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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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  • Recommended Reading

UNION WITH CHRIST

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“Ultimately it comes down to this, that the real cause of our trouble is failure to realize our union with Christ. Many Seem to think that Christianity means that we are delivered in that sense that our sins are forgiven. But that is only the beginning, but one aspect of it. Essentially salvation means union with Christ, being one with Christ. We have been crucified with Christ – ‘I am crucified with Christ’, says Paul. ‘All that has happened to Him has happened to me. I am one with Him.’ Read the fifth and sixth chapters of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. The teaching is that we have died with Christ, have been buried with Christ, have risen with Christ, and are seated in the heavenly places in Christ and with Christ. That is the teaching of the Scriptures. ‘Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3. 3). The old man has been crucified and all that belonged to Christ, you are risen with Christ. ‘Reckon ye yourselves then to be dead unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 6. 11).” (Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, 74-75)

Entering into Mystical Union

R. C. Sproul

Quoting R. C. Sproul

The Christian life is lived in the context of mystical union with Christ. This union finds its initial origin in eternity. Our salvation is from the foundation of the world, resting in the grace of God’s sovereign election. Paul indicates this in Ephesians 1:3-6.

It is in the Beloved that our redemption is found. From eternity, God considers the elect to be in Christ. Before our mystical union is effected with us in time, it is already a present reality in the mind of God.

Just as Christ invaded time from eternity two thousand years ago, so our eternal union intrudes in time through the work of the Spirit. What has always existed in the mind of God in eternity becomes a time-bound reality in the heart of the regenerate. The result is that, in Christ, through the Spirit, we will behold the Father at our death and from there to eternity. We are sons and daughters of the Father, as it was in the beginning.

Our salvation is by Christ and in Christ. By His righteousness we are made just. By His atonement our sins are forgiven.

Read more by R. C. Sproul. . . .

Election And Righteousness

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:2-3)

Have you ever wondered why the same Bible that teaches sovereign election also teaches human responsibility? No church may use the doctrine of election as an excuse for not preaching the Gospel of God’s grace. You see – God makes a real offer of salvation to all men. Any man can be saved by repenting from his sins and believing the Gospel. Yet, most men will go headlong into hell and they are responsible for it.

I believe it was D. L. Moody who once said: “The whosoever will are the elect of God and the whosoever will-nots are the non-elect”. It is like the two lines of a train track. You see very plainly that they run beside one another. Look on one as God’s sovereignty and the other as man’s responsibility. If you look down the rails, you will see what appears to be the eventual coming together of the tracks. Where we stand, we can only see two separate, parallel tracks. One day we will plainly see where God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility come together.

Election is in Christ. If you are one of the elect, it is because God sees you in Christ. You are in Christ because God has placed you in Christ. The natural man has the choice placed before him, but he does not choose Christ because his natural inclination is opposed to God. He will not accept God’s authority. God, however, chooses to save some according to His mercy. God sends the Holy Spirit to change the natural inclination of a man’s heart – not according to his works or “good deeds” – solely based on His mercy.

If you are elected of God, you will begin to live a holy and blameless life. You cannot say “Because I am elected I will live anyway I want to”. To believe this is self-deception and a certain sign of unbelief. The chosen of God, however, will desire to live a life of righteousness. They will not live perfectly holy lives, but they will desire to and strive for it. God will look upon His children and see the holiness of Jesus Christ through Whom we are justified.

What I cannot do for myself, He can. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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