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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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  • Recommended Reading

UNBELIEF

No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keeps us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief. (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol. 36: Acts 2:21)

THE GOSPEL SEED

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29 ESV)

How do we make Jesus known to the world? The parable above guides us in this regard. In order to make Him known, we must sow the words of Jesus Christ. The words of Jesus are the promise of salvation.

Continue reading

THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1-2 ESV)

Samuel A CainChristians have been given the right to become children of God by receiving Jesus and believing in Him. God has declared that He will be a Father to us. (2 Corinthians 6:18 ESV) Therefore, no one born of God keeps on sinning because the child of God practices righteousness. (1 John 3:9-10 ESV)

The world, however, sees something very different. The world of today is skeptical and indifferent about Christians and the Church. People have lost respect for church leaders. Many ask, “How can you trust the Clergy when they are involved in so many scandals?” The unchurched continue to see Christians as hypocrites. It is also clear that many within the Church are stumbling blocks for the unchurched. Continue reading

EVANGELISM

J. I. PackerJ. I. Packer:

Evangelism must … be conceived as a long-term enterprise of patient teaching and instruction, in which God’s servants seek simply to be faithful in delivering the gospel message and applying it to human lives, and leave it to God’s Spirit to draw men to faith through this message in his own way and at his own speed. (A Quest For Godliness, 164)

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)

WITNESSING

Charles H. Spurgeon:

“‘But,’ says one, ‘I know if I were to try to speak to any of my neighbors, [about Christ] I should break down.’ Friend, I am not careful in that matter, nor need you be. If you are in real earnest, you might possibly do more by a break-down than by anything else. Only break the ice and begin—and you shall find my text to be true in your case, also, and out of weakness you, too, shall be made strong. God does not need your strength—He has more than enough power of His own! He asks for your weakness—He has none of that, Himself, and He is longing, therefore, to take your weakness and use it as the instrument in His own mighty hand! Will you not yield your weakness to Him and receive His strength?” (1891, Sermon #2209)

EVANGELISM

george-whitefield-pictureGeorge Whitefield:

God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.

GATHERING JOYFUL WORSHIPERS

John PiperJohn Piper

“God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.”

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)

CHILDREN OF GOD

Christ ChildrenCharles H. Spurgeon:

“Children need to learn the doctrine of the Cross that they may find immediate salvation. I thank God that in our Sunday school we believe in the salvation of children as children! How very many has it been my joy to see of boys and girls who have come forward to confess their faith in Christ! And I again wish to say that the best converts, the clearest converts, the most intelligent converts we have ever had have been the young ones! And, instead of there being any deficiency in their Charles H. Spurgeonknowledge of the Word of God and the Doctrines of Grace, we have usually found them to have a very delightful acquaintance with the great cardinal Truths of Christ.

Many of these dear children have been able to speak of the things of God with great pleasure of heart and force of understanding. Go on, dear teachers, and believe that God will save your children! Be not content to sow principles in their minds which may possibly develop in later years, but be working for immediate conversion! Expect fruit in your children while they are children! Pray for them that they may not run into the world and fall into the evils of outward sin—and then come back with broken bones to the Good Shepherd. But that they may, by God’s rich Grace, be kept from the paths of the Wicked One and grow up in the fold of Christ—first as lambs of His flock—and then as sheep of His hand.” (1887, Sermon #1988)

DO YOU CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN?

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-JonesMartyn Lloyd-Jones:

There is something essentially wrong with a man who calls himself a Christian and who can listen to a truly evangelistic sermon without coming under conviction again, without feeling something of his own unworthiness, and rejoicing when he hears the Gospel remedy being presented. (Preachers and Preaching, Zondervan, 1971, p. 150)

TELL THEM ABOUT CHRIST

Bishop J. C. RyleJ. C. Ryle:

“Tell the young, tell the poor, tell the aged, tell the ignorant, tell the sick, tell the dying — tell them all about Christ. Tell them of His power, and tell them of His love; tell them of His doings, and tell them of His feelings; tell them what He has done for the chief of sinners; tell them what He is willing to do until the last day of time; tell it to them over and over again. Never be tired of speaking of Christ. Say to them broadly and fully, freely and unconditionally, unreservedly and undoubtedly, ‘Come unto Christ, as the penitent thief did; come unto Christ, and you shall be saved.'” (Sermon, “Christ’s Greatest Trophy”)

DIVINE RECOMPENSE

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“He that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Proverbs 11:25)

If I carefully consider others, God will consider me; and in some way or other He will recompense me. Let me consider the poor, and the Lord will consider me. Let me look after little children, and the Lord will treat me as His child. Let me feed His flock, and He will feed me. Let me water His garden, and He will make a watered garden of my soul. This is the Lord’s own promise; be it mine to fulfill the condition, and then to expect its fulfillment.

I may care about myself till I grow morbid; I may watch over my own feelings till I feel nothing; and I may lament my own weakness till I grow almost too weak to lament. It will be far more profitable for me to become unselfish, and out of love to my Lord Jesus begin to care for the souls of those around me. Continue reading

FAMILY

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“There is a great deal in the way in which a man walks in his house. It will not do to be a saint abroad and a devil at home! There are some of that kind. They are wonderfully sweet at a Prayer Meeting, but they are dreadfully sour to their wives and children. This will never do! Every genuine Believer should say, and mean it, ‘I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.’ It is in the home that we get the truest proof of godliness. ‘What sort of a man is he?’ said one to George Whitefield, and Whitefield answered, ‘I cannot say, for I never lived with him.’ That is the way to test a man—to live with him.” (1894,Sermon #2362)

“Family prayer and the pulpit are the bulwarks of Protestantism! Depend upon it, when family piety goes down, the life of godliness will become very low. In Europe, at any rate, seeing that the Christian faith began with a converted household, we ought to seek after the conversion of all our families and to maintain within our houses the good and holy practice of family worship.” (1891, Sermon #2222)

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