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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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UNDER THE SPIRIT’S INFLUENCE

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV)

The Holy Spirit dwells within me. These are wonderful words. All who live by faith in the Son of God may truthfully say this. Anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth because He is the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures are the true words of God. (John 16:13 ESV) The Holy Spirit persuades us that the Bible is the source of truth about Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us all things and reminds us of the words of Jesus. (John 14:26) The Spirit guides us in our everyday lives and helps us to avoid those things which displease God. Jesus said:

Continue reading

REVIVAL THAT GLORIFIES GOD!

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles SpurgeonSpasms of any sort are not desirable things, least of all spasmodic religion! I want a revival that keeps on every day in the year, all the years in the century! That is the kind of revival that glorifies God—not a temporary ripple on the surface—but a great swell that comes rolling up from the depths! May God send it! He can do such a work by His Spirit and there are indications that He is going to permit us to see greater things than ever. All these many years, in this place, souls have been saved in one continued stream by the preaching of the Gospel—scarcely ever more and very seldom less—but oh, for a grand spring tide, a mighty flood that shall bring many to Christ and to the Church! (1891, Sermon #2229)

PRAYING FOR REVIVAL

D.M. Lloyd-Jones:

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-JonesWhen did you last hear anyone praying for revival, praying that God might open the windows of heaven and pour out His Spirit? When did you last pray for that yourself? I suggest seriously that we are neglecting this almost entirely. We are guilty of forgetting the authority of the Holy Spirit. We are so interested in ourselves and in our own activities that we have forgotten the one thing that can make us effective. By all means let us continue to pray for the particular efforts, for the minister, and his preaching every Sunday, for all essential organizations and for evangelistic campaigns, if we feel led to have them. But before it all, and after it all, let us pray and plead for revival. When God sends revival He can do more in a single day than in fifty years of all our organization. That is the verdict of sheer history which emerges clearly from the long story of the Church. (Authority, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1984 p. 93)

AN OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT

Andrew A. Bonar:

Andrew Bonar“We must continue in prayer if we are to get an outpouring of the Spirit. Christ says there are some things we shall not get, unless we pray and fast, yes, “prayer and fasting.” We must control the flesh and abstain from whatever hinders direct fellowship with God.”

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)

GRACE ALONE

grace boiceJames Montgomery Boice:

The words sola gratia mean that human beings have no claim upon God. That is, God owes us nothing except just punishment for our many and very willful sins. Therefore, if he does save sinners, which he does in the case of some but not all, it is only because it pleases him to do it. Indeed, apart from this grace and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that flows from it, no one would be saved, since in our lost condition, human beings are not capable of winning, seeking out, or even cooperating with God’s grace. By insisting on ‘grace alone’ the Reformers were denying that human methods, techniques, or strategies in themselves could ever bring anyone to faith. It is grace alone expressed through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ, releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from death to spiritual life.

WHEN THE SPIRIT COMES

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13 ESV)

See, my dear Brothers in the ministry, how little store the Holy Spirit sets by originality? We have men, nowadays, straining to be original! Strain the other way, for listen, ‘He shall not speak of Himself’—not even the Holy Spirit—‘He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak.’ He is the Repeater of the Father’s message, not the inventor of His own! So let it be with us ministers. We are not to make up a Gospel as we go along, as I have heard some say. We are not to shape it to the times in which we live, and suit it to the congregations to which we speak. God forbid! Let this be true of every one of us, ‘He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak.’” (1893, Sermon #2307)

THE TEST OF REVELATION

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“The Holy Spirit still exists, works and teaches in the Church. And we have a test by which to know whether what people claim to be revelation is revelation or not—“He shall receive of Mine.” The Holy Spirit will never go farther than the Cross and the coming of the Lord. He will go no farther than that which concerns Christ. “He shall receive of Mine.” When, therefore, anybody whispers in my ear that there has been revealed to him this or that, which I do not find in the teaching of Christ and His Apostles, I tell him that we must be taught by the Holy Spirit. His one vocation is to deal with the things of Christ! If we do not remember this, we may be carried away by quirks, as many have been. Those who will have to do with other things, let them—but as for us, we shall be satisfied to confine our thoughts and our teaching within these limitless limits—“He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” (1891, Sermon #2213)

THE VOICE OF GOD

Samuel A CainMy sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27 ESV)

Have you ever heard the audible voice of God? Does God speak to us in this way today? I have heard quite a few arguments on this subject. Has God ever spoken a personal audible message to you? If not, does it cause you to doubt? Many say that God no longer speaks audibly.

