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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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LOOKING BACK

I had lived with no idea how thoroughly sin had penetrated every area of my life. Even the idea that I needed some kind of forgiveness was ridiculous to me. God, however, is merciful.

I was His enemy, yet God brought me to Him. Paul said:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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IMMEASURABLE BLESSINGS

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

blessings

I believe it is impossible for Christians to find themselves in such appalling circumstances – where the promises of God hold no encouragement to those who love God and obey Him. According to the verses above, God’s power gives everything needed for life and godliness. Christians are the beneficiaries of immeasurable blessings when they grow in the knowledge of and obedience to God. Through Jesus Christ, these precious and very great promises are given in order that the elect may participate in the divine nature and obtain holiness.

However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts. (John Calvin)

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MAN’S INABILITY

Martin LutherTherefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:12 ESV)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8 ESV)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ESV)

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

“Inability” is a problem for man because he is absolutely spiritually dead and cannot connect to God, His truth, or authority. “The Fall” has rendered the natural man incapable of performing any spiritual good. Unsaved man is dead in his sins. He is of this world, the flesh, and the devil. He is a slave to sin and does nothing outside of this evil spiritual realm.

The doctrine of Inability teaches that as a result of the fall, man is now inclined to do evil. He has an inner prejudice against the will of God. Fallen man (natural man) sees nothing desirable in God and will blindly run down the path of sin. We were born in a state of total rebellion against God. Rebellion against God is sin. Our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is sin. We are therefore deserving of God’s wrath. Continue reading

Divine Grace

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

“The black foils of trouble shall bring out the brighter jewel of divine grace.”

Will the Real Christ Please Step Forward?

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

The Christ of a great many professors is only fit to occupy a niche on the church wall, as a dead, inactive, but revered person.

Jesus is not a ‘Real Christ’ to many, he is not a Christ who can really befriend them in the hour of grief; not a brother born for adversity, not a condescending companion.

But the Christ of the well-taught Christian, is a sympathizing, practical friend, who is actually near, entering into our sorrows, sharing in our crosses, and taking a part with us in all the battle of life. (“Leaning on the Beloved”)

Asleep On Duty

From a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon:

I should not expect if I were a member of a commercial firm, to take half the profits, and to do none of the work. It is low to the very last degree to share the ‘benefits’ without uniting in the ‘toil’. And yet some Christian professors are guilty of this miserable conduct.

As it was in the days of Job, so it is even until now – “the OXEN were ‘ploughing’, and the DONKEYS were ‘feeding’ beside them.” There is always a large proportion of the latter class in the Churches, too glad to feed, but quite unwilling to work. (“What Meanest Thou, O Sleeper?”)

Reading

According to Charles H. Spurgeon:

‘As the apostle says to Timothy, so also he says to everyone, ‘Give yourself to reading.’ He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritan writers, and expositions of the Bible. The best way for you to spend your leisure is to be either reading or praying.’

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