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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 EXCELLENCE OF HIS MIGHT

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, 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)

Sometimes a Christian will surprise me when it becomes evident that he or she has no true understanding of the great power of God. In the life of such Christians (if they are Christians at all), God is used primarily like a 911 call. Maybe they do not put it into words, but their attitudes reflect the belief that God doesn’t involve Himself in day to day life. Note, in the verse above, that by this power He has given us all we need concerning life and godliness. This is accomplished daily by His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The knowledge of God is eternal life. (John 17:3 ESV) The Christian should desire, above everything else, to know God through Jesus Christ. If we glory in anything, let us glory in understanding and knowing God. (Jeremiah 9:23) He called us into His kingdom to become “partakers of the divine nature”.

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SLIDING TOWARD GODLESSNESS

D. A. CarsonD. A. Carson:

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

WE ARE NOT NOW WHAT WE SHALL BE

Martin LutherMartin Luther:

This life is not godliness, but growth in godliness; not health, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest, but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way; the process is not yet finished, but it has begun; this is not the goal, but it is road; at present all does not gleam and glitter, but everything is being purified. (A Defense and Explanation of All Articles, AE 32:24)

CHURCH GROWTH

Samuel A CainAnd let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 ESV)

Often, Christian leaders seek to encourage church growth by preaching messages that will be popular in our post-modern culture. Yet, the Apostle John writes:

“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:5-6 ESV) Continue reading

SLOUCHING AWAY FROM HOLINESS

D.A. Carson:

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

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