• 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

  • September 2020
    M T W T F S S
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • Recommended Reading

GOD CALLS HIS PEOPLE TO BE HOLY

The problem of lax and hypocritical Christianity is not a new one, and one of the best treatments of the entire subject is a classic [Holiness] written by J.C. Ryle (1816–1900), who served as the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool for twenty years…

Ryle’s work is convicting because he does not appeal to silly gimmicks and other manmade answers to the problem of sin. He appeals over and over to Scripture, to the Word of the living God, and he drives the Word of God home through careful and direct application. If you are complacent in your sin and do not want to be disturbed in your enjoyment of it, do not read Ryle [Holiness].

(Keith Mathison, A Christian Classic on Sanctification, Ligonier Ministries)

I also recommend The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. – Samuel

 

WILL I EVER BE RIGHTEOUS?

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. (1 Peter 3:12 ESV)

The God of the Bible is righteous and takes sin so seriously that our own efforts cannot erase the guilt of our iniquity. Yet, through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God has forgiven our sins that we may participate in His righteousness. In Christ, we see the righteousness of the invisible God lived out in human conduct and character. Righteousness is the fruit of a life in Christ.

Continue reading

THE CHURCH POLICE

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2)

Have you ever run afoul of the church police? These are your brothers and sisters in Christ who believe they have obtained the perfection that Paul did not. (Philippians 3:7-16) These are the people who judge quickly by external appearances. They share some similarities with the Pharisees. You can bet they know if you attend church regularly; belong to a Bible study; volunteer for church projects; or dress appropriately. They set Christian standards for others by their own interpretation of the Biblical principles of conduct which they believe they have mastered. They believe they have been called to set others on the straight and narrow path.

Continue reading

INEXHAUSTIBLE POWER

The Old and New Testament clearly demonstrate the power of God working through His saints. Example after example is provided for our moral and spiritual guidance. The Bible exhorts us to be conformed to the pattern of life that God has made possible through the power of His grace. His grace is sufficient for all our needs because His power increases in us when we are too weak to overcome the obstacles before us. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV) We have been made alive together with Christ and this changes everything.

Continue reading

PATIENCE

And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. (Hebrews 6:15 ESV)

The Scriptures tell us that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22 ESV) Paul writes that patience is a quality that we should put on. (Colossians 3:12 ESV) Patience is an important characteristic of the Christian life. It requires submission to God’s Word and Will. We are like clay and He is our Potter. We are the work of His hands. (Isaiah 64:8 ESV) Impatience opposes God’s work in us. Our obsession with getting results quickly – often leads us to take shortcuts that actually inhibit spiritual growth.  On the other hand, godly patience encourages spiritual growth as we wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Continue reading

SOME THOUGHTS ON CHARACTER

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:11-16 ESV)

character of founding fathersHave you ever really thought about the many qualities of your own character? The quality of a Christian’s character is extremely important because it should reflect the glory of God. Would people describe you as manifesting the character of Jesus? Romans 12:11-16 describes the character of a mature Christian. I have listed a few of the important characteristics I find in the verses above:

Continue reading

PRESSING FORWARD

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 ESV)

Life is often about moving forward. If we stop moving forward, our lives frequently become stagnant and pointless. Even our spiritual lives often suffer from failing to move forward. I’m not talking about embracing every new idea or popular fad that comes along; this article is about God’s calling upon your life and not stopping short of the goal.

In the verse above, we find Paul describing his own efforts to move forward in the Christian life. He is certainly not the man he was but he is not yet the man he should like to be either. Doesn’t he sound very human – just like us? Paul recognizes his shortcomings and yet he presses on striving to become more like Jesus.

Continue reading

EVIL IS REAL

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

Many in today’s world do not believe in evil. They believe that such ideas are based on cultural beliefs relative to various societies in different places and times. The paradigm key here is the word “relative”. Ethics, morals, right or wrong, and good or evil are considered “relative” to the circumstances people encounter in life. The idea of a spiritual being named Satan or the devil, who is an embodiment of evil, is viewed with contempt as the product of ignorant superstitious minds.

