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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

Salvation Through Civil Government

Gary DeMar

From the desk of Gary DeMar:

What few people seem to realize is that there are all types of non-religious belief systems that hold to an absolutist ideology and use the power of the State to impose that ideology on the rest of us. . . .

A secular ideology can be just as sacrosanct and absolute as any religious doctrine or creedal formulation but with a significant difference:

Pure ideology differs greatly from the Judeo-Christian tradition that locates sin in the human will; ideologists disdain such ideas and cite evil “structures,” “institutions,” and “systems” as the problem. Sin is political, not personal. Get the structure rights, so the argument goes, and all will be well with individuals. [Lloyd Billingsley, The Absence of Tyranny: Recovering Freedom in Our Time]

These “structures” can only be restructured and made right by increased government control, bureaucratic management, the curtailment of freedoms, and, as always, more money. We are told that these new freedom-limiting laws are for our own good and the good of society. Liberals have always believed that civil government should be in the personal management business since their ideas for other people are always for their good. They don’t see their laws as ideologically (religiously) motivated. . . .

Christians who understand the proper mix of religion and politics would argue that it’s not the role of civil government to micro-manage people’s lives. There is no prescription in the Bible to use the power of civil government to control a person’s diet through taxation. . . .

The biblical view of change is that what people believe and understand must be restructured before there will be any appreciable change in a person’s lifestyle. Self-government (self-control) is the operating principle.

Read this article in full here. . . .

God Is Preparing Us For Himself

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Quoting Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“If you are a child of God then you are certainly going to be disciplined, because God is preparing you for holiness. He is not an indulgent father who hands out sweets indiscriminately and does not care what happens to us. God is holy, and He is preparing us for Himself and for glory; and because we are what we are, and because sin is in us, and because the world is what it is, we must needs be disciplined. So He sends us trials and tribulations in order to pull us up, and to conform us to ‘the image of His Son’.”

Benjamin Franklin On The Education Of Youth

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin:

“The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Public with Honor to themselves, and to their Country.”

Blinded To The Light Of Truth

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

A man without Christ is blind to the Scriptures and the things of God. When a person becomes a Christian, the Spirit that abides in him begins to show him things by a different light. He sees truth clearly for the first time. He realizes for the first time who he truly is and why he is the way he is. He begins to see that sin has cut him off from communion with God and that the whole world is fallen in nature because man has suppressed the knowledge of God.

People are born self-centered. They seek to please themselves and ignore the precepts of God. But God has made a way for men to come to Him through His Son – Jesus Christ. A man can know salvation from his sins and the wrath of God through Jesus Christ. Thus, a man can know himself and understand why others are the way they are. A Christian has a more complete view of life because he believes God’s Word.

But this new perspective on life is not enough; the Christian is determined to know God – not just things about Him. This knowledge gives the Christian a sense of purpose. He has a system of living and a new sense of order. His life is surrendered to a new intellectual and moral way of existence. When calamity strikes, the Christian knows he has a way. He sees the path he must walk. His confidence is not in himself, but in his Savior. His Anchor of Hope is not in this world which is passing – for he sees himself in the light of God and eternity.

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