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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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Make a Difference

Don't Waste Your LifeJohn Piper:

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.” (Don’t Waste Your Life)

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The Bible and Culture

Byang KatoByang Kato (1936-1975):

“It is the Bible that must judge the culture. Where a conflict results, the cultural element must give way.”

Temptation and the Christian

John A. BroadusEven true Christians may grow presumptuous, and indulge in a false confidence in themselves. When we first became Christians, our conscience may have been very tender. However, it is sadly true that even a Christian may grow callous by degrees and develop an arrogant spirit. John A. Broadus pens these words:

Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV)

Here is a text, which speaks to our need. Though temptation comes, we do not understand it and are often not prepared for it. Through Paul, God is giving us guidance to help us. . . .

We recognize here that God suffers us to be tempted, “God is faithful; he will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able.” Then God suffers us to be tempted. This is a distinction which does not amount to a great deal, I confess, and yet which is useful and helps us somewhat in relieving the dark mystery of evil in this world, that God permits evils of which he is not the author. … He suffers us to be tempted. The apostle James says that God tempts no man. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” The word “tempt,” as you all know – and the same thing is true of the words in the original language – signifies “to test,” “to put to the test” – as when you test a gun. This testing may be done with a good or an evil design. A man may put a great charge of powder into a gun for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is strong and can stand the test! or he may do it for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is weak, for the purpose of destroying it. So human character may be tested with friendly feelings, to try its strength, or with hostile feelings, in order to show its weakness and to destroy it. In the bad sense of the term, God tempts no-body, but he suffers us to be tempted.

Shall we inquire why he does this? We might say that temptation is one of the conditions of existence in this world. We cannot see how it would be possible to live here without being tempted. Jesus Christ himself, who was sinless, who came into this world to live but a little while and to die, endured temptation, not once merely, but many times-tempted to do what was wrong in the desert, tempted in the garden to shrink from what he had undertaken to do. Temptation is a condition of our existence.

Moreover, temptation is a discipline. That is one of the reasons why we may say God permits us to be tempted. Here again we have the example of Jesus. We are told in the Epistle to the Hebrews that Jesus learned from what he suffered. His human nature needed discipline like ours, and it found discipline in temptation as we do. He learned from what he suffered, and thus being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation. … God suffers us to be tempted. (“Lessons for the Tempted”)

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