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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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STRONG OLD DOCTRINES

Charles SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

It is no novelty, then, that I am-preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, which are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make a pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me. Were I a Pelagian, or a believer in the doctrine of free-will, I should have to walk for centuries all alone. Here and there a heretic of no very honorable character might rise up and call me brother. But taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren. I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God’s own church. (From a sermon entitled, “Election”)

PREACHING CHRIST

Charles H. SpurgeonC. H. Spurgeon:

“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the Gospel and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the Gospel… unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah. Nor do I think we can preach the Gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of his elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend the Gospel which allows saints to fall away after they are called.” (“Christ Crucified”)

Dead in Sin

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. (John 6:33 ESV)

Craig R. Brown:

In summary, the Arminian believes that man is born sick in sin, but still has enough good in him to choose John CalvinGod. The Calvinist believes that man is born corrupt (dead in his sin), so he must be made alive spiritually before he can do anything of a spiritual nature. Under the Calvinistic doctrinal system, man’s depravity is total in extent (though not in degree). In other words, all of man’s nature is corrupted by sin, but he is not as evil as he could be.  (The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism)

Absolute Freedom

The Five Dilemmas of CalvinismCraig R. Brown:

While we are free from our perspective, we must realize that absolute “freedom” – total freedom from God’s control – is simply not possible in a world providentially sustained and directed by God Himself. Human freedom is real, but it is everywhere limited by God’s freedom. It is God who is sovereign, not man. This sovereignty is never limited by human freedom. Rather, human freedom is always limited by God’s sovereignty. (The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism)

Why am I Saved?

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

I cannot understand the reason why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine grace. If I am not at this moment without Christ, it is only because Christ Jesus would have His will with me, and that will was that I should be with Him where He is, and should share His glory. I can put the crown nowhere but upon the head of Him whose mighty grace has saved me from going down into the pit. (A Defense of Calvinism)

God’s Word

Charles SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

I believe that the happiest of Christians and the truest of Christians are those who never dare to doubt God, but who take His Word simply as it stands, and believe it, and ask no questions, just feeling assured that if God has said it, it will be so.

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. (A Defense of Calvinism)

Wanting to be a Christian

The Five Dilemmas of CalvinismCraig R. Brown:

There has never been a person who wanted to be a Christian to whom God said no. The Reformed faith holds that when a person wants to be a Christian, God already has worked in his heart, and Scripture assures us that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Phil 1:6). (The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism)

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