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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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COMPROMISED PREACHING

Alistair BeggAlistair Begg:

“Unfortunately, preachers who distort God’s Word are all too common today. Sometimes this springs from a sincere desire to soften hard hearts, but hearts are not changed by compromise.”

 

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JERRY BRIDGES ON GRACE

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace”  (The Discipline of Grace, 19)

PLEASANT PLACES

A. W. PinkArthur W. Pink:

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, ” The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places” (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

 

 

HATE GRACE?

Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon:

“We are sure that the Gospel we have preached is not after men because men do not take to it. It is opposed, even to this day. If anything is hated bitterly, it is the out-and-out Gospel of the Grace of God, especially if that hateful word, Sovereignty is mentioned with it! Dare to say, “He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion,” and furious critics will revile you without stint! The modern religionist not only hates the doctrine of Sovereign Grace, but he raves and rages at the mention of it! He would sooner hear you blaspheme than preach Election by the Father, Atonement by the Son, or Regeneration by the Spirit!

If you want to see a man worked up till the Satanic is clearly uppermost, let some of the new divines hear you preach a Free-Grace sermon! A Gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men—but it needs a Divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his utmost soul this distasteful Gospel of the Grace of God! (1891, Sermon #2185)

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

Dr James WhiteDr. James White:

The doctrine of “irresistible grace” is easily understood. It is simply the belief that when God chooses to move in the lives of His elect and bring them from spiritual death to spiritual life, no power in heaven or on earth can stop Him from so doing. It is really nothing more than saying that it is God who regenerates sinners, and that freely. The doctrine has nothing to do with the fact that sinners “resist” the common grace of God and the Holy Spirit (they do) or that Christians do not live perfectly in the light of God’s grace. It is simply the confession that when God chooses to raise His people to spiritual life, He does so without the fulfillment of any conditions on the part of the sinner. Just as Christ had the power and authority to raise Lazarus to life without obtaining his “permission” to do so, He is able to raise His elect to spiritual life with just as certain a result.

KEEPING THE HEART

Samuel A CainKeep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27 ESV)

We often talk about the heart as the seat of our passions and emotions. In this non-physical sense, we think of it as the domain of our true feelings and beliefs. King Solomon reminds us to, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV)

I like that proverb and its description of the human heart; “for from it flow the springs of life.” What do you imagine these springs might look like? I would envision that, from person to person, there would be some degree of difference in each. Some would be crystal clear while others would be cloudy and some black in hue. The quality of the springs would be determined by the amount of the world’s pollution found in the heart. Out of the well-kept heart will flow living springs that will glorify God. I am speaking, of course, of wisdom (living springs) – the kind that only the words of God can give. Immediately following this verse, Proverbs 4 goes on to instruct us: Continue reading

CHEAP CHRISTIANITY

J.C.-RyleJ.C. Ryle:

“There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough – a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice – which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.”

 

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