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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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Keeping on the Way to Heaven

William GurnallWilliam Gurnall:

The Christian must keep on his way to heaven in the midst of all the scandals that are cast upon the ways of God by the apostasy and foul falls of false professors. There were ever such in the church, who by their sad miscarriages in judgment and practice have laid a stone of offense in the way of profession, at which weak Christians are ready to make a stand, as they at the bloody body of Asahel, II Sam. 2:22, not knowing whether they may venture any further in their profession, seeing such, whose gifts they so much admired, lie before them, wallowing in the blood of their slain profession: [from being] zealous professors, to prove perhaps fiery persecutors; [from being] strict performers of religious duties, [to prove] irreligious atheists: no more like the men they were some years past, than the vale of Sodom (now a bog and a quagmire) is, to what it was, when for fruitfulness compared to the garden of the Lord. We had need of a holy resolution to bear up against such discouragements, and not to faint; as Joshua, who lived to see the whole camp of Israel, a very few excepted, revolting, and in their hearts turning back to Egypt, and yet with an undaunted spirit maintained his integrity, yea, resolved though not a man beside would bear him company, yet he would serve the Lord. (The Whole Armour of God)

Jesus and the Resurrection

Ben Witherington IIIBen Witherington III:

Any position in which claims about Jesus or the resurrection are removed from the realm of historical reality and placed in a subjective realm of personal belief or some realm that is immune to human scrutiny does Jesus and the resurrection no service and no justice. It is a ploy of desperation to suggest that the Christian faith would be little affected if Jesus was not actually raised from the dead in space and time.

If You have Faith

Charles H. SpurgeonIf you have any faith at all, it must have come from the Holy Spirit, who is not seen and works where He chooses. You only see the fruit of His work, and that is enough. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, you are born of God. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

Remember again, Christ can save you, for there is no record in the world, nor has there ever been handed down to us by tradition a single case in which Jesus has failed. If I could meet anywhere in my wanderings a soul which had cast itself on Christ alone, and yet had received no pardon – if there could be found in hell a solitary spirit that relied upon the precious blood and found no salvation, then the gospel might well be laid by in the dark, and no longer gloried in; but as that has not happened, and never shall happen, sinner, you shall not be the first exception. If you come to Christ – and to come to him is only to trust him wholly and simply – you cannot perish, for he has said, “Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” Will he prove a liar? Will you dare think so? O come, for he cannot cast you out. Think for a moment, sinner, and this may comfort you: he whom I preach to you as the healer of your soul is God. What can be impossible with God? What sin cannot he forgive who is God over all? If your transgressions were to be dealt with by an angel, they might surpass all Gabriel‘s power; but it is Immanuel, God with us, who has come to save. . . .

Was the atonement a fiction? Was the death of the eternal Son of God ineffectual? There must be power enough there to take away sin. Come and wash, come and wash, you who are vile and stained with sin, come and wash and you shall find instant cleansing the moment that by faith, you touch his purifying blood. . . .

“Oh,” you say, “but I cannot believe.” Cannot believe! Then do you know what you are doing? You are making him a liar. If you tell a man, “I cannot believe you,” that is only another way of saying, “You are a liar.” Oh, you will dare not say that of Christ. No, my friend, I take you by the hand and say another word – you must believe him. He is God, dare you doubt him? He died for sinners. Can you doubt the power of his blood? He has promised. Will you insult him by mistrusting his word? “Oh, no,” you say, “I feel I must believe, I must trust him; but suppose that trust of mine should not be of the right kind? Suppose it should be a natural trust? Ah, my friend, a humble trust in Jesus is a thing that never grew in natural ground. For a poor soul to come and trust in Christ is always the fruit of the Spirit. You need not raise a question about that. Never did the devil, never did mere nature empty a man of himself and bring him to Jesus. Do not be anxious on that point. “But,” says one, “the Spirit must lead me to believe him!” Yes, but you cannot see the Spirit; his work is a secret and a mystery. What you have to do is to believe in Jesus; there he stands, God and yet a suffering man, making atonement, and he tells you if you trust him you shall be saved. (Advice for Seekers)

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