Continue reading

GOD’S WILL BE DONE

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Most Christians are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. If you attended Sunday School as a child, you are probably able to recite it. I have prayed this prayer many times over the years and have often meditated on these verses and what they mean. I sometimes wonder when we say the words of this prayer if, in the secret places of our hearts, we are really thinking: “MY kingdom come, MY will be done…” Submission to the will of another is very difficult for most of us; even submission to the will of God.

Continue reading

GAINING GOSPEL PROGRESS

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, (Philippians 1:27)

I must thank a former pastor of mine, Kurt Gebhards, for the title of this post. He preached an outstanding series of sermons on this subject a number of years ago. I have included a link if you wish to hear those sermons.

As Christians our lives are to be saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine. (John 15:1-4) By His word of truth, we are brought forth as a new creation. (James 1:18 ESV) Our way of living is sanctified by the truth of the gospel (John 17:17 ESV) because the word of God is at work within us. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV) It is by the reading, careful study, and meditation of the Scriptures, along with constant prayer and hearing the Word preached, that we are trained in righteousness to produce godly lives.

Continue reading

EMOTIONS AND SELF-CONTROL

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 ESV)

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, (2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV)

Emotions are a part of human life. They may change because of changing circumstances or the conscious decisions we make, but often it may seem that our feelings have a mind of their own. In any given situation (good or bad) if we are not consciously making rational decisions about what is happening around us, our subconscious emotions may quickly fill the gap. Sometimes the results are not pretty.

Continue reading

OBEDIENCE REQUIRES HUMILITY

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8 ESV)

In the verse above, we see that Jesus left His glory in heaven to become a human man. He came in the form of a servant; not a ruler. He was a man like other men, but He did not sin. Yet, He humbled Himself in obedience to die on the cross. Such a death was considered the most degrading and most humiliating kind of death. This was the penalty for the most wretched of slaves and the wickedest of criminals who were considered cursed by God.

Continue reading

THE EXCELLENCE OF HIS MIGHT

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

Sometimes a Christian will surprise me when it becomes evident that he or she has no true understanding of the great power of God. In the life of such Christians (if they are Christians at all), God is used primarily like a 911 call. Maybe they do not put it into words, but their attitudes reflect the belief that God doesn’t involve Himself in day to day life. Note, in the verse above, that by this power He has given us all we need concerning life and godliness. This is accomplished daily by His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The knowledge of God is eternal life. (John 17:3 ESV) The Christian should desire, above everything else, to know God through Jesus Christ. If we glory in anything, let us glory in understanding and knowing God. (Jeremiah 9:23) He called us into His kingdom to become “partakers of the divine nature”.

Continue reading

TAMING THE TONGUE

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, (James 3:6 ESV)

taming the tongueIn this verse, James is essentially telling us to watch our big mouths. If we don’t watch over our tongues, we are in for big trouble. (Proverbs 21:23 ESV)

Have you ever met someone who did not seem to have a filter between the mouth and brain? This type of person does not put his brain in gear before putting his mouth in motion. It is reported that once a woman approached John Wesley and told him that God had given her the talent to speak her mind. Wesley replied that God would not mind if she buried that talent.

Continue reading

WHO IS A CHRISTIAN?

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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 2:4-9 ESV)

salvation jesusA Christian is someone who has been born again in Christ to eternal life and salvation. His sins have been pardoned and he is in a state of grace. He now desires to obey God in order to please Him and glorify Him. He has the Holy Spirit to strengthen his desire and ability to live out his obligation to Jesus Christ. The Christian seeks to live life sincerely before God and to walk worthy of Christ.

Authenticity is the path of Christian sanctification. A Christian is not perfect. A Christian’s good works are the result of God’s saving grace. Good works do not save anyone; they are the consequence of having been saved. Even faith is the gift of God. Christians still err, but they are grieved when they do. The Christian’s grief leads to repentance. Sincere repentance leads to God’s forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive sins and to cleanse the Christian from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV) Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: