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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 GLORY OF GOD

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

“The glory of God is the sum of all His infinite excellence and praiseworthiness set forth in display. To glorify God is first of all to respond properly to this display by ascribing to Him the honor and adoration due Him because of His excellence. We call this worship.” (The Joy of Fearing God, 214)

STAY IN THE WORD

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

“Don’t believe everything you think.  You cannot be trusted to tell yourself the truth.  Stay in THE WORD.” (The Great Exchange)

RESISTING SIN

The Pursuit of HolinessJerry Bridges:

“…God has made provision for our holiness. Through Christ He has delivered us from sin’s reign so that we now can resist sin. But the responsibility for resisting is ours. God does not do that for us. To confuse the potential for resisting (which God provided) with the responsibility for resisting (which is ours) is to court disaster in our pursuit of holiness.” (The Pursuit of Holiness, 57)

JERRY BRIDGES ON GRACE

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace”  (The Discipline of Grace, 19)

GRACE AND WORKS

Transforming GraceJerry Bridges:

“Grace stands in direct opposition to any supposed worthiness on our part. To say it another way: Grace and works are mutually exclusive. As Paul said in Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Our relationship with God is based on either works or grace. There is never a works-plus-grace relationship with Him.” (Transforming Grace, 22)

God’s Loving Purpose

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

Rather than being offended over the Bible’s assertion of God’s sovereignty in both good and calamity, believers should be comforted by it. Whatever our particular calamity or adversity may be, we may be sure that our Father has a loving purpose in it. As King Hezekiah said, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish” (Isaiah 38:17). God does not exercise His sovereignty capriciously but only in such a way as His infinite love deems best for us. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

The Love of Christ Compels Us

The Discipline of GraceJerry Bridges:

If the love of Christ for us is to be the motivating force for a life of discipleship, how then can we come to the place where we are acutely conscious of His love? The answer is, through the gospel. It is, of course, the Holy Spirit who pours out His love into our hearts (Romans 5:5), but He does this through the message of the gospel. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross and that we are thereby forgiven. As we continually reflect upon that gospel, the Holy Spirit floods our hearts with a sense of God’s love to us in Christ. And that sense of His love motivates us in a compelling way to live for Him. Continue reading

Self-Righteousness

The Discipline of GraceJerry Bridges:

The problem with self-righteousness is that it seems almost impossible to recognize in ourselves. We will own up to almost any other sin, but not the sin of self-righteousness. When we have this attitude, though, we deprive ourselves of the joy of living in the grace of God. Because, you see, grace is only for sinners.

After love and humility, there are at least twenty-five more Christian virtues to put on, among which there is surely a lot of room for all of us to grow. Yet to the extent that we miss the mark in those positive Christian character traits, we are sinners in need of God’s grace. . . .

While not surprised by the primacy of love in New Testament teaching, I was surprised by the almost forty references to humility. either in the use of the word itself or in concept, and the obvious importance both Jesus and the apostles put on that virtue. Yet how little attention do most of us give to growing in humility. The opposite trait of humility, of course, is pride, and there is no pride like that of self-righteousness, feeling good about our own religious performance and looking down on others’. (The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness)

The Eyes of Faith

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sense. And just as the faith of salvation comes through hearing the message of the gospel (see Romans 10:17), so the faith to trust God in adversity comes through the Word of God alone. It is only in the Scriptures that we find an adequate view of God’s relationship to and involvement in our painful circumstances. It is only from the Scriptures, applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that we receive the grace to trust God in adversity. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

Hard Lessons

Trusting GodJerry Bridges:

I sympathize with those who find it difficult to trust God in adversity. I have been there often enough myself to know something of the distress, the despair, and the darkness that fills our souls when we wonder if God truly cares about our plight. I have spent a good portion of my adult life encouraging people to pursue holiness, to obey God. Yet, I acknowledge it often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him. The moral will of God given to us in the Bible is rational and reasonable. The circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and inexplicable. The law of God is readily recognized to be good for us, even when we don’t want to obey it. The circumstances of our lives frequently appear to be dreadful and grim or perhaps even calamitous and tragic. Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God’s revealed will. Trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries. We do not know the extent, the duration, or the frequency of the painful, adverse circumstances in which we must frequently trust God. We are always coping with the unknown. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

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