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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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HE SUFFERED

Michael HortonMichael Horton:

“He suffered as God because only God had the power to save; He suffered as Man because only man owed the debt.” (In The Face Of God , 123)

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HARDSHIP

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

Were there no hardship in poverty, no pain in disease, no sting in ignominy, no fear in death, where would be the fortitude and moderation in enduring them? But while every one of these, by its inherent bitterness, naturally vexes the mind, the believer in this displays his fortitude, that though fully sensible of the bitterness and laboring grievously, he still withstands and struggles boldly; in this displays his patience, that though sharply stung, he is however curbed by the fear of God from breaking forth into any excess; in this displays his alacrity, that though pressed with sorrow and sadness, he rests satisfied with spiritual consolation from God. (On the Christian Life)

THE MEANING OF THE CROSS

Samuel A CainFor the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)

When you look at the Cross, what do you see? The Cross is the center of the history of man. The Cross is irrefutable proof of God’s love for us. Sinclair Ferguson writes, “When Paul preached ‘the cross’ he preached a message which explained that this instrument of rejection had been used by God as His instrument of reconciliation. Man’s means of bringing death to Jesus was God’s means to bring life to the world. Man’s symbol of rejecting Christ was God’s symbol of forgiveness for man. This is why Paul boasted about the Cross!”

On the cross, Christ suffered the punitive judgment of God that should have been ours to endure. Jesus Christ made an all-sufficient, redemptive sacrifice for his people’s sins. He appeased God’s wrath by recompensing those sins to remove them from God’s sight. By the cross of Christ, atonement was made for our sin and righteousness was imputed to the sinner. Continue reading

AT THE CROSS

BillFarleyBill Farley:

“Those who understand the cross increasingly see their sin as God does, and therefore begin to feel about sin as does God.  We begin to mourn for and hate it.  In other words, at the cross God becomes larger and we become smaller.  This separation is at the heart of the fear of God.  This “fear” opens God’s wisdom to us because only in light of God’s immensity can I see the importance of living for the right end, his glory. And only in the light of my smallness can I feel overawed by the means he used to save me, his cross.” (Outrageous Mercy: Rediscovering the Radical Nature of the Cross, 139-140)

HE DID NOT DIE IN VAIN

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed” (Isaiah 53:10)

Our Lord Jesus has not died in vain. His death was sacrificial: He died as our substitute, because death was the penalty of our sins; and because His substitution was accepted of God, He has saved those for whom He made His soul a sacrifice. By death He became like the corn of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit. There must be a succession of children unto Jesus; He is “the Father of the everlasting age.” He shall say, “Behold, I and the children whom thou hast given me.”

A man is honored in his sons, and Jesus hath His quiver full of these arrows of the mighty. A man is represented in his children, and so is the Christ in Christians. In his seed a man’s life seems to be prolonged and extended; and so is the life of Jesus continued in believers. Jesus lives, for He sees His seed. He fixes His eye on us, He delights in us, He recognizes us as the fruit of His soul travail. Let us be glad that our Lord does not fail to enjoy the result of His dread sacrifice, and that He will never cease to feast His eyes upon the harvest of His death. Those eyes which once wept for us, are now viewing us with pleasure. Yes, He looks upon those who are looking unto Him. Our eyes meet! What a joy is this! (Faith’s Checkbook)

I THOUGHT ONCE …

I thought once I had no need of salvation,
To the depth of my sin I was blind.
The thought of my need for forgiveness
Was folly to my human mind.

Yet, God’s plan of election was for me,
His Spirit gave faith to my heart.
None of my works were considered,
If ever I had been so smart.

By grace I was saved from the darkness
And brought into His brilliant Light.
No ability had I to contribute
To the birth carried out by His Might!

God’s Love is no flash of emotion,
Eventually to dim and die out.
He will always be there to guide me,
To save me from the evil’s dark rout.

A blessed hope is now awaiting,
Jesus secured it on the Cross.
Salvation is there before me,
God’s sheep will never be lost.

Samuel at Gilgal

The Resurrection

Bishop J. C. Ryle

J. C. Ryle:

The fact of our Lord’s resurrection rests on evidence which no infidel can ever explain away. It is confirmed by testimony of every kind, sort, and description. The plain unvarnished story which the Gospel writers tell about it, is one that cannot be overthrown. The more the account they give is examined, the more inexplicable will the event appear, unless we accept it as true. If we choose to deny the truth of their account we may deny everything in the world. It is not so certain that Julius Caesar once lived, as it is that Christ rose again.

Let us cling firmly to the resurrection of Christ, as one of the pillars of the Gospel. It ought to produce in our minds a settled conviction of the truth of Christianity. Our faith does not depend merely on a set of texts and doctrines. It is founded on a mighty historical fact which the skeptic has never been able to overturn. It ought to assure us of the certainty of the resurrection of our own bodies after death. If our Master has risen from the grave, we need not doubt that His disciples shall rise again at the last day. Continue reading

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