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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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FAITH IN AN EVIL WORLD

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:4 ESV)

Maintaining a true Christian faith is not easy in this world. Life offers so many paths of compromise that it is easy to lose your way. John Murray wrote the following on this subject:

If the faith we profess is a faith that allows us to walk in the ways of this present evil world, in the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, in the fellowship and works of darkness, then our faith is mockery and deception. Repentance results in constant contrition. The broken spirit and contrite heart are abiding marks in the believing soul. Not one that we progressively get, but abiding. They are there from the beginning and they’re ongoing. A new attitude. Not just about Jesus and who He is, but about our sin, who we are, what we deserve, and the hating of the things we used to love. Without it, there is no salvation. (John Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary)

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CHOOSING WHAT I BELIEVE ABOUT MAN

Adam-and-EveWhoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 ESV)

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

The natural man does not want to accept the universal view of mankind as taught in the Scriptures. He hears the Word of God and thinks it is foolishness. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV) The world’s viewpoint has blinded him to the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV) The natural man refuses to love the truth and be saved. He is deluded to believe what is false and to take pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 ESV)

In our day, there are attitudes and fads that demand the modern Christian Church lighten up concerning the wickedness of man and adopt modern strategies to attract unbelievers. After all, we do not want to so obviously offend them by presenting them with the truth of their natural condition. The truth, some would say, is simply not a good marketing strategy. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1 ESV)

John Murray was a Scottish-born Calvinist theologian and professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Professor Murray wrote about this topic: Continue reading

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