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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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CONSCIENCE

ConscienceAnd looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” (Acts 23:1 ESV)

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. (Hebrews 13:18 ESV)

According to Dictionary.com, “conscience” is “the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.”

For the Christian, our God-given conscience is an inner awareness that bears witness to the Biblical values we embrace when deciding what is right or wrong. The conscience serves as a witness to what we already know about right and wrong. Our conscience, to work properly, must always be informed by what God has said.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to form our conscience as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is an important part of our progressive sanctification. When you become a Christian, your sense of conscience is heightened. This is because it is being informed both by Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is a lifelong process. We experience guilt when we have a well-formed sense of conscience. Continue reading

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Christ’s Birthday

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin:

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.

Benjamin Franklin On Christmas

Quoting Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richards Almanac, 1743:

“How many observe Christ’s birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.”

John Hancock: Resistance To Tyranny

John Hancock

Quoting John Hancock – 1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” (History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229)

Benjamin Rush On National Crimes That Will Require National Punishment

Quoting Benjamin Rush (Signer of the Declaration of Independence):

Remember that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful. (Source: Benjamin Rush, An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave-Keeping (Boston: John Boyles, 1773), p. 30.)

Let Us Not Labor In Vain!

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin (Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence):

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. (Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)

Only A Virtuous People Will Maintain Freedom

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin (Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence):

[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. (Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787.)

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