• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,390,486 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,275 other followers

  • Recommended Reading

A TEMPTATION OF THE CHURCH

The Preacher without HolinessRussell Moore:

“There is always the temptation for the church to reach people without addressing the issue of sin.” 

REFORMED DOCTRINES

James M. BoiceJames M. Boice writing on Reformed Doctrines:

These doctrines were not invented by Calvin, nor were they characteristic of his thought alone during the Reformation period. These are biblical truths taught by Jesus and confirmed by Paul, Peter and all the other Old and New Testament writers. Augustine defended these doctrines against the denials of Pelagius. Luther believed them. So did Zwingli. That is, they believed what Calvin believed and later systematized in his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Puritans were Calvinists; it was through them and their teaching that both England and Scotland experienced the greatest and most pervasive national revivals the the world has ever seen. In that number were the heirs of John Knox: Thomas Cartwright, Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Matthew Henry, John Owen, and others. In America others were influenced by men such as Johnathan Edwards, Cotton Mather and, later, George Whitefield. (Foundations of the Christian Faith)

THE REFORMED MIND

Samuel A CainSet your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

“Screw the truth into men’s minds.” (Richard Baxter)

After salvation and the pursuit of holiness, the great need of Christians is to grow in their understanding of the faith and to become competent in rationally sharing, explaining and defending it. Reformed Christianity provides a sound and organized framework of consistent doctrinal beliefs and practices (such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, etc.) which, I believe, represents accurately the Word of God found in the Scriptures.

Such men as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Richard Baxter, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, A.W. Pink, James Montgomery Boice, R. C. Sproul, James Kennedy, and Dr. D.A. Carson are just a representative few in a long line of reformed thinkers, ministers, and teachers who have shared the Truth of the Bible through their ministries. The Reformed church has traditionally remained true (although there are many exceptions in our time) to the admonition of the Apostle Paul: Continue reading

BLINDNESS TO BEAUTY AND DEADNESS TO JOY

Michael HortonMichael Horton:

“We need to make plain that total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to beauty and deadness to joy; and unconditional election means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed; and that limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the covenant; and irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights; and that the perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of pleasures at God’s right hand forever.”

 

GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL CONTROL

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner:

Throughout the Bible, the laws of nature, the course of history, the varying fortunes of individuals, are ever attrib­uted to God’s providential control.  All things, both in heaven and earth, from the seraphim down to the tiny atom, are ordered by His never-failing providence.  So intimate is His relationship with the whole creation that a careless reader might be led toward pantheistic conclusions.  Yet individual personalities and second causes are fully recog­nized,—not as independent of God, but as having their proper place in His plan.  And alongside of this doctrine of His Immanence, the Scripture writers also present the kindred doctrine of His Transcendence, in which God is distinctly set forth as entirely separate from and above the whole creation. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

AM I ELECT?

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Haddon Spurgeon:

“If you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you ask you know not what.  Go to Jesus, be you never so guilty as you are.  Leave all curious inquiry about election alone.  Go straight to Christ and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.  The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you will be able to say,” I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him.”  Christ was at the everlasting council: He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way.  Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be – “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.”  There will be no doubt about his having chosen you, when you have chosen him.” (Morning and Evening)

HE IS JUST AND JUSTIFIES

Charles HodgeCharles Hodge:

“[God] shows that He can be just and yet justify, love, sanctify, and glorify the chief of sinners. For which all sinners should render Him everlasting thanksgiving and praise.”

ARE YOU WEAK?

Bishop J. C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle:

“Hearken, my believing reader. What is the cause of your weakness? Is it not because the fountain of life is little used? Is it not because you are resting on old experiences, and not daily gathering new manna—daily drawing new strength from Christ?”

 

PRESS FORWARD

George WhitefieldGeorge Whitefield:

Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you. Fight the good fight of faith, and God will give you spiritual mercies.

FAITH, HUMILITY, AND WORKS

Samuel A CainIsrael who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone … (Romans 9:31-33 ESV)

Human nature and pride often lead people to think that it is by their own good efforts that they will finally win the approval of God. Such an attitude leads us to believe that God owes us something because we have accumulated good deeds in our “salvation bank”. However, self-righteousness destroys the doctrine of faith as it is taught in the Scriptures.

We must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. Faith is the means and gift of the Holy Spirit. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) Continue reading

THE GOSPEL BRINGS TIDINGS

gadsby_wWilliam Gadsby:

“The gospel brings tidings, glad tidings indeed,
To mourners in Zion, who want to be freed,
From sin and Satan, and Mount Sinai’s flame,
Good news of salvation, through Jesus the Lamb.

What sweet invitations, the gospel contains,
To men heavy laden, with bondage and chains;
It welcomes the weary, to come and be blessed,
With ease from their burdens, in Jesus to rest.

 

YOUR EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD

Thomas WatsonThomas Watson:

I am your exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

God is a satisfying reward. God is a whole ocean of blessedness, so that the soul, while it is bathing in it, cries out in a divine ecstasy, “I have enough!” Here is fullness—but no excess. Psalm 17:15, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.” That is—when I awake out of the sleep of death, having my soul embellished with the illustrious beams of Your glory—I shall be satisfied. In God there is not only sufficiency—but redundancy; not only the fullness of the vessel—but the fullness of the fountain! In God, this Ark of blessedness, are all good things to be found. Therefore Jacob, having God for his reward, could say, “I have enough!” or, as it is in the original, “I have all!” Genesis 33:11. God is all marrow and fatness. He is such a plenteous reward as exceeds our very faith. If the Queen of Sheba’s heart fainted when she saw all King Solomon’s glory—what would it have done to have beheld the astonishing and magnificent reward which God bestows upon His favorites! (“God is His Peoples Great Reward”)

GOD’S WORD

Charles Haddon SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

“It is God’s Word that saves souls, not our comment upon it, however correct that comment may be! Let us, then, be scrupulously careful to honor the Holy Spirit by taking the weapon which He has prepared for us, believing in the full Inspiration of the sacred Scriptures and expecting that God will prove their Inspiration by their effect upon the minds and hearts of men.” (1892, Sermon #2246)

WIMPY CHRISTIANS

Alistair BeggAlistair Begg:

“This is no time for wimpy Christians. It’s time for soldiers of Christ to arise!” 

A CULTURAL MANDATE

James Montgomery BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

Reformed theology also emphasizes the cultural mandate, or the obligation of Christians to live actively in society and work for the transformation of the world and its cultures. Reformed people have had various views in this area, depending on the extent to which they believe such a transformation possible But on the whole they agree on two things. First we are called to be in the world and not to withdraw from it. This sets reformed believers apart from monasticism. Second, we are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner. But the chief needs of people are still spiritual, and social work is no adequate substitute for evangelism. In fact, efforts to help people will only be truly effective as their hearts and minds are changed by the gospel. This sets reformed believers apart from, mere humanitarianism. It has been objected to reformed theology that anyone who believes along reformed lines will lose all motivation for evangelism. ‘If God is going to do the work, why should I bother?’ But it does not work that way. It is because God does the work that we can be bold to join Him in it, as He commands us to do. We do it joyfully, knowing that our efforts will never be in vain. (Reformed Theology)

%d bloggers like this: