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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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DECEITFUL TEACHERS

Satan’s greatest ambassadors are not pimps, politicians, or power-brokers, but pastors. His priests do not peddle a different religion, but a deadly perversion of the true one. His troops do not make a full-out frontal assault, but work as agents, sneaking into the opposing army. Satan’s tactics are studied, clever, predictable, effective. Therefore, we must always remain vigilant. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16a). (Tim Challies)

ORIGINS

The matter of origins … is absolutely critical to all human thinking.  It becomes critical to how we conduct our lives as human beings.  Without an understanding of origins, without a right understanding of origins, there is no way to comprehend ourselves.  There is no way to understand humanity, as to the purpose of our existence, and as to our destiny.  If we cannot believe what Genesis says about origins, we are lost as to our purpose and our destiny.  Whether this world and its life as we know it evolved by chance, without a cause, or was created by God, has immense comprehensive implications for all of human life.

(John MacArthur, Creation: Believe It or Not, Part 1)

 

THE DECEASE OF THE GODLY

Charles SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

There is an essential difference between the decease of the godly and the death of the ungodly. Death comes to the ungodly man as a penal infliction, but to the righteous as a summons to his Father’s palace. To the sinner it is an execution, to the saint an undressing from his sins and infirmities. Death to the wicked is the King of terrors. Death to the saint is the end of terrors, the commencement of glory.

THE LIFE OF FAITH

C. H. Mackintosh

C.H. Mackintosh:

“What a lowering of the life of faith it is to confine it to the question of temporal supplies! No doubt it is a very blessed and a very real thing to trust God for everything; but the life of faith has a far higher and wider range than mere bodily wants. It embraces all that in any wise concerns us, in body, soul, and spirit. To live by faith is to walk with God; to cling to Him; to lean on Him; to draw from His exhaustless springs; to find our resources in Him; and to have Him as a perfect covering for our eyes and a satisfying object for our hearts – to know Him as our only resource in all difficulties, and in all our trials. It is to be absolutely, completely, and continually shut up in Him; to be undividedly dependent upon Him, apart from and above every creature confidence, every human hope, and every earthly expectation. Such is the life of faith.”

CHURCH MEMBERS

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“We need to have a Church in which all the members do something, in which all do all they can, in which all are always doing all they can—for this is what our Lord deserves to have from a living, loving people bought with His precious blood! If He has saved me, I will serve Him forever and ever. And whatever lies in my power to do for His Glory, that shall be my delight to do, and to do at once!” (1892, Sermon #2275)

PIETY

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

“The whole lives of Christians ought to be a kind of aspiration after piety, seeing they are called unto holiness (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:5). The office of the law is to excite them to the study of purity and holiness, by reminding them of their duty. For when the conscience feels anxious as to how it may have the favor of God, as to the answer it could give, and the confidence it would feel, if brought to his judgment-seat, in such a case the requirements of the law are not to be brought forward, but Christ, who surpasses all the perfection of the law, is alone to be held forth for righteousness.” (Institutes III, 19, 2)

John Piper: Whatever Comes to Pass

John PiperJohn Piper:

“The logic of the Bible says: Act according to God’s “will of command,” not according to his “will of decree.” God’s “will of decree” is whatever comes to pass. “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15). God’s “will of decree” ordained that his Son be betrayed (Luke 22:22), ridiculed (Isaiah 53:3), mocked (Luke 18:32), flogged (Matthew 20:19), forsaken (Matthew 26:31), pierced (John 19:37), and killed (Mark 9:31). But the Bible teaches us plainly that we should not betray, ridicule, mock, flog, forsake, pierce, or kill innocent people. That is God’s “will of command.” We do not look at the death of Jesus, clearly willed by God, and conclude that killing Jesus is good and that we should join the mockers.”

Thomas Watson: The Kingdom of Grace

Thomas WatsonThomas Watson:

The Kingdom of grace is nothing but…. the beginning of the Kingdom of glory; the Kingdom of grace is glory in the seed, and the Kingdom of glory is grace in the flower; the Kingdom of grace is glory in the daybreak, and the Kingdom of glory is grace in the full meridian; the Kingdom of grace is glory militant, and the Kingdom of glory is grace triumphant…. the Kingdom of grace leads to the Kingdom of glory.

The Chief End of Preaching

Martyn Lloyd-JonesMartyn Lloyd-Jones:

“What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this: It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence.”

Don’t Mess it Up

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

”The preacher is not a chef; he’s a waiter. God doesn’t want you to make the meal; He just wants you to deliver it to the table without messing it up. That’s all.”

Life

Don't Waste Your LifeJohn Piper:

“You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ.” (Don’t Waste Your Life)

Dying Thoughts

Richard BaxterRichard Baxter:

“My Lord, I have nothing to do in this World, but to seek and serve thee; I have nothing to do with a Heart and its affections, but to breathe after thee. I have nothing to do with my Tongue and Pen, but to speak to thee, and for thee, and to publish thy Glory and thy Will. What have I to do with all my Reputation, and Interest in my Friends, but to increase thy Church, and propagate thy holy Truth and Service? What have I to do with my remaining Time, even these last and languishing hours, but to look up unto thee, and wait for thy Grace, and thy Salvation?” (Dying Thoughts on Philippians 1:23)

Grace

Thomas GoodwinThomas Goodwin:

“Grace” is more than mercy and love, it super-adds to them. It denotes, not simply love, but the love of a sovereign, transcendently superior, one that may do what he will, that may wholly choose whether he will love or no. There may be love between equals, and an inferior may love a superior; but love in a superior, and so superior as he may do what he will, in such a one love is called grace: and therefore, grace is attributed to princes; they are said to be gracious to their subjects, whereas subjects cannot be gracious to princes. Now God, who is an infinite Sovereign, who might have chosen whether ever He would love us or no, for Him to love us, this is grace.

Preaching

The Devil's Puppet PreacherLeonard Ravenhill:

“If Jesus preached the same message minister’s preach today, He would have never been crucified.”

The Bible

C. S. LewisC.S. Lewis:

In most parts of the Bible, everything is implicitly or explicitly introduced with “Thus saith the Lord”. It is… not merely a sacred book but a book so remorselessly and continuously sacred that it does not invite — it excludes or repels — the merely aesthetic approach. You can read it as literature only by a tour de force… It demands incessantly to be taken on its own terms: it will not continue to give literary delight very long, except to those who go to it for something quite different. I predict that it will in the future be read, as it always has been read, almost exclusively by Christians.

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