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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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ORIGINS

The matter of origins … is absolutely critical to all human thinking.  It becomes critical to how we conduct our lives as human beings.  Without an understanding of origins, without a right understanding of origins, there is no way to comprehend ourselves.  There is no way to understand humanity, as to the purpose of our existence, and as to our destiny.  If we cannot believe what Genesis says about origins, we are lost as to our purpose and our destiny.  Whether this world and its life as we know it evolved by chance, without a cause, or was created by God, has immense comprehensive implications for all of human life.

(John MacArthur, Creation: Believe It or Not, Part 1)

 

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DOCTRINE OF ELECTION

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

[Doctrine of Election] It probably ought to be the first thing you teach a young believer. Now that you have come to Christ, this is what I want you to know. You were saved by the sovereign grace of God who stepped into your life in the midst of your death and blindness and gave you life and sight and picked you up and brought you into His Kingdom. Sheer grace has done this for you. That, I think, is the first thing you should say to a new convert. This is, if in fact, you are faithful to the confession you have made, if in fact your love for Christ and desire to honor, to worship and to obey Him continues to grow, this will be an ongoing evidence that God has wrought a miracle in your life. And because of that, you need to know, this is really important, that you should live a life of gratitude for a work has been done in you which you did not deserve and did not earn. (excerpt from interview)

MAKING DECISIONS IN THE NEW YEAR

John MacArthurI ran across this article recently and I thought it contained some excellent advice. Consequently, I am sharing some of it with you. John MacArthur offers us seven principles for making good decisions in the New Year.

         Will it benefit me spiritually?

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify (1 Cor. 10:23).

  • Will it bring bondage?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12).

  • Will it defile God’s temple?

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

  • Will it cause anyone to stumble?

Food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor. 8:8-9).

  • Will it further the cause of evangelism?

Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved (1 Cor. 10:32-33).

  • Will it violate my conscience?

He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin (Rom. 14:23).

  • Will it bring glory to God?

Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

That verse is clearly both the summary and the goal of all the principles listed above. Isn’t our heart’s cry to glorify our Lord and Savior with our lives? Think about your decision—Will He be glorified, honored, and praised through it? May we say along with Jesus, “I glorified You on the earth” (John 17:4).

So the next time you face a decision where Scripture is less than specific or overt, run it through the principles above and enjoy your freedom in Christ. Happy New Year from Grace to You! (The excerpts above are from John MacArthur’s article “Decision Making to the Glory of God”, 2010. If you wish to read the complete article, click on GRACE TO YOU.)

 

 

 

GOD WITH US

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: ‘God with us.’ We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!”

DISCIPLESHIP

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

“Discipleship entails a life of total self-denial, a humble disposition towards others, a whole-hearted devotion to the Lord alone, a willingness to obey His commands in everything, an eagerness to sense Him even in His absence, and a motivation that comes from knowing He is well pleased.” (Slave, 43)

Don’t Mess it Up

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

”The preacher is not a chef; he’s a waiter. God doesn’t want you to make the meal; He just wants you to deliver it to the table without messing it up. That’s all.”

Around And Back Again

According to John MacArthur:

Worship services in many churches today are like a merry-go-round. You drop a token in the collection box; it’s good for a ride. There’s music and lots of motion up and down. The ride is carefully timed and seldom varies in length. Lots of good feelings are generated, and it is the one ride you can be sure will never be the least bit threatening or challenging. But though you spend the whole time feeling as if you’re moving forward, you get off exactly where you got on.

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