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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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THE FOUNDATION OF WORSHIP

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24 ESV)

WorshipMany of the unchurched public visited places of worship during the recent Holidays. What did they see and hear at your church? In some churches, I think they saw only a poor reflection of the secular world. How then will they be saved if the pastor’s message is not God-centered, sin-exposing, self-convicting and life-challenging?

Of course, this is the opposite of the popular sermons that seek only to entertain and promote a Christianized self-help philosophy. In such places the congregation becomes sovereign; ignoring what God has said on the subject, they dictate how worship will be conducted by what makes them feel better.

Thank God there are other churches where people meet to engage in God-centered, Scripture-directed worship. Those churches remind us that God wants us to worship Him in truth. (John 4:24 ESV) These are churches where you find the expository preaching of God’s Word. Indeed, all of worship is regulated by the Bible. Which of these churches do you attend?

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word:
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
(“The Church’s One Foundation” by Samuel John Stone)

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

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