace. This is in direct contrast to Paul and Augustine’s teaching that humanity was completely helpless in Adam’s sin and in desperate need of grace. Augustine did not deny that man had a will and that he could make choices. He simply recognized that man did not have a free will in moral issues related to God. Augustine recognized that the Scriptures taught that the effects of original sin were passed to the children of Adam and Eve and therefore, mankind’s nature was corrupted. Man could choose what he desired, but those desires are influenced by his sinful nature and thus, he sins.

Pelagianism

Pelagius, a British monk, is considered to be the father of this heresy. It was condemned by more church councils than any other heresy in history. Pelagianism may have been condemned, but it was certainly the most popular and widespread tendency among the masses. This is no surprise, since thinking highly of ourselves and the possibilities for personal self-improvement are part of our sinful condition. We are all Pelagians by nature. Pelagianism is a gospel of works.

The Bible teaches:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. . .” (Romans 3:23 ESV)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8 ESV)

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:6 ESV)

Samuel at Gilgal

None Perish Who Believe in Christ

John GillNone perish who believe in Christ. He is the living Way and all who are in this Way live. None in His Way die. The Way is straight and narrow, but surely leads to eternal life. 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)

Christ is the way of salvation, which the gospel, and the ministers of it, point out to men; and he is the only way of salvation, there is salvation in him, and in no other; this is what the whole Bible centers in; this is the sum and substance of it; this is the faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation. That Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners. He is the way of access to the Father, nor can any come to God but by him; he is the mediator between God and man, and through him there is access with confidence by the faith of him. He is the way of acceptance with God: we have nothing to render us acceptable unto God; we are black in ourselves with original and actual sin, and are only comely in Christ; our acceptance is in the beloved. God is well pleased with him, and with all that are considered in him; their persons and their sacrifices are acceptable to God through him. He is the way of conveyance of all grace, and the blessings of it to us. All was given originally to him, and to us in him; and from him, and through him we receive it, even out of his fullness, grace for grace; all spiritual blessings are with him, and come to us from him; all grace passes through his hands; the first we have, and all the after-supplies of it; yea, the gift of God, eternal life, is through Jesus Christ our Lord And he is the way to heaven and eternal happiness; he has entered into it with his own blood already, and has opened a way by it for his people, into the holiest of all; he is gone beforehand as their forerunner, and has taken possession of heaven for them; he is now preparing a place for them there, and will come again and take them to himself, and introduce them into his kingdom and glory. . . . (“The Scriptures: The Only Guide in Matters of Faith”)

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