• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,389,929 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,275 other followers

  • July 2020
    M T W T F S S
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

TAKE YOUR SINS TO CHRIST

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42 ESV)

Jesus_healing_lepersLeprosy is a terrible disease in which the early symptoms are almost imperceptible and occur slowly. It may begin with a single small red dot on the skin which eventually multiplies into painless skin lesions over the entire body. One form destroys the nerve endings so that parts of the body lose the feelings of touch and pain. Pieces of the body begin to rot and drop off. This includes the ears, nose, fingers, toes, and other parts of the flesh. Leprosy also increases vulnerability to all kinds of infectious diseases.

Continue reading

CHRIST’S SALVATION

A. W. Pink:

A. W. Pink“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.”

BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD

Samuel A CainTake no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11 ESV)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)

Conformity to the world’s value system is evidence that a work of grace has not transformed the heart and mind.  The man, who is born of the Spirit of God, will not only seek to separate himself from worldliness – but will also diligently pursue holiness. 

There are many who desire to transform Christianity in order to make it more easily acceptable to our present culture.  Church members often desire the broad road rather than the narrow way that leads to godliness.  In Romans 12:2, Paul instructs us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV) Continue reading

HERE IS THIS SIN

philpotJ. C. Philpot:

Here is this sin,
Save me from it!
Here is this snare,
Break it to pieces!
Here is this lust,
Lord, subdue it!
Here is this temptation,
Deliver me out of it!
Here is my proud heart,
Lord, humble it!
Here is my unbelieving heart,
Take it away and give me faith—give me submission to Your mind and will. Take me as I am with all my sin and shame and work in me everything well pleasing in Your sight!

CHOSEN TO BE HOLY

Samuel A CainEven as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)

God is holy and therefore, is not apathetic about sin. Because God is holy, He cannot be appeased by the sinner’s own works. The God of the Bible takes sin so seriously that our own efforts cannot erase the guilt of our sin. Only a holy God can deal with it. The example of the holiness we need in our lives was found in the life of Christ. In Christ we have the holiness of the invisible God lived out in human life, conduct, and character. Through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God has forgiven our sins that we may take part in His holiness.

Salvation is in Christ. If you are saved, it is because God has forgiven you and imparted to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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

The Atonement

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

Our entire confidence in our acceptance before God is based solely upon the fact that Jesus was our legal representative in His sinless life and obedient death.

Jesus Christ Gives Repentance to the Most Unlikely People

You may have a very stubborn heart, which has stood against our Lord Jesus Christ for many years; and yet in you our Lord can work repentance. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

When our Lord Jesus was exalted, He not only gave us repentance by sending forth the Holy Spirit, but by consecrating all the works of nature and of providence to the great ends of our salvation, so that any one of them may call us to repentance, whether it crow like a cockerel for Peter, or shake the prison like the jailer’s earthquake. From the right hand of God our Lord Jesus rules all things here below, and makes them work together for the salvation of His redeemed. He uses both bitters and sweets, trials and joys, that He may produce in sinners a better mind toward their God. Be thankful for the providence which has made you poor, or sick, or sad; for by all this Jesus works the life of your spirit and turns you to Himself. The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experience to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven. Christ is exalted to the throne of Heaven and earth in order that, by all the processes of His providence, He may subdue hard hearts unto the gracious softening of repentance.

Besides, He is at work at this hour by all His whispers in the conscience, by His inspired Book, by those of us who speak out of that Book, and by praying friends and earnest hearts. He can send a word to you which shall strike your rocky heart as with the rod of Moses, and cause streams of repentance to flow forth. He can bring to your mind some heartbreaking text out of Holy Scripture which shall conquer you right speedily. He can mysteriously soften you, and cause a holy frame of mind to steal over you when you least look for it. Be sure of this, that He who is gone into His glory, raised into all the splendor and majesty of God, has abundant ways of working repentance in those to whom He grants forgiveness. He is even now waiting to give repentance to you. Ask Him for it at once.

Observe with much comfort that the Lord Jesus Christ gives this repentance to the most unlikely people in the world. He is exalted to give repentance to Israel. To Israel! In the days when the apostles thus spoke, Israel was the nation which had most grossly sinned against light and love, by daring to say, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Yet Jesus is exalted to give them repentance! What a marvel of grace! If you have been brought up in the brightest of Christian light, and yet have rejected it, there is still hope. If you have sinned against conscience, and against the Holy Spirit, and against the love of Jesus, there is yet space for repentance. Though you may be as hard as unbelieving Israel of old, softening may yet come to you, since Jesus is exalted, and clothed with boundless power. For those who went the furthest in iniquity, and sinned with special aggravation, the Lord Jesus is exalted to give to them repentance and forgiveness of sins. Happy am I to have so full a gospel to proclaim! Happy are you to be allowed to read it! (All of Grace)

King Jesus

Jesus is exalted to be a King and a Savior, that He may give all that is needed to accomplish the salvation of all who come under His rule. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

Some truths which it is hard to explain in words are simple enough in actual experience. There is no discrepancy between the truth that the sinner believes, and that his faith is wrought in him by the Holy Spirit. Only folly can lead men to puzzle themselves about plain matters while their souls are in danger. No man would refuse to enter a lifeboat because he did not know the specific gravity of bodies; neither would a starving man decline to eat till he understood the whole process of nutrition. If you, my reader, will not believe till you can understand all mysteries, you will never be saved at all; and if you allow self-invented difficulties to keep you from accepting pardon through your Lord and Savior, you will perish in a condemnation which will be richly deserved. Do not commit spiritual suicide through a passion for discussing metaphysical subtleties. . . .

You are not asked to trust in a dead Jesus, but in One who, though He died for our sins, has risen again for our justification. You may go to Jesus at once as to a living and present friend. He is not a mere memory, but a continually existent Person who will hear your prayers and answer them. He lives on purpose to carry on the work for which He once laid down His life. He is interceding for sinners at the right hand of the Father, and for this reason He is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him. Come and try this living Savior, if you have never done so before.

This living Jesus is also raised to an eminence of glory and power. He does not now sorrow as “a humble man before his foes,” nor labor as “the carpenter’s son”; but He is exalted far above principalities and power and every name that is named. The Father has given Him all power in Heaven and in earth, and he exercises this high endowment in carrying out His work of grace. Hear what Peter and the other apostles testified concerning Him before the high priest and the council:

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins (Acts v. 30, 31).

The glory which surrounds the ascended Lord should breathe hope into every believer’s breast. Jesus is no mean person—He is “a Savior and a great one.” He is the crowned and enthroned Redeemer of men. The sovereign prerogative of life and death is vested in Him; the Father has put all men under the mediatorial government of the Son, so that He can quicken whom He will. He openeth, and no man shutteth. At His word the soul which is bound by the cords of sin and condemnation can be unloosed in a moment. He stretches out the silver scepter, and whosoever touches it lives.

It is well for us that as sin lives, and the flesh lives, and the devil lives, so Jesus lives; and it is also well that whatever might these may have to ruin us, Jesus has still greater power to save us. (All of Grace)

Full Assurance

Fear cannot abound in a man’s heart when he knows that Christ is with him and will strengthen him in the face of evil and temptation to do evil. Christ has you firm in His grip. Andrew Bonar writes:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

Dear reader, we affectionately urge this matter upon you; for we believe it nearly concerns your own salvation, your own peace and holiness. If my warrant to be assured of salvation depended upon the measure of my attainments, how could I ever be assured of salvation? How could I ever be assured that I had attained such a measure as would secure my acceptance, and my deliverance from the hand of my enemies, that I might serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of my life? How could the jailer have been safe in rejoicing in Christ, the same hour of the night? How could the eunuch have been warranted in going on his way rejoicing?

But, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” Blessed be God, it is not a peradventure, left in uncertainty until after death or judgment, on which I am pleaded with to rest my eternal all. It is a work devised for sinners, undertaken for sinners, wrought out for sinners, finished for sinners, and accepted by God for sinners, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. And we have not to go to the uttermost parts of the earth to seek it. O reader! that finished work, that immediate acceptance and salvation, is nigh thee in thy hand in thy mouth in thy heart! “Hearken unto Me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness; behold! I bring near My righteousness!” (Isaiah 46. 12, 13). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16. 31).

But is there, then, no hope that we are in Christ unless we possess this full assurance? We do not say so, though we believe that this question has often been used as a refuge from the guilt of not resting with full confidence on the blood of Christ. By reason of the weakness of their faith, and the strength of corruption within, the holiest of men are often found walking in darkness; but what we plead for is this, that if a child of God be not kept in peace as regards his acceptance, it is not for the want of something in Christ, but because of his own want of faith, to take freely what has been so freely given; and that all such doubts and fears regarding the fullness of Christ whatever be the humbled and exercised look they may assume while they are the believer’s misery, are no less truly the believer’s sin.

