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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 SPIRITUAL LIFE

Archibald Alexander:

Archibald AlexanderThe strength of the principle of life in the new birth, as in the natural birth, is exceedingly various; for while some are brought into the world of grace in the clear light of day, and are from the first active and vigorous, and enjoy much comfort in their pious exercises; others give very obscure evidence of being in possession of life, and remain long in a state of feebleness. Indeed, some are like children who seem at birth to be dead, but afterwards revive, and by degrees acquire vigor and maturity. But it by no means is a uniform fact that the children who are most healthy and vigorous at birth, continue to be so throughout life. Disease or other disasters may check their growth, and debilitate their constitution; while those who commence life in extreme weakness may acquire strength, and grow prosperously from year to year; so that, in mature age, they may have greatly surpassed many who were much more healthy and vigorous in the earliest stage of existence. Analogous to this are the facts observable in the spiritual life.

ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER ON REGENERATION

Archibald AlexanderArchibald Alexander:

Regeneration is the commencement of spiritual life in a soul before dead in sin, by the omnipotent agency of God; and the exercises of this life are specifically different from all the exercises of an unregenerate heart.

The strength of the principle of life in the new birth, as in the natural birth, is exceedingly various; for while some are brought into the world of grace in the clear light of day, and are from the first active and vigorous, and enjoy much comfort in their pious exercises; others give very obscure evidence of being in possession of life, and remain long in a state of feebleness. (Regeneration)

NOT OF THEIR OWN POWER

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon preaching on 1 John 5:1 makes the point that men believe, not of their own power, but as a result of the work of regeneration in the hearts of men.

Charles H. Spurgeon:

We must now pass on to show that wherever it exists it is the proof of regeneration. There never was a grain of such faith as this in the world, except in a regenerate soul, and there never will be while the world stands. It is so according to the text, and if we had no other testimony this one passage would be quite enough to prove it. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”

“Ah!” I hear thee say, poor soul, “the new birth is a great mystery; I do not understand it; I am afraid I am not a partaker in it.”

You are born again if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, if you are relying upon a crucified Savior you are assuredly begotten again unto a lively hope. Mystery or no mystery, the new birth is yours if you are a believer. Have you never noticed that the greatest mysteries in the world reveal themselves by the simplest indications?

GLAD TIDINGS

George WhitefieldGeorge Whitefield:

I beseech you, believe the gospel. Indeed, it is glad tidings, even tidings of great joy. You will then no longer have anything to say against the doctrine of Original Sin; or charge the Almighty foolishly, for suffering our first parents to be prevailed on to eat such sour grapes, and permitting thereby their children’s teeth to be set on edge.

You will then no longer cry out against the doctrine of the New Birth, as enthusiasm, or brand the asserters of such blessed truths with the opprobrious names of fools and madmen. Having felt, you will then believe; having believed, you will therefore speak; and instead of being vessels of wrath, and growing harder and harder in hell fire, like vessels in a potter’s oven, you will be made vessels of honor, and be presented at the great day by Jesus, to his heavenly Father, and be translated to live with him as monuments of rich, free, distinguishing and sovereign grace, for ever and ever.

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