The Scriptures tell us that God has spoken to His people in many ways. According to Hebrews:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV)  Continue reading

FILLED WITH FIRE

Samuel A CainBut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8 ESV)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13 ESV)

An interesting feature of the modern American mainline church is its reluctance to teach on the Holy Spirit who mediates the power of the risen Christ. Perhaps they are being overly cautious because of the excesses of some television ministries.

John writes that Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…” (14:15-17) Luke also quotes Jesus on this topic: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) There are two important steps found here: First, the Holy Spirit is sent to the church; second, the church is sent into the world. Continue reading

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles H. Spurgeon:

“All the good that is ever done in the world is worked by the Holy Spirit and, as the Holy Spirit honors Jesus Christ, so He puts great honor upon the Holy Spirit. If you and I try, either as a Church or as individuals, to do without the Holy Spirit, God will soon do without us. Unless we reverently worship Him and believingly trust in Him, we shall find that we shall be like Samson when his locks were shorn. He shook himself as he had done before, but when the Philistines were upon him, he could do nothing against them. Our prayer must always be, ‘Holy Spirit, dwell with me! Holy Spirit, dwell with Your servants!’ We know that we are utterly dependent upon Him. Such is the teaching of our Master and Jesus Christ is ‘the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’” (1894, Sermon #2358)

SLOW LEARNERS

philpotJoseph Charles Philpot (1802 – 1869):

“So Jesus said, Do you also still not understand?” (Matthew 15:16)

 What lessons we need day by day to teach us anything aright, and how it is for the most part, “line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” O, what slow learners!—what dull, forgetful scholars!—what ignoramuses!—what stupid blockheads!—what stubborn pupils! Surely no scholar at a school, old or young, could learn so little of natural things as we seem to have learned of spiritual things after so many years instruction—so many chapters read—so many sermons heard—so many prayers put up—so much talking about religion. How small, how weak is the amount of growth, compared with all we have read and heard and talked about! But it is a mercy that the Lord saves whom He will save—and that we are saved by free grace—and free grace alone!

THE ZEALOUS CHRISTIAN

Bishop J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle:

“A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, and fervent in spirit. He sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed-up in one thing — and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives — or whether he dies; whether he has health — or whether he has sickness; whether he is rich — or whether he is poor; whether he pleases man — or whether he gives offence; whether he is thought wise — or whether he is thought foolish; whether he gets blame — or whether he gets praise; whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame — for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing — and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory. If he is consumed in the very burning — he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn, and if consumed in burning — he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money — he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes, if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness — he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua — then he will do the prayer-work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13.) If he is cut off from working himself — he will give the Lord no rest until help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of “zeal” in religion.”

 

THE NEW BIRTH AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

George WhitefieldGeorge Whitefield:

We might as soon attempt to stop the ebbing and flowing of the tide, and calm the most tempestuous sea, as to imagine that we can subdue, or bring under proper regulations, our own unruly wills and affections by any strength inherent in ourselves. And therefore, that I may keep you no longer in suspense, I inform you, that this heavenly potter, this blessed agent, is the Almighty Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, the third person in the most adorable Trinity, coessential with the Father and the Son. This is that Spirit, which at the beginning of time moved on the face of the waters, when nature lay in one universal chaos. This was the Spirit that overshadowed the Holy Virgin, before that holy thing was born of her: and this same Spirit must come, and move upon the chaos of our souls, before we can properly be called the sons of God. This is what John the Baptist calls “being baptized with the Holy Ghost,” without which, his and all other baptisms, whether infant or adult, avail nothing. Continue reading

THE SEAL OF PROMISE

holy spiritIn him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV)

The seal of promise is the life-giving Holy Spirit who gives new life to the redeemed. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us to make us more holy as we live out our lives. He guides us into all truth. (John 16:12-15 ESV) He is the assurance of our birth right in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our promised Helper. (John 14:15 ESV) It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do various kinds of ministries. (Acts 1:8) He empowers our prayers. (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome spiritual opposition as we carry out our callings and God’s work in our lives. (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV) He is our instructor and helps us to remember the teachings of Jesus. (John 14:26 ESV) Continue reading

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