And this is the true way of holiness. The same apostle who proclaims salvation “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly,” beseeches us, by those very mercies of God, to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. The same sprinkled blood which speaks peace to the sinner, proclaims to that sinner continually, “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6. 20). (“The Mercy Seat”)

Coming to Terms with the Fear of Man

Very few people in this culture are willing to take a stand for their Christian beliefs. Their pride is addicted to the praise of men and therefore they fear ridicule as if it could cause them to loose their imaginary high social standing in the community. This is a fear of men. Will we ever overcome our sins with such ideas hindering us? Charles H. Spurgeon tells us:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)

Personally, I could never have overcome my own sinfulness. I tried and failed. My evil propensities were too many for me, till, in the belief that Christ died for me, I cast my guilty soul on Him, and then I received a conquering principle by which I overcame my sinful self. The doctrine of the cross can be used to slay sin, even as the old warriors used their huge two-handed swords, and mowed down their foes at every stroke. There is nothing like faith in the sinner’s Friend: it overcomes all evil. If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am, without strength as I am, then I cannot live in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who hath redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil which slew my best Friend. I must be holy for His sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it?

See what a splendid help this is to you that are without strength, to know and believe that in due time Christ died for such ungodly ones as you are. Have you caught the idea yet? It is, somehow, so difficult for our darkened, prejudiced, and unbelieving minds to see the essence of the gospel. At times I have thought, when I have done preaching, that I have laid down the gospel so clearly, that the nose on one’s face could not be more plain; and yet I perceive that even intelligent hearers have failed to understand what was meant by “Look unto me and be ye saved.” Converts usually say that they did not know the gospel till such and such a day; and yet they had heard it for years. The gospel is unknown, not from want of explanation, but from absence of personal revelation. This, the Holy Ghost is ready to give, and will give to those who ask Him. Yet when given, the sum total of the truth revealed all lies within these words: “Christ died for the ungodly.” I hear another bewailing himself thus: “Oh, sir, my weakness lies in this, that I do not seem to keep long in one mind! I hear the word on a Sunday, and I am impressed; but in the week I meet with an evil companion, and my good feelings are all gone. My fellow workmen do not believe in anything, and they say such terrible things, and I do not know how to answer them, and so I find myself knocked over.” I know this

Plastic Pliable very well, and I tremble for him; but at the same time, if he is really sincere, his weakness can be met by divine grace. The Holy Spirit can cast out the evil spirit of the fear of man. He can make the coward brave. Remember, my poor vacillating friend, you must not remain in this state. It will never do to be mean and beggarly to yourself. Stand upright, and look at yourself, and see if you were ever meant to be like a toad under a harrow, afraid for your life either to move or to stand still. Do have a mind of your own. This is not a spiritual matter only, but one which concerns ordinary manliness. I would do many things to please my friends; but to go to hell to please them is more than I would venture. It may be very well to do this and that for good fellowship; but it will never do to lose the friendship of God in order to keep on good terms with men. “I know that,” says the man, “but still, though I know it, I cannot pluck up courage. I cannot show my colours. I cannot stand fast.” Well, to you also I have the same text to bring: “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” If Peter were here, he would say, “The Lord Jesus died for me even when I was such a poor weak creature that the maid who kept the fire drove me to lie, and to swear that I knew not the Lord.” Yes, Jesus died for those who forsook him and fled. Take a firm grip on this truth—“Christ died for the ungodly while they were yet without strength.” This is your way out of your cowardice. Get this wrought into your soul, “Christ died for me,” and you will soon be ready to die for Him. Believe it, that He suffered in your place and stead, and offered for you a full, true, and satisfactory expiation. If you believe that fact, you will be forced to feel, “I cannot be ashamed of Him who died for me.” A full conviction that this is true will nerve you with a dauntless courage. Look at the saints in the martyr age. In the early days of Christianity, when this great thought of Christ’s exceeding love was sparkling in all its freshness in the church, men were not only ready to die, but they grew ambitious to suffer, and even presented themselves by hundreds at the judgement seats of the rulers, confessing the Christ. I do not say that they were wise to court a cruel death; but it proves my point, that a sense of the love of Jesus lifts the mind above all fear of what man can do to us. Why should it not produce the same effect in you? Oh that it might now inspire you with a brave resolve to come out upon the Lord’s side, and be His follower to the end! (All of Grace)

“Christ Died for the Ungodly”

You must look to Christ and He will give you repentance. The Holy Spirit turns us to Christ and thereby turns us from sin. Look to Christ and He will save you. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)

Hold you on to this one fact—“In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” This truth will not require from you any deep research or profound reasoning, or convincing argument. There it stands: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Fix your mind on that, and rest there. . . .

