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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 Fullness of Grace

Grow in GraceSinclair B. Ferguson:

When the New Testament speaks about the fullness of grace, which we find in Christ, it does not mean only forgiveness, pardon and justification. Christ has done much more for us. He died for us, but he also lived for us. Now he has sent his own Spirit to us so that we might draw on his strength. He grew in grace, and when we draw on his power, we shall likewise grow in grace.

The Ultimate Good of the Gospel

God is the GospelJohn Piper:

“The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.” (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself)

The Work of Faith in Prayer

William GuthrieFaith’s work is to make the soul to plead with God. Faith looks to what God has promised as you approach Him in prayer. William Guthrie writes:

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 ESV)

Faith’s work in a soul in prayer is to make it importunate in pressing for that which it prays for. Having the word of God for its ground, and the name of Christ for its encouragement, it importunately presses for the thing desired, and when He seems to say, “Ye shall not have it ;” it says, “I will not let Thee go.” It was faith that made Jacob wrestle that night with God; says the angel, “Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” And, “Moses,” says the Lord, “will ye let me alone, that I may destroy this people.” But says Moses, “If thou wilt forgive their sins; and if not, blot me out of thy book, which thou hast written.” And the woman of Samaria, say what He would, harped still upon this string, “Lord, have mercy upon me.”

Faith’s work in prayer is to undertake for the soul to God, and for God to the soul. This is the very kernel of prayer. Faith says to the soul, “I assure thee that whatsoever God hath promised in His word, that He will give and perform.” Faith says to the soul, “There is not a promise made to the Church, but it shall be accomplished; nor to itself in particular, but it shall be performed.” So that this is the work of faith in prayer, to engage for the Lord that all the promises that He hath given shall be made out and fulfilled unto them. On the other hand, faith engages the soul to wait patiently on for the accomplishment of all that the Lord bath promised. So that this is one of the mysteries of God; and it is lamentable that so many souls live strangers to God and to this work of faith, and do not consider the worth and excellency of this grace of faith. I dare say that we, His Church and people, would be as far above trouble this day as we are under it if we had faith and the lively exercise thereof. Those that have this are of all men the most happy, and those that want it are of all men the most miserable.

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