• 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

    • 1,396,162 Visits
  • Recent Posts

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

    Join 1,267 other subscribers
  • Recommended Reading

Charles Spurgeon On The Two Books

Charles Spurgeon

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

A book is the expression of the thoughts of the writer.

The book of ‘nature’ is an expression of the thoughts of God.

We have God’s ‘terrible’ thoughts in the thunder and lightning; God’s ‘loving’ thoughts in the sunshine and the balmy breeze; God’s ‘bounteous, prudent, careful’ thoughts in the waving harvest and in the ripening meadow. We have God’s ‘brilliant’ thoughts in the wondrous scenes which are beheld from mountain-top and valley; and we have God’s ‘most sweet and pleasant’ thoughts of beauty in the little flowers that blossom at our feet.

Now, God’s book of ‘grace’ is just like his book of nature; it is his thoughts written out.

This great book, the Bible, this most precious volume is the heart of God made legible; it is the gold of God’s love, beaten out into gold leaf, so that therewith our thoughts might be plated, and we also might have golden, good, and holy thoughts concerning Him. (Sermon: “Substitution”)

J. C. Ryle: Quickening The Dead

Bishop J. C. Ryle

You may once have supposed it was not very hard to get into heaven. You thought you could just say you were sorry, and say a few prayers, and do what you could. But friend, the way is narrow, and few find it. You cannot make your own peace with God. Only the blood of Christ can wash away your sins. J. C. Ryle explains we are “dead as stones” until the truth is revealed to us:

“And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)

If we had seen Manasseh, King of Judah, at one time filling Jerusalem with idols, and murdering his children in honor of false gods—and then at another time purifying the temple, putting down idolatry, and living a godly life; if we had seen Zacchaeus the publican of Jericho, at one time cheating, plundering, and covetous—at another following Christ, and giving half his goods to the poor; if we had seen the servants of Nero’s household, at one time conforming to their master’s profligate ways—at another of one heart and mind with the Apostle Paul; if we had seen the ancient father Augustine, at one time living in fornication—at another walking closely with God; if we had seen our own Reformer Latimer, at one time preaching earnestly against the truth as it is in Jesus—at another spending and being spent even to death in Christ’s cause; if we had seen the New Zealanders, or Tinnevelly Hindus, at one time blood-thirsty, immoral, or sunk in abominable superstitions—at another holy, pure, and believing Christians; if we had seen these wonderful changes, or any of them, I ask any sensible Christian what we would have said? Would we have been content to call them nothing more than amendments and alterations? would we have been satisfied with saying that Augustine had “reformed his ways,” and that Latimer had “turned over a new leaf”? Verily if we said no more than this, the very stones would cry out. I say in all these cases there was nothing less than a new birth, a resurrection of human nature, a quickening of the dead. These are the right words to use. All other language is weak, poor, beggarly, unscriptural, and short of the truth.

Now I will not shrink from saying plainly, we all need the same kind of change, if we are to be saved. The difference between us and any of those I have just named is far less than it appears. Take off the outward crust, and you will find the same nature beneath, in us and them—an evil nature, requiring a complete change. The face of the earth is very different in different climates—but the heart of the earth, I believe, is everywhere the same. Go where you will, from one end to the other, you would always find the granite, or other primitive rocks, beneath your feet, if you only bored down deep enough. And it is just the same with men’s hearts. Their customs and their colors, their ways and their laws, may all be utterly unlike; but the inner man is always the same. Their hearts are all alike at the bottom—all stony, all hard, all ungodly, all needing to be thoroughly renewed. The Englishman and the New Zealander stand on the same level in this matter. Both are naturally dead, and both need to be made alive. Both are children of the same father Adam who fell by sin, and both need to be “born again,” and made children of God.

Whatever part of the globe we live in, our eyes need to be opened—naturally we never see our sinfulness, guilt, and danger. Whatever nation we belong to our understandings need to be enlightened—naturally we know little or nothing of the plan of salvation—like the Babel-builders, we think to get to heaven our own way. Whatever church we may belong to, our wills need to be bent in the right direction—naturally we would never choose the things which are for our peace; we would never come to Christ. Whatever be our rank in life, our affections need to be turned to things above—naturally we only set them on things below, earthly, sensual, short-lived, and vain. Pride must give place to humility—self-righteousness to self-abasement—carelessness to seriousness—worldliness to holiness—unbelief to faith. Satan’s dominion must be put down within us, and the kingdom of God set up. Self must be crucified, and Christ must reign. Until these things come to pass, we are dead as stones. When these things begin to take place, and not until then, we are spiritually alive.

%d bloggers like this: