• 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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Resurrection Sunday

The ResurrectionPaul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:1-4 ESV)

We know that all who believe in Christ have hope for redemption and salvation by Him. However, what if there was no resurrection? Then our hope in Him would be limited to this life and we would be in a worse condition than the rest of humanity. The Apostle Paul tells us, among other things, that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ declared Him the Son of God in power. The Gospel is concerned with two facts about Jesus Christ our Lord. The first is that He was really man. The second that, although man, He was more than man. Jesus was truly a man by the fact of His birth and the Son of God by the fact of His resurrection.

The resurrection was not only miraculous; it was a lesson. The resurrection teaches us that Jesus was much more than the prophets or apostles. He was the Only-Begotten Son of God, who had shared God’s throne and His Nature from all eternity.

Paul points out that this single event declared Christ to be the Son of God by His Resurrection from the dead. Why should our Lord’s resurrection have the particular effect of declaring Him the Son of God? The resurrection of our Lord verified the truth of His claims and teachings. Had Jesus lived, taught, and decayed in His tomb, He would have been regarded by history as a great moral teacher who in the end was simply a man. However, the resurrection proclaims to the entire world that He Who was crucified, dead, and buried, is the Son of God.

When the lifeless soul hears the voice of the Son of God, his eyes open to behold His mercy and love. His tongue bursts forth in prayer and praise to Him who is the Redeemer and Lord. His sinfulness is exchanged for purity, light, and eternal life. In the Church of our day when a man is turned from the fatality of sin to a life of godly righteousness, we must give all praise to God and pray that more sinners will do the same.

The power of the resurrection of Jesus is as supreme now as it was in the days of the apostles and disciples. The Holy Spirit is just as ready to quicken us who are dead in trespasses and sins – as anyone in the Book of Acts. Jesus Christ will abide in us. At the resurrection of the last day, Jesus will confess us before his Father and we shall receive that wonderful invitation: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34 ESV)

Jesus rose from the tomb to prove to us that we could have everlasting life with Him. I give thanks to God for His grace and mercy on this Resurrection Sunday and pray that you will come to know the greatness of His power towards you.

Samuel at Gilgal


The Service of God

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

Indeed, a Christian values every service of God so much that though some may be in the eyes of the world and of natural reason a slight and empty business, beggarly elements, or foolishness, yet since God calls for it, the authority of the command so overawes his heart that he is willing to spend himself and to be spent in discharging it. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

Conforming Our Intellect to God’s Truth

A Christless Intellect Nancy Pearcey:

The first step in conforming our intellect to God’s truth is to die to our vanity, pride, and craving for respect from colleagues and the public. We must let go of the worldly motivations that drive us, praying to be motivated solely by a genuine desire to submit our minds to God’s Word – and then to use that knowledge in service to others.

Trust in Christ Completely

Charles H. Spurgeon

Trust in Christ completely. Trust in Him to bear your sins. Trust in Christ to save you. Charles H. Spurgeon explains:

Let nothing content any one of us but actual spiritual contact with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us never sleep or slumber until we have really looked to that great sacrifice which God has lifted up for the sins of men. Let us not think of Christ as another man’s Savior, but be passionately in earnest till we get him for our own.

A young man once said to me, “I want to know what I must do to be saved.” I reminded of that verse,

‘A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall.’

He said, “Sir, I cannot fall.” “Oh,” I said, “You do not understand me. I do not mean a fall which demands any strength in you; I mean a fall caused by the absence of all strength.” It is to tumble down into Christ’s arms because you cannot stand upright. Faint into the arms of Christ; that is faith. Just give up doing, give up depending upon anything that you are, or do, or ever hope to be, and depend upon the complete merits, and finished work, and precious blood of Jesus Christ. If you do this you are saved.

Anything of your own doing spoils it all. You must not have a jot or a tittle of your own; you must give up relying upon your prayers, your tears, your baptism, your repentance, and even your faith itself. Your reliance is to be on nothing but that which is in Jesus Christ. Those dear hands, those blessed feet, are ensigns of his love – look to them. That bleeding, martyred, murdered person is the grand display of the heart of the ever blessed God. Look to it. Look to the Savior’s pangs, griefs and groans. These are punishments for human sin. This is God’s wrath spending itself on Christ instead of spending itself on the believer. Believe in Jesus, and it is certain that he suffered this for you. Trust in him to save you, and you are saved. (Advice for Seekers)

Why is the Cross Important?

Jesus on the CrossHe himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (1 Peter 3:18 ESV)

Why is the cross so important? Today is Good Friday and a good day to reflect on Jesus’ death.

The cross shows us the depth of the problem we humans have with sin. It shows us God’s forgiveness of sin. The cross also leads us to the resurrection, which demonstrates that sin may be overcome. The way of the cross teaches us that it was necessary for God to save us from sin by allowing Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. The resurrection of Jesus reveals His victory over sin and death on our behalf. The cross says something important to us about us.

God desires us to see our sins for what they are – rebellion against Him. We, of course, wish to stay blind to our sins. In the cross of Jesus Christ, God is trying to show us the consequences of our sin and the only way to peace with God. Therefore, in the cross, God shows us righteousness. It is a righteousness that comes through the faith of Jesus when He went to the cross trusting in God who would raise Him on the third day in order that we might begin to live with that same faith in a God.

The cross is our sin meeting God’s unconditional love, and forgiveness. The violence of the cross teaches us about sin and its cost. At the same time, the cross demonstrates God’s justice, love and forgiveness. The cross is God’s answer to sin. It is the result of the work of Jesus Christ to earn our salvation.

Samuel at Gilgal

Wonderful Moments of Joy

John PiperJohn Piper:

“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.” (Don’t Waste Your Life)

The Scriptures of God

Isaac NewtonIsaac Newton, English mathematician and scientist:

“We account the scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.”

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