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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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ALMOST CHRISTIAN?

George Whitefield PreachingGeorge Whitefield:

“An almost Christian is one of the most hurtful creatures in the world; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing: he is one of those false prophets, our blessed Lord bids us beware of in his sermon on the mount, who would persuade men, that the way to heaven is broader than it really is; and thereby, as it was observed before, “enter not into the kingdom of God themselves, and those that are entering in they hinder.”

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TELL THEM THEY ARE SINNERS!

Paul Washer:

paulwasherAs stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we do no service to men by making light of sin, skirting around the issue, or avoiding it altogether. Men have only one problem: they are under the wrath of God because of their sin. To deny this is to deny one of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity. It is not unloving to tell men that they are sinners, but it is the grossest form of immorality not to tell them! In fact, God declares that their blood will be on our hands if we do not warn them of their sin and the coming judgment. To seek to preach the gospel without making sin an issue is like trying to heal the brokenness of people superficially, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.”

THE ONLY TRUE STANDARD

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

God’s Word is the only true standard we have a divine mandate to conform to, and it is the ultimate standard by which we will be judged. Success or failure in ministry therefore cannot be evaluated by numerical statistics, financial figures, popularity polls, public opinion, or any of the other factors the world typically associates with success. The only real triumph in ministry is to hear Christ say, “Well done.”

NO DIFFERENCE IN RELIGIONS?

alistair beggAlistair Begg:

The idea that there are really no substantive differences between religions needs to be held up to careful scrutiny and declared fraudulent. For example, Islam says that Jesus was not crucified. Christianity says He was. Only one of us can be right. Judaism says Jesus was not the Messiah. Christianity says He was. Only one of us can be right. Hinduism says God has often been incarnate. Christianity says God was incarnate only in Jesus. We cannot both be right. Buddhism says that the world’s miseries will end when we do what is right. Christianity says we cannot do what is right. The world’s miseries will end when we believe what is right. (Made for His Pleasure, 126).

REFORMED DOCTRINES

James M. BoiceJames M. Boice writing on Reformed Doctrines:

These doctrines were not invented by Calvin, nor were they characteristic of his thought alone during the Reformation period. These are biblical truths taught by Jesus and confirmed by Paul, Peter and all the other Old and New Testament writers. Augustine defended these doctrines against the denials of Pelagius. Luther believed them. So did Zwingli. That is, they believed what Calvin believed and later systematized in his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Puritans were Calvinists; it was through them and their teaching that both England and Scotland experienced the greatest and most pervasive national revivals the the world has ever seen. In that number were the heirs of John Knox: Thomas Cartwright, Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Matthew Henry, John Owen, and others. In America others were influenced by men such as Johnathan Edwards, Cotton Mather and, later, George Whitefield. (Foundations of the Christian Faith)

THE REFORMED MIND

Samuel A CainSet your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

“Screw the truth into men’s minds.” (Richard Baxter)

After salvation and the pursuit of holiness, the great need of Christians is to grow in their understanding of the faith and to become competent in rationally sharing, explaining and defending it. Reformed Christianity provides a sound and organized framework of consistent doctrinal beliefs and practices (such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, etc.) which, I believe, represents accurately the Word of God found in the Scriptures.

Such men as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Richard Baxter, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, A.W. Pink, James Montgomery Boice, R. C. Sproul, James Kennedy, and Dr. D.A. Carson are just a representative few in a long line of reformed thinkers, ministers, and teachers who have shared the Truth of the Bible through their ministries. The Reformed church has traditionally remained true (although there are many exceptions in our time) to the admonition of the Apostle Paul: Continue reading

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)

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