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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 LORD IS KING

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“There is a holy familiarity with God which cannot be too much enjoyed, but there is a flippant familiarity with God which cannot be too much abhorred! The Lord is King. His will is not to be questioned! His every Word is Law. Let us never question His Sovereign right to decree what He pleases and to fulfill the decree—to command what He pleases and to punish every shortcoming.” (1891, Sermon #2195) “The prerogative to give life or to take it away must remain with the Most High. The wit and wisdom of man are altogether powerless to bestow life upon even the tiniest insect! We know of a surety, doctrinally, and we know it with equal certainty by experience, that we can do nothing towards the quickening of men apart from the Spirit of God. If He does not come and give life, we may preach till we have not another breath left, but we shall not raise from the tomb of sin even the soul of a little child, or bring a single sinner to the feet of Christ!” (1892, Sermon #2246)

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GOD RULES

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

By virtue of the fact that God has created every thing which exists, He is the absolute Owner and final Disposer of all that He has made.  He exerts not merely a general in­fluence, but actually rules in the world which He has created.  The nations of the earth, in their insignificance, are as the small dust of the balance when compared with His greatness; and far sooner might the sun be stopped in his course than God be hindered in His work or in His will.  Amid all the apparent defeats and inconsistencies of life God actually moves on in undisturbed majesty. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

FINDING SUPREME JOY

Samuel A CainFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17 ESV)

Joy is a gift from God, but it also a gift for which we must take responsibility for cultivating on a daily basis. When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit also imparts joy into our lives. The great blessing of such joy is in learning to live life according to God’s Will. Our joy grows as we increasingly realize that Jesus Christ is our greatest treasure. The Westminster Shorter Catechism affirms this by saying, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

The essence of true Christianity is to know peace with God through Jesus Christ. Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit are produced in a relationship with Jesus Christ where we submit to Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one may approach God except through Jesus. (John 14:6 ESV) Continue reading

THE PURSUIT OF SUCCESS AND WEALTH

Chasing MoneyJohn Calvin:

Instead of rushing on regardless of right and wrong, by wiles and wicked arts, and with injury to our neighbors, to catch at wealth and seize upon honors, we will only follow such fortune as we may enjoy with innocence. Who can hope for the aid of the divine blessing amid fraud, rapine, and other iniquitous arts? As this blessing attends him only who thinks purely and acts uprightly, so it calls off all who long for it from sinister designs and evil actions. Continue reading

DAVID’S MEDICINE CABINET

Samuel A CainO LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. (Psalm 30:2 ESV)

I love the Psalms. The Psalms stir us to worship God more diligently. The Psalms teach us to rest in God alone as the only source of our true happiness and requirements. The Psalms offer guidance in times of affliction. In the Psalms, our innermost thoughts are revealed.

The Psalms encourage us to pray. We must lay our general needs and hope for relief from affliction before God in prayer. The Psalms also teach us to praise God and lift our hearts to Him. They are surely a means to comfort and strength. Continue reading

GOD HAS A PLAN

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

If God had not foreordained the course of events but waited until some un-determined condition was or was not fulfilled, His decrees could be neither eternal nor immutable.  We know, however, that He is incapable of mistake, and that He cannot be surprised by any unforeseen inconveniences.  His kingdom is in the heavens and He rules over all.  His plan must, therefore, include every event in the entire sweep of history. …

The Pelagian denies that God has a plan; the Arminian says that God has a general but not a specific plan; but the Calvinist says that God has a specific plan which embraces all events in all ages. In recognizing that the eternal God has an eternal plan in which is predetermined every event that comes to pass, the Calvinist simply recognizes that God is God, and frees Him from all human limitations.  The Scriptures represent God as a person, like other persons in that His acts are purposeful, but unlike other persons in that He is all-wise in His planning and all-powerful in His performing.  They see the universe as the product of His creative power, and as the theater in which are displayed His glorious perfections, and which must in all its form and all its history, down to the least detail, correspond with His purpose in making it. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

THE WALL OF SEPARATION CAST DOWN

mediatorJonathan Edwards:

He [Jesus Christ] hath by his blood made atonement for sin, so that our guilt need not stand in the way, as a separating wall between God and us, and that our sins might not be a cloud through which our prayers cannot pass. By his atonement he hath made the way to the throne of grace open. God would have been infinitely gracious if there had been no Mediator, but the way to the mercy-seat would have been blocked up. But Christ hath removed whatever stood in the way. The veil which was before the mercy-seat “is rent from the top to the bottom” by the death of Christ. If it had not been for this, our guilt would have remained as a wall of brass to hinder our approach. But all is removed by his blood, Heb. 10:17, etc.

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