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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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Nothing is more Important

Sinclair B. FergusonSinclair B. Ferguson:

There is nothing more important to learn about Christian growth than this: Growing in grace means becoming like Christ.

Invention

Patrick HenryPatrick Henry, American Revolutionary leader and orator, 1736-1799:

“Jewish authors would never have invented either that style or that morality; and the Gospel has marks of truth so great, so striking, so utterly inimitable, that the invention of it would be more astonishing than the hero.”

What Prohibits You from Coming to Christ?

Great BanquetPersonal condition does not prohibit you from coming to Christ. The sad condition of those who, in Luke 14, became guests did not disqualify them from the supper. Some were poor and doubtless miserable and shabby. They did not have a penny to their names. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ (Luke 14:16-21 ESV)

Where the Lord has been pleased to touch the will so that man has a desire towards Christ, where the heart really hungers and thirsts after righteousness, that is all the readiness which is wanted. All the fitness he requires is that first you feel your need of him (and that he gives you), and that secondly, in feeling your need of him you are willing to come to him. Willingness to come is everything. A readiness to believe in Jesus, a willingness to cast the soul on him, a preparedness to accept him just as he is, because you feel that he is just the Savior that you need – that is all: there was no other readiness, there could have been none, in the case of those who were poor and blind, and lame and maimed, yet came to the feast. The text does not say, “You are ready, therefore come”; that is a legal way of putting the gospel; but it says, “All things are ready, the gospel is ready, therefore you are to come.” As for your readiness, all the readiness that is possibly wanted is a readiness which the Spirit gives us – namely, willingness to come to Jesus.

Now notice that the unreadiness of those who were asked arose out of their possessions and out of their abilities. One would not come because he had bought a piece of land. What a great heap Satan casts up between the soul and the Savior! With worldly possessions and good deeds he builds an earthwork of huge dimensions between the sinner and his Lord. Some gentlemen have too many acres ever to come to Christ: they think too much of the world to think much of him. Many have too many fields of good works in which they are growing crops on which they pride themselves, and these cause them to feel that they are persons of great importance. Many a man cannot come to Christ for all things because he has so much already.

Others could not come because they had so much to do, and could do it well-one had bought five yoke of oxen and he was going to prove them. He was a strong man well able to plow; the reason why he did not come was because he had so much ability. Thousands are kept away from grace by what they have and by what they can do. Emptiness is more preparatory to a feast than fullness. How often does it happen that poverty and inability help to lead the soul to Christ? When a man thinks he is rich he will not come to the Savior. When a man dreams that he is able at any time to repent and believe, and to do everything for himself that is wanted, he is not likely to come and by simple faith repose in Christ. It is not what you have not, but what you have that keeps many of you from Christ. Sinful Self is a devil, but Righteous Self is seven devils. The man who feels himself guilty may for a while be kept away by his guilt, but the man who is self-righteous will never come; until the Lord has taken his pride away from him he will still refuse the feast of free grace. The possession of abilities and honors and riches keeps men from coming to the Redeemer. (Advice for Seekers)

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