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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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Godlike Character

The Practice of GodlinessJerry Bridges:

Godlike character is both the fruit of the Spirit, as He works within us, and the result of our personal efforts. We are both totally dependent upon His working within us and totally responsible for our own character development. This is an apparent contradiction to our either-or type of thinking, but it is a truth taught over and over in the Scriptures. (The Practice of Godliness, p. 211)

Yearning to see God

R. C. SproulR.C. Sproul:

In a sense, we are fortunate that we cannot see God. If for one second the veil was removed and we caught a brief glimpse of the face of God, we would perish instantly. His effulgence is so brilliant, His glory so dazzling, that in our present corrupted state we could not bear the sight of Him. He remains invisible both as a curse and as an act of protecting grace. As long as we remain infected by sin, we are doomed to wander in His world sightless with respect to Him. We may be comforted by His Word and healed by the secret ministration of His Spirit, but we cannot see the supreme beauty of His face.

But we have a dream; nay, more than a dream. We have the sure and certain promise that someday we will see Him face to face. The heart of every Christian longs for the face of Christ. We yearn to look directly at God Himself without fear of being consumed. That deep yearning will be fulfilled one day.

The future vision of God is called the “Beatific Vision” because it will bring in its wake the consummate blessedness for which we were created and redeemed. One of the Beatitudes spoken by Jesus was, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). In heaven, we will be pure in heart. In heaven, we will see God.

Read more about R.C. Sproul here. . . .

Knowing for whom you Fight

William GurnallThere are no mercenaries in God’s army. The Christian soldier fights for the One he loves most. His resolution is steadfast. According to William Gurnall:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV)

He that knows not well what or whom he fights for [may] soon be persuaded to change his side, or at least stand neuter. Such may be found that go for professors, that can hardly give an account what they hope for, or whom they hope in; yet Christians they must be thought, though they run before they know their errand; or if they have some principles they go upon, they are so unsettled that every wind blows them down, like loose tiles from the house top. Blind zeal is soon put to a shameful retreat, while holy resolution, built on fast principles, lifts up its head like a rock in the midst of waves. ‘The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits …’ (Daniel 11:32)

Let a man be never so knowing in the things of Christ, if his aim is not right in his profession, that man’s principles will hang loose; he will not venture much or far for Christ, no more, no further than he can save his own stake. A hypocrite may show some mettle at hand, some courage for a spurt in conquering some difficulties; but he will show himself a jade at length. He that hath a false end in his profession, will soon come to an end of his profession when he is pinched on that toe where his corn is — I mean, called to deny that [which] his naughty heart aimed at all this while. Now his heart fails him, he can go no farther. O take heed of this squint eye to our profit, pleasure, honor, or anything beneath Christ and heaven; for they will take away your heart, as the prophet saith of wine and women, that is, our love, and if our love be taken away, there will be little courage left for Christ. (The Whole Armor of God)

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