According to the Scriptures it is a revealed fact, that in due time Christ died for the ungodly when they were yet without strength. You have heard these words hundreds of times, maybe, and yet you have never before perceived their meaning. There is a cheering savior about them, is there not? Jesus did not die for our righteousness, but He died for our sins. He did not come to save us because we were worth the saving, but because we were utterly worthless, ruined, and undone. He came not to earth out of any reason that was in us, but solely and only out of reasons which He fetched from the depths of His own divine love. In due time He died for those whom He describes, not as godly, but as ungodly, applying to them as hopeless an adjective as He could well have selected. If you have but little mind, yet fasten it to this truth, which is fitted to the smallest capacity, and is able to cheer the heaviest heart. Let this text lie under your tongue like a sweet morsel, till it dissolves into your heart and flavors all your thoughts; and then it will little matter though those thoughts should be as scattered as autumn leaves. Persons who have never shone in science, nor displayed the least originality of mind, have nevertheless been fully able to accept the doctrine of the cross, and have been saved thereby. Why should not you?

I hear another man cry, “Oh, sir my want of strength lies mainly in this, that I cannot repent sufficiently!” A curious idea men have of what repentance is! Many fancy that so many tears are to be shed, and so many groans are to be heaved, and so much despair is to be endured. . . .

Remember that the man who truly repents is never satisfied with his own repentance. We can no more repent perfectly than we can live perfectly. However pure our tears, there will always be some dirt in them: there will be something to be repented of even in our best repentance. But listen! To repent is to change your mind about sin, and Christ, and all the great things of God. There is sorrow implied in this; but the main point is the turning of the heart from sin to Christ. If there be this turning, you have the essence of true repentance, even though no alarm and no despair should ever have cast their shadow upon your mind.

If you cannot repent as you would, it will greatly aid you to do so if you will firmly believe that “in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Think of this again and again. How can you continue to be hard-hearted when you know that out of supreme love “Christ died for the ungodly”? (All of Grace)

The Fear of Sinners

Quoting Matthew Henry:

They have . . .

An angry God above them,

A guilty conscience in them,

A yawning hell below them!

Will a Good Reference get you into Heaven?

Andrew Bonar preached from the whole Bible, the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. When one of his friends remarked on his originality in finding subjects for preaching, and wondered where he got all his texts, he just lifted up his Bible. He did not ignore any part of it, but explained it all. Bonar provides the proud with an excellent dose of medicine in the following excerpt:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

Is it true that the greatness of your sins need be no hindrance to your acceptance, if only you are now willing, with all your heart, to turn from sin to God? Yes; it is true. It was for sinners, the mercy-seat was made. It was for sinners the blood was shed. “This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26. 28). “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick . . . I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9. 12, 13).

When, at any time, you have heard Christ in all His fullness pressed upon your acceptance – when you have been invited, without delay, to draw near with a true heart; is it not true that secretly you may have been raising some such difficulty as this: “Oh, but I am such a sinner. I cannot expect to be received just as I am. I must wait till I have mended my life, and then I will come. I must wait till I have prayed longer, and then I will come. I must wait till I have had deeper convictions of sin, and then I may hope that the Lord will receive me if I come”

Is this your view of the way of salvation? If it be, you are surely all in the wrong. Is it not just as if you were to say, “I cannot go to God just now, for I am a poor, vile, guilty sinner, with no good thing about me at all – a poor beggar, who has nothing to give for salvation. But I shall wait till I have something to recommend me, and then I shall go.” Dear reader, would this be a free salvation? You want to pay for salvation; but God offers you salvation without money and without price. . . .

But, moreover, supposing it had been required that you should bring some good thing with you when you came to the mercy-seat, how vain would have been your hopes? He, who for a moment cherishes such a thought, has evidently never been brought to feel the total and utter depravity of his nature that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing (Rom. 7. 18). When a sinner is once truly awakened by the Spirit of God to see the awful ruin of his condition, he then feels that, so far from its being a comfort to him, the very thing that is the likeliest to drive him to despair would be to tell him that he must wait till he find some good thing in him to recommend him before he could hope for pardon from an angry God. (“The Mercy Seat)

The Plague of Sin

The following is from a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon:

All the filth and loathsomeness that ever offended eye and nostril, is sweetness itself compared with sin. The foulest and most detestable thing in the whole universe is sin!

Sin is that which keeps the fire of hell burning as God’s great sanitary necessity. Well may God cause the fiery flames of eternal torment to go up for ever and ever, for it is only by such terrific punishment that the plague of sin can be at all restrained within bounds.

Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison; and yet, sinner, though you be as full of sin as an egg is full of meat, and as reeking with sin as the foulest piece of noxious matter can be reeking with foul smell — yet the infinite mercy of God in Christ Jesus can lift you from this utmost degradation, and make you to shine as a star in his kingdom at the last!

To know that my Beloved is mine, and that I am his, and that he loved me and gave himself for me, this is far better than to be heir-apparent to a score of empires! (“From the Dunghill to the Throne” No. 658)

%d bloggers like this: