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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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WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM THE BIBLE?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)

Many of us read the Bible with the purpose of knowing it better. Often, however, we read the Bible without allowing it to change our lives. We may scan the Scriptures daily looking for some reinforcement of our own “core values” but without allowing the Scriptures to speak to us personally about sin and righteousness.

Continue reading

PURSUE JOY!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV)

Samuel A CainAre you a joyful Christian? Do you revel in God? Is it not enough that God has clothed us with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness to make us a consistently joyful people? (Isaiah 61:10 ESV)

We all face obstacles to joy through contact with others and the circumstances in which we live. There are people who dislike Christians specifically or have a bad attitude toward people in general. Christians may even find that their troubles are coming from other Christians. Continue reading

SANCTIFICATION AND THE WORD OF GOD

Bishop J. C. Ryle:

Bishop J. C. Ryle“The instrument by which the Spirit effects (sanctification) is generally the Word of God.” (Holiness, 16)

The All-Sufficiency of the Scriptures

Bible Are the Scriptures sufficient to lead us unto salvation? Do we need other sources of religious authority to help us gain salvation? Your answers to these questions are very important.

There are many who deny the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures. They may believe in the Bible and traditions or they may accept additional writings and revelations as equal with the Bible. These ideas lead people to look to other authorities for the final word on their religious beliefs. By doing this they have rejected the all-sufficiency of the Bible, which often results in heresy.

Is the Bible alone an all-sufficient guide for your life and salvation? Paul writes to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV) The Bible completes us. There is no need for traditions, additional writings, or revelations.

In the Scriptures, you have all you need to believe in Jesus and have life in His name. You have fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You have eternal life and entrance into His heavenly kingdom. Any new teaching you come across that is not in the Bible, was never meant to be.

Put your faith in the Word of God and His Word alone. In the Scriptures, the whole counsel of God has been revealed to us finally. Therefore, we refer to the Scriptures as all-sufficient in matters pertaining to God. Remember again these words of Paul, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 ESV)

Samuel at Gilgal

The Scriptures are Written in the Every-Day Language of Men

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

The Scriptures are written in the every-day language of men, and they often describe an act or a thing as it appears to be, rather than as it really is. The Bible speaks of “the four corners of the earth,” Isaiah 11:12, and of “the foundations of the earth,” Psalm 104:5; yet no one understands this to mean that the earth is square, or that it actually rests upon a foundation. We speak of the sun rising and setting, yet we know that it is not the motion of the sun but that of the earth as it turns over on its axis which causes this phenomenon. Likewise, when the Scriptures speak of God repenting, for instance, no one with proper ideas of God understands it to mean that He sees He has pursued a wrong course and changes His mind. It simply means that His action as seen from the human view-point appears to be like that of a man who repents.

In other places the Scriptures speak of the hands, or arms, or eyes of God. These are what are known as “anthropomorphisms,” instances in which God is referred to as if He were a man. When the word “repent,” for instance, is used in its strict sense God is said never to repent: “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent.” Numbers 23:19; and again, “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent,” 1 Samuel 15:29. (The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination)

The Object of Faith

B. B. Warfield:

The saving power of faith resides thus not in itself, but in the Almighty Savior on whom it rests. It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving, – as if this frame of mind or attitude of heart were itself a virtue with claims on God for reward, or at least especially pleasing to Him (either in its nature or as an act of obedience) and thus predisposing Him to favor, or as if it brought the soul into an attitude of receptivity or of sympathy with God, or opened a channel of communication from Him. It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ: faith in any other savior, or in this or that philosophy or human conceit (Col. 2:16, 18, 1 Tim. 4:1), or in any other gospel than that of Jesus Christ and Him as crucified (Gal. 1:8, 9), brings not salvation but a curse. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith; and in this the whole biblical representation centers, so that we could not more radically misconceive it than by transferring to faith even the smallest fraction of that saving energy which is attributed in the Scriptures solely to Christ Himself. (“The Religious Life of Theological Students”)

The Greatest Power

R. C. Sproul writes:

“I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.” (The Prayer of the Lord)

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