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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 CHURCH AND THE WORD OF GOD

Charles HodgeCharles Hodge:

All her triumphs over sin and error have been effected by the word of God. So long as she uses this and relies on it alone, she goes on conquering; but when any thing else, be it reason, science, tradition, or the commandments of men, is allowed to take its place or to share its office, then the church, or the Christian, is at the mercy of the adversary. Hoc signo vinces—the apostle may be understood to say to every believer and to the whole church. (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians)

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ADDING THE WORLD TO THE CHURCH

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“If we add to our Churches by becoming worldly, by taking in persons who have never been born again. If we add to our Churches by accommodating the life of the Christian to the life of the worldling, our increase is worth nothing at all—it is a loss rather than a gain! If we add to our Churches by excitement, by making appeals to the passions rather than by explaining the Truth of God to the understanding. If we add to our Churches otherwise than by the power of the Spirit of God making men new creatures in Christ Jesus, the increase is of no worth whatever! ” (1892, Sermon #2265)

THE HEAVIEST OBLIGATION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

A. W. TozerA. W. Tozer:

“The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him.”(The Knowledge of the Holy, 6)

AN “ALMOST GOSPEL”

PreacherRussell Moore:

“An ‘almost gospel’ doesn’t raise a corpse.”

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.” 

THE HEALTHY CHURCH

Samuel A CainSo then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)

What makes a healthy church? Many people have ideas about this, but are they Biblical? Luke writes this about the early church:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42 ESV)

These are healthy examples, but isn’t there more? The members of the church should be growing in holiness. (Hebrews 12:14 ESV) Evangelism must be a priority. (Mark 16:15 ESV) The emphasis of the church must be on Christ – not on the building or numbers. (Philippians 3:8-10 ESV) Continue reading

FINE BUILDINGS, MUSIC, AND CARRIAGES

Charles Haddon SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“If the professed followers of Christ happen to meet in some fine building and worship God with grand music and gorgeous rituals, then the people of the world put up with them! They may go even so far as to patronize them, though, even then, their respect is chiefly called forth, not on behalf of the people, but because of the building, the fine music and the carriages. The carriages are especially important, for without a certain number of them at the door, it is deemed impossible to have a proper display of cultured Christianity!” (1891, Sermon #2219)

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