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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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For Freedom, Christ has set us Free!

PrayerLet us remember who we are and the God Who is has brought us thus far on this July 4th, 2013.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

“The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” (John Adams)

“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” (Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence, To James McHenry on November 4, 1800)

“God governs in the affairs of man. 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 in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention of 1787)

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16 ESV)

Religious Liberty

John AdamsJohn Adams:

Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man’s nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God… Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments. (Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law — 1765)

Jesus in History

JosephusJosephus:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was the achiever of extraordinary deeds and was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When he was indicted by the principal men among us and Pilate condemned him to be crucified, those who had come to love him originally did not cease to do so; for he appeared to them on the third day restored to life, as the prophets of the Deity had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him, and the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.” (Josephus—The Essential Works, P. L. Maier ed./trans.).

Morality and the Family

John Adams wrote in 1778:

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families… In vain are Schools, Academies, and Universities instituted, if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years… The vices and examples of the parents cannot be concealed from the children. How is it possible that children can have any just sense of the Sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their mothers live in habitual infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant infidelity to their mothers?”

The Exceptional Bible

I was rereading Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Vol. 1, by Josh McDowell recently and thought I would share with you a few of the outstanding attributes which McDowell points out about the Bible. I also hope you will be encouraged to spend more time reading and studying the Scriptures.

The Bible was written over a period of 1,600 years. Approximately 40 authors from every walk of life were involved in contributing to it. Compare the continuity of the Bible with any other writings of a group of men. You will find that the Bible is truly unique in its continuity.

You will also find that although the Bible is written on material that perishes and had to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years by hand; the style, correctness, or existence has not diminished. If you compare it with other ancient writings, the manuscript evidence of the Bible is greater than any 10 pieces of classical literature combined!

“Infidels for 1800 years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assault make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer on the pyramids of Egypt.” (H. L. Hastings)

There is no other book of religious antiquity which provides so many explicit prophecies in the distant future which have come to pass. It is the greatest written history of the world because the Bible is HIS-STORY!

The Bible deals frankly with the sins of its characters and heroes:

  • Adam and Eve – putting off responsibility on to others;
  • Noah – drunkenness;
  • Abraham – cowardice, lying to save his skin;
  • Moses – disobedience to God;
  • David – lying, adultery, murder;
  • Peter – denying the Lord, causing division through hypocrisy and many others.

Our judicial system is based upon many of the principles found in the Bible. Our standards of morality have, until recently, been driven by the Judeo-Christian ethic.

The Bible is unique because it comes from the mind of the only true God. The Holy Spirit guided the many writers to make their works harmonious. Its primary theme is that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Only Jesus is the Lord of salvation for all of us.

If you are really searching for the truth, then – as a person of intelligence – you should read the Bible. It has had more influence on western literature than any other book. The Bible is the foundation of western democracy and morality. But, possessing and reading the Bible is not enough. The Word of God must be received in your heart and worked out in your life.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22-25 ESV)

John Adams, the 2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence wrote:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” (Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9)

Christianity and American Independence

John Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

A Letter From John Adams To Abigail Adams

Quoting John Adams:

When the Congress first met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with prayer…Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from a gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country. He..had heard that Mr. Duche…deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche…might be desired to read prayers to the Congress…After (he read several prayers), Mr. Duche, unexpected to everybody, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. (Letter to Abigail Adams, October 16, 1774)

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