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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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LIGHT

There is no light, no knowledge, no wisdom, apart from God. All existence and all knowledge depend on God. If we have life, we live by Him. (Acts 17:28) If we have any knowledge, we know by Him. (Romans 11:36) We do not shed light on Him by the light we see. He is the origin, the source. If we have any measure of light, it is He who is shedding light on what we see, not we.

(John Piper, A Peculiar Glory, Crossway, 2016, p.160)

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SPLIT UPON THE ROCKS

William Nicholson:

Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. (Psalm 12:1 ESV)

William P. NicholsonNever was there a time like the present, when Atheism and Infidelity appeared so determined, if possible, to annihilate the Christian religion! Behold their attempts. In schools and books, there is an incessant attempt to instill into the minds of the young, principles inimical to Christianity, as well as to draw professors from their steadfastness. Some have already split upon the rocks of Atheism — some have stranded on the quick sands of Infidelity.

LIVING BY GRACE IN AN UNFAIR WORLD

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

Samuel A CainSometimes a sense of unfairness may even afflict a Christian’s heart. We travel through hard times and do not know why. We often think only with a focus on our circumstances rather than on God’s Word and His Grace. Yet, we must trust God and wait on Him, not our circumstances.

I do not, personally, know anyone who has not suffered troubles at some point in their life, including myself. The inevitable human question is “Why?” Why do awful things happen to us? Why do bad things happen to people we love? We must learn to accept that some of our questions will only be answered in heaven. Continue reading

A CULTURAL MANDATE

James Montgomery BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

Reformed theology also emphasizes the cultural mandate, or the obligation of Christians to live actively in society and work for the transformation of the world and its cultures. Reformed people have had various views in this area, depending on the extent to which they believe such a transformation possible But on the whole they agree on two things. First we are called to be in the world and not to withdraw from it. This sets reformed believers apart from monasticism. Second, we are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner. But the chief needs of people are still spiritual, and social work is no adequate substitute for evangelism. In fact, efforts to help people will only be truly effective as their hearts and minds are changed by the gospel. This sets reformed believers apart from, mere humanitarianism. It has been objected to reformed theology that anyone who believes along reformed lines will lose all motivation for evangelism. ‘If God is going to do the work, why should I bother?’ But it does not work that way. It is because God does the work that we can be bold to join Him in it, as He commands us to do. We do it joyfully, knowing that our efforts will never be in vain. (Reformed Theology)

THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS

Sinclair B. FergusonSinclair Ferguson:

“When man became the measure of all things what was lost was man.”

HEAVENLY MINDED MEN

C. S. LewisC. S. Lewis:

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire; the great men who built up the Middle Ages; the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” (Mere Christianity)

THE VIRGIN BIRTH

James M. BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

The virgin birth is important in regard to our world view. When I speak of a world view, I mean a total world philosophy. The most important issue in philosophy is whether we are living in a closed universe or an open universe. When we look about at the visible universe, when we see matter and the laws that govern it, the basic question is whether that is all there is. If it is, we have a closed universe. That is the dominant view of our time. On the other hand, when we look at the universe of things and ideas, do we confess that we are not dealing with a closed universe but with a universe in which God lies above and beyond what we see? That is an open universe, and that is the Bible’s